January 29, 2020: The opportunity of the century

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
The opportunity of the century
In “The Palestinian leadership should not reject Trump’s peace plan” (January 28), Jason Greenblatt and Bishara Bahbah lay out a path toward reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. They urge the Palestinians to look at the plan and make constructive suggestions, to not miss another opportunity to move forward, to make a better future for their people.
So, it is ironic that on the same page, in “The international community should say no to the Trump plan,” Nimrod Goren implores the international community to oppose the plan. Goren offers no new solutions, and falsely notes that the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank made a decision “to conduct their national struggle in the diplomatic arena,” glossing over facts such as that the Palestinian government “pays to slay;” educates its citizens to hate Jews; and empowers its media and religious institutions to incite to violence.
Moreover, the Palestinians have already said no to much more generous offers than those apparently on the table, so what is Goren thinking might be acceptable to them?
It is time for all to actually read the plan – Goren included – and say, “Yes, let’s talk.”
I have just read “The international community should say no to the Trump plan.” It never fails to amaze me how Jewish Israelis on the Left blind themselves to the truth. It never occurs to them that the “right-wing” political ideology could be correct. Also, how can Nimrod Goren decide whether to accept or reject a plan that has yet to be unveiled?
How is it possible to advance peace when the Palestinian leadership:
• Refuses to negotiate/ compromise
• Refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state
• Keeps repeating that all of Israel is occupied territory, that all the land from the river to the sea is Arab land
• Expects to flood the country with millions of so-called refugees
• Encourages terror in the schools, mosques and media and by paying to kill Jews and honoring those who die trying
• And, like Goren, says no to a peace plan yet to be unveiled
Is it any wonder those who do not subscribe to leftist philosophy scratch their heads in utter amazement?
Rishon LeZion
Nimrod Goren (no relation to this writer), has urged the PA to reject the Trump plan, sight unseen. Somehow, this does not sound like advice given on the basis of the author’s factual knowledge, since at that point no one had yet seen the plan. Rather, Goren points out that the plan “runs counter to previous… agreements and understandings”… [and] serves a right-wing political ideology.”
Well, well. If Mr. Goren is correct, it means that the present US administration is not going down the same dark, blind alley that its several predecessors (on both sides of the US political spectrum) have done, and have become hopelessly confounded and lost.
He veritably ridicules world leaders who have had the audacity to say that they “will not judge the plan before we see it.” He further claims, “Israeli public… support for the two-state solution is declining.” Oh, really? He decries the fact that only a few of the electoral lists that are running in the upcoming elections actively support the TSS. We wonder why. Certainly not because of the flimsy reasons he gives. It’s because it is clear that the TSS was and is doomed because the PA has no intention of adopting it or living with it.
I am sure that Mitvim is a fine institution, and that Goren is a superb administrator. Now, if he can just make contact with the real world.
Petah Tikva
We all owe US President Donald Trump an enormous thank you for caring about our country and region and investing so much effort to move us all from the broken-record go-nowhere stale ideas of the past decades to a new coexistence template that can conceivably be embraced by both sides.
Perhaps the Arabs will finally realize that their all-or-nothing stonewalling will not be forever supported and rewarded by the world. They have everything to gain by agreeing to a just solution with compromises on both sides, and much to lose by refusing to even consider the merits of this opportunity.
If their reaction is to be their old fallback of threatening and committing violence, they are likely to continue to be perennial losers.
Rishon Lezion
Ashrawi and Tlaib blood libel
Regarding “Rashida: Rushing to demonize Jews” (January 27), the blood libel has now come full circle. A seven-year-old Arab child in Beit Hanina drowns in a tragic accident and, of course, a bizarre story of fiendish Jewish malevolence is immediately concocted to explain what happened. Precisely how the blood libels begin.
On March 22, 1144, Little William of Norwich was found dead, and the Jews were immediately accused, in a fantasized fable, of his murder. The story was memorialized by Thomas of Monmouth and spread widely. That likely led directly to the 1190 York massacre and 1290 expulsion of the Jews from England, not be formally reversed until 1655.
This new libel spread much wider and faster than the original. Hanan Ashrawi tweeted it to her many followers; it was further advanced by US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who has a sordid history of jumping the gun on dubious stories. For example, as news of the recent Jersey City attack emerged Tlaib immediately and totally erroneously, blamed it on “white supremacists.”
Ashrawi at least had the decency to delete her tweet and semi-apologize; Tlaib has not yet apologized. Unlike how her party botched an earlier attempt to condemn antisemitism forthrightly, will it now call out Tlaib’s blatant antisemitism? Will her constituents remember in November?
Syracuse, NY
It is a travesty to see the infamous medieval blood libel rearing its ugly head here in the land of Israel.
It is a reminder of the tenacity of the seminal hatred of Jews in Europe, which manifested itself as late as 1946, the year after the end of WWII and the Holocaust, when a group of 42 Jews returned to Kielce to try to salvage their lives in Poland. When a 15-year-old Polish boy came home late one night and was reprimanded by his parents, he countered that the Jews had kidnapped him to use his blood for their religious rituals. The next day, July 4, 1946, all 42 Jews were murdered in Kielce as a result of the blood libel.
Such canards repeated today must be rooted out in the strongest manner possible.
Beit Shemesh
Kudos for Kemp
As expected, British Col. Richard Kemp has written a masterful summary (“Britain should support Trump’s plan,” January 27) of the horrific consequences of his government’s Mandate policy, including the infamous White Paper, which prevented European Jewry from entering Palestine before, during and after World War II.
Since 2009 and the terrible period of the Goldstone report, Kemp has repeatedly spoken out on the world stage about the unique morality of our IDF and of the justice of our battle against terrorism. He is one of our greatest friends, and deserves to be properly acknowledged and appreciated, yet in the bio at the end of his article, you write only, “The author is a former British army commander.”
On the same page as Kemp’s article was a piece written by a 10th grader; you devote seven lines to his achievements. On Sunday, January 26, you printed four op-eds; the authors were described in three lines, seven lines, four lines, and three lines respectively, the last being a third-year law student.
How does this minimization of a worthy hero like Col. Kemp occur?
In “Britain should support Trump’s plan,” the redoubtable Col. Richard Kemp OBE sets forth in his inimitable way the unforgivable actions of invidious Albion toward Europe’s Jews and in the Land of Israel before, during and after the Holocaust. His detailed recording of the huge numbers of Jews who were prevented from escape by the policies of the British government contrasts starkly with the mealy-mouthed remarks by Prince Charles at the 75th commemoration of the Holocaust last Thursday.
Sorry state of affairs
Regarding “Prejudices and ignorance among Israeli settlers in the West Bank” (January 22), I agree with Gershon Baskin that children living under the administration of the Palestinian Authority should be raised to have better opportunities than hoping to become gas station attendants or construction workers in Israel. However, I cannot agree with his blaming the “occupation” for the sorry state of affairs in which Abbas’ subjects find themselves.
The unfortunate truth is that Palestinian leaders are far more interested in destroying Israel than they are in building a state in which their people could become productive citizens. I am sure that Israel would be happy to aid in the development of the Palestinian economy if the Palestinian mosques, schoolrooms, and media would stop spewing anti-Jewish incitement, if the PA would end its pay-for-slay program, and if Arab nations would rescind their laws banning Palestine refugees from citizenship, enabling generations of people whose forebears fled Arab-initiated violence to get on with their lives.
Atlanta, GA
Macron’s missing manners
What shoddy behavior by French President Emmanuel Macron while visiting the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem’s Old City (“French President Emmanuel Macron,” January 22).
Macron was one of over 40 heads of state who came to Israel for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, with the King of Spain, Prince of Wales, Russian president, US vice president and others. Consider Israel’s security logistics – including dealing with the PA’s daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, telling its readers to commit murders to disrupt the huge gathering, one of the largest in Israel’s history. More 10,000 police were drafted in.
The event was to be a stand against antisemitism, but actions speak louder than words. Here was Macron, the leader of France, a Holocaust-perpetrator state that actively engaged in the near-total destruction of European Jewry, barking orders at an Israeli guard to leave the church’s “French territory.”
Macron emanated the stench of French antisemitism and his visit to Israel is marked by it, just as French President Jacques Chirac’s was in 1996. His lofty Forum speech will not erase his unstatesmanlike outburst.
Macron should direct this streak of French presidential behavior, gratuitously contrived for Israel, toward the gilets jaunes (yellow vests movement). If he dares.
The role of rabbis
What an interesting juxtaposition of similar yet conflicting ideas in two recent articles: “Needed: Rabbis with knives between their teeth” (January 24) by Nathan Lopes Cardoza and “Rabbis in politics – a disaster for both” by Shuki Friedman (January 26).
Cardoza proposes an ideal code of morality and behavior for rabbinical leaders and religious parties in the political arena – something to strive for but sadly, probably no more than an unattainable, utopian dream.
Friedman, on the other hand, tells it how it unfortunately is. Referring to rabbis who become politicians, he propounds that either the rabbis “remain faithful to their rabbinical calling and thus fail in their political role, or they become politicians in every sense and are thus almost certain to betray their rabbinical mission”. Friedman points out that rabbis who act as spiritual leaders and who should be role models for their followers are the very antithesis of politicians. He praises rabbis for being the bearers of a treasury of Jewish values that can offer so much to public life in Israel, but concludes, “Whenever they [the rabbis] enter the cesspool of politics, they tarnish themselves, their image as rabbis and the Judaism they seek to present. This is bad for the rabbis and bad for Judaism.” Sad, but true.
So, was there a Holocaust?
Regarding “Prince Charles tours Palestinian territories during Middle East visit” (January 25), PA President Mahmoud Abbas wrote a doctoral thesis that the Holocaust never took place. Yet Abbas received a visit from Prince Charles, who came to Israel specially for the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust.
What hypocrisy and how disgusting!
In “Holocaust Conference takeaways” (January 27, 2020) child Holocaust survivor Tova Gerta Teitelbaum wrote, “In some cases, soap was made from the remains of Jews who had been killed – stamped with the letters “RIF,” an abbreviation for Reine Judishes Fett (Pure Jewish Fat).’
Although it is true that the Nazis did produce soap from human corpses, this was not on an industrial scale. However, the Nazis did use rumors of “Jewish soap” to frighten concentration camp prisoners.
Bars of soap stamped with the letters “RIF” were generally produced from normal ingredients by the “Reichsstelle für industrielle Fettversorgung” (the National Center for Industrial Fat Provisioning) – the Nazi government agency responsible for the production of soap and other cleaning products.
We have to be careful not to allow any inexact information to seep into our understanding of the events of the Holocaust, as any errors, however small, can give perfidious Holocaust denial a foothold.