Letters to the Editors

Great contrast

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Great contrast
Regarding “Third Duma terrorism victim buried as Palestinians call for revenge” (September 8), how tremendously moving is the outpouring of fury, like a lava sea. “Vengeance!” “Day of wrath!” they roar against all Israelis, whom they hold to be collectively responsible for these murders.
This furor greatly contrasts to the Israelis’ subdued, though sorrowful, responses in those dark, all-but-forgotten days when the PLO was gaily massacring Israeli men, women and children in a series of cowardly terrorist attacks – to the joy of virtually the entire Arab people.
Most Israelis have bitterly rejected the notion of revenge attacks, which would bring them to the level of the barbaric hordes menacing our existence.
Evidently, the Arabs are so unbalanced that they will topple into the abyss.
Bearing the brunt With regard to “EU eyes new migrant quotas for reluctant countries” (September 8), I was amazed and frankly astounded to hear Germany’s proud announcement that it has become a country that “many people outside of Germany now associate with hope.”
While I feel strongly that children, especially, and all true refugees of the horrors of war deserve asylum and assistance, I can’t help wondering: Where were the wonderful cookie-giving, water-giving Germans some 70 years ago when their own countrymen, not refugees at all, were being murdered – no, slaughtered – right in front of their eyes? But of course, I forget at times that the victims were not true Germans, just Jews.
Germans should bear the brunt of all these refugees – at the very least six million of them.
Then they might know what it is like for people to not have any where else to turn.
During World War II, there were very good German citizens who saved as many people as they could. But it could have been a whole country saving them. These victims were not refugees; they were their own countrymen. Had that happened, they could now give out as many cookies and drinks, and blow horns and wave flags all they want.
Until Germans truly realize the horror of what the Jews faced – and not as refugees – let them keep their borders open to all.
Misplaced optimism In “After the Iran deal, what now for Israel?” (Comment & Features, September 8), Jonathan Adelman attempts to allay Israeli fears of a potential nuclear- armed Iran.
He points to Israel’s missile defense system, which “could destroy as much as 99% of incoming missiles.” Put another way, there is at least a 1% chance that an Iranian missile would get through – to catastrophic effect. With the Jewish state’s very existence at stake, this is certainly no cause for optimism.
Adelman observes that Israel’s air force and navy are stronger than Iran’s, and wield “an invulnerable second-strike nuclear capability.” But the threat of a devastating counter-attack deters nuclear conflict only when both sides prefer survival over destruction of the enemy. Iran’s radical mullahs believe that martyrdom is the desired course for establishing a worldwide caliphate through the coming of the Mahdi. They might welcome a massive Israeli response.
Adelman also identifies areas of Israeli superiority over Iran – a higher per capita GDP, billions of dollars in hi-tech exports, a more educated citizenry and a robust democratic tradition (as opposed to Iran’s corrupt government and the possibility of a protracted battle to succeed the supreme leader). But the same imbalance exists between ISIS and al-Qaida, on the one hand, and, on the other, the western states they actively seek to destroy.
Prosperous democratic nations never attack one another. Rather, tyrannical or corrupt regimes often see war as the only means to overtake a more open society that is passing them by. They also use war to maintain control over a restive citizenry by creating a common external enemy.
Combined with the mullahs’ theological view of the US and Israel as “great and little satans,” the likelihood of an Iranian attack greatly increases.
Much as we all hope that an Iranian nuclear attack will not eventuate, it is critical that we recognize and respond to the dangerous realities before it is too late. Misplaced optimism and passivity could well result in disaster for Israel and the world.
EFRAIM A. COHEN, Zichron Ya’acov
Forum for denial Throughout the history of international Holocaust denial, few interviews with deniers have appeared in mainstream media.
To interview them is a double- edged sword – the interview either raises reader awareness of a falsifier of history or provides an open forum to a denier who is presented as a victim and/or defender of historical truth.
Therefore, I am surprised that The Jerusalem Post allowed itself to be caught in David Irving’s game (“Holocaust denier David Irving: ‘I’m not an anti-Semite, yet,’” Online, September 2).
First, Irving’s “guided tours” of concentration camps are a farce.
Any associations that attempt to oppose them might be successful in banning them, in which case Irving could claim to be the victim of censorship, thus gaining publicity. On the other hand, if these tours are not banned, they create media buzz. In short, one way or another, he wins.
I regret that the Post didn’t quote the judgment from Irving’s April 2000 trial in England. The court unambiguously declared him to be an anti-Semite through ideology and neo-Nazi contacts, and also declared him a Holocaust denier who falsifies historical truth.
Judge Charles Gray found that Irving had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” in order to portray Hitler “in an unwarrantedly favorable light,” particularly in his treatment of the Jews. Irving had “significantly” misrepresented, misconstrued, omitted, mistranslated, misread and applied double standards to the historical evidence in order to achieve his ideological presentation of history.
Judge Gray also found that Irving was an “active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”
Your interview with Irving should also have highlighted the contradictions in his allegations.
You allowed him to speak out.
He was able to convey his motives, responding to “people confused by the conflicting versions of history” – in other words, giving another version of history to skeptics.
To the question about anti-Semitism raging in Europe, he replied that the Jews should ask themselves why they are the ones who are attacked. He ended by denying being an anti-Semite – the “not yet” being the icing on a cake that should have signaled to you that this should not have been published.
I give seminars at Yad Vashem on Holocaust denial for teachers who come from France to improve their knowledge in this field. Unfortunately, Holocaust denial is rampant in French classrooms, and teachers there are bombarded with such expressions from their students. Holocaust denial is clearly growing.
There can be no room for discussion with deniers. There are two ways to respond to them: Either refute their allegations with historical facts and proofs, or unmask them by exposing their extreme ideology. The Post did nothing except give David Irving free advertising for his guided tours.
For lack of having trapped Irving, The Jerusalem Post trapped us.
The writer is a historian. She researches Holocaust denial at the International School for Teaching the Holocaust at Yad Vashem and is authoring a book on international