May 22: Cruelty and deceit

Thanks to Isi Leibler for his reports, outrage at embezzlement of millions of dollars earmarked for Holocaust survivors.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Cruelty and deceit
Sir, – Thanks to Isi Leibler for his reports and outrage at the embezzlement of millions of dollars earmarked for food, medicine and basic necessities for Holocaust survivors by Claims Conference employees, and the failure of the management responsible for overseeing these funds to accept any responsibility (“Exposed: A devastating new Claims Conference Scandal,” Candidly Speaking, Comment and Features, May 19).
His articles make clear not only the incompetence of the leadership, but their persistent efforts to conceal their negligence and accountability. We are all shamed by this injustice and cruelty to those survivors whose lives were finally to have been made more comfortable and dignified. I wholeheartedly support Leibler’s call for major legal challenges to right this wrong perpetrated against our most defenseless elders.
Our sense of justice, compassion and truth demand rectification of this cruelty and deceit.
R. EHRLICH Jerusalem
Militants vs. activists
Sir, – It is time to stop lumping together the vast majority of the passengers on the Mavi Marmara – who were peacefully protesting the partial blockade of Gaza – with the 50 or so fighters with military training who who were placed on board at a separate location without identity documents or passport control, who told the protesters that they were armed with knives, numerous hand-to-hand fighting instruments and circular saws to cut piping to be used as weapons with which to fight any boarding party (“A Turkish firm’s end run to the ICC, Analysis, May 17).
They stressed to the peaceful protesters that they would fight to the death and hoped to die as martyrs. It is not possible to call all who were on board “activists.” All the peaceful protesters were confined to their cabins by the fighters when the boarding started and were not permitted to be on deck.
Those killed were from the fighters and not from the peaceful protesters. There were no fighters on the other ships in the convoy and no deaths or injuries occurred when they were boarded.
Fighters who pledged to fight to the death were sadly killed. It is to the credit of the boarding party that only nine of the 50 or so militants lost their lives.
Not laughing
Sir, – Uri Savir’s “Humor in Conflict” column (Savir’s Corner, Observations, May 17) left me wondering whether I should laugh or cry.
In the context of arguing that humor helps us let go of our “dangerous delusions and illusions,” Savir credits Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “a symbol and example to all,” as “one of the great peacemakers of our time,” and someone “who knows... how to tell the truth.”
Comparing him to the Dalai Lama, he describes Tutu as similarly “filled with humanism, never with vengeance and with honest forgiveness.” Note, however, this is the same virulently anti-Israel Desmond Tutu who persuaded the University of Johannesburg to end its relationship with Ben-Gurion University as part of a boycott against Israeli academic institutions; who helped the Australian Marrickville Council approve a boycott of Israel’s goods; who urged the Cape Town Opera to cancel a planned trip to Israel on the basis of spurious and malicious comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa; who sponsored a call for an arms embargo against Israel; who compared Israel to Hitler and Stalin and prophesied its demise on account of its alleged evil; who complained about “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust”; and who claimed that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism.”
Is this Uri Savir’s idea of a cruel joke? JEFF DAUBE Jerusalem
The writer is director of the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America
Sir, – Uri Savir must be joking if he thinks he can convince us that humor can turn evil terrorists into human beings. While Savir was laughing at the antics of Arafat’s Oslo negotiators, the bombers dispatched by those “comedians” were murdering more than 1,000 Israelis. However, when Savir wrote that the vile Desmond Tutu is “one of the great peacemakers of our time” he really sent me into hysterics!
Sir, – Uri Savir has crossed the line. I am totally convinced that he is really a Palestinian agent, as evidenced by his parenthetical remark “(not that on our map there was much room for Palestinians).”
Our map has always had room for Palestinians. We accepted the results of the Peel Committee in 1937, the partition plan of 1947, the armistice lines of 1949 and were even willing to give back everything gained in 1967.
The sole conclusion I have reached is that Savir must have represented the Palestinian side at Oslo and that he still represents their position today.
A few weeks ago, one of your editors expressed pride in the fact that the Post presents all sides of an issue. But at least be honest enough to include a warning similar to the warning appearing on packs of cigarettes: Hazard! When Uri Savir represents Israel in any negotiations with the Palestinians, it is like having Yasser Arafat talking to a mirror.
High vitriol
Sir, – In her Column One on May 17, “Obama and the 'official truth,’” Caroline B. Glick renewed her broadsides against US President Barack Obama, reaching a new level of vitriol.
With a selection of quotes picked to support her extreme right-wing views, she writes: “One can only hope that Obama’s thuggish creation and corrupt defense of his ‘official truth’ will anger, disgust and frighten all Americans.”
One can only hope that such language aimed at the president of the United States is not supported by the majority of Israelis, quite a few of whom consider him still to be a friend of Israel.
PAUL KOHN Herzliya
Parental honor
Sir, – Regarding “BGU presents Lifetime Achievement Award to S. Africa’s Bertie Lubner” (May 9) – the Torah teaches us the importance of the principle of respect. One of the most important principles instructed in the Torah is that a man should teach his children to honor God through the way one learns Torah and indeed the way one practices the principles of Torah in everyday life.
My brothers, sister and I have been blessed to have had these principles taught to us by our remarkable parents. My father, Bertie Lubner, has taught respect through the very way in which he has lived his life and my mother, through the quiet, unassuming role she has played in support of him.
My family were present at the award ceremony, hosted in Beersheba on May 9. What impressed us, humored us and warmed us most of all was to see the love and respect shown to him by the faculty and students of the university.
In his indomitable manner, our father gave credit to his own father, to David Ben-Gurion and to the honorable Nelson Mandela as well as gave kudos to the management, staff and students of the University. At no stage would he allow himself to take credit for the many years of incredible effort he put behind promoting Ben-Gurion University in South Africa, despite huge anti-Zionist sentiments that made the job so difficult to achieve.
My father truly practices the principle of respect for his fellow human beings in just the humble yet positive way in which he interacts with every human being, which is uniform across all population groups, irrespective of financial standing.
MARC LUBNER Johannesburg
CORRECTION The place of residence for letter writer Avi Raz on May 21 should have said Oxford, and not as written.