Letters to the Editor May 9, 2022: A key question

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Since many readers will disagree with “The Israeli government must cooperate with J Street” in improving Israel’s relations with the US (May 8), I believe the following should be considered.

J Street’s positions are supported by most American Jews, almost all US Democratic politicians, most world leaders, and most importantly, by a large majority of Israel’s retired military and strategic experts, as represented by Commanders for Israel’s Security(CIS).

J Street has consistently condemned Palestinian terrorism, most recently with the following statement about the horrific Elad murders: “We unequivocally condemn these violent attacks which terrorize innocent people, leave families mourning the loss of their irreplaceable loved ones, and risk sowing more fear and hatred in a conflict that has already seen far too much of it. There can be no justification for such violence, which does nothing to aid or advance the cause of Palestinians.”

A key question for opponents of J Street is: If there is no resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how will Israel be able to avert continued and possibly increased violence and diplomatic criticism, effectively respond to our economic, environmental, educational, health, and other domestic problems, and remain a state that is both Jewish and democratic?



Wow. Avi Gil postulates: “The obvious partners... are the Jews of the US”. Clearly, he is myopic. He casually mentions that saying evangelicals are more loyal to Israel than Jews is an insult to Jews.

In a poll, a majority of the less than six million self-identified US Jews today put Israel as their ninth political priority. They should not feel insulted for their own choice. 

Meanwhile, Christians United for Israel alone has 7.1 million US members who support Israel fully. One would think then that by merely the numbers alone, it makes sense that the evangelicals are the more obvious partners, not the far-Left J Streeters.




The editorial “Building settlements” (May 8) was spot on. It seems the government is finally coming to its senses.

Our relations with our allies should be such that we consult with them after-the-fact (to simply maintain open lines of communication with them), not beforehand.

Our government acting from a position of strength, rather than weakness, is long overdue.


Tzur Yitzhak

An era that no longer exists

Heshie and Rookie Billet, in “Herzl and haredim: A historical perspective” (May 6), gave a very interesting and detailed account of haredi opposition to Zionism before WWII. In conclusion, the Billets claim that the haredi world “has come a long way” in coming to terms with the miraculous achievements of the State of Israel.

With all due respect to the Billets, I do not agree. While there has been a positive change toward Israel on the periphery of the haredi community, the mainstream haredi world is stuck in a time warp of its own doing.

Here in Petah Tikva on Independence Day, the haredi community organized a day of study in order to avoid celebrating this national holiday. Makor Rishon reported in a lengthy article about the Sadigora hassidic dynasty that no longer celebrates Independence Day as it openly and unabashedly did years ago.

Maybe the Billets could point to one synagogue in Israel where haredim pray and thank the Almighty for the stunning success of this country. It seems to me that the haredi world is fixated on an era that no longer exists.

Despite the Holocaust and the birth of Israel and all the sacrifice that has been made, the haredi community and its leaders choose to ignore the obvious.


Petah Tikva

Accommodate Jewish prayer

To hear Gershon Baskin tell the story (“Making the holy places holy again,” May 6), Israeli police hurled tear gas canisters at Palestinians who were praying peacefully at al-Aqsa Mosque, causing the worshipers to interrupt their prayers and start throwing stones at Jews praying at the Western Wall. Anyone who knows the history of Jordan’s two-decade, illegal occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, and Israel’s actions concerning the Temple Mount after the Six Day War, knows that Baskin’s version of the events is absurd.

Instead of helping the Arabs of Palestine achieve the autonomy offered by the UN Partition Plan, Arab nations went to war to prevent the establishment of a modern Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland.

The Old City of Jerusalem, along with Judea and Samaria, fell into Jordanian hands. The Jordanians banned all visits to the Old City by people from the Israeli side of the Green Line, while also ethnically cleansing the areas of their Jewish populations, destroying synagogues and desecrating Jewish graves. In 1967, after Jordanian troops fired on Israeli western Jerusalem, Israel managed to liberate the lands Jordan had dubbed “The West Bank.”

To everyone’s surprise, partly because Israel’s rabbis at the time felt that modern Jews were not in the state of purity that would allow them to tread on holy ground, Israel agreed that the Jordanian Wakf would continue to administer the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Jews would be allowed to visit the Temple Mount under certain circumstances but would not be allowed to pray there. The Western Wall would be Judaism’s holiest site at which Jews could pray.

Long before some religious Israeli Jews began visiting the Temple Mount, even managing to pray quietly, and maybe even thinking of reintroducing the sacrificial cult, Palestinians were desecrating al-Aqsa Mosque, using it to store rocks, fireworks and other weapons which they used to harass Jews worshiping at the Western Wall.

To answer Mr. Baskin’s question, we make the holy places holy again by respecting the fact that the sites are holy to many different faith groups. The Palestinians need to stop spreading lies that Jews are trying to destroy al-Aqsa. The Wakf needs to reciprocate Israel’s graciousness in allowing the Wakf to administer al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock by working with Jewish groups to arrange to accommodate Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

And the Wakf needs to exercise its authority to prevent Palestinians from continuing to desecrate Muslim holy sites as they have been doing, by using the mosque in their attacks on Jews.



Gershon Baskin as usual inverts the facts to write a very disturbing article. 

Tell me, Mr. Baskin, had the dear poor maligned Palestinians not gone on a rampage and murdered 19 innocent people in the latest wave of terror, would the police have killed or arrested anyone?

Had the poor Palestinians gone to al-Aqsa to pray and not to throw rocks and fireworks at the Jews, would the police have had to go in with tear gas?

What is the matter with you? Since when is praying by Jews on the Temple Mount synonymous with the death penalty for Jews? After 74 years of statehood, we are still being slaughtered just for being Jews?

And you Gershon Baskin are making excuses for the excessive violence of the Arabs, buying into their lies. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Our boys died to liberate the Old City and you have the audacity to claim that “small groups” of Palestinians attempted to claim ownership and that it was “greatly exaggerated” by the press?!

What alternate universe is Baskin living in? I am amazed that The Jerusalem Post would even print such blatant lies for the enjoyment of all the Lavrovs of the world. 


Petah Tikva

Basic knowledge

At the main Remembrance Day ceremony at the Western Wall, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Aviv Kohavi gave a very moving speech to the families of the fallen, and to all of us, (“PM: We owe it to our fallen not to let disputes rip us apart,” May 4).

The heart of his speech was the comparison of the families who had sacrificed their children for the defense of our country to our forefather Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his own son, but who was saved at the last moment by the appearance of the ram. Sadly, for these families, there was no ram.

Kohavi quoted frequently from the biblical text, which is very familiar to most of our generation. But, is this still true for the students in today’s schools?

Recently, the teaching of the Bible has been consistently reduced except in the religious streams. What if those portions of Gen. Kohavi’s speech were part of the matriculation exam in Bible, and the students were simply asked to explain it? Could they tell us who Abraham was, who was his son, why he was supposed to sacrifice his son, and what traditions are based on the miraculous appearance of the ram? I shudder to think of the results.

This story is part of our essential Jewish heritage and identity. We owe it to all of our children to give them at least this basic knowledge.



Just trying to survive

In “Putin’s adventure and Armenia’s dependence” (May 4), Hannah Wallace takes a very simplistic view of Armenia’s relationship with Russia and vastly overlooks history without providing any context.

As victims of the first genocide of the 20th century, Armenia knows all too well what can happen when it lets its guard down. Sandwiched between Turkey and Azerbaijan, Armenia is under constant threat from two countries which are led by autocrats who have called in speeches and actions for the destruction of Armenia.

It’s one of the reasons why Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, launched an unprovoked and unjustified war in 2020 against ethnic Armenians living in their ancestral homeland of Nagorno-Karabakh. The world stayed mostly silent when Armenians were desperately asking for support and help, so in many ways it was forced to turn to Moscow for protection.

Wallace also suggests that Armenia’s cooperation with Iran should be a warning sign. Again, if she were to look at history then she’d understand that Turkey has closed its border with Armenia since 1993 which has severely hurt Armenia’s trade and its economy. As a result, it has forced Yerevan to seek other partners in the region.

Simply put, she’s trying to paint Armenia as a country that has willingly sought to align itself with corrupt countries using the war in Ukraine as a case in point. Nothing could be further from the truth when Armenia is just trying to survive.


San Ramon, CA

Chairman Gil Troy

I recommend Gil Troy to chair our 75th Diamond Jubilee celebration (“Celebrating the 74th and launching the 75th Diamond Jubilee,” May 4). Only then will the brilliant ideas in his column be implemented.

Meanwhile, it will be up to our leaders to enact and effect whatever is necessary to ensure that we truly have control over our entire country, defined by Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations, and which includes Judea, Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem.