Not one act of violence
I was quite surprised that such a professional newspaper would use inappropriate vocabulary in its article (“Settlers violently assault Israeli, Palestinian activists planting trees in West Bank,” January 23). I’m referring to the use of the word “settler” regarding the inexcusable violent acts which were used against Palestinians and other activists shockingly planting trees in honor of Tu Bishvat. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a settler is someone who settles in a new region. The individuals who attacked were not settlers rather terrorists which according to the dictionary are individuals involved in acts of terror. Personally I’ve been a settler in Karnei Shomron for the last 35 years. Not one act of violence. Maybe the violent terrorist group came from Kfar Saba? Or heaven forbid Tel Aviv? Kindly requesting future editorial check for accurate vocabulary.
CHAYA HEUMANKarnei Shomron
Your headlines says: “Settlers rampage through Palestinian town” (January 25). Might a more apt headline read: “Hooligans rampage?” Or, perhaps: “Thugs rampage” or even “Terrorists rampage,” which is what these criminals set out to do (to terrorize).
Why call them settlers? Is the goal to bad-mouth all people living over the old Green Line? I thought that your newspaper was beyond this.
Thieving Palestinian autocrat
It’s easy to recoil with dumbfounded realization when hatred for Israel and Jews hits you in the face numerous times a day. US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides’s refusal to step foot over an imaginary “Green Line” except to grovel at the feet of a murderous, thieving Palestinian autocrat is another such instance (“Nides’s refusal to visit Judea-Samaria Jews,” January 23). Nides and the Biden administration he represents, despite American laws to the contrary, continue to fund and support the murder of Israelis by helping to pay stipends for jailed terrorists with blood on their hands.
The problem is how do we take these antisemites to task when our own people – yes, you Benny Gantz – are genuflecting at the feet of our enemies in the PLO and supplying them with “loans” that contribute to the pay-for-slay funds, all the while furthering the killing of even more Israelis. What could be more discouraging?
ALLAN KANDELLos Angeles
Ambassador Nides has announced that he will not visit Judea and Samaria in order “not to inflame the situation.” However, he is willing to visit the Kotel for Hanukkah and use Rt.1 to travel to Tel Aviv. Who told him that he wasn’t “inflaming the situation” by engaging in the last two activities or maybe no one really cares where the American ambassador visits and conducts his business?
MATTIAS ROTENBERGPetah Tikva
Longest running sin
Regarding “Ahead of Int’l Holocaust Day: 2021 was the most antisemitic in last 10 years” (January 23), antisemitism is the longest running sin in the world. Christians have persecuted Jews for close to 2,000 years. Muslims have done the same for 1,400 years.
With the exception of short periods of enlightenment, Jews have never been accepted, and never as equals. They have been invited into nations, exploited and robbed, been allowed to rebuild, only to be robbed again. They have been thrown out whenever the rulers found it necessary.
From the Romans scattering the Israelites in 70 AD, to Mohammad beheading the Jewish men and enslaving the women of Medina in the 7th century, to the Crusades, to the Inquisition to the Holocaust and to the wars of genocide launched against Israel by its neighbors, Christians and Muslims have exhibited an inexplicable cruelty toward the minority in their midst from which their religions emanated?
Do they hate the morality imposed by the Ten Commandments? Do they chafe at a people who seem to overcome all their cruelty, only to continue to survive and, when allowed, gift the world with learning, art, medicine and creativity way beyond their numbers?
The greatest Christian/Muslim outrage against the Jews was the Holocaust, when one out of every three Jews in the world was murdered in cold blood.
Today, radical Islam and academia are the instigators of antisemitism and must be confronted. As Elie Wiesel stated, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the oppressed.”
Antisemitism through envy
I was delighted to read of the well-deserved award of the annual Genesis Prize to Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer (“Genesis Prize awarded to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla,” January 20). I was even more delighted when I read of his pride of being Jewish and his strong identification with the world Jewish community.
But at the same time I was saddened when I thought of how many more geniuses like Bourla in Pfizer, Tal Zacks in Moderna, Rochelle Walensky in the US, would there have been in the remaining 96% of the Thessolonica Jews who were murdered in cold blood by the Nazis and their collaborators. How many Einsteins and Freuds would the world have benefited from, out of the millions murdered in Germany, Poland and Hungary. We only have to look at the phenomenal achievements in science, medicine, technology and every other field of human endeavor, which have been developed by the remnants of Europe’s Jews, to an extent way above their percentage of the population. Multiply those achievements by a factor of ten (10 times more European Jews were murdered than those who survived) and you begin to realize what a different world we would be living in now.
So why antisemitism, if not through envy?
Appreciation and prayers
I would like to express my appreciation – and that of many others – for Gil Troy’s column “An open letter to Officer N., the ‘friendly’ firer” (January 19).
This beautiful and sensitively written piece encapsulates what I feel. I, too, would like to thank Officer N for what he has given to make me and Israel safe. I agree that this terrible mistake must not define your future life, Officer N.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I totally and wholeheartedly agree with the request by Martin Oliner (“Bibi, sign for the world,” January 20) that Netanyahu sign on to a plea bargain and free us of this never-ending soap opera. Oliner also suggests that Bibi, as one of the world’s most eloquent statesmen in history, could then go on a series of lectures, consultancies and advisories and earn a pretty penny. True, but Bibi better be very careful. Every penny he earns, every free cocktail, every paid-for hotel room, every free meal, every pen or letter opener given as a present will be scrutinized with hawk’s eyes by the tax officials and by the press. He had better hire a team of top, strictly honest, chartered accountants to itemize his incomes and his deductible expenses. Better yet, he should donate at least 50% to a charity of his choice. That may get the wolves off his back, unless he or Sara has a relative in the boardroom of the charity.
Earliest known peace treaty
Regarding “Did the Exodus happen?” (January 19), your report of the “effort to show that it did” starts with a fundamental error in approach. Searching to find evidence to prove a point of view is unwise. A better method is to search for all evidence that is available, and then assess where this evidence points.
A clear example in the article was the statement that the battle of Kadesh was a huge Egyptian victory. It is correct that the Egyptians claimed a huge victory and erected monuments – but then so did the Hittites. The consensus is that both sides suffered major losses and neither prevailed. The best evidence for this is that a peace treaty (the earliest known) was ratified some years later, and the terms of that treaty basically confirmed the status quo before the battle. Neither side gained anything. Fake news is nothing new; achieving a military victory and claiming to do so are not the same thing.
I see nothing in this report that will change the opinion of those searching for historical knowledge. How things are later perceived religiously and mythologically is a completely different question.
Shmuley Boteach (“Denying antisemitism in Texas,” January 18) correctly criticizes the FBI’s initial reaction that taking hostages in a synagogue “was not directly connected to the Jewish community.” He does not go far enough.
Hours after the attack began a White House statement failed to mention that a synagogue was involved or that one of the hostages was a rabbi. This is nothing new. Recall that president Obama called the 2015 deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris a “random” attack on “a bunch of folks in a deli.”
Consider the situation in Congress: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi absurdly excused Representative Ilhan Omar’s intolerable pattern of antisemitic pronouncements by asserting that, “[Omar] has a different experience in use of words. [She] doesn’t realize that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn’t realize.” There has been scant criticism of Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her close ties to unrepentant antisemite Louis Farrakhan. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly defended Omar and Tlaib, and has compared migrant facilities at the US-Mexico border to “concentration camps” – a form of Holocaust denial.
Much of this stems from the philosophy of moral relativism and two related terms – “narrative” and “speaking one’s truth” – that have become popular of late. Both terms suggest that there is no such thing as objective fact. Each person has the right to change the truth to match his/her personal perspective. Determine a conclusion a priori, then mold the facts – which are mere suggestions – to fit.
Democrats proclaim that the overarching threat to democracy comes from the American Right. Thus, the term “domestic terrorist” is applied to anyone who opposes the administration’s woke agenda, even including parents who attend school board meetings to protest what they see as overt racism being taught to their children. A British subject attacking a synagogue in an effort to free a vitriolic antisemitic Pakistani convicted of attempting to murder American service members in Afghanistan simply does not fit the Democratic narrative, and so inconvenient facts are suppressed.
Antisemitism, indeed, all forms of hate can be eradicated only when people on both ends of the political spectrum acknowledge the immutability of certain fundamental truths and morals.
EFRAIM COHENZichron Ya’acov
The current wave of antisemitism is a warning of a tsunami, not a forecast of drizzle and no greater oxymoron could have been stated, when Shmuley Boteach naively seeks out a new era of Jewish-Muslim peace.
STEPHEN VISHNICKTel Aviv
Naya Lekht misses the point as to why the “Jews of Color” category is important (“Rejecting the ‘Jew of Color’ category,” January11). Antisemites including Jewish Voice for Peace and many in academia promote the lie that the Jews in Israel today are 100% white in order to support their “settler colonial” delusion. In fact the majority of Jews in Israel today are Mizrahi, refugees from Muslim countries or descendants of those Jews ethnically cleansed from Muslim countries beginning in 1945. Regardless of Ms. Lekht’s personal ancestry, the truth about Israel’s Mizrahi majority must be emphasized to counteract the mendacity of antisemites – in California and the rest of the United States and around the world.
RICHARD SHERMANMargate, Florida
Setting the agenda
Regarding “Bennett: Israel not bound by Vienna talks” (January 11), if only. However Israel has promised its patron that it will do nothing without consulting said patron which of course puts it at a disadvantage if a situation arose where a decision had to be instantly made. Netanyahu made a similar mistake in that, when he wanted to strike Iran’s nuclear positions before it had gone undergound and become more dangerous, he accepted the promise of the American president that he would take over that responsibility and we now know of course that it never happened and Iran is stronger and closer to nuclear breakout than ever.
Unfortunately Israel decided long ago it can’t survive without America which is another mistake in a long line of mistakes where Israel has lost faith in its own abilities – in fact, in its full and sole rights to its historic homeland, resulting in the strength and commitment of our eternal enemies to destroy us. Palestine, here we come, goodbye Israel! Sadly it often looks like the dudes who have been and those now in power want the same goal. There is notably a policy in this country of depraved indifference and even extreme cruelty toward anyone prepared to say that this is our land and only ours, no ifs or buts, whereas our enemies and incredibly, even those incarcerated, manage to set the agenda.