December 14: Big lies are...

Even though it's obvious that Jew-hatred is nothing new, the current conference is disgusting.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Big lies are... Sir, - KKK members, neo-Nazis and Islamist clerics gather to lie about history: How long has this been done to the Jews? Go back in history and you get the Durban anti-Zionist conference; the Saudis blaming the Jews for 9/11; Father Coughlin, Henry Ford and Lindbergh all lying daily about the Jews; the Holocaust itself, based on the ultimate lie; the Dreyfus Affair; the pogroms based on the blood libels; the book burnings in France and Germany; the Spanish Inquisition, the Roman conquest, changing the name of Judea to Palestine; all the way back to the biblical Amalek. Even though it's obvious that Jew-hatred is nothing new, the current conference of utter dishonesty and fabrication in Iran is no less disgusting. It's actually a cover-up for the daily practices of the liars themselves ("Ahmadinejad: Israel will be 'wiped out' like Soviet Union," December 13). ROBERT HARRIS Chicago ...too much for the Satmars Sir, - The writer of "Excommunicate 'em" called for a "herem and total... condemnation" of "the ultra-Orthodox Jews attending Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial conference in Teheran" (Letters, December 13). He may be interested to know that Ahron Cohen of Manchester is now persona non grata in the Satmar synagogue, where he used to pray, after attending a Hamas conference in Beirut some months ago. Unfortunately, this did not prevent him from going to Teheran and speaking at the current conference. Perhaps he should change his name to Haroun Kahn. NAME WITHHELD Manchester Sir, - I used to think that Neturei Karta, though completely wrong about Israel, were entitled to their opinion. However, when they show up at a conference that announces that my relatives weren't really shot by the Nazis in Babi Yar, they confirm that they are despicable scum who dishonor their people. JACOB GORE Denver, Colorado Sir, - Please refrain from identifying the anti-Israel, pro-terrorist Neturei Karta representatives as "rabbis" (Page 1 photo, December 12). Though they masquerade in religious garb, their work to undermine the Jewish people - as well as their public violation of basic Jewish laws such as Shabbat observance - hardly qualifies them for the title. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to refer to these morons as Jews. RABBI STEWART WEISS Jewish Outreach Center Ra'anana Too close for comfort? Sir, - I hope Ismail Haniyeh is satisfied with the money he got from his friends in Iran, and with their promises that Israel will soon become Palestine ("Haniyeh leaves Iran with pledge of $250m. in aid to Hamas-led government," December 12). I hope it has also crossed his mind that the destruction of Israel by an Iranian atomic bomb would leave a large radioactive hole that the Palestinians would not be able to take over, even if they wanted to, because they'd be destroyed in the same attack; unless he thinks the destruction would stop at the security fence! If I were him I'd be as worried about Iran as the Israelis are, because I'm sure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would consider the destruction of the Palestinians a small price to pay in order to destroy the Jews; mere collateral damage CECILIA HENRY Kfar Bialik Carter's narrow view Sir, - Jimmy Carter writes a one-sided book and tries to explain it away with a one-sided article ("How I see Palestine," December 13). It is his kind of peace that has brought us to where we are today. He writes that he visited "every Palestinian community..." but says nothing about visiting Israeli cities inside the "Green Line" that have been hit by Kassam rockets and other "imported" goods whose cost could instead go to help the Palestinian people. As to the wall, it is to protect us from these peace-loving people who shower us with gifts that have had a deadly effect on many families. We left Gaza - no peace. We signed peace agreements and cease-fires - no peace. Spare us from Jimmy Carter. Let him stay away and tend his peanuts. PENINA KUTNER Gilo Life and limb Sir, - Daoud Kuttab is disingenuous in trying to apply the 13th clause of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to freedom of movement within the territories and outside Israel ("Divide and conquer," December 11). The Palestinian entity is conducting a war against Israel, as evidenced by the rocket attacks and massive, ongoing arms-building and military training. Surely the right to defend life and limb supersedes restrictive travel arrangements? The Palestinians have scant respect for human rights, even within their own communities, and have consistently denied themselves a state, to all appearances favoring the destruction of Israel as their main objective. A travesty of human rights indeed. GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS Pardesiya Our mandate Sir, - As Christians, we are mandated to stand for Israel. It's in the Bible: The land of Israel was given to the Jews in an everlasting covenant, through Abraham. Those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed. This is my belief. ALOHA TERESITA LLAMADO Philippines Rethink needed Sir, - When Ehud Olmert delivers a speech it is well-constructed, encompassing those areas he wishes to address and skirting issues he prefers to avoid. However, under pressure of an interview he has made blunders he has had to immediately retract ("Loose lips and nuclear warships," December 13). Perhaps he should stick to prepared speeches and leave fielding questions to those who are more capable of thinking on their feet, such as Binyamin Netanyahu. TUVIA MUSKIN Rehovot Jewish learning in Hungary Sir, - "New kollel revives Jewish life in former ghetto" (December 3) stated that "Jewish life is being reborn" for Hungarian Jewry with the establishment of two new Orthodox communities. This is not accurate. The Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest was founded in 1877 and numbered among its faculty and graduates some of the leading Jewish scholars of pre-Holocaust Europe, including Ignaz Goldziher, Wilhelm Bacher, Ludwig Blau, Immanuel Low and Yechiel Michal Guttmann. The seminary and its teachers' seminary, the Pedagogium, were closed down by the Nazis in 1944. In 1990, when the Schechter Institute got involved through its Midreshet Yerushalayim program, the entire institution in Budapest consisted of a few lecturers and seven rabbinical students. Today, the Institution is called the Jewish Theological Seminary-University of Jewish Studies, Hungary, and has 250 students divided among five schools: the Teachers' Training Institute (Pedagogium), the Jewish Communal Workers' Program, the Rabbinical School, the Cantorial School and the Jewish Culture Faculty. Through faculty and student exchange programs with the Schechter Institute's Midreshet Yerushalayim program, hundreds, if not thousands of young Hungarian Jews are receiving a Jewish education and bringing this knowledge back to their Jewish communities throughout Hungary. It is laudable that two new "kollels" are opening up in Budapest, but they are in no manner "trailblazing the way" - rather following in the footsteps of a long and hallowed tradition of Jewish learning in Hungary. DAVID GOLINKIN Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies Jerusalem