April 17: Soldiers all

We skip class to rally for peace because if we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Soldiers all
Sir, – With regard to Israel honors its fallen on Remembrance Day” (April 15), we do not leap from planes. We are not on the front lines of the battlefield. We do not leave our loved ones at the beginning of each day and wonder whether we will see them again.
We do not face bombs, stabbings, shootings or stone throwers because our fight is different, but the love and conviction that propel you to defend the land exists within us, too.
We fight for you. For us. For the Jewish nation. We battle the hypocrisy and double standards of academia. We skip class to rally for peace because if we are not for ourselves, who will be for us? We know it would be easier to be silent because it is an oftworthless fight. For our reasoning they do not care. Our facts are “lies,” propaganda from the “Jewish Lobby.” Yet we are not deterred, because neither are you.
You continue to fight and hope and cry, and wonder why being a Jew costs so much. But you are not alone. You protect us. And we defend you from the professors and students and others who label Israel “racist,” “apartheid” and “colonialist” yet know so little.
We are the students who never forget Jerusalem and are never silent for her sake. As long as you continue to be our soldiers, we will be yours.SHIRA M. FRISHMAN Minneapolis
The writer is a student at the University of Minnesota Staged setting
Sir, – Forgive my cynicism, but why did a private visit to his brother’s grave by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of Remembrance Day merit a front page photograph in The Jerusalem Post (“Remembering the fallen,” April 14)? Did the Government Press Office photographer just happen to be around? I sympathize with the wish to mourn and remember a beloved brother but I find it rather inappropriate to do so in a clearly staged setting intended for public viewing.
KAY WEINBERGER Jerusalem Magic words
Sir, – The conclusion of “Pollard’s 10,000 days” (Editorial, April 14) brilliantly and cleverly suggests that Jonathan Pollard’s release “can be demanded prior to any further American-initiated negotiations.” For example, when working on getting Israel to apologize to Turkey, US President Barack Obama would have responded favorably to just six words by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: “Release Pollard, then I will apologize.”
Let’s hope we do not pass up another opportunity.
LEONARD KAHN Zichron Ya'acov
Sherman’s sky
Sir, – Martin Sherman can say less in half a page of newsprint than any other person writing opinion today.
What really annoyed me in “The deconstruction of Israel: Has the countdown begun?” (Into the Fray, April 12) was his referral to “Chicken-Licken,” who was “mongering irrational fears as to the imminent fall of the firmament.”
Your proofreaders should have caught the mistake – it was Chicken Little who was hit on the head by a pebble and proceeded to rush through the barnyard shouting, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Incidentally, that is exactly what exemplifies the frantic overstatement of Sherman’s columns.
Rachel’s conflict
Sir, – As a colleague and admirer of the good works of Evelyn Haies, president of the Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation, I want to set the record straight about her contributions, past and present, to Rachel’s Tomb.
As opposed to the claims of Benny Elon (“American Jew sues Benny Elon in New York court over ownership of Bethlehem building,” April 11), Evelyn is a very good person. For the past 12 years she has organized life cycle, holiday and Rosh Hodesh events in the reception hall at Beit Beni Rachel (BBR), the building next to Rachel’s Tomb.
She dedicated two Torah scrolls, one to Rachel’s Tomb and the other to BBR, during the years that the army and later the border police utilized the building.
This year alone she has held numerous gatherings and holiday events. There have been bat mitzva celebrations, circumcisions and even a wedding.
She also hosts singles events, and Torah classes in Hebrew and English take place on a regular basis. Schools from all over the country bring students for lectures and activities after prayers at Rachel’s Tomb.
Two and a half years ago, when a satellite school of Elon’s Beit Orot yeshiva moved into the building, it changed the locks, denied Evelyn entry and claimed exclusive rights. Only then did she go to court. The court reinstated the right of her organization to also make use of the building.
Evelyn’s wish and dream is to continue providing a comfortable setting for visitors to Rachel’s Tomb while raising consciousness about the importance of this holy site to the Jewish people.
Haredi bashing
Sir, – Thanks are due Seth J. Frantzman for his enlightening exposure of the secular bashing of haredim around Holocaust Remembrance Day (“The haredim and Yom Hashoah,” Terra Incognita, April 10).
I would add a major point. No one will deny that haredim tragically lost many of their beloved rabbis, parents, siblings, children, relatives and friends in the Holocaust.
Their choice of how and when to mourn these people is certainly up to them, and it is ludicrous to insinuate that their failing to join with everyone else reflects a lack of respect for the victims of the Shoah.
Iron Lady
Sir, – With regard to “Passing of an ‘Iron Lady’” (April 9), Margaret Thatcher, during her 11 years as prime minister of Great Britain, was a commanding figure in both domestic and world politics.
The members of the Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association are deeply saddened by her death. Her courageous and dominant leadership enabled her to pursue a controversial economic policy that revolutionized the British economy and allowed Britain to remain a leading force in the family of nations.
Thatcher was a true friend of the Jewish community in the UK and Israel. She should be remembered for her friendly attitude toward Israel and her staunch support for the peace process.
ALAN WEBBER Netanya The writer is chairman of the Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association
Enough already
Sir, – Readers of the paper edition of The Jerusalem Post may not realize that the same Dry Bones cartoon has kept its high profile position on the paper’s website since back in early January.
If it is still fresh enough to continue its prominence, it is fresh enough to continue the debate about it.
The cartoon hopes “the world stops worrying about the Jewish state building homes for Jews.”
But the issue the cartoon deftly conceals is: Where? France has the right to build homes for the French in Paris, but not in Madrid, Amsterdam or Brussels. Israel has the right to build homes for Jews in Tel Aviv, Haifa and west Jerusalem, but not in Arab east Jerusalem or Amman or Beirut.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, but it also appears to be the only conqueror in the Middle East – and modern history indeed shows that popularity and conquest are connected with one another. Wasn’t the West’s victory in the Cold War supposed to represent its repudiation of conquest? When will this cartoon – a disguised promotion of conquest – be retired?
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts