March 13, 2017: Sad – and frightening

Polls show that 70% of Americans see rising antisemitism.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sad – and frightening
Lior Akerman’s “Wanted: A plan for change” (Observations, March 10) is quite discouraging. It reminds me of the frequent news reports saying that neither Hamas nor Israel wants an escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.
That Hamas doesn’t want an escalation is gladdening – it fears loosing. But it’s saddening that Israel doesn’t want an escalation because we, too, fear losing an all-out battle. There can be no other understanding of such news.
As I recall, we won our War of Independence against all odds.
Our army performed very well in the 1956 Sinai Campaign. The 1967 Six Day War was a miraculous victory, and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, we grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.
Clearly, our leaders – military and political – see these successes as being due solely to a strong IDF. No thought is given to help from a Higher Power – that would be childish and unsophisticated.
So now, with Israel facing Hamas, our leaders won’t put their trust in either our army or God.
How sad. How discouraging.
How frightening.
Displeasure aroused
Your disclaimer regarding the Women in Green supplement in your March 10 issue does nothing to assuage my displeasure with its inclusion in the paper, even if the Women in Green paid for it.
Utter nonsense
With regard to “Boris Johnson to ‘Post’: Choice is two states or apartheid” (March 9), the UK foreign minister spent barely 24 hours in Israel to lecture the Israeli public and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet again that Israel has only two choices with regard to the Palestinian Authority.
What utter nonsense! (And this from a well read politician who ought to know a lot better.) However, what can one expect from someone coming from a country that 100 years ago started the process of an independent state for the Jewish people through the Balfour Declaration and then spent most of the ensuing 100 years trying to renege! That Britain succeeded unilaterally in separating the whole area of Mandate Palestine east of the Jordan River is something we have to live with, but there is no reason to accept any advice from Johnson regarding the area west of the river, given the British role barely three months ago in promoting the text of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 at the behest of then-US president Barack Obama, contradicting international law.
It would be relevant to know how Foreign Secretary Johnson can think that the Palestinian demand that any future Palestinian state be free of Jews is anything other than racist, and why, uniquely of all territorial disputes in the post-World War II era, that such a racist stance should be supported.
Let us hope that when it comes to the UK Foreign Office briefing the member of the royal family who is slated to visit Israel later in the year, it will do a better job in explaining the history of this area.
What’s not mentioned
On the first page of your March 9 issue, you published an article unilaterally voicing the concerns of BDS activists on the new law to ban BDS activists and supporters from our country (“Jewish BDS activists anxiously eye travel ban”). Among them you mentioned a 29-year-old New York lady who is concerned about her family’s future in Israel.
I am not interested in her plans and how they might be disrupted.
I only wish to point out what you unfortunately failed to mention.
You say that she founded chapters of the pro-BDS Jewish Voices for Peace, yet you fail to mention that this organization, with its fancy name, will host its next biannual national meeting starting March 30 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, where some 900 attendees are expected.
Many speakers listed on the program are possibly involved in terrorist attacks in Israel. The most prominent is Rasmea Odeh – yes, the terrorist who was sentenced to life in prison in Israel for the 1969 bombing that murdered Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe. Odeh was convicted in 1970. She spent 10 years in prison before she was released in a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980. She was also convicted in the US of immigration fraud, and she was released on bond pending appeal.
All the better if people who associate with her are banned from entering our country.
Trump & antisemitism
Douglas Bloomfield’s hatred of US President Donald Trump is clear in his failure to note the fact that the Trump administration is actively prosecuting antisemitism (“Trump keeps Jews in Democratic camp,” Washington Watch, March 9). It has arrested Juan Thompson, who is charged with making threats against Jewish institutions throughout the US.
Obviously, Mr. Bloomfield’s blind hatred of President Trump prevents him from reporting the truth about its fight against antisemitism.
Coconut Creek, Florida
Douglas Bloomfield says his duly-elected president “represents hatred, bigotry, divisiveness, intolerance and xenophobia.”
But the pundit’s four fingers point back at himself as he ignores the segment of the American electorate that thought its former president had sold their country down the river.
Long has the world been watching the truly great, tragically riven United States tear itself apart. Civilization is crying a river, crying its heart out. Our enemies are ecstatic.
After bomb threats to numerous Jewish institutions across America, the desecration of hundreds of gravestones in half a dozen cemeteries since beginning of the year, and a letter by 100 senators to President Donald Trump asking for help, what’s next? Polls show that 70% of Americans see rising antisemitism. Are we recreating the 1930s, when America closed its doors to European Jewry facing annihilation? If history is any guide, it always begins with desecrating cemeteries.
Thousands were destroyed in the 1930s throughout Germany.
By war’s end, an untouched Jewish cemetery in Europe was hard to find.
When hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled by Arab nations in 1948 with the creation of Israel, many of their cemeteries were destroyed. And when Israel captured Jerusalem in 1967, it found half of the 150,000 graves in the 3,000-year-old Mount of Olives cemetery destroyed.
Will we need protect our cemeteries? Will we see armed soldiers protecting Jewish institutions, as is common throughout France? Will Jews holding services at their local temples require police protection? Will we see vigorous demands across America to stop the hatred, or will our elected leaders just wait and see if the hatred escalates? If history is any guide, rising hatred never stops without effective action.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Team Israel
If I did not know better, I would have thought that some of your sports reports were part of a Purim spiel.
The exploits of Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic are nothing short of phenomenal.
More importantly, words cannot describe the tremendous consecration of God’s name in watching the team members doff their baseball caps to reveal blue kippot when Hatikva is played.
Aside from the pride Israelis are feeling is the response I heard from relatives in the United States whose Jewish pride has been touched in ways one could not imagine.
Beit Shemesh