Letters to the Editor October 23, 2019: Circling the wagons

No fewer than eight articles in today’s Jerusalem Post (October 22) are devoted to or mention antisemitism. One gets the impression that the entire Jewish world is going up in flames.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Circling the wagons
In “What’s holding back Jewish-Muslim cooperation in America?” (October 20), Jonah Naghi advances the hypothesis that Jewish-Muslim cooperation in the US (to combat white supremacy) is being held back by the lack of a “unified definition” of Zionism. If only American Muslims would realize that many Jewish Americans are critical of many of Israel’s policies and support the “two-state” solution, the situation might improve...
Let’s get a few things straight. The two sides understand each other very well and don’t need definitions and learning more about the other. About seven million Jews now rule a sliver a land in the eastern Mediterranean surrounded by five Arab/Muslim countries in the first line of attack and a couple of others (Turkey, Iraq, Iran) in the second line with a total population exceeding a billion. The majority of the Arab/Muslim world can’t stand this Jewish presence – including many of the Palestinians.
Forgive Israeli’s Jews for feeling as though they need to circle the wagons for defense. American Jews living in the USA – bordering the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Canada and Mexico – cannot begin to understand the dangers Israel faces. A “two-state solution” will solve nothing until the Arab/Muslim world accepts, respects and even encourages the Jewish State of Israel.
In the meantime, we are the only ones responsible for our lives and the lives of our women and children. It’s time for “Jewish” America to respect, understand and support that.
World on fire
No fewer than eight articles in today’s Jerusalem Post (October 22) are devoted to or mention antisemitism. One gets the impression that the entire Jewish world is going up in flames.
But isn’t this serious overkill? Interestingly, the articles also mention that in Britain the most targeted group was Muslims – and Christians, Sikhs and Hindus were also attacked. In New Zealand recently, 51 Muslims were massacred. So in a world of nine billion people and instant worldwide communications, it seems that even an insignificant fraction of the population – than 0.00000001% – can create the impression that not only the Jewish world is on fire, but the whole world is on fire.
But who are the attackers? Often nihilists, mentally disturbed/deranged individuals, psychopaths, social misfits... The matter deserves less sensationalism and more serious discussion.
Brexit imbroglio
Regarding “Meet Oliver Letwin, the Jewish MP who derailed Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans,” (JPost.com, October 20), the essence is that the UK Parliament, dominated by Remainers, does not reflect the will of the British population, with the MPs doing everything to block Brexit. The Benn Act, the Letwin Amendment and biased Speaker John Bercow’s rejection of the meaningful vote shows the contempt these MPs have for the results of the referendum. By voting out of the EU in 2016, Britain had found its soul and PM Boris Johnson’s resolve to do it by October 31, 2019 is its very personification. Alas, the majority of MPs, Letwin among them, have lost it.
If I were British, I would be livid. The UK Parliament has become a joke. Has everybody forgotten that this same chamber witnessed Churchill’s June 4, 1940 “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech?
Trump obsession watch
Regarding “Dead man walking” (October 18), the column “Washington Watch” provoked in me the following reaction:
I seem to remember reading Douglas Bloomfield’s column regularly with interest in the past, that is before the last American elections.
However, unfortunately, I now find that each of his articles can be summarized by the same four words: “I can’t stand Trump.” All the rest is irrelevant.
It’s a pity that a previously interesting column doesn’t exist any more due to such a fixation.
Moshav Shoresh
Treading water
The Editor’s Note by Yaakov Katz “Everyone is Waiting for Mandelblit” (Oct 18) is a good assessment of the situation. People have been waiting already for many months and it is time that Attorney General Avichay Mandelblit make a decision as soon as possible – and not wait until December 12.
As was pointed out in the article, there are urgent security, economic and political needs that our country faces, and are awaiting Mandelblit’s pronouncement. He has bent backwards for a long time to postpone judgement on his friend and the Knesset is at a standstill.
As was mentioned in the article, once Mandelblit decides, it should take little time to form a unity government that is desperately needed, so that the country can start functioning again. Otherwise, we will be condemned to another year of inaction and loss of precious time, which our country cannot afford.
The article “PA accuses the US, Israel of trafficking Palestinian organs” (October 17) reports that the official PA daily alleges that a hospital built in Gaza, funded partially by a US charity, is really a CIA espionage center and may be partnering in organ harvesting. No better example could be found of why so many Americans support President Donald Trump in his decision to minimize our military commitment to the Mideast.
Here we have an American charity that is trying in good faith in help the people in Gaza, but then this generosity is paid back with the vilest, most hateful slander imaginable. This response is all too typical, and recalls the gratitude that American philanthropists got when they fixed up and donated the greenhouses left behind by Jewish Gaza evacuees that were then used to launch rockets at Israeli civilians. Another sorry case was when the sweeping concessions made by Israel in the Oslo Accords were rewarded by a relentless campaign of terrorism.
Americans must be scratching their heads trying to figure out exactly what we have gotten in return for the thousands of our soldiers’ lives lost and billions spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq is all but an undesignated province of Iran, and hardly a week passes without news of an American soldier in Afghanistan who has been killed by one of our Muslim “allies.” In addition, a mostly Christian army of Americans are being asked to fight for a country that enforces severe penalties under Sharia law if a Muslim converts to Christianity.
The evidence so far is that the Muslim Mideast is a sort of grotesque dystopia populated by uncivilized, ungrateful, ignorant and violent savages, and Iraq and Afghanistan look like worthless regions not worth a single American soldier.
Now we are told that the Kurds are different, and that we need to sacrifice to help them as they sacrificed for us. The trouble is that they must bear the stigma from the sins of their neighbors. That may be a shame and unfair, but hardly surprising.
Charleston, South Carolina
Kurds and ways
In “Deafening silence” (October 16), Gershon Baskin draws facile but false comparisons between the plights of the Kurds and the Palestinians.
The Kurds have fought for their independence from the time of the ancient Persians, then Alexander the Great and then the Arab Muslims in the 7th century. Baskin positions the Palestinians on the same pedestal of oppression as the Kurds. The Kurds are currently being raped and killed, as, one might be told to believe, are the Palestinians by the Israeli “oppressors.”
Baskin is amazed that MK Ayalet Shaked has recently called for Kurdish independence. How, he wonders, can she not see and understand the contradiction and absurdity of supporting Kurdish independence but not Palestinian independence?
There are many monstrous differences. For example, the Palestinian leadership calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and some are involved in killing as many Jews as possible with guns, knives, bombs, cars and more. The Kurds, on the other hand, have consistently been friends and supporters of Israel and its just cause. Moreover, the history of the Jews in Kurdistan reveals no blemishes, massacres or other atrocities.
There, Mr. Baskin, you have just one of the essential differences between the Kurds and the Palestinians.
Gershon Baskin seems to be deaf to all the voices calling to help the Kurds from the Turkish carpet bombing.
How dare he compare this to what he calls the suffering of the Palestinians by Israel? May I remind him that until the 1960s, there was no “Palestinian people,” there were only Arab refugees who were mistreated by their fellow Arab brethren, placed in camps and held in contempt – not by Israel but by their fellow Arabs. To this day, they have not been absorbed (as Jewish refugees were) but kept in camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and not allowed to ply any profession.
Only in the 1960s did they refashion themselves as the Palestinian people and thanks to their terrorist leaders, Israelis (not Palestinians) were slaughtered wholesale on buses, airplanes, in restaurants, etc., and to this day because of these “poor” Palestinians we have to endure security checks at airports all over the world.
How dare Baskin compare Israel to the Turks slaughtering Kurds
Petah Tikva
Uplifting experience
Regarding “Rescuing a Torah uplifted us” (October 17), rescuing a Torah is a wonderful thing to do. Boasting about it and then boasting about his teenaged daughter illegally smuggling another is not so great. But then a father generously looks upon the behavior of his own teenager, even if she’s committed a real crime in a foreign country, right? Let’s hope that relevant authorities don’t read his opinion piece and pursue his daughter for her self-justified crime.
To display his virtue signaling more crudely, the writer added a quite unnecessary comparison of himself, an adult, to low-class behavior of Jewish teen boys in Cyprus, some of whom were minors,15 years old. They were accused but quickly and definitively exonerated of rape.
It is jarringly inappropriate and amounts to the author proudly engaging in narcissistic preening by comparing himself as a seasoned adult to teens who have been exonerated of what the writer accuses them of.
For what it’s worth, Ynet reported that none of the DNA found on the 19-year-old female accuser was from any of the Israeli boys. The woman herself admitted to concocting the tale. One boy could document that he was not even at the scene. How many others were also not there but, alas, didn’t have that proof? Three boys admitted to cavorting with her, but whatever their activities were, they didn’t include DNA nor rape. She did finally admit to having sex with three men and the three DNA samples the police collected were from the three other men – none of the Israelis.
Getting warmer
In his October 16 letter, ‘Cool it a bit,’ Prof. Yigal Horowitz asserts that, with regard to climate change, we should “relax a bit” and “avoid mass hysteria and doomsday predictions.”
Of course we should look at the situation in a rational way, but, respectfully, perhaps the good professor and others who are downplaying climate threats should consider the following:
• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization composed of leading climate experts from many countries, warned last October that “unprecedented changes” are needed by 2030 in order to avert a climate catastrophe.
• All of the 195 nations present at the 2015 Paris climate change conference agreed that immediate major steps must be taken to avoid catastrophic climate events.
• Every decade since 1970 has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 18 years of this century are among the 19 warmest years in recorded history/
• Glaciers worldwide and polar ice caps are rapidly melting, coral reefs are rapidly bleaching, seas are rising and warming, and droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, and other climate events are becoming more frequent and more severe.
• Israel is especially threatened because, among other reasons, the hotter, dryer Middle East that climate experts project makes instability, terrorism, and violence more likely, according to military experts.
Horowitz’s letter is an example that many people are, in effect, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as we head toward a giant iceberg. It is essential that we make averting a climate catastrophe a central focus for civilization today!
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island