January 30, 2019: Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?

Readers of 'The Jerusalem Post' have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?
“Is Holocaust education failing?” (January 29) is the latest of several articles recently bemoaning the fact that so many people in the US and the UK do not know that the Holocaust occurred. For example, 22% of American millennials have not heard of the Holocaust according to a recent poll.
In order to adequately assess the disturbing statistics, one has to have some idea – a baseline for comparison – of the general lack of knowledge on just about everything on the part of many North American youths.
It reminds me of Jay Leno and his famous “Jaywalking” tours, interviewing the student intellectual elite on Californian college campuses. He asked questions on the level of: Is Mexico to the north or south? Who was Abraham Lincoln? Was Japan on the side of the Allies or the Axis during the Second World War? These and similar questions were wrongly answered or left unanswered by the majority of the students, accompanied by giggles and shrugs acknowledging their blissful ignorance.
I’m not claiming that we should relax our standards, but a certain perspective is in order. Questions about the Holocaust should be accompanied by questions such as those above. Only then can the efficiency of Holocaust education be objectively evaluated.
“We Remember” (January 27) suggests that Israel should be the first to condemn the terrible genocides that are continuing in the world today. This implies an equivalence between these genocides and the Holocaust – a common but inappropriate and dangerous equation. The origin and execution of the Holocaust was different from anything that has happened before or since.
Never before have truck and cattle-wagon loads of people been meticulously, mercilessly and obsessively hounded, shot, gassed, and tortured to death – at a rate that a recent statistician has estimated at thousands within minutes, for a period of several years. Never was saving the life of any innocent human ruthlessly and unyieldingly punished by death.
This merciless slaughter was prepared for 2,000 years. Jews were considered a “failed chosen people” who were at best tolerated as infidels and “Untermenschen” whose disappearance had been divinely ordained. A “Final Solution” was just a matter of time. This resulted in the compliance of most of Europe in the Holocaust’s execution.
This explains to some extent today’s anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel. The successful Jewish state contradicts the belief that a Jewish state was never supposed to happen again. It refutes prejudices and myths about the destiny of the Jews that have been promulgated for millennia. So yes, Israel, as a humanitarian democratic state should severely and unreservedly condemn the brutalities and genocides being carried out today, but not because of any resemblance to the Holocaust.
It is true that we must never forget the harrowing traumas of the Holocaust inflicted upon European Jewry in order to prevent such atrocious events from occurring again. It is dispiriting to witness Islamophobic hate crimes and gendered stereotypes on the rise.
Many world leaders are now reluctant to understand the magnitude of such crimes, as many were also reluctant to understood the bitter and tragic truth of fascism and Nazism decades ago and the results are known to all.
Nothing could better explain the enormity of Islamophobia, antisemitism and the need for unity against extremism than the words of Queen Rania of Jordan when she stated: “As a Muslim, it pains me when someone derides Islam and my religious beliefs. It also pains me when someone derides other religions and other people’s religious beliefs. But what offends me more, much more, are the actions of the criminals who dare to use Islam to justify the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. This is not about Islam. This is about a handful of extremists who want to slaughter people for any reason and at any cost. Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy, a source of comfort and strength for more than 1.6 billion Muslims.”
London, UK
Moshe Dann (“Jewish terrorism?” January 24) admits, “...some members of [the Hilltop Youth] were involved in “slashed tires, uprooted trees, and stone-throwing,” and asserts, “Terrorism, by definition, depends on motivation and intent.”
Dann would have us believe that there is no Jewish terrorism because, supposedly, Jews have not killed anyone (yet). Worse, he implies that, even if guilty, the accused cannot be terrorists because their motives are pure. This recalls the meaningless canard, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” leavened with a healthy dose of “boys will be boys.”
Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology. One is a terrorist not because of the ideology espoused, but by virtue of the methods used to further those beliefs. A freedom fighter who resorts to terrorism to advance his goals is also a terrorist. Moreover, severity of harm caused should be evaluated when considering appropriate punishment, but should not determine the character of the initial act.
Accepting Dann’s apologia would surrender the moral high ground by justifying attacks against innocent civilians. This could appear to legitimize the allegations by some that Israel is a “terrorist state.” We would be telling vigilante bands that they may act with impunity. Their lawless actions would escalate, leading inevitably to more innocent Palestinian deaths.
We cannot credibly assert our opposition to terrorism when we allow terrorism to fester within our own society. Refusing to recognize terrorism for what it is and to oppose it with all possible legal and moral force makes us enablers and accomplices. There is no excuse for failing to confront this phenomenon honestly and forcefully.
Zichron Yaakov
Alsheich’s superfluous statement
It is true that Roni Alsheich is former police commissioner, but he should more properly be titled “private citizen.” One might have hoped for more discretion and professionalism from a former civil servant. (“Alsheich: I can’t see how Netanyahu won’t be charged with bribery,” January 28). It would seem that he is trying to have an impact on the outcome of the national election, usurping the rights of most Israeli voters. He has facts about the various investigations of Netanyahu over the years and we don’t. What gives him the right to intercede?
We have been inundated by leaks for years. Based on who had access to the information, the leaks could only have come from the police or from Netanyahu and his team. No prize for the correct answer. Alsheich is quoted as saying he didn’t leak. Of course he didn’t, but this reminds me of Dianne Feinstein saying in the Kavanaugh hearings in the States. Of course they didn’t leak personally; they’re not that stupid. Just a quiet word to some underling, and the deed is done.
Israel needs to have laws to protect sitting prime ministers from this type of stupidity, short of major crimes such as treason. Arab and Muslim leaders with massive embezzlement of public funds on their hands must be laughing at Netanyahu for his lack of creativity; being caught for the “crime” of stealing empty pop bottles, for which he later reimbursed the state.
Shame on The Jerusalem Post for giving private citizen Alsheich front-page coverage, even “above the crease.”
TIPH of the iceberg
There is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution – and if the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) ever had a legitimate function, that role is long expired. Israel’s decision to not to renew the mandate of the force is as welcome as it is long overdue. (PM tosses out observer force from Hebron after 22 years,” January 29).
In addition to producing specious antagonistic reports about alleged Israeli abuses against the Arabs (who control 80% of the city and outnumber the Jews by a ratio of more than 200 to 1), the force was supposed to give the Arabs “a sense of security.”
This is laughable. What the 64 highly paid TIPH personnel actually did, according to police reports, was to be involved in violent anti-Israel activities, interfere at security checkpoints, file fictional complaints and more.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to say, “We will not allow an international force to act against us.”
It’s about time! The money for all of those high salaries can now be diverted to more worthy purposes.
Two recent items underscore how predictable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is with elections approaching and a possible indictment.
1) Regarding the TIPH, he is ejecting them only now. Wasn’t he aware throughout his long tenure that they were “acting against us?”
2) In “Netanyahu vows: I will not uproot settlements in a peace deal” (January 29), he says, “As long as it is up to me, no one will be uprooted from their home... There will be no cessation of settlements but the complete opposite” The prime minister appeals to the very people he has abandoned to save his job, telling Netiv Ha’avot families that it was his ideological devotion to the biblical land of their forefathers that gave him the strength to withstand the police investigations against him. Yet in 1997, he surrendered 80% of Hebron; in 2009, he told US president Barack Obama that he was ready to accept a demilitarized “Palestinian” state; and has made other concessions since.
Moreover, he previously said that it should be possible for the people of Judea and Samaria to live under “Palestinian” rule with Israeli citizenship. Is he serious? How can it be that we returned to our homeland to surrender any part of it to our enemies and/or live under their rule?