Letters to the Editor December 1, 2021: Encouraged to intermarry?

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Encouraged to intermarry?

Regarding “Is the Jewish future in the Arab Mideast?” (November 30), I wonder if next we will be encouraged to intermarry? The Abrahamic Family House with a mosque, church and synagogue of equal size should serve to make everyone feel they are just one people. Which people of course will be the dominant is the question and I wouldn’t place any bet on it being the Jewish people. After waiting thousands of years for liberation to be a sovereign state in our own land, living anywhere but there and especially now in an Arab country, seems to be our goal. Wow, what more could one ask for?


Made-up story

Regarding “Abbas: Save two-state solution, recognize Palestine,” (November 30), it is indeed a sad day when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is old enough to know better, talks about the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. This was a made-up story by the Soviet Union and Yasser Arafat after the Six Day War .

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured), in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 25, 2021. (credit: ALEX BRANDON/POOL VIA REUTERS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured), in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 25, 2021. (credit: ALEX BRANDON/POOL VIA REUTERS)

He has fallen for the propaganda, hook line and sinker.

Shame on Guterres, who hasn’t the vision nor integrity to tell them that Jerusalem will never, ever be divided again and the “refugees” will never be reinstated.

All the rest can be negotiated and land exchanged allowing the Arab population in Israel and everywhere else to have their own flag and national anthem and inalienable rights under a Palestinian state.

This vision has been refused many times by the “Palestinians” who want it all.


Offensive charm

So, President Erdogan of Turkey is planning to improve ties with Israel because his economy is in trouble (“Erdogan planning steps to improve ties with Israel,” November 30). After referring to Israel countless times as a racist country intent on murdering defenseless Palestinians, preferably children, Erdogan is mounting a charm offensive. At the least, before agreeing to any improvement in ties, Erdogan should officially apologize for his offensive lies about Jews and Israel and publicly detract his falsehoods and disinformation. Better yet, Israel should respond to the charm with a resounding “No, thank you!” 

We’ll wait until somebody else comes along, preferably not an autocratic dictator. There should be a limit to political pragmatism. Not only that, charm can be turned on and off, at a whim. Next year, he may again refer to racist, murderous Israel. 


Ultimate hypocrites

Regarding “Israel’s ties to Hebron undeniable – Herzog” (November 29): For Hamas, the PA, Arab League, Joint List MK Ayman Odeh, and Peace Now to claim that Israeli President Issac Herzog “set Hebron ablaze” by celebrating Hanukkah there is to permanently place all of them as ultimate hypocrites.

In August 1929, the Arabs in Hebron committed a monstrous war crime against the Jewish people not to be exceeded until the Nazis’ Final Solution. A monstrous war crime instigated by Amin Al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem. His sycophants have included Yasser Arafat, Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas. A monstrous war crime eloquently described by Giulio Meotti in A New Shoah (2009):

“The pogrom in Hebron began on August 23, 1929 when two talmudists had their throats slit. They were not making political speeches; they were just searching for God. The next day it was the turn of about 50 Jews who had taken refuge in the Anglo-Palestine Bank. They were all together in one room; it didn’t take long for the Arabs to find them. The Arabs hacked off feet, fingers, heads; they gouged out eyeballs; they burned severed heads on top of a stove. One rabbi was commanding his fellow Jews to God when he was slaughtered. One by one, six students were placed on the lap of Mrs. Sololov, who was still alive, and their throats were slit. The men were castrated. Girls, mothers, grandmothers were forced to dance in the blood and then were raped. Meanwhile, Rabbi Slonin had been taken to the hospital. ‘They have killed my wife, my children, my wife’s family.’ There were tears in his eyes. In 1492, the Jews who had been expelled from Spain brought a [Torah scroll] to Hebron, a holy scroll, a divine Torah. The Arabs burned it.”

The blaze set by Muslims in August 1929 in Hebron is still burning next to the flames of Auschwitz.

RICHARD SHERMAN Margate, Florida

Abraham, the founder of Judaism lived for a time in Hebron. Hebron is one of four Jewish holy cities. There is a very deep historical and spiritual connection between the Jewish people and Hebron. The only reason Palestinians opposed Israel’s President Isaac Herzog marking the first night of Hanukkah by lighting a candle in the Cave of the Patriarchs is to deny Jews their own history. This denial is on a par with Palestinian destruction of archaeological artifacts. Any artifact that reveals Jewish habitation in Israel is a threat to the Palestinian victimhood narrative. The irony is that the only people the Palestinians have convinced that Jews never had a connection with Hebron are Jewish left-wingers who are the inheritors of the passivity of Jews that led to slaughter in World War Two.


Peace Now, Breaking the Silence and the Israeli left are making it hard for progressives in North America to hold their heads up.

Have they nothing more serious to devote their attention to than the president of Israel lighting the first Hanukkah candle at the Cave of the Patriarchs? Is this the best they’ve got? Are they intentionally trying to display their brazen antisemitism?

Surely they are busy enough with other more important issues, such as Jews destroying al-Aqsa Mosque, poisoning wells and killing children to bake matzah?


Saving our world

As president emeritus of Jewish Veg and the author of Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism, I was delighted to read “Israeli startup VeganNation goes global with mobile app” (November 28), which discussed the organization’s plans to promote veganism.     

The article leads me to raise the following question respectfully to the many wise Jerusalem Post readers: Since there is now an abundance of plant-based substitutes with the appearance, texture, and taste so similar to meat and other animal products that even longtime meat-eaters can’t tell the difference, and since the production and consumption of meat and other animal products contribute substantially to heart disease, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases; climate change and other environmental threats to humanity; the very inefficient use of land, water, energy, and other resources; increased risks of future pandemics; and the massive mistreatment of animals, thereby violating many basic Jewish teachings, why not shift to a vegan diet?

Such shifts are essential to efforts to leave a decent, habitable, environmentally sustainable world for future generations. 


Credit for trying

I read Ms. Bercovici’s op-ed (“Corona cabinet has lost its bearings,” November 29) on the corona cabinet with empathy as I am a 90+ widower whose son lives in Texas and whose daughter lives in Scotland. Neither have been able to visit me since the pandemic began. My son was due to visit next week and that has been blocked. However, I disagree strongly with her conclusions concerning the corona cabinet.

I think we should all remember that the cabinet is a group of fallible human beings who do not know what they are doing. They cannot know, since corona presents a pattern with novel features, particularly the rapid mutation rate which confounds the picture. I would like to know how many of their advisers have actually attended infected people in their homes? I worked as a general practitioner for 35 years in the British Health Service, and because of the way the NHS delivered general medical care I was able to observe how an invading virus, causing an epidemic, traveled across the city in which I lived.

I worked for 5 years in Israel and I do not think an individual GP could do that here, but certainly Clalit has a record system which could provide that information. Has any one attempted such a study? The result has the potential to aid mass management. I have no doubt that 10 years from now, when the situation has been examined in complete retrospect the next generation of professionals will be better informed.

The corona cabinet may come to conclusions which we find uncomfortable or even cause distress but we should always give them credit for trying. Please understand that I have no hesitation in asserting that they are ignorant, but intelligent people should recognize their difficulties and limit their comments to facts harvested from rigorous observation.


The criticism of the two week ban on foreign nationals entering Israel is understandable in terms of the inconvenience it presents, but I think unjustified in terms of the real threat of further contagion to Israel citizens. 

It should be noted that the concept of enforced quarantines and green passes, so thoroughly ingrained in Israeli life, is relatively unknown in the US. There is no requirement of proof of vaccination, nor even a question by airport personnel regarding the state of one’s health, in order to board a plane anywhere in the US, nor on any other means of public transportation.  

In addition, it is not unheard of for active COVID patients to leave their homes to participate in “COVID parties” with others who have tested positive.

Other countries may be stricter or more lax, but it certainly behooved our government to act as quickly as it did to prevent a new round of cases here with a new variant.

I can thoroughly identify with the inconvenience, having, along with others, gone through the burdensome process last summer of obtaining permission from the Immigration Authority for a family member to enter Israel,  but we got through it. The bottom line may be indeed survival in the face of a continuing and evolving pandemic, which none of us have known in our lifetime, and with which we need to cope as aggressively as possible.


Nothing unofficial

Zalman Shoval (“Lacking a ‘Grand Strategy,’” November 30) wrote an excellent survey on the Grand Strategies of various governments. In regard to Israel, he wrote that “the more significant achievements initiated or furthered by the Netanyahu governments may also be judged to have been in practice results of an unofficial ‘Grand Strategy.’” I believe Shoval was underestimating Netanyahu. There was nothing “unofficial” in Netanyahu’s policies that led to the formation of the Start-Up Nation nor in his statesmanship that led to the Abraham Accords. He had a Grand Strategy successfully executed and history will acknowledge his tremendous contributions to the success of the Jewish state.

In regard to the current government, Shoval correctly states, “the concept of a ‘Grand Strategy’… unfortunately is not even in sight.” Ironically, the barrier for any leader today to create and execute a Grand Strategy is none other than Netanyahu himself. As long as he is the leader of Likud, the composition of coalitions will continue to be, using Shoval’s word, “motley” and Israel will suffer for it. For the sake of our country, Netanyahu has to step down and, if he refuses to do so, the Likud must finally replace him. Four elections have proven that there is no other way.

As for who in government today has the ability to create and execute a Grand Strategy, I don’t think there is a more capable candidate than Naftali Bennett. He proved himself as an astute politician by becoming prime minister with only seven mandates. He has proved himself as an outstanding leader by keeping together such a broad coalition of Israelis (of all people) for almost six months despite a super-powerful opposition. He showed that he can get things done against all odds by passing the first budget in 3 ½ years. In his dealings with Lapid, he has shown himself as a uniter, a team player par excellence.

He proved himself as an outstanding statesman by working beautifully with Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and many other world leaders. He has managed to maintain good relations with the US in spite of the policy differences with the Biden administration. He has maintained the momentum with the Abraham Accords and other foreign policy initiatives and filled the many vacancies in the foreign service. He is one of the most honest politicians in Israel, does not care about his ego and is very much dedicated to our country. He risked his political future in forming the coalition to prevent a fifth election. Compare that to Netanyahu who would have welcomed a fifth election and a sixth and a seventh...

Yet, Bennett is only polling four mandates. That only proves to me that the Israeli electorate is brain-dead. 


Not just anywhere

The article “Israel bows to US pressure, won’t advance east Jerusalem Atarot project” (November 28) describes the location entirely in terms of neighboring Arab communities, as if the idea of the project were to rudely go where no Jew has gone before. The article even avoids the Israeli name of Atarot Airport, referencing the Kalandiya Airport instead.

You’d never know that more than a hundred years ago there was a Moshav Atarot. The moshav lost much of its land when the British decided to build the airport, and then lost the rest in the War of Independence. You’d never know there was an Atarot Industrial Zone, intended by Israel to promote prosperity and unity for Jerusalem.

The article says, “Bennett believes that Israel has the right to build Jewish homes anywhere in its united capital.” But Atarot isn’t just anywhere.