On our own
As I read “Antisemitism Deniers” (January 4), my initial reaction was great anger – directed both at the antisemites, as well (if not more so) at the deniers. As I calmed down, however, I looked at the situation on a more rational basis.
What came to mind was a biblical statement that we, the Jewish people, are an “Am levadad yishkon,” a people destined to live by themselves, in isolation.
From that perspective, there is no reason to get angry. Both the antisemites and their deniers are merely confirming the efficacy of that age-old saying.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCHTzur Yitzhak
I agree entirely with Sherwin Pomerantz, regarding new infrastructure measures removing parking capacity and also road space for cars (“Street reconstruction closes a synagogue,” December 30).
His comments were based on experiences in Jerusalem, but in Tel Aviv the situation is at least as bad. Many main roads, Ibn Gvirol, Ben Yehuda and others have had one lane removed to make room for bike lanes and in some cases the light railway.
This situation is made worse by the incredible increase in the number of delivery services using motor scooters and electric bikes. Until recently one could say that the behavior on the streets of Tel Aviv resembled a jungle, but due to the complete lack of consideration from two-wheeled maniacs, the situation has fallen into complete anarchy.
Not a day goes by without accidents injuring pedestrians and/or other bike riders.
For these delivery people, red lights do not exist. If in Europe you might have been cut up twice a month, here it happens at least twice an hour. If the road is full of buses, taxis, etc., they have no compunction about taking a shortcut over pavements and pedestrian crossings. Often, while walking along the pavement, I have been driven at by a motor scooter who decided that the road was not an option, because it was a one-way street, which would have made his progress difficult. If you don’t have 360 degree vision, or your wits about you, you could be hit by a two-wheeler coming from any direction, against the prescribed direction, from crossings to the road and vice-versa.
On the road, they toot their horn from well behind you, and now you’re expected to know: one, where they’re coming from; two, from which side they’re going to overtake you (it could also change at the last second, of course), and three, what you should do to avoid hitting them. If you fail on any of these counts, you will receive numerous gestures and expletives.
I would like to know who gives the licenses to the delivery companies. Is it the mayor of each city, or the government? These companies are doing a roaring business, but should be obligated to keep to the highway code in order to avoid injuries. The death count each year is bad enough, but it seems that the streets have been given over to people who are ill-suited to be using them.
ROBERT HICKINBOTHAMTel Aviv
Nazism and Zionism
With reference to “Dr. Abbas and Mr. Abu Mazen” (January 3), it is appropriate to point out that the title of Mahmoud Abbas’s doctoral thesis (Patrice Lumumba University, Moscow) on the strength of which he became Dr. Abbas, is “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.”
GERRY MYERSBet Zayit
Murdered in vain
Kudos to Benny Gantz for learning not to trust Bibi Netanyahu but advancing the interests of Israeli citizens by meeting and putting his trust in the lying, two-faced, forked tongue terrorist Mahmoud Abbas (“Gantz promises PA loan, legal status for 9,500 Palestinians,” December 30).
I am certain that Benny made sure that Abbas guarantees repayment of the loan by withholding 10% of every payment to families of current and, probably future, Arab terrorists who murder Israelis under his “Pay for Slay” doctrine. Israelis can rest reassured that they will not be murdered in vain because the loan will be repaid.
In reply to Labor MK Emilie Moatti’s question, “Besides Hamas there and [Netanyahu] here, does anyone really oppose Gantz meeting Abbas?”
The answer is yes, I do!
AVRAHAM FRIEDMANGanei Modi’in
Bravo to our Defense Minister Mr. Gantz for his “successful” meeting with Abu Mazen (“Abbas accuses Israel of practicing ‘organized terrorism, ethnic cleansing,’” January 2). During this meeting you granted many “presents” to the Palestinians, without receiving any single concession from him. He will continue to pay terrorist families monthly endowment, he will continue to prosecute you and your colleagues, at the ICC in The Hague, for war crimes and he continues to incite for terror, and he accepts your formula that the settlers are the “real terrorists” in the West Bank. It seems that since your friendly meeting with Abu Mazen, terrorism is increasing on a daily basis, and settlers are suffering from the outcome of your “constructive meeting.”
Mr. Gantz, for the sake of Israel’s security, please step down from your post as Israel’s defense minister; otherwise we are heading for real catastrophe.
While Israel is destroying Jewish “outposts” and homes all in the vain hope of keeping our enemies happy, those enemies are destroying our souls and bodies and the precious little land that we should be nurturing rather than surrendering with insane concessions that Benny Gantz has made to Mahmoud Abbas. It seems that we need this terrorist for our security. I would laugh if I didn’t know that Gantz and the other inmates didn’t actually believe it.
Abbas wants our land and makes no secret of it. He talks of the abhorrent Israeli occupation. In a statement marking the anniversary of its first attack against Israel, Fatah said there would be no stability and peace in the region until the recognition of the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. And this is the “moderate” terrorist organization, according to the previous and current government, that Israel has for years and still is desperately colluding with in order to strengthen it against the “more violent” Hamas.
What little measures Israel will take against Hamas will only show how weak and ineffectual we have become. It matters not how many rockets are fired at us (“Two rockets land off Tel Aviv coast,” January 2), even if it had only been one, which of course it’s not – we have suffered from thousands of assaults – those rockets would not exist today nor would those firing them, had Israel not buckled down like a poor relative begging for crumbs, and instead flattened Gaza. Collateral damage happens in war and the sooner we realize we are at war, the sooner we can stop the insanity that has taken over our Jewish land. Hamas and Fatah must be destroyed. One way or another this land of ours must be returned to the full ownership of the Jewish people to whom it belongs.
It is apparent to all that Chief David Rabbi Lau (“Time to resign, chief rabbi,” December 31 editorial) was elected because of his father and not because of his stature or his learning. It is also quite apparent that he is greatly influenced by the haredi community. The fact that he paid a condolence call to the Walder family without previously contacting the victims of Chaim Walder speaks volumes for Rabbi Lau’s intellect and morality. We now learn that a young woman who was a victim of Chaim Walder took her own life upon learning of the honor that was bestowed upon Chaim Walder after his death despite his alleged depraved and evil deeds.
It is very disappointing that a chief rabbi such as Rabbi Lau doesn’t possess the courage nor the ideal to step down in light of recent events.
MATTIAS ROTENBERGPetah Tikva
I fail to understand on what basis do you determine that Rabbi David Lau is ignoring Chaim Walder’s alleged victims by making a shiva visit to Chaim Walder’s family (“Chief Rabbi Lau visits shiva of haredi author and alleged rapist Chaim Walder,” December 30).
Are Walder’s wife and children also alleged criminals who don’t deserve any consideration? Is one not allowed to show compassion to family members who are most probably suffering tremendously following this horrible tragedy? Have we completely lost natural human sensitivity?
As far as the condemnations across social media for Rabbi Lau ignoring Walder’s alleged victims, how can the chief rabbi comment on accusations that were not yet proven due to the defendant’s suicide? How can a Supreme Court chief justice make a statement sympathizing with the victims before judgment has been made?
Indeed, these accusations are horrifying and surely cannot be ignored but no official statement can be made by any member of the judicial establishment including the chief rabbi before judgment has been rendered
Third World country
Something rather strange is going on in Vienna at present (“PM: Israel can attack even if there is a new nuclear agreement with Iran,”December 29). Representatives of China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain are sitting in a room negotiating with Iran. The negotiations are centered on the lifting of American sanctions on Iran. The one country not sitting at the negotiating table is America itself. The representatives of the United States of America are not allowed into the room. Like little children who have misbehaved and need to be taught a lesson, the representatives of America have been barred from a place at the negotiating table. No American flag is even on display.
The greatest power on earth has accepted that it has been relegated to another room where they cannot take part in direct negotiations concerning decisions that America itself needs to make. Has America now outsourced its own decision-making process? What a climbdown. One has to wonder if Iran is a superpower, and America is now a Third World country. The Iranians must be laughing all the way to the bank. They know that all the countries that they are negotiating with want sanctions lifted. In fact, China and Russia have already broken sanctions and have seen no American blowback on this.
The Iranians know that the European countries are all salivating at the prospect of signing lucrative trade deals with Iran once sanctions are lifted. They also know that America is tired of fighting everlasting wars. The writing is on the wall. Iran is in charge and is setting the agenda and dictating the terms of the deal. It seems that America has abandoned its role as the indispensable superpower that keeps the world safe from tyrants and dictators. The negotiations in Vienna seem to be a total fiasco with deadly implications.
Regardless of the many Reichstag-like and Vichy-like resolutions the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council pass to manifest their foundational Jew-hatred, all the members of the United Nations are bound by the UN Charter, an international treaty (“UN’s war on Jewish Jerusalem,” December 29). Article 80 of the UN Charter declares all of Israel including Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to be the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people, recognizing the Jewish people’s indigenous status going back 4000 years – and thereby declaring all of Israel to be sovereign Jewish territory. Passing Reichstag-like and Vichy-like Jew-hating resolutions in the General Assembly and the Security Council may make the many antisemites employed by the UN and its Jew-hating members feel good, but it does not change the UN Charter.
RICHARD SHERMANMargate, Florida