Jerusalem Post Letters to the Editor: Empty chairs

The family will not contemplate just one empty chair, but also the empty chairs of Ezra’s wife, children, grandchildren and so on.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Empty chairs
As my family celebrates its 35th anniversary of aliya from New York on the second night of Hanukka on December 7, I can definitely identify with the ideas expressed by Gil Troy, (“Wave Israeli flags in Ezra Schwartz’s memory,” Center Field, November 25).
We are guilty of “dual loyalty,” but not in the usual meaning of the term. As those having dual citizenship, we can relate to both Israeli and American citizens who have been murdered or wounded by terrorists. I too can relate to the lives of Ezra Schwartz and his family, especially the fact that he was an ardent football fan (and kol hakavod to former Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for the moment of silence observed last Monday night in a game watched by millions).
But regarding Troy’s comment that the Schwartz family will contemplate “a lifetime ahead of family celebrations with one perpetually empty chair...”, I am reminded of something said by a guide on a tour of Yad Vashem.
The family will not contemplate just one empty chair, but also the empty chairs of Ezra’s wife, children, grandchildren and so on.
And this applies to all those who have sacrificed their lives so that we, the survivors, can live in our ancient homeland.
May their memories be a blessing and Am Yisrael Chai!
Lone wolves’
I wish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would stop calling Arab attackers “lone wolves.” They are attacking because of incitement – by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and on Facebook and Twitter – and not because they decide to do so for the fun of killing Jews.
People who have suffered because of this incitement should sue not only the PA and Hamas, but also Facebook and Twitter for not removing incitement from their sites. In addition, we should not return the bodies of dead terrorists to their families so as to avoid big funerals and shrines of commemoration.
No love ‘lost’
Once again, Gershon Baskin’s arguments (“Have I Got News For You,” Encountering Peace, November 26) completely miss the mark.
Israelis should negotiate peace with the understanding that the Palestinians consider all of Israel to be their land, and they never thought that after losing 78 percent to us, they’d have to negotiate the other 22%.
Well, Mr. Baskin, have I got news for you. They didn’t “lose” 78% of anything. The 78% you say they lost is being enjoyed by their brothers across the Jordan River, in direct contravention of the League of Nations mandate and the San Remo Conference of 1920. It is we who never thought we would have to negotiate for the other 22% after losing our 78% to Transjordan.
Second, although you cite Palestinian Arab frustration over this ‘lost’ 78% as the reason for the current terrorism wave, you want us to believe that this will end when we give them the 22% comprising Judea and Samaria. Somehow, the other 56% went “poof.”
We don’t need to legalize cannabis in Israel - I’ll gladly partake of whatever Mr. Baskin is smoking.
Not acceptable
Once again a member of the Knesset, this time Oren Hazan, displayed outrageous, despicable behavior in the Knesset, (“Netanyahu rebukes Hazan for taunting handicapped MK,” November 25). His attack on a disabled person in the manner of which he did is not acceptable in any moral society and most certainly should not be accepted in the Knesset.
The protection of democracy prevents throwing a person like this out of the Knesset where he doesn’t belong. But members of Knesset should I believe we should ostracize this gentleman, and treat him the way lepers were treated in the early days.
He should be ignored and made to feel completely uncomfortable as he has made her. I am ashamed that a person like Hazan is an elected representative in our Knesset.
Model failure
This is the American model. Just after US Secretary of State John Kerry left us, we heard that our army (heaven knows exactly who) had some bizarre suggestions for the State of Israel, (“IDF recommends strengthening PA to help avoid security deterioration,” November 26). We should give our enemies – the ones who are inciting their citizens to go on stabbing sprees and commit vehicular homicide – weapons, ammunition, armored cars, etc.
In theory, the Arabs should police themselves. The Americans already tried out this model at least twice – once in Iraq and again in Afghanistan. America armed the local people. That gave the United States the excuse to leave the field.
The results were disastrous. You have all kinds of tribes now fighting each other, and what emerged was Islamic State, not peace.
The Americans are satisfied.
They’re now home in their “safe places.” They are oceans away, with thousands of miles separating them from the current mayhem.
The State of Israel doesn’t have the luxury of trying out this failed model. The tribal wars will be right on our doorstep, if not, indeed inside the house. This American model is not suitable for us. Actually, it’s not suitable for the Americans – or the French either. If you ignore a danger, the danger tends to follow you home.
Reading “IDF recommends strengthening PA to help avoid security deterioration,” November 26, led me to believe that the slaughter of Jews in our streets has led our leadership brass to a nervous breakdown.
Lets understand this. Jews are killed by Arabs. So we’ll solve this problem by further arming our enemies and issuing more work visas for more Arabs to enter Israel.
No wonder the Arabs dance upon each slaughter of Jews. Instead of paying a price for their terrorism, they are rewarded.
I know this past summer was amongst the hottest ever. What I did not realize is how much the heat affected the IDF to make rational decisions. I’m sure all our fathers and mothers will breath a sigh of relief knowing our sons and daughters will soon be facing an enemy equipped by us.
All one can say is “May God haver mercy on us all.”
MOSHE STERN Ramat Beit Shemesh
It was shocking but in no way surprising that UN Middle East Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov shows no value for Jewish lives (“PM: We will make terrorists’ families pay a price, November 20).
The United Nations exhibits this behavior regularly, which is especially noticeable from its Muslim and European members.
So, when Mladenov decries attempts by the Israeli government to stop Arab terrorism, he is “UN consistent.” Short of disarming the IDF and the police, Mladenov, the General Assembly, and other UN agencies and representatives will continue to damn Israeli self defense, whether against the current terrorism or rocket fire on civilians by terrorists from Gaza.
The government must follow through on the measures proposed by the prime minister to stop the current wave of terrorism and disregard Muslim and European anti- Israel/anti-Semitic contributions to the delegitimization of Israel.
Speak up
Kudos to Menachem Z. Rosensaft for speaking up regarding the little-known Evian Conference, (“We cannot turn our back on today’s refugees,” November 26).
It must be added that the United States’ participation was largely for show. An undersecretary of state was sent to represent the US signaling the lack of priority the subject held for the country.
This conference, more than any event, gave Nazi leader Adolph Hitler the green light to carry out his heinous plans. He had seen firsthand the world’s indifference to the plight of European Jewry.
The writer was formerly a guide at Yad Vashem - Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.