July 14: Claims Conference should reorganize

Everyone should recognize that the Conference is a fundamentally flawed organization.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Claims Conference should reorganize
Sir, – Quite separately from the concerns expressed by Isi Leibler (“Scandal at the Claims Conference,” Candidly speaking, July 13), everyone should recognize that the Conference is a fundamentally flawed organization.
It has two main functions. The first is to help Jews reclaim assets that were stolen from them or their forebears, and the second is to use heirless recovered assets for distribution to survivors in need.
Unfortunately, the same people are responsible for both functions, even though they should be separate.
In the case of my own family, the Conference has refused to hand over all the proceeds from our claim, notwithstanding the documents we provided. It was more concerned with collecting funds for distribution than with helping families in their legitimate claims and providing a full accounting.
Unfortunately, there is no independent appeals procedure.
Readers reply to Tibi
Sir, – MK Ahmad Tibi’s op-ed (“What about Palestinian residents of Israel?,” July 12), a confabulation of innuendo, manipulated mendacity and very poor journalism, is, to say the least, disingenuous.
While totally dismissing context, the honorable MK recounts his removal from the Knesset podium by “armed guards” (side-arms are part and parcel of the Knesset Guard’s uniform). He makes reference to an unnamed colleague who was “very nearly physically attacked by a fellow Knesset member,” apparently referring to MK Haneen Zoabi – she who made common cause with the mercenary thugs aboard the Mavi Marmara and then sought the Knesset podium to indignantly defend her allegiance to the thugocracy of Gaza. Seditious behavior such as hers can hardly be expected to earn her colleagues’ affection or respect.
Turning to a US audience, Tibi alleges the “execution” of a Turkish-American, one of the nine mercenary fatalities of the May 31 flotilla, citing “some reports in the Turkish press” as substantiation. He cites two more casualties with an American connection but omits any substantiation save for “some witnesses,” regarding a suspected terrorist attack on police in Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood.
I agree with MK Tibi that ambiguity, constructive or otherwise, is not helpful. It is high time that he and his fellow-travelers decided where their loyalties lie.
Sir, – I read MK Ahmad Tibi’s article with interest – albeit frustrated interest.
I have but two questions for him: Since you – and your compatriots – would certainly have all the rights you could possibly want in a state with a majority of fellow Palestinians, are you going to vote in favor of the suggestion regarding territorypopulation exchange put forth by our “neo-fascist” (your words) foreign minister? If not, why not?
Sir, – The most significant statement Ahmad Tibi makes is his first: “In the 11 years that I have served in the Knesset....”
Listen to those words! MK Tibi, an Arab, can serve for 11 years in the parliament of the Jewish state! He refers to Gaza as “a land cruelly and illegally deprived of essential goods.” Has he been to Kerem Shalom to watch the tons of items being shipped in weekly by Israel? He makes reference to “false notions of Israel’s security.”
Since when is Israel not entitled to security? Tibi has entirely missed the point. In how many countries can a person be a member of parliament, spew vicious, venomous attacks on the government and still be permitted 11 years of service? Certainly in no Arab country!
Ma’ale Adumim
What better venue?
Sir, – Regarding “Should Birthright groups visit Hebron? (Elsewhere, July 11), I looked through the Book of Genesis pretty carefully and could find no reference to our forefathers having shopped at the Malha Mall, or ever having partied the night away on the seaside promenade in Tel Aviv. However, they did live and die, and are buried, in Hebron.
For a Birthright trip to visit the Jewish Quarter and Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City, yet deny participants their birthright of spiritually that’s associated with the patriarchs, is inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst.
We have seen many articles expressing the concern of Birthright’s organizers that trip participants do not remain connected to either Israel or the Jewish people once the trip is over.
Dare I suggest that part of the reason might be the superficiality of its itinerary? Partying with soldiers and taking jeep rides are a lot of fun, but what do they have that will connect young people to the holiness of the land or their right to be here? MARSHA GREENBERG MOTZEN
Petah Tikva/Englewood, New Jersey
Not very scientific
Sir, – I have very serious misgivings about the research in Judy Siegel’s article (“Study highlights impact of trauma in boosting Gazans’ support for terror,” July 9).
First, 53 subjects out of a population of probably tens of thousands of boys of that age group must be far too small a sample to be of true statistical significance.
Second, the sample seems to have been selected with an intrinsic bias, without a control group. Third, the Victoroff team, at least from the article, did not take into account the nauseating brainwashing and propaganda that Arabs in general, and Palestinians in particular, have been subjected to over the past century.
Sir, –What struck me most when reading Judy Siegel’s article is that no one bothered to see if any comparable impact could be seen in Israeli Jews who have lost family members in bus bombings or during other terror incidents.
Dollars to doughnuts, no similar impact would be seen in Israeli Jews except for a few very isolated instances that come to mind.
But you can see where Prof.
Victoroff, who is affiliated with that hotbed for fanatic Islamic sentiment, the University of Southern California, wouldn’t have wanted to skew or sully his intended results with such counterproductive data.
Who are they?
Sir, – Regarding “Haredi men nabbed for smuggling cocaine” and “Police bust drug ring in South” (July 9): Why isn’t the religious affiliation of the southern drug ring provided?
At a loss
Sir, – Last weekend marked the 25th anniversary of an event that brings into focus the perennial double standard regarding Israel.
On July 10, 1985, French foreign intelligence services sank the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent it from interfering in a nuclear test. A photographer drowned aboard the vessel.
Although France initially denied involvement, the head of French intelligence at the time said 20 years later that the attack had been authorized by then-president François Mitterrand.
Nothing can be found in the history books about the expulsion of French diplomats from New Zealand or any of the other countries affected. There were no outpourings of rage against a criminal attack on an innocent man and a widely respected NGO.
Compare this to the reaction by governments and media outlets against Israel for purportedly being behind the assassination of a known terrorist and murderer earlier this year. I am at a loss to find any degree of fairness and equality.
Mazkeret Batya