February 26, 2018: Another vote for Netanyahu

Visions for the Israeli future, Polish Jewish relations and Israeli babies.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Another vote for Netanyahu
With regard to “Hefetz not talking with investigators” (February 23), despite the vast efforts of the media and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political opponents, I would vote again for Mr. Netanyahu.
He has a vision for the State of Israel, which he is implementing under great pressure. His vision has succeeded through diplomacy in making Israel a world power, while at home we are reaping financial and security benefits.
What vision does the opposition have for the future of Israel besides its own self-interest in power and a return to rule by the elite? Irresistibly, I have to add that the African migrants the opposition is so concerned with would not be a part of its elitist rule any more than the Moroccans or Yemenites were when it was in power before 1977.
Birthrate rubbish
People are concerned about the over-population of Israel in coming years (“Current birth rates unsustainable, says expert,” February 22). To laugh or cry? Israel with an excess of Jews? We might almost get to where we were before Hitler! There are a number of ways to deal with the problem. We might reoccupy Sinai. More lebensraum.
Or we could exchange all the Israeli gentiles for all the Jews in the Muslim world, a net loss of population for Israel. Alternatively, we could ship extra Jews to America, where intermarriage will solve the issue.
Prof. Alon Tal, who chairs Tel Aviv University’s department of public policy, recommends a two-child policy. Of course, this is less than the replacement rate, so given enough time, the Jewish problem will indeed have a final solution.
I suggest instead that we offer praise and blessing for every Jewish baby born and assure them that we will find them room among our people, even and especially if we reach 18 million again.
Tel Aviv
Are you kidding me?
How can any Jew – much less a professor – even think of making such a preposterous statement? Has he not heard of the Holocaust, in which a mere 70 years ago, at least one-third of the world’s Jewish population was wiped out? In our own country of Israel, our good neighbors continue to try and complete the job.
Prof. Alon Tal is quoted as saying breathlessly that “if the growth rates for families do not slow down, within 35 years there will be roughly 15 million citizens” in Israel. More Jews in Israel? What is so wrong with that? As my late grandmother was wont to say, “From his mouth to God’s ears.” Tal seems to have forgotten – or perhaps never heard of – the Almighty’s biblical promise to Abraham that “I will surely bless you and greatly increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore” (Genesis 22:17).
In a clash between Tal and the Almighty, my money would not be on the good professor.
It seems that every year or so, an article is published in The Jerusalem Post warning of the dire consequences of a population explosion and that all right-minded Jews in Israel should limit the children they have for the good of the state. I am sorry, but this is complete and utter rubbish! Fact: All healthy countries count on their population to grow, and they plan their infrastructure accordingly. Fact: Countries that do not have a high birth rate are predicting dire consequences for their work force and elderly, predicting unsustainable retirement plans because of shrinking populations.
Israel, keep on having lots of beautiful babies! We have lots of land and opportunities here for them. Nowhere have I seen children who are so loved and raised to be so proud and free.
The Polish brouhaha
With regard to “Poland’s Jews: We do not feel safe here” (February 20), my maternal grandmother – my one Jewish grandparent, but the one who makes me halachically Jewish – was from Warsaw, and I have been following with interest the developments in Poland.
I spent a wonderful two months a few years ago in Poland. I know Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, well. It was at his shul that I first put on tefillin. They have three catered meals every Shabbat – wonderful meals, with none of the sexual segregation that is practiced by the “Orthodox” in Israel.
When Rabbi Schudrich – a New York boy who started leading heritage tours to Poland in the 1980s and good friends with Ron Lauder, a big supporter of Polish Judaism – first came to Warsaw as the chief rabbi, he had acid thrown on him. So he’s no stranger to antisemitism (although for the record, my grandmother, who moved to France before World War I and met her Polish husband there, said the French were far worse antisemites than the Poles).
This new Polish law to me falls under the heading of thought and speech control, and I find laws like that objectionable. Whether it’s laws against Holocaust denial, talking about the Nakbah or anything similar, I feel speech should be free. I think a far graver threat to Polish Judaism are laws against kosher slaughter (not a death blow, because you can import beef). The most serious would be a law against ritual circumcision.
To be frank, I have yet to find as welcoming a Jewish community in Israel as I found in Warsaw.
Why do Jews have a difficult time learning from history?
Poland is not now, nor has it ever been, a country where Jews will feel safe.
This goes for Paris, London, Antwerp and other cites in Europe. Do we have to wait for another pogrom or act of terrorism? When the Nazis in invaded in 1939 , the Polish government was in the midst of passing anti-shechita (Jewish religious slaughter) laws instead of uniting the population against the enemy. Now once again, aside from denying its role in facilitating the Holocaust, the Polish government is attempting to ban shechita.
Simply put: Poland is not a place for Jews.
Jewish groups and organizations should immediately cancel all trips to Poland. As for Holocaust awareness and education, bring them all to Yad Vashem and let them speak to survivors while they are still among us. The government of Israel and the Jewish Agency should encourage and assist all Polish Jews to make aliya with the hope that Jews everywhere will follow.
Your brothers and sisters in the Land of Israel await you with open arms. Come home!
Beit Shemesh
I wish I had access to a Polish-language newspaper. I would express my outrage in a letter to the editor about the position that we Jews had a role in perpetrating our own murders during the Holocaust! The Persians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Catholic Church and the Nazis all failed to destroy us. We exist because we hope to bring civilization to the world.
For the Jews, Poland is a cemetery. I hope we never go back. I hope that no Jewish group, no organization or school feels it necessary to take our children to walk in that cemetery.
Thanks to my beloved father, who deserted the Polish army in 1924, we are still alive.
Miami Beach