April 4: The answer to WoW

It is obvious that in the marketplace of ideas and life values, Orthodoxy can fare quite well, with resulting practical outcomes.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The answer to WoW
Kudos to The Jerusalem Post for its exciting article “Orthodox ‘All Stars’ honored at New York event” (April 3). Allison Josephs is a real all-star herself in founding the organization called Jew in the City in 2007.
It is obvious that in the marketplace of ideas and life values, Orthodoxy can fare quite well, with resulting practical outcomes.
The story is a respectful and convincing answer to the Women of the Wall, whose antics have recently captured a large share of public attention.
Fascinating series
You have published a fascinating series of articles on Senegal, the most recent being “The culture capital of West Africa” (Travel Trends, April 3). Congratulations to writer Seth J. Frantzman.
Tel Aviv
The good doctor
Reader Dunn Rabinowitz (“Readers have further comments on Hebron shooting,” Letters, April 3) writes that the authorities should treat the soldier as they treated the killers of Baruch Goldstein. Those killers were not prosecuted. In fact, not one of our soldiers tried to intervene on his behalf when Goldstein had already been overpowered and was being beaten to death.
To put things in perspective, for many years, Goldstein, a physician, treated both Jews and Arabs without prejudice, as he was that type of person. What is not talked about is that he tried to convey to the authorities that he had proof of a plot being hatched in the mosque to murder Jews. Not surprisingly, he was ignored, just as he would have been today.
Goldstein witnessed the murders of many of his friends, and finally reached a point where he was not prepared to stand by and see what could be a massacre of Jews – which is why he entered the mosque and did what the army should have done.
Just another day in the life of a good person who was no longer prepared to be silent.
Germanic Jews
Eli Kavon’s interesting “Abraham Geiger and the Damascus blood libel” (Comment & Features, April 3) describes how, in 1840, French Jew Adolph Cremieux and British Jew Sir Moses Montefiore pleaded on behalf of the persecuted Damascus Jews, while German Jew Abraham Geiger was more concerned with “Jewish integration into German society.”
A century later, German Jew Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, “failed to highlight the news of the Nazi mass murder of the Jews... because he feared the Times would be identified as a ‘Jewish newspaper.’” To this day, the Times’s hostility to Jews as a nation is made manifest on a nearly daily basis, even now that the last of the Sulzbergers is Episcopalian and makes no pretense of being Jewish. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The cold, core hostility to the Jewish nation by many Israelis of German background remains endemic well into the second, third and fourth generations here in Israel. True to their ultra-secular and vehemently anti-Jewish nationalist forbears, the progeny of the German aliya are disproportionately prominent among the thinkers, movers and shakers of the most extreme, anti-Zionist leftist organizations, including Peace Now, Women in Black, Machsom Watch, Haaretz and their cheerleaders in the academic and political sectors.
It seems as if a nostalgic longing for German-ness far outweighs any sentiment toward their fellow Jews, and explains their readiness to seek support, succor and financial sustenance from the very country that spit their grandparents out – grandparents who, in many cases, sat in their Tel Aviv cafés pining for the vaterland.
Geneva Convention
Hamas recently declared it was holding two Israeli citizens and at least the remains of two soldiers killed in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. If so, these are prisoners of war, so what are the Red Cross and Red Crescent doing to identify and ascertain their well being? We hear daily rants regarding Israeli treatment of prisoners, but not one word regarding the way others treat ours. No Palestinian bodies should be returned, and no medical treatment should be offered to Palestinians until this is dealt with.
The Palestinian Authority is the governing body of record in the Gaza Strip. It should face international sanctions until the rules of the Geneva Convention are followed.
Beit Shemesh
Jews were there
It was recently reported that an Egyptian antiquities official accused German archeologists of engraving two Stars of David in stones found at the site of an ancient Roman temple being reconstructed on Elephantine Island, in the Nile River. I find this surprising.
It is well documented among scholars that between the fourth and fifth century BCE, Jews lived and had a place of worship on the island. Research indicates that they were most likely mercenaries who had fled from the Babylonians, but were still there during the time of Darius II of Persia.
They formed a military colony of some sort and lived there for at least 200 years, maybe more.
The “Elephantine Passover” Papyrus is a famous letter discovered among many other documents in 1907 by German professor Edward Sachau. The papyrus was a response from Jerusalem to a request made by the Jews of Elephantine on how to keep the holiday.
Coming attractions
The Jerusalem Post is holding a conference in New York City in May. We know. We really do. So please, no more self-promotion! Readers of the Post in Israel are being bombarded – daily – with large ads (and even the schedule!) for this conference, which, unless free airline tickets and accommodations are being provided, is not something they will personally attend.
Subscribers are paying to get a newspaper that gives them the news, opinion and features. Give us more of that, and less of the “coming attractions.”
It is difficult to understand how one of the featured speakers at the upcoming Jerusalem Post Conference could be Dennis Ross.
In his book The Missing Peace, Ross writes that then-president Bill Clinton had asked his advice on whether to release Jonathan Pollard in the context of the Wye Agreement in October 1998.
Although Ross acknowledged that Pollard “had received a harsher sentence than others who had committed comparable crimes,” he responded by saying that “if you want my advice... I would not release him now.... You don’t have many like this in your pocket. I would save it for permanent status [talks]. You will need it later....”
For a Jew to recommend keeping Pollard, who received such a wildly disproportionate sentence, and using him as a political bargaining chip was a despicable act of incredible cruelty that should place Ross completely beyond the pale. What is even more remarkable is that he not only seems to have felt no sense of shame or guilt for this act, he felt comfortable to write openly in his book about his role in keeping Pollard in prison for what would ultimately be an additional 15 years.
Ross should be treated as the absolute pariah he is, and certainly not a prominent speaker.
Beit Shemesh
Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman is chief of staff of the Israel Air Force, and not its commander, as erroneously was implied in the caption accompanying “Air Force ‘disturbed’ by significant rise in ballistic arms threat” (April 4).