July 3: Meaningless listing

In terms of reality, as people everywhere understand it, the latest move by UNESCO was completely meaningless.

(photo credit:)
(photo credit: )
Meaningless listing
Sir, – In terms of reality, as people everywhere understand it, the latest move by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was completely meaningless (“UNESCO registers Church of the Nativity under ‘Palestine,’” July 1). It was also meaningless when UNESCO voted to include “Palestine” as a full member state in the organization.
The Palestinian Authority’s feverish exertions in the UN to obtain member status are also meaningless. The Palestinians are not dealing with reality, but with a malicious virtual reality whose meaningless elements are aimed at stabbing Israel in the back.
There is a burning desire in the Palestinian community and the Palestinian leadership to take any measure imaginable to harm Israel diplomatically. But these tactics are meaningless because essentially they just roll off Israel’s back and achieve absolutely nothing.
Tel Aviv

Remembering Shamir
Sir, – We mourn the passing of a great man who, together with his steadfast colleagues, is responsible for the creation of the Jewish state by his determination and strong will (“Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir dies at 96,” July 1). The current Israeli leadership could do no better than emulate him rather than pander to the unviable demands of the “international community.”
An unpublicized attempt was made on Shamir’s life in London by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1993 when he was the guest speaker at the Jerusalem Day celebrations held by Likud Herut GB at the Finchley Synagogue.
A member of the PFLP, Samar Alami, was identified outside the synagogue by a congregant. In all probability, because she had been identified, she did not carry out her planned action and left before the ceremony was finished.
She was subsequently sentenced at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) to 20 years imprisonment for her involvement in preparation of the bomb that damaged the Israeli Embassy in London in July 1994.
Shamir had a lucky escape.
Edgware, UK
Sir, – It was a Shabbat in autumn 1986, I believe, that I and my then-roommate were walking down Rehov Azza in Jerusalem when we noticed a short, stocky man walking up the street with a taller man beside him. We quickly realized who it was, and the then-prime minister bowed his head in greeting and left us stunned and pleasantly surprised.
We were grateful to see Yitzhak Shamir was keeping Shabbat (in what little way he could) by walking and not driving! That he acknowledged us, two regular people on the street, showed his humility, his feeling of being “one of us.”
May his memory be for a blessing.
Sir, – While I never liked Yitzhak Shamir – he was just too right-wing for my tastes – I admired him greatly.
As a feisty little guy he showed no hesitation to go up against the top politicos of his time. As one who had spent time imprisoned by the British, he feared no one and nothing.
As a Zionist leader and fighter he deserves no less than all the honors we can bestow upon him. May he rest in peace. He deserves it.
Be prepared
Sir, – Your July 1 issue lists some IDF directions about what to do in case of an earthquake (“IDF to ready public for quakes,” News in Brief). Its primary instructions are for people to flee buildings or enter bomb shelters as quickly as possible.
As longtime residents of earthquake- prone Los Angeles my husband and I were told specifically not to run outside, where people can be hit by various falling objects – trees, poles, pieces of falling buildings, etc.
Rather, we were advised to stand in a doorway under the lintel, in a narrow hallway where our arms could reach both side walls for support, in a bathroom with its infrastructure of pipes, or under a sturdy table, if nothing else. Children in school were instructed to crouch down under their desks.
By the time you run to a bomb shelter, unless it’s in your own home, the earthquake will likely be over. It can be devastating, but quick. One minute is a long time for a quake.
Keep ’em coming
Sir, – I so enjoyed Herb Keinon’s “Graduation day: There and then, here and now” (Out There, July 1). His family articles always engender a warm feeling of, “Yes, it’s just like that!” I particularly liked his description of boys hugging each other after just a day’s absence. I remember picking up one of my grandsons at the Central Bus Station when he had Shabbat leave from the army. As the young soldiers streamed off the bus they hugged each other so enthusiastically, even though they’d all be together back at the base on Sunday.
The informality and open affection Israeli youngsters exhibit today is heart-warming.
As we say in Australia, Herb never puts a foot wrong. He says it just the way it is and leaves us with a smile – and sometimes a tear.
Sir, – Once again Herb Keinon strikes a bull’s-eye.
My husband and I always enjoy his light touch, whether he’s referring to “the wife” or to “the boy.” Depending on who opens the Post first, one of us will announce that Herb wrote another zinger, which we then proceed to enjoy with our morning coffee. Great way to start the day! Kudos from our household to “the human typewriter.” Keep ’em comin’!
Ginot Shomron

Robbing our traditions

Sir, – So a German court has decided that circumcision is a crime and that the perpetrators must be punished (“Rivlin: Bundestag must pass law to protect circumcision,” June 28).
German interference with our God-given Jewish laws and traditions is totally unacceptable. The mass-murdering German nation perpetrated the world’s greatest genocide, killing 6,000,000 helpless Jewish innocents, robbing them of their lives, their future, their families, their money, their property, their insurance, their jewelry, furniture, clothing, hair, teeth, spectacles – everything – all with the permission of the German justice system.
As to circumcision (and religious slaughter, for that matter), German Christians need to be reminded that Jesus was circumcised and ate only kosher meat.
Besmirching Moses
Sir, – I have no objection to Joshua Berkman’s article explaining the excellent work of the Jewish Agency in promoting aliya (“The Jewish Agency and aliya,” Comment & Features, June 28). What left me deeply upset and enraged, though, was that the writer saw fit to precede his article with an unnecessary attack on Moses, our teacher, which had no rational connection to his report on the Jewish Agency that came afterward.
Berkman claims that Moses was “passive, stubborn and “hopelessly behind the curve,” and that “God essentially canned him” and was furious with him for poor leadership.
Why does the writer have to besmirch a saintly figure who lived 3,200 years ago, revealed the Torah to the world and led the Children of Israel for 40 years through the desert to the outskirts of the Promised Land? Why does he see fit to hurt the feelings of millions of Jews who believe that “Moses is truth and his Torah is truth?”
The writer is a rabbi and author