May 18: Here by right

We are not trapped here, hoping for Palestinian sufferance so that we might remain.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Here by right Sir, - Amos Oz and Sari Nusseibeh, Jew and Arab, came together in Jerusalem for a public talk last week to commemorate the release of Nusseibeh's new book Once Upon a Country. Then, with one sentence, Oz disqualified himself as a spokesman for the Jews of Israel ("Jerusalem is the 'easiest' issue to solve, says Oz," May 13). Israelis, he said, were looking for the Palestinians to realize that "we are real and we have no other place to go." Oh no. We are not trapped here, hoping for Palestinian sufferance so that we might remain. We are here by dint of our ancient heritage. By right. And proudly so. ARLENE KUSHNER Jerusalem When did the Shoah end? Sir, - While I would agree that the Nazi modus operandi for the Final Solution was dismantled after V-E day, I must take exception to Doug Greener's phrasing "the Holocaust was ended only by the military defeat of Nazi Germany" ("Language Lesson," Letters, May 11.) The Holocaust, and its ramifications for survivors and soldiers, did not end with the war. Loss of family and property, distress, anti-Semitism, displaced persons camps, and loss and return of hope are part of the post-war narrative covered in roughly one-and-a-quarter of the nine historical galleries in Yad Vashem's museum. I would think that one could not so "easily go through Yad Vashem" without realizing this. JEREMY ZAUDER Jerusalem Forgotten hero Sir, - Bravo for "The path to heroism" (Weekend, May 10), highlighting the role of American Col. David "Mickey" Marcus in creating Israel's Burma Road. "Marcus volunteered himself and the US army granted him leave" is not entirely accurate. Marcus was a retired West Point graduate recruited by Ben-Gurion and the Haganah to seek out military advisers for the army-to-be, for the state-to-be. When no high-ranking US military men would agree to jeopardize their careers and/or pensions to join a clandestine, illegal fighting force, Marcus took on the job himself. He did it incognito, without US Army sanction, under the very noses of the British and using a nom de guerre, Michael "Mickey" Stone. Only after his untimely death, and burial at West Point Military Academy cemetery, did Marcus's true identity become public knowledge. His legacy is revered at West Point, though in Israel, for the most part, he is a forgotten hero. His efforts, which were crucial to the survival of Jewish Jerusalem, are largely unknown, as is the contribution of other overseas volunteers whose military know-how laid the foundation for the nascent IDF and helped turn the tide of the war. "Machal - Overseas Volunteers in Israel's War of Independence," the inspiring story of the over 3,500 volunteers who came from 44 different countries to defend the fledgling state during Israel's struggle for independence, can be found at Mention should also be made of the monument at Telshe Stone, marking the spot where Marcus was tragically shot to death by a sentry; and of the World Machal Monument at Sha'ar Hagai in memory of the 120 overseas volunteers who fell in Israel's War of Independence. ZIPPORAH PORATH Givat Savyon