August 24th, 2017: Choosing denial

The Obama administration’s foreign policy created a vacuum that has placed the world in much greater danger than ever before in our time.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Choosing denial
“American Jews have a moral responsibility to stand up against Trump” (Comment & Features, August 22) is an insult to the intelligence of Jews who voted for US President Donald Trump. The candidates in the last election were far from ideal, but Jewish Americans had to choose between a continuation of the policies of outgoing president Barack Obama and the unknown – which many, at that point, were willing to bet on.
The Obama administration’s foreign policy created a vacuum that has placed the world in much greater danger than ever before in our time. Traditional American allies were abandoned. The about-face to boost support for the greatest terror-supporting regime in the modern world, Iran, and to promote it as a major power in the Middle East put not only Israel in serious peril, but the entire world.
The possibility of a continuation of such policy under a corrupt Hillary Clinton is what pushed many Jews to vote for Trump. It was a choice taken with serious calculation to encourage a policy of support for Israel in an increasingly hostile UN, and to back the Israeli government and people’s choice for the policy of settling the Land of Israel.
It is false and misleading to continue to boast that Trump is antisemitic. The proof is not in the fact that his daughter converted to Judaism, but rather in his bold policy toward the UN with the choice of Nikki Haley as ambassador, his sanctioning of Iran and the pursuit of anti-BDS and anti-terror legislation, none of which was forthcoming in the Obama years.
How dare the writer paint all Jews who voted for Trump as irresponsible and encouraging antisemitism! Jewish Democrats are increasingly finding themselves marginalized by their party. Many of us saw this coming and made a choice to join the Republican Party.
I am sorry to say that many American Jewish Democrats have chosen denial.
‘Fire and fury’
In the headline of his August 22 No Holds Barred column, Shmuley Boteach asks: “President Trump, where is your ‘fire and fury’ when it comes to Nazis?” I ask: Prime Minister Netanyahu, where is your fire and fury?
Lee vs. Auschwitz
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein compares the debate over Robert E.Lee’s statue and preserving concentration camps as historical testimony (“Living with history,” Comment & Features, August 21). However, there are different reasons and ways that societies remember their past.
Why would we find it wrong to erect a statue of Hitler in downtown Berlin? For that matter, shouldn’t the Jews, for whom remembering the Holocaust is crucial, put up a statue of Eichmann in Jerusalem?
Statues serve to lionize past leaders and celebrate their careers. Tours of Auschwitz play a quite different role.
Alon Shvut
How is the removal of statues of Confederate notables any different from the Taliban or Islamic State destroying non-Muslim artifacts? Or the conversion by Muslim conquerors of churches to mosques? Or the “well known fact” in the Muslim world that there never were Jewish temples in Jerusalem? Or the removal of non-persons from photographs and textbooks in the Soviet Union?
The idea is to learn from history, not ignore it or suppress it.
Shame on the new fascists – the ones on the Left and the liberals in the Center. Life does not come with safe rooms. Grow up!
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein is right in saying it is good that the concentration camps were not destroyed.
The camps are evidence and a tool for all generations to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust. Some of the camps were left, but all statues commemorating Hitler and his helpers were rightfully destroyed. These statues were built to glorify Hitler (as well as other dictators in different eras and different places).
Equivalent to the camps are the slave quarters that still exist in some of the former plantations in the US South. My wife and I recently traveled through Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia and visited some of those plantations. Not all preserved their slave quarters; some have become rather fancy resort hotels – in an attempt to sanitize history.
Removing statues that honor the Confederate leaders who sought to perpetuate the inhuman practice is the proper thing to do. This act does not erase history – it erases the visible presence of a great injustice that continued in a different fashion after the Civil War.
Hod Hasharon
What they’ll say
In 1905, when the pogroms broke out in the Ukraine, my mother was a young girl. Her family fled the Ukraine to England. Although she lived in England for over 60 years, she always had the fear, probably unconscious, that pogroms would break out there, too. For this reason, everything we did was seen through the lens of “What will the goyim say?”
We who were born in England, be it first-, second- or third-generation, considered ourselves to be “English citizens of the mosaic persuasion.” Funny – I never heard any Catholics say they were “English citizens of the Catholic persuasion,” nor have I ever heard of a Catholic organization called C Street that spends its time groveling to the Protestants and showing what good English citizens they are. Nor have I ever read about 200 Catholic clergymen writing to the pope to protest the fact that he would not allow rabid anti-Catholics into the Vatican.
We children went to non-Jewish schools. We laughed when elders said, “What will the goyim say?” After all, we were English.
In school, our behavior was exemplary. However on Sundays, when we went to Hebrew classes, we behaved like wild animals that had just been let out of their cages. Of course, this had nothing to do with “What will the goyim say?” Go figure.
In spite of our loud protests that we were Englishmen of the mosaic persuasion, it seems we all had inherited the gene of “What will the goyim say?” Perhaps in the words of the Bard, “Me thinks that the maid doth protest too much.”
Petah Tikva
The writer is a clinical psychologist.
Enough hype!
On a daily basis, we are fed a torrent of hysteria and exaggeration in The Jerusalem Post and other newspapers concerning issues that are said to threaten both civilization and humanity itself.
• Climate change: The ice caps are melting, the seas are rising, islands will vanish, millions will die, tens of millions will become refugees, vast species will face extinction, there will be polluted air and polluted seas
• Trump: The end of the US as a free, liberal and democratic society, the rise of fascism, chauvinism and bigotry
• Barcelona and Charlottesville: Tahe rise of antisemitism, the end of Europe, the end of western civilization
• North Korea and Iran: World War III is about to erupt, nuclear war is upon us, Israel will vanish
• China and Russia: The end of democracy, civil rights and the rule of law.
No wonder US college students are demanding safe spaces. Somehow, though, the world goes on, life spans increase, millions are lifted from poverty and diseases are eradicated.
Enough with all the journalistic terror hype!
“Gov’t to Court: Settlements law balances land rights of settlers and Palestinians” (August 22) erroneously stated that Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit petitioned the High Court of Justice to strike the law as unconstitutional.
Mandelblit did not petition the court. A group of NGOs did. We apologize for the error