August 22, 2016: Vassal state

"Woe betide the Jewish people if Israel continues to be a vassal state of the US or any other power."

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Vassal state
If your article “State wants Sussiya on hold till after US election” (August 19) is to be believed, Israel has forgone its sovereign status and has, for all intents and purposes, become a vassal state of the US. Coming several days after Tisha Be’av, one is bound to make a direct comparison to the destruction of the second Jewish commonwealth in 70 CE by Roman forces under Titus.
Earlier, in 4 CE, Herod’s son, Archelaus, on his father’s death, went to Rome to secure his position as heir. Some two years later, Archelaus died and Augustus Caesar decided to turn Judea into a Roman province, dispensing with a local king. This increased the conflict between Rome and Judea, resulting in a polarization of classes in Jewish society, with the upper classes gaining power due to their collaboration.
The downward trend continued, and the continued ingratiation to the Romans eventually led to the Jewish revolt against Rome, which subsequently conquered the Land of Israel.
Today’s time frame is far shorter. Woe betide the Jewish people if Israel continues to be a vassal state of the US or any other power. We must stand up to this external interference in our internal affairs, which is aided and abetted by a prime minister who is more concerned with retaining his position than with the welfare and dignity of the state.
Edgware, UK
Soros and self-hate
I am appalled that The Jerusalem Post included an article on its front page glorifying George Soros (“Amid the conspiracies, a hint – finally – at Soros’s activism,” August 18). Even if one is willing to ignore his lifetime of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel activities, one should not ignore that he is an admitted Holocaust collaborator.
In an interview with Steve Kroft on the CBS news program 60 Minutes, the Hungarian- born Soros discussed his activities in 1944, the same year that 70 percent of Hungarian Jewry was annihilated by the Nazis and their collaborators.
KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours, who swore that you were his adopted godson.
SOROS: Yes. Yes.
KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from your fellow Jews, friends and neighbors.
SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.
KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many, years. Was it difficult?
SOROS: Not, not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t – you don’t see the connection. But it was – it created no, no problem at all.
KROFT: No feeling of guilt?
KROFT: For example that, ‘I’m Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.’ None of that?
SOROS: Well, of course I c... I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was – well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets, that if I weren’t there, of course I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would, would, would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the – whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the – I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.
Perhaps the only consolation to your readers is that in the photo accompanying the article, Soros looks awful.
The pejorative term “self-hating Jew” describes a Jew who holds anti-Semitic views. Throughout history, we have had our share of them. Few have had the vast resources of George Soros, and used them to harm the Jewish nation.
Mr. Soros has spent a fortune marginalizing Israel. In the international arena, he has funded J Street and Breaking the Silence, encouraged the Goldstone Report, promoted the US-Iranian nuclear deal and more.
What prompted reporter Michael Wilner to lionize Soros, and The Jerusalem Post to give it front-page coverage, is itself a form of self-hate.
Two museums
I must take issue with your August 18 article “Ukraine’s honoring of war criminals leaves its Jews uneasy and divided,” especially toward the end of the article, where the writer states that there is only one Holocaust museum in Ukraine, in the eastern city of Dnepropetrovsk.
In 1989 and again in 1990, members of the Barnet Campaign for Soviet Jewry visited the even-farther-eastern city of Donetsk. We were invited by the Jewish community to visit its Holocaust museum, situated on the ground floor of an apartment building.
The museum consists of three rooms commemorating the terrible tragedy that occurred there in June 1942, when 70,000 people, mainly Jews, partisans, Communists, homosexuals and gypsies, were murdered by the Nazis.
The first room features a gigantic mural depicting two mine shafts, where the Nazis shot their victims and threw their bodies into the depths. Many photographs and pictures adorn the room, attesting to the stories of the people murdered. The second room depicts artifacts of the resistance, with uniforms and flags adorning the walls.
In the third room, an unforgettable experience occurred. Our young interpreter pointed to a plaque on the wall containing many names of those who perished at the hands of the German soldiers. The young man pointed to a name. The name was Brookman. My wife nearly collapsed, as her maiden name was Brookman.
The museum is administered by a group of elderly ladies aided by their children and grandchildren. Not all are Jewish. Thus, there are at least two Holocaust museums in Ukraine.
The Donetsk museum is testimony to the tragedy of man’s inhumanity to man. We should never forget these events, and sincerely hope they never happen again.
Netanya/Barnet, UK
Gifts are good
In “Rothschild’s gift to Israel turns 50 – Happy birthday, Knesset!” (Comment & Opinion, August 18), Micah D. Halpern writes that the Knesset and the Supreme Court of Israel “should have been built by the Israeli people,” and therefore he bemoans the circumstance that the funding for these monumental facilities was provided by the Rothschild family.
The reality is that the Knesset and the Supreme Court were built by the Israeli people. The funding came as a philanthropic gift, a circumstance that is far from uncommon throughout the world. As an example, critical funding for the United Nations complex in New York came from the Rockefeller family, which, incidentally, provided the funds needed to build the beautiful Palisades Interstate Parkway, one of the loveliest highways on this planet.
In the United States, there are hundreds of other examples of critical funding for major government facilities and projects coming from private sources.
There are two advantages to reliance on philanthropy. The more obvious is that it allows public funds to be freed up for other useful projects and purposes. The second is that it almost always results in projects being completed far more quickly.
The shekel/British pound exchange rate provided in the Business & Finance section on August 19 should have been 4.967, and not as stated. We apologize for the error.