January 14: No euphemisms

Thanks to Martin Sherman for his completely clear, concise, cogent and compelling article relating to the latest Muslim atrocities in Paris.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Protests insufficient
Sir, – With regard to “World leaders march arm-in-arm in mass Paris rally” (January 12), protest rallies alone will not change the danger of radical Islam to France and its Jewish citizens.
Radical Islam must be fought.
The French military or police must go into areas with known Islamists well armed, including with tanks, and go from apartment to apartment to seek out potential terrorists.
The current policy of leaving Muslim neighborhoods alone and virtually independent will only lead to more terrorism and the eventual destruction of French democracy, or a civil war.
As for Jews leaving France and coming to Israel, I agree with Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, who says French Jews should, for now, stay in France and help change the passive government policy toward Muslim areas that are the breeding ground for terrorists and murderers.
Sir, – Pictures of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prominently marching with French President Francois Hollande and genuine world leaders were rich with irony, soaked with the blood of decades of terror victims.
A founding member of Fatah and a close ally of Yasser Arafat, Abbas helped guide and fund Palestinian Arab mastery of inciting violence and killing civilians, arguably inventing modern terrorism. Giving him a place reserved for world leaders – or formal sovereignty over Gaza and the West Bank – will only result in more killing.
Indeed, the recent carnage in Paris came just days after France supported Abbas’s failed attempt to force a Palestinian state through the UN Security Council.
Sir, – How ironic that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marched in Paris together with Mahmoud Abbas.
Here we had the political leader of Israel publicly marching against terrorism with the man responsible for acts of terror in Israel and abroad. It was an insult to the memory of the thousands of Jewish Israelis killed, and tens of thousands maimed for life, by the terrorists of the PA and its associates.
Has Prime Minister Netanyahu no shame, self-respect or dignity? Does he have to lower himself to the lowest common denominator? Woe betide the Jewish people!
Edgware, UK
Sir, – Since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, we have been hearing debates on the proportion of jihadists among Muslims. Is it only one or two percent, which consequently absolves the rest – the majority – from any wrongdoing? The debates should focus on the proportion of Muslim countries that tolerate or close their eyes to jihadists inside their borders. The majority do. Should not this be the reverse? And how about the countries in Europe that tolerate or close their eyes to jihadists? This could give us a better picture.
If Muslim and European countries are not vigilant about the jihadists in their midst, what happened last week will be forgotten.
Tel Aviv
Sir, – The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and other French locations, all in the name of Allah, have prompted a national – if not European – scream of disgust, indignation and popular outrage of a never- seen magnitude. I wonder why such tragic events, when they happen in Israel, elicit less comment but loud criticism when Israel strikes back.
I hope that Europe awakens to the threat it faces.
Slight at the opera
Sir, – The Israeli Opera maintains it prevented terror from winning by not allowing it to “disturb the routine of our lives” (“Maestro protests opera’s refusal to pay tribute to French victims,” January 12).
The routine of our lives should be disturbed when Jews are slaughtered, no matter where they are. By not allowing a 30-second memorial to the fallen, terror won, for it struck a blow to Jewish unity.
This unity and empathy for fellow Jews is the essence of Judaism, not a few seconds in a schedule.
SARA SMITH Jerusalem Sir, – The Israeli Opera administration’s refusal to allow maestro Frederic Chaslin to perform Hatikva in memory of the terror victims in Paris is nothing short of disgraceful.
The claim “This is the way of the opera – not to allow terror to win and disturb the routine of our livers” constitutes a height of moral obtuseness, narrow-mindedness and cynicism.
We in Israel admire forever the great humanist musicians such as Arturo Toscanini, Bronislaw Huberman, Pablo Casals, Arthur Rubinstein, Isaac Stern and Zubin Mehta, among many others. Art cannot – and should not – be separated from our lives.
One can but wonder what kind of “routine” the opera administration seeks to foster.
Tel Aviv
The writer is a professor at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music
Sir, – Shame on the Israeli Opera! It reminds me of the International Olympic Committee refusing a few years ago to hold a minute of silence in memory of the Israeli athletes murdered in Munich.
French maestro Frederic Chaslin was not asking to cancel or even reschedule the concert – just for a minute to pay respects to the Jewish and non-Jewish victims. That’s hardly changing the “routine” of the Israeli Opera.
On target
Sir, – Regarding “Four disturbing aspects of the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ media narrative” (Terra Incognita, January 12), it’s about time someone got it right. Every word, right on target, for a change.
Kiryat Tivon
No euphemisms
Sir, – Thanks to Martin Sherman for his completely clear, concise, cogent and compelling article relating to the latest Muslim atrocities in Paris (“It’s Islam, stupid!” Into the Fray, January 9).
It’s about time the Western world called a spade a spade, and not some ridiculous euphemism! SYLVIA ANBARY Ramat Hasharon More prominence Sir, – Melanie Phillip’s “The Paris massacre and Western funk” (As I See It, January 9) goes straight to the hub of the matter.
Phillips is not only an outstanding defender of Israel and its policies – and justly so – she is equally brilliant in her questioning and answers, her arguments and counter-arguments when responding to events that affect our very existence. She has an uncanny sense of history and immediate recall to relevant facts that break down the many myths about us.
A request, please! Instead of placing her brilliant and thought-provoking articles on the back page, she should be given greater prominence.
Perhaps then our detractors might read, take note and learn from her insightful messages!
Those cartoons
Sir, – Speaking of cartoons that inflame emotions, we can remember the anti-Semitic cartoons and caricatures that led Theodor Herzl to start seriously thinking about a Jewish state.
In Paris, in December 1894 during the trial of Alfred Dreyfus, Herzl, then a reporter for the Neue Freie Presse, was unnerved. As a Jew trying to assimilate, he witnessed the masses calling for death to the Jews.
The Lalibre Parole paper published most of the cartoons. It was then that Herzl called for a state for the Jews. The rest is history.
Neve Ilan
Unlike what was stated by David Newman in “Boycott paranoia or the captive boycott” (Borderline Views, January 13), the watchdog group NGO Monitor was not a sponsor of the “Global Antisemitism, Human Rights, and the Boycott” symposium held this week at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.