While it is a good thing that the United States and other countries boycotted the recent UN commemoration of the “Nakba” (“US Shuns UN’s ‘Nakba Day’ event over UN anti-Israel bias,” May 17), the sad truth is that the UN routinely panders to the most extreme Palestinian narrative that considers Israel’s creation a “catastrophe.” Despite having given international legal legitimacy to the creation of Israel, the UN has consistently treated Israel with disdain and disrespect.
The most toxic expression of this attitude has been the maintenance – for some 50 years now – of a trio of UN bodies that target Israel for constant defamation and criticism.
While the “Nakba” program at the General Assembly may well be the first to feature that particular word, UN actions across many years incorporate implicit and explicit endorsement of the concept that Israel’s creation was a “disaster.”
Indeed, the very UN institution that sponsored the “Nakba” event, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) also plays a leading role in organizing an annual “Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” that presents the one-sided extreme narrative of Palestinian victimhood. Its activities and the materials it produces are replete with references to the “Nakba.” The event held at the UN to mark 75 years since the supposed catastrophe of Israel’s creation was odious and despicable, but unfortunately, it was not unprecedented.
The Abraham Accords prove that Arab and Muslim countries can achieve peace with Israel based on mutual interests and mutual respect. Hopefully, the Palestinians will join this circle of peace in the near future. But this will never happen through the convening of propaganda festivals and the peddling of false narratives.
DANIEL S. MARIASCHIN RICHARD P. SCHIFTER
B’nai B’rith InternationalI suppose what our enemies mean by the catastrophe of Nakba Day is that it was a catastrophe they didn’t manage to wipe out the Jewish population then living in Israel. If the Arab states had been victorious, there is little doubt that this would have happened.
As to the ridiculous statement by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas about the Temple Mount, rejecting a Jewish connection, it is perhaps a good thing that this inanity only serves to highlight the other lies.
Cooperated and facilitated
Regarding the obsessive desire of the Polish government to silence criticism about the role of so many of the Polish citizens during the Holocaust, one can only say, enough is enough (“Poland can’t silence Israelis about the Holocaust,” May 22).
It has been proven that the Germans were only successful in implementing the Final Solution in countries whose citizens cooperated and facilitated its execution.
In countries where citizens were not virulently antisemitic, many, many Jews were protected and saved by the local population, such as in Denmark and even Italy. That was not the case of Poland or Hungary and most European countries.
Although there have been many cases of incredible bravery displayed by thousands of non-Jewish righteous individuals in Poland and other countries who were often murdered for their courage, the overwhelming majority of the Poles were silently or openly cooperating. If killing Jews had been unacceptable to the local population, not so many Jews would have been murdered.
Poland should learn from Germany, and face the reality of the role of their countrymen during the Holocaust.
Lahav Harkov has written an important analysis. She stated the statistics and hardcore truths regarding Polish citizens’ collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust.
I am bothered by Harkov’s description or rather patronization of Noa Kirel’s emotional response to gaining the maximum 12 points from the Polish judges at the Eurovision contest. But I am totally outraged, albeit not surprised by the Polish parliament reaction of “slamming” Kirel for her comments and criticizing Israeli Holocaust education. Perhaps we need to set the record straight.
1. To most students of the Holocaust, the general consensus is that Holocaust victims and their descendants get a free pass when it comes to pride in any achievements, post-Holocaust, by their family’s descendants living, building and accomplishing despite the Nazi intention of complete Jewish genocide. If that pride comes out as expressing the thrill and amazement of Polish judges judging favorably for the Israeli Jewish singer, so be it. Our reaction should be paying homage to the great miracle.
2. No matter how you slice it. Poland is soaked in Jewish blood.
3. There is a special place above for the amazingly righteous Polish Gentiles who risked their lives to save many Jews. They and their families should always be saluted.
4. There is a special place way down below for the Polish collaborators who salivated at the opportunity to savagely wipe another Jew off this earth. Many were not threatened by the Nazis, as Harkov mentioned, but relished in the brutality of hacking Jews to pieces, playing soccer with their heads and burning them in barns in broad daylight.
5. Attention Polish parliament: If you really are concerned about Holocaust education, set aside a special day to own up, atone and beg forgiveness. Remember and recognize each one of those victims who were murdered by your collaborators. Set aside another day to feel shame for those murderous collaborators and vow, never again.
Commemorate your citizens who were murdered by the Nazis, too.
6. Never deny what actually happened.
7. Keep educating your new generation regarding the old Poland and the awful past of your country, and about your renewed commitment of the new Poland, one which shows remorse while teaching the importance of tolerance and brotherly love. Do this and you will succeed in earning newfound international respect, while making your country and the world a better place with only tolerance and peace for all despite race, religion, and ethnicity.
Important for Jews
I think that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, like all Jews, has the absolute right to visit the Temple Mount, even if he makes some provocative statements (“Ben-Gvir’s Temple Mount visit draws international condemnation,” May 22).
And if Ben-Gvir truly believes that visiting the Temple Mount is important for Jews, then I think that he should do it every week or so, until it becomes a regular act and is no longer newsworthy – which, of course, is contrary to his aim.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller should refer to Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, an international treaty that all 193 members are required to obey as well as the Palestine Mandate in the League of Nations which is incorporated by reference into Article 80.
Article 80 declares all of what is Israel including Judea and Samaria to be the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people, recognizing the Jewish people’s 4000-year presence on the land, and the land as sovereign Jewish territory. Simply put, one cannot occupy one’s own sovereign territory.
Mr. Miller and his State Department colleagues might want to study the words of Eugene Rostow, dean of Yale Law School (1955-1965) and under secretary of state in a Democratic administration (1965-1969):“Legally the West Bank and Gaza are unallocated parts of the Palestine Mandate... and as far as the claims of the Arabs who live there goes, it must be remembered that, in contrast to other League of Nations mandates, the Palestine Mandate was not established as a trust for the indigenous population of the area, to be terminated when the population was ready for self government.
“It was set up under a different article of the League Covenant as a trust for the Jewish people, in recognition of their historic connection to the land on the condition that the civic and religious rights of the Muslims and Christians be respected.
“Moreover the right of the Jewish people to settle in the West Bank has never been terminated... Jewish settlement in the West Bank... is... the exercise of a right protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and hence necessarily part of the domestic law of the West Bank.” (Eugene Rostow, Commentary magazine, October 1989)
RICHARD SHERMANMargate, Florida
Apologies are useless
Regarding “TV presenter says sorry for calling haredi community ‘bloodsuckers,’” May 21): It pains me that there are some who are influenced by the hostile atmosphere created by those who fear the end of democracy while behaving like dictators themselves.
Why sow anger and discord and antisemitic name-calling. The hostile world will say, “if the Israelis themselves say it, it must be true.”
Think about it. Do we really need more hate?
Apologies are useless. The evil has been released and we will suffer again.
FREYA BINENFELDPetah Tikva
Involved in a fight
Douglas Bloomfield quotes William Sherman (“Sherman was half right,” May 18) that “war is hell,” and then with a self-satisfied almost smug condescension states that Prime Minister Netanyahu may think differently.
While true that war unites a country and makes it forget the less existential issues which have concerned it previously, it is trite and frankly lazy of Bloomfield to trot out the old adage that Israeli leaders have a lack of interest in finding a political solution and by inference prefer war.
I know it plays well in the virtue-signaling United States to scorn anybody on the Right and lump all combatants together as “baddys.” But Bloomfield must know that peace is only possible when both sides desire it, and Islamic Jihad and Hamas (both terrorist organizations) and the Palestinian Authority, whose totalitarian leader last week called for Israel to be expelled from the UN and claimed we have no connection to the Temple Mount, are involved in a fight to the death to see Israel wiped out.
DANIEL BAUMZichron Ya’acov
Regarding “Jerusalem isn’t united. But it can be,” (May 19): Avi Mayer is correct – refusing to vote isn’t a good way to get politicians to work to meet the needs of your community. But I think Mayer errs in saying Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem haven’t sought Israeli citizenship because they support the Palestinian cause. I think these “permanent residents” fear that Palestinian leaders will, one day, accomplish their true goal (not building a Palestinian state, but destroying the nation-state of the Jews) and the Palestinians living in Jerusalem will be punished for having collaborated with the “Occupation.”
I can understand the need to improve conditions in all of the city. Yet I fear that Palestinian leaders will urge their people to attack those working on public improvement projects. (Palestinians living in unsafe, unsanitary conditions, especially next to upscale western Jerusalem, make for good propaganda.) Thus, I hope Israel will take proper steps to ensure that workers and buildings are protected from terrorists.
TOBY F. BLOCKAtlanta
All is not lost
Gil Troy (“Will the love last?” May 17) offers a very sobering assessment of current American Jewish leadership. With few honorable exceptions, it encompasses, in unequal proportions, the timid, the conditional, and the openly hostile.
Most have always sought collegial coexistence within their communities, often ignoring leftist anti-Israel agitation. Others display little tolerance for Israeli actions that offend their political views or are widely unpopular. Still the smallest, but growing, are the outright collaborators with Israel’s enemies. Included are frauds, such as Jewish Voice for Peace, and politicians like Bernie Sanders. His provision of a “Nakba” hatefest platform should have been unforgivable. Yet, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has been steely silent.
Academia is a disaster area. Whole departments, even academic associations, have gone full BDS. Jewish studies programs have also been deeply infected with anti-Zionist rhetoric, leading to needed creation of a Jewish Studies Zionist Network.
Supporters of Israel are being harassed, intimidated and excluded on campus, often from encouragement by radical faculty, but met with indifference from administrators. How bad is it? Multiple Stanford Law School student organizations now bar “Zionist” speakers on any subject, which would include the university’s own Jewish president.
All, though, is not lost. Resisting in the academy are the Academic Engagement Network, and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
Alumni of American universities now have a collective voice in Alums for Campus Fairness, with 61 chapters, and over 40,000 members. More assertive groups, such as Students Supporting Israel, continually confront circulating campus canards. CAMERA and Honest Reporting tirelessly refute those coursing through world media. A newly formed Zionist Rabbinic Coalition is fighting anti-Zionist rot within the emerging rabbinate, while Americans for Peace and Tolerance now forcefully challenges a lackadaisical American Jewish leadership. The list of resistance continues to grow,
RICHARD D. WILKINSSyracuse, New York