August 3: Israel and migrants

How many newspapers will report that 800 children will be allowed to stay?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel and migrants
Sir, – Remember the old adage about whether the cup is half full or half empty? It’s interesting to note how The Jerusalem Post (and probably other publications) reported about the cabinet decision on the foreign children (“Israel decides to deport 400 children on foreign workers,” August 2).
Some, like the Post, say Israel is going to deport 400 children.
How many will report that 800 children will be allowed to stay?
Sir, – During his inept period as prime minister, Ehud Olmert did absolutely nothing to stem the flow of illegals into Israel.
Unfortunately, since Binyamin Netanyahu took office, he has also failed to do anything.
Someone in Netanyahu’s cabinet suggested that Israel ask a European or African country to take the illegals. He must be dreaming! A year ago the EU voted to expel illegals from Africa and shut Europe’s doors.
African countries are happy to rid themselves of these people, reminiscent of the time when Fidel Castro rounded up the dredges of Cuban society and unloaded them on Jimmy Carter. Egypt is exploiting the situation, aware that sooner rather than later it will threaten Israel’s socioeconomic structure.
A solution is to quickly round them up and deport them to Gaza, Lebanon or simply back to Egyptian Sinai. Failure to act promptly and effectively will result in spiraling crime and social unrest, more internal security problems, the possible spread of African-bred diseases, a gradual lessening of tourism, a downturn in aliya and, worst of all, the beginning of an exodus of the Jewish population, leading to the dilution of the Jewish state.
KEN KLEIN Boynton Beach, Florida
So which is it?
Sir, – On August 1 you ran a headline, “Assad: Hizbullah not responsible for Hariri murder.”
It and the story underneath raise an obvious question: How does he know? Either he is lying or he does indeed know who murdered Rafiq Hariri. He can only know if it was his own secret service.
Assad should be asked in public (at the United Nations?) to explain which it is.
More on Phillips
Sir, – I read with much interest the interview with outgoing British ambassador to Israel Sir Tom Phillips (“Drifting away from Israel,” Editor’s Notes, July 30) and I recalled that it was the British who, in 1923, divided Palestine in two and gave away 75 percent, which eventually became Jordan, where no Jews are permitted to live. In 1948, Jordan succeeded to occupy and annex the West Bank and east Jerusalem – an act recognized only by Britain and Pakistan.
Phillips says the Palestinians are unhappy because “they’re an occupied people.” But when have the Palestinians not been occupied? There was the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, Jordan and now Israel. Indeed, it is a problem of hasbara; the Palestinians never had sovereignty over the land.
Why should Israel “renounce” Judea and Samaria and the building of settlements? In a peace agreement, Israeli Jews should not be prevented from living in a future Palestinian state in the same way that Palestinian Arabs are not prevented from living in Israel.
Finally, it was the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who said already in 1961, “If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist.”
Stop the ‘shanda’
Sir, – Rather than debunking Isi Leibler’s two recent columns on the Claims Conference, Julius Berman’s defense of his organization’s repeated failures to put Holocaust survivors’ interests first (“Responsible exposure or irresponsible scandal-mongering?,” Right of reply, July 29) is more of the same doublespeak and distracting nonsense we have seen in the past.
Just one example of that smokescreen is Berman’s minimization of the monies allocated for non-survivor needs (“a very small fraction” of $136 million, or is it $546 million?) while also saying, “Nevertheless, as we well know, the needs of Holocaust victims are greater than the resources available.” If the Claims Conference cannot meet the needs of aging survivors, why isn’t it devoting 100% of its resources toward that critical effort? Berman makes much of the $10 million grant the Claims Conference recently received from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, ostensibly earmarked to meet the emergency needs of survivors in North America. If the Claims Conference’s past record is any guide, only a fraction of these funds is likely to find its way to directly alleviate the needs of poverty-stricken survivors. Soliciting outside grants for the Claims Conference is not only a way to raise money for survivors, it is also a way to keep the Claims Conference, despite its sullied reputation, in business.
Berman also repeatedly trots out the “dedication” of the Claims Conference’s volunteer board members, but neglects to mention that many of these members serve organizations that receive funding from the Claims Conference. How likely are they to bite the hand that feeds them and tackle the legitimate issues raised by Leibler? It is time to put an end to an entity that is falling short of its fiduciary responsibilities to needy survivors while becoming an increasing embarrassment to the Jewish community. This shanda must stop.
ESTHER TOPOREK FINDER President, The Generation After ANAT BAR-COHEN President-elect, The Generation After KLARA FIRESTONE President, Second Generation SANDY HOFFMAN President, Generation After DINA COHEN Chair, Generations of the Shoah-New Jersey KEN ENGEL Past president, CHAIM (Children of Holocaust Survivors Assoc. in Minnesota) DORIS SCHWARZ-LISENBEE Co-Chair, Second Generation Holocaust Survivor Association of Silicon Valley
The signatories are members of the Coordinating Council, Generations of the Shoah International (GSI)
Ruined performance
Sir, – I was eagerly anticipating a performance by the Miami Boys Choir on July 28 at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. I had a seat center-stage in Row 3. Life was great. What could be better than watching a worldclass Jewish choir in Israel? It didn’t turn out that way.
From the first selection to the last, a group of youths screamed at and taunted the boys of the choir. Everyone was disturbed by the yelling, which often completely drowned out the music.
I approached security during the intermission and they said there was nothing they could do.
I attended an MBC performance in another large city, Atlanta, and the crowd was excited but behaved properly.
The behavior in Jerusalem shocked and saddened me.
I can assure you that I will never again attend an event at Binyanei Hauma.
Wonderful performance
Sir, – The recent performance of Carmen by the Israeli Opera Company in Hayarkon Park was a memorable treat. The production and the organization of such a large crowd were superbly handled.
As a courtesy to tourists, members of the diplomatic corps and visitors, perhaps Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai could have said a few welcoming words in English.