Letters to the Editor: Good for Israel

Trump’s pledge to make America great again could well start with a more sensible approach to dealing with Islamic terrorists and other bad actors.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Good for Israel
With regard to “Trump’s incompatibility with Israel” (Comment & Features, October 10), Michael Adler’s suggestion that US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would not support Israel is typical leftwing libel lacking any factual basis.
Trump is unpredictable, particularly with regard to foreign policy. However, he is known to take a straightforward approach to most situations. He will surely decide to support friends and deal harshly with enemies, unlike the current administration, which seems to believe in appeasing enemies and abandoning allies, a policy that Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, would no doubt continue, a policy that at the end of the day, ensures that friends don’t trust you and enemies laugh at you.
Eight years of the subtle Obama approach to the Middle East has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of innocents driven from their homes, countless rapes and only the most vicious of dictators surviving.
With American influence at a nadir, Russia has been able to reestablish itself as a major force in the region. If this is the outcome you want, a vote for Clinton will ensure it.
Trump’s pledge to make America great again could well start with a more sensible approach to dealing with Islamic terrorists and other bad actors. This has to be good for Israel.
Ma’aleh Adumim
No comparison
Although Seth J. Frantzman, in “Europe exported ISIS jihadism as it once did Nazism” (Terra Incognita, October 10), does, quite correctly, paint a horrific picture of Islamic State crimes carried out by European collaborators, I think it is a mistake to equate this with the events of the Holocaust.
As Prof. Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem has repeatedly pointed out, the Holocaust was a unique event in modern history marked by its own “unprecedentedness,” wherein 6 million Jews throughout Europe were systematically hunted down, dehumanized and singled out for total annihilation using the latest technological methods – just because they were Jews.
The unprecedentedness of the Holocaust made it the yardstick against which other mass killings could be compared and measured, which is probably what Mr. Frantzman was trying to do. However, I believe that to equate other killings, no matter how egregious, with the unprecedented events of the Holocaust is to diminish its uniqueness and the lessons to be learned.
Beit Shemesh
The ‘Shiloh bloc’
Your editorial “Disputed territories” (October 9) notes that “Shiloh’s future, like many settlements, is shrouded in uncertainty” in that “it is deep inside Samaria and not immediately part of one of the known settlement blocs.” I believe, however, that if there is any uncertainty, it lies in the definition of “bloc.”
The Shiloh bloc of communities includes Shiloh, Eli, Ma’aleh Levona, Givat Harel, Givat Haroeh, Achiya, Adei-Ad, Esh Kodesh, Keida and Yishuv Hada’at. There are a few hilltop satellite outposts as well.
A conservative population estimate is close to 10,000 Jews.
We have nurseries, kindergartens, a primary school with almost 1,000 pupils, a boys’ high school, two yeshivot hesder (programs that combine army service with religious study), over 1,000 dunam of vineyards and olive groves that gain international recognition and awards, as well as fruit orchards, a chicken run with over 24,000 egg-laying hens, three wineries, an olive oil plant that produces over 10% of Israel’s domestic requirements, swimming pools and other sports amenities. And there is more.
Shiloh is its own known bloc of Jewish villages and towns.
Untold story
The difficulty in building memorials, as pointed out in Greer Fay Cashman’s October 9 Grapevine feature “In defense of history,” is very understandable.
We are a country of men and women who have made Israel’s history. The Machal memorial tells in one simple exhibit the names of all who fell.
But there is one educational memorial that is missing. It is the story of over 250 young men who volunteered in the US to sail some 10 vessels that were hardly seaworthy. It was at the conclusion of World War II, and survivors of the Holocaust were languishing in camps, wanting to leave Europe.
It was only Palestine, with its Jewish population, and world Jewry that pressed for the aliya of these survivors. It was in the US that the money was raised to buy vessels that in the end could not have passed safety inspections.
Men volunteered, some 250, to man these ships. After serving in various ways during the war, they saw the need and brought more than 50% of the survivors out of Europe. Most ended up in Cyprus behind barbed wire. These illegal immigrants forced the British to go to the UN, and Israel was born.
This is a dramatic story that should be worthy of an exhibit in Atlit, where many of the survivors came ashore. The exhibit would be educational and also pay tribute to the unsung volunteers, nearly all of whom returned to the US to carry on with their lives.
Tel Aviv
The writer was one of the naval volunteers.
Peres Street
One of the ways to commemorate the passing of an important personage, especially if it is a founding father, is by naming public places, and in particular streets, after him. The question now arises: What is to be done about Shimon Peres? There is no longer any street or public thoroughfare of any importance in Jerusalem that does not already bear a name.
Accordingly, in order that due honor be given to him in Jerusalem, where he served for so many years, I have a proposal triggered by your October 6 editorial “A royal visit.”
It is not only the discourtesy shown by the British royal family toward us in the marked failure by the queen to make a visit of any kind – despite visits to far less significant countries on the global scene. (Her entertaining the butcher from Baghdad at tea at Buckingham Palace should be noted.) There is also the question of the anachronism in the present name of the second-most-important street of our capital.
King George V had no connection whatsoever with the Land of Israel. As the street sign shows, he was honored because of the fact that he was the reigning monarch at the time of Gen. Allenby’s entry into the city during World War I. Many streets throughout the country have been named after Allenby and, indeed, other prominent Englishmen and women, such as Lloyd George, Zangwill, Balfour and George Eliot.
There is no need to honor George V. By all accounts, he was not a particularly worthy character. Not only was he a bully as a father, he disgracefully kept his special-needs child locked away in seclusion. His son Edward VIII was an avowed Nazi sympathizer, and his granddaughter’s grandson thought it was amusing to dress in a Nazi uniform at a party.
With such a family background, it would have been fitting for Queen Elizabeth II to have made an official visit; after I such a long reign, she certainly has sufficient authority to countermand any opposition from the UK’s notoriously pro-Arab Foreign Office.
This is a historic opportunity to correct an aberration and honor our ninth president with “Shimon Peres Street.”
The writer made aliya from the UK.