Letters to the Editor, May 4, 2022: Not falling

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say

 Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Not falling

Poor Shmuley Boteach. He can’t accept the fact that the age of reasoned opinions in well-written articles in respected media outlets is over, never to return, and the age of the great unwashed extremists on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is upon us (“American lobotomy: The brain-dead US electorate,” May 3). He has friends whom he once respected both on the Right and Left who spout nonsense – 2020 election was stolen, COVID-19 mask mandates are similar to Hitler’s actions in Nazi Germany, Israel is Gestapo and the Republicans are white supremacists.First of all, maybe Boteach has not been very insightful in choosing his friends or those he calls his friends. Secondly, I want to give him some hope – there are about 50 million American families out there, good, well balanced and responsible folks, who don’t follow the nonsense on the social media. They go to work, raise families, their kids go to school everyday and are interested in sports. Good clean fun.None of my friends believe the nonsense on the social media. So, Shmuley, put your smartphone, laptop and jargon-filled newspapers to rest for awhile. Read a good book and picnic with your family. Go to the beach – soon summertime will be here. The sky is not falling.



Horrendous effects

Your lead story “Civilians evacuated from Mariupol as Pelosi visits Kyiv” (May 2) is just the latest example of the very negative effects of Russia’s unjustified, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the major loss of life and devastation of property in Ukraine, the war is driving up food and energy prices, and having very negative environmental effects.Ending the war soon must be a major priority, so I would like to suggest a way to help accomplish it: make Putin, other Russian leaders and the entire world aware that continuation of the war means, in addition to the other horrendous effects, that Russia and the entire world are almost certain to face a climate catastrophe in the very near future. While Putin is unlikely to be swayed by this argument, perhaps some of his close associates might be sufficiently motivated to find a way to remove him from leadership, leading to a ceasefire.Without taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world may soon reach an irreversible climate tipping point. Let us consider the many ways that the war in Ukraine makes a climate catastrophe far more likely. The daily horrific scenes of the war’s devastation has shifted the world’s attention away from the importance of addressing the climate crisis. Much energy has been used to create bombs and other military equipment, releasing fossil fuels into the atmosphere.Much additional fossil fuel will be emitted in rebuilding the destroyed Ukrainian homes, cars and infrastructure. While many nations have pledged to make major reductions in their use of fossil fuels, they have been forced to take steps to quickly increase production because of shortages due to sanctions against Russia.My suggestion may seem unrealistic, but because the war makes the existential threat of climate change more likely, every possibility must be considered.



Exchanging freedom for security

Regarding “China’s capital sharpens COVID-19 screening to prevent Shanghai-like chaos” (April 29): Regardless of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and strict quarantine measures there, China’s authorities have, overall, handled the pandemic in their nation pointedly. Watching the little amount of news feed allowed to leave the nation in late 2019, I was somewhat amused by TV images of some citizens being literally dragged – a few even invertedly by their legs – back into their residences to help contain viral transmission.As the months passed and COVID-19 became a global pandemic, I couldn’t help but notice how China’s strict handling of its own outbreak, while allowing little rights and freedoms to its people (and maybe even internal/external big business), likely enabled a relatively short duration of its initial crisis.Perhaps with greater democratic freedom can come weaker national security and vice versa. While I wouldn’t exchange my (western) freedom for such national security, it is still foolish to pretend a national-security sacrifice isn’t being made in exchange.


White Ro​ck, British Columbia

Things haven’t changed

The article by Taylor Levy “Not propaganda, it was a homecoming” (May 2) triggered a memory. Many years ago (1973), I spent a year at York University. Professor Griffin was speaking to us. I heard him say “Hitler was a great man.” I queried this. He repeated it. Since he was the head of the department and I was just a visiting student and very young, I didn’t take him up on it.It looks like things haven’t changed at York.



‘You’re talking antisemitism’

Notwithstanding Stalin’s realpolitik myopia in 1947, in which he misjudged Israel for two reasons, the Left has always hated Jews and Zionism (“Zionism and the Left: From solidarity to enmity,” April 29).At that time, Stalin conflated the Jewish people’s antipathy to Britain because of its failure to live up to the clear meaning of the Balfour Declaration, with his view of Britain as his enemy. He also saw the socialist/kibbutzim nature of the nascent state of Israel as somehow analogous to Stalinist socialism. Fortunately, this realpolitik myopia resulted in Russia’s vote for Israel at the UN in 1947. However, Stalin soon realized his mistake and returned to the Left’s comfortable position of murdering Jews.Nothing makes the Left’s foundational antisemitism clearer than Paul Robeson’s deafening silence when his Jewish friends begged him to speak out when Stalin was about to murder them. For Robeson and the Left, blind obedience to antisemitic terror in any form – Communist, Muslim, and so on – against the Jews has always been far more important than Jewish lives.In fact as far back as 1918 the Jewish section of the Communist Party, the Yevsektsiya, was approved by Lenin. Its stated objective was “the destruction of traditional Jewish life, the Zionist movement and Hebrew culture.” In 1921 the Yevsektsiya called for the “total liquidation of Zionism” (Conspiracy U by Scott A. Shay, 2021).Not only did Stalin return the Left to murdering Jews after 1947, but by 1964 the KGB had joined with the PLO to support the PLO charter’s demand for the murder of every Jew in Israel.Stalin’s blip in the radar – his 1947 realpolitik myopia – should not in any way be construed as the Left ever having been pro-Israel and Zionism. For 90 years from Lenin and Stalin to Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, and so on, Jew-hatred, including the visceral hatred of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland – which Article 80 of the United Nations Charter defines as all of Israel including Judea, Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem – has been foundational to the Left.As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said with great wisdom and prescience at Cambridge University shortly before his death: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews; you’re talking antisemitism.”


Margate, Florida

The timid Jew is alive and well

Regarding “Herzog to ‘Post’: Israel will defeat this wave of terrorism” (May 2): He says this as though its something to be proud of but surely we shouldn’t still be experiencing terrorism as though its natural for one to live under such conditions.Herzog says that he tells “all our friends around the world who love to criticize us and tell us to implement the Oslo [Accords] vision, that part of Oslo was protecting the right for Jews to worship in holy places, and the first thing that happens is the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb.”Is he kidding?! The Oslo Accords made sure we signed our own death warrant and we keep signing on to it. Joseph’s Tomb was vandalized because we abandoned it just as we have done with the Temple Mount. The timid Jew is alive and well and the Arabs know it, which is why their flag flies over our holiest site, the Temple Mount, and they can threaten and make Israel cower before them. I would remind Herzog and Bennett that whoever controls the Temple Mount controls the land and it should be very obvious that we have given up even pretending that we have any control. Never has a people fought so hard to give up their homeland.



Islamists follow the Nazi model

Regarding “‘Harvard Crimson’ backs BDS, a sign of anti-Israel sentiment on campus” (May 1): The centers of antisemitism in the West are found in our liberal universities. Whatever moral compasses they may have had has faded. Radical Islam manipulates our open societies to plot our demise. They began by buying academia.Between 1995 and 2008, eight British universities accepted 235 million pounds from Arab royalty. In America, they invested over $6.5 billion between 1986 and 2018.These funds significantly impact attitudes and culture. They develop courses related to the Middle East, provide travel abroad, conduct research and teach languages and regional expertise. The grants and fellowships come with a price; a ‘Palestine victimization’ mindset.To sow discord in our communities, the Islamists follow the Nazi model. They demonize and delegitimize Jews, using anti-Zionism as a more palatable substitute for antisemitism.CAIR, Hamas and the Muslim Students Associations (MSA) are part of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose goal is to replace the West with a caliphate. MSA sponsors the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions and the Israel Apartheid Week movements, spreading hatred on campus and beyond. Students for Justice in Palestine is Hamas’s representative in our schools.The Algemeiner’s Annual List of US and Canada’s Worst Campuses for Jewish Students puts Columbia, Vassar, the University of Toronto and McGill at the top of the list.These “pro-Palestine” groups exist solely to promote an antisemitic agenda. As such they present a clear and present danger to all college and university Jewish students and faculty and to the population at large.Remember the popular taunt, “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”



Handwriting on the wall

Kudos to Herb Keinon for another insightful article, “Statistics show a people’s transformation” (April 27). In it, he correctly (numbers don’t lie) states that we Jews are still suffering from the Holocaust 80 years ago in that our numbers have yet to reach the population figures of Jews worldwide prior to the Holocaust.On the other hand, Mr. Keinon relates about the truly miraculous growth in population and influence on the world that the State of Israel has achieved in its 74-year history. All of this is very true.We Jews have just finished celebrating the holiday of Passover, where we try to relive the pivotal event in our long history as a nation, the Exodus from Egypt. In doing so, we recount the many miracles that God did for us in getting us out of bondage in Egypt.Miracles? Those only happened in biblical times, not today. Right? No!The State of Israel that we all live in is a modern day miracle. The many achievements of our Start-Up Nation  is nothing short of miraculous. Many years ago in Los Angeles, I heard a speaker from Israel say that there should be a Miracles Today segment in the daily news broadcasts in Israel.God performs these daily miracles for us without telling us what He’s doing, (with the exception of the Exodus from Egypt narrative of course).As I look back toward my previous home in Los Angeles, California, from my vantage point here in Ma’aleh Adumim, I see the absolute decay of society in the US and the decline and crumbling of what was once a great place to live as a Jew and raise a family. On the other hand, most real estate prices in big cities across America are still (miraculously) sky high.As a former vice president-financial adviser at Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles, I would advise my Jewish friends to sell into this real estate market before the bubble bursts and relocate to Israel. Come and “get a front row seat to history,” as my dear wife said many years ago.It’s time for the Jews of the world to see the handwriting on the wall that is right in front of their eyes and come home to Israel on their own terms.


Ma’aleh Adumim