December 17: Enemies within

If Israel wishes to show it truly wants the survival of the state, it needs to block entry to Neturei Karta.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Enemies within Sir, - I see sickening pictures of the Neturei Karta kissing the president of Iran (Photo, December 13). If the Israeli government wishes to show it truly wants the survival of the state, it needs to block the entry of this sect when its members turn up at Ben-Gurion Airport. After all, they wouldn't let a terrorist in knowingly. Make a stand against these people; let this government show it has some sense of order and discipline. You have enough enemies surrounding the country - why would you want to encourage enemies within? HAZEL SEAGER London Sir, - By giving the Teheran Holocaust denial conference so much attention in the media it is almost as if we support it. This publicity is exactly what its organizers aimed for. They deny the Holocaust. We ought to deny and ignore their conference completely, in memory of all those who died. JOANNE NIHOM Kibbutz Beit Haemek The Holocaust is our history Sir, - Larry Derfner is "incensed" that officials arriving here are shown Yad Vashem. The motivation for doing this, he says, is to "soften up and put on the defensive" those who will take part in "the give and take of diplomacy." Evidently he has a problem with Israel showing the Holocaust from the victim's point of view - and whether we were physically part of it or not, all of us Jews are victims. The Holocaust is our history. Ignoring it is a fatuous attempt to "make nice" to the rest of the world, and if being faced with the Holocaust is a problem for visitors, so be it. Mr. Derfner should understand that ignoring the Holocaust is a nice and comfortable choice for many in the rest of the world. It cannot be for us. It is a pity that the march through the murder camps of Poland by our high-school students holding our flag troubles him as well. This is a march of triumph, with each child holding in his or her heart the knowledge that here is where they tried to annihilate the Jewish people, and here is where we prove that they failed ("Holocaust denial and Jewish liberals," December 14). MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem Why the fuss? Sir, - I don't know what all the noise was about Education Minister's Yuli Tamir's directive to change Israeli geography and history schoolbooks to show the Green Line. I completely support such a move - as long as the maps also make note of former foreign minister Abba Eban's characterization of this line as Israel's "Auschwitz borders" ("Teach the Green Line," Evelyn Gordon, December 14). MORRIS KARLIN Mercaz Shapira Wallenberg Day Sir, - Among the films shown at the World Jewish Film Festival held recently at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (November 15-23) was a fine documentary called The Case of Raoul Wallenberg, produced and directed by Klaus Dexel, which investigates the diplomat's unsolved fate. In the same month, Jan Elliason, former president of the UN General Assembly, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that he regarded Wallenberg as his role model. The tribute was a welcome reminder of Wallenberg's relevance to humanitarian efforts at the present time. Raoul Wallenberg saved the lives of 100,000 Jews in Budapest in World War II, but was arrested by the Soviet army and imprisoned in the Gulag. Sixty years later his fate is still unknown. He was awarded honorary citizenship of the State of Israel in 1986. Seven US states signed a proclamation making October 5, 2006, a day to honor Wallenberg. New York celebrates the day every year, and Canada marks it annually on January 17, the anniversary of his arrest. It would be fitting for Israel to do likewise by establishing a Raoul Wallenberg Day to commemorate the man to whom the Jewish people owes so much. JEAN KLOOS-FISHMAN Chairperson Raoul Wallenberg Association Beersheba Fewer but Jewer Sir, - Swish! That's the sound of Conservative Jewry sliding down the slippery slope toward Reformism. The charade is now over. Up until recently Conservative Jews would tell us that they are as observant as the Orthodox but more flexible vis-a-vis changing times. Now they are a Rubin sandwich away from Jewish oblivion. Women cannot be rabbis; sorry, that is the way God wants it. And homosexuality is not a viable option, like vanilla or chocolate ice cream. The Torah does not condone homosexuality; Judaism is based on the Torah; so Judaism does not condone homosexuality. In the Orthodox community, the rabbi leads and the congregation follows. In Reform and now Conservative Jewry, the congregation asks and the rabbi gives them what they want. And what they increasingly want is to convert from Judaism to Liberalism. So let them go. It'll be fewer but Jewer, and much more honest ("Brokeback minyan," Samuel G. Freedman, December 13). ABE KRIEGER Philadelphia Bar-mitzva surprise Sir, - Raz Rotman, the young leader of Metuna's children's road safety project, Kol Hayeladim (Voice of the Children), will celebrate his bar mitzva on March 20, 2007. Raz is wheelchair-bound and connected to an oxygen machine following a severe road crash some years ago in which his 12-year-old sister was killed. Despite all, he is a gifted child and attends a regular school. He ran a project for road safety in his school and is determined that what happened to him and his sister will not happen to other kids. We want to surprise him on his bar mitzva by bringing him greetings from children in Israel and around the world. Any 2007 bar-mitzva boy can take part by sending Raz a letter or card with something about his life and interests. A small photo would be lovely. And greetings as well, of course. The address is Metuna, POB 7007, Netanya 42120, Israel. For more information, call: (09) 8844-667, or email: SYLVIA WEINER Metuna Netanya Hors de... Sir, - As a young boy in 1941, I visited Durban Harbor, South Africa, and saw the two British battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse (not Respite) docked there on their way to the Far East to fight the Japanese. Some weeks later, I was sad to hear that these two very impressive vessels had been sunk by the Japanese. That year was a very black one for Britain in its war against Japan (From Our Archives, December 11). DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono ...combat Sir, - Two months ago, in our great capital, my wallet was stolen. I reported it at once and was transferred to the appropriate phone number by the police operator. As it was Succot, that office was closed. An office of the Ministry of the Interior in Nahariya is open once a week. On the day I went in and told my story, asking for a new identity card. "We can't do that here," said the clerk, "you have to go to Acre." "I can't do it alone," I replied. "I am blind and very old, and hesitate to ask anyone to give up a day's work to take me. I could get a taxi, but I can't see notices or the names of streets. Can it be done by mail?" "No," she replied, "you have to go in person." It's odd. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv managed, via the Post Office, to receive my old passport and send me a new one. A letter to the Ministry of the Interior in Jerusalem has not so far elicited a response. Hadassah Bat Haim Nahariya