August 15, 2017: Trump and Kim

Diplomacy is worth a try to “make America great” because Donald Trump’s current efforts might make America extinct.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Trump and Kim
With respect to “North Korea deadline on Guam looms amid Trump warnings” (August 13), I respectfully request that the president’s cabinet members inform him of the difference between diplomacy and its opposite.
Diplomacy: The conduct by government officials of negotiations and other relations between nations; the art of conducting such negotiations; skill in managing negotiations, handling people, etc. so that there is no ill will.
Apparently, the president has chosen the opposite of diplomacy, which is tactlessness, ignorance, bad manners, impoliteness, rudeness and, I might add, confrontation. (His being a narcissist, egotist and pathological liar doesn’t help matters.) The way out of the current darkening climate facing the United States is to take a bold step and impeach our dangerously unhinged president and replace him with a rational public servant before we find ourselves in a catastrophic scenario that could culminate in a life-ending nuclear conflagration where there are no winners.
Diplomacy is worth a try to “make America great” because Donald Trump’s current efforts might make America extinct.
The situation is that serious!
HERB STARK Mooresville, North Carolina
Some suggestions concerning the possible North Korea-US “Armageddon.”
• Si vis pacem, para bellum, Latin for “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
• There is an old Greek saying: “Justice is helping your friend and punishing your enemy.”
• An American addition: Show them you mean business! Yes, you can!
Out in the sun
With regard to “200 liberal US rabbis want Israel to lift ban on BDS leaders” (August 13), these rabbis are incensed that we wish to “boycott” persons who are promoting the boycott of the State of Israel, and feel we should be sensitive to the views of persons working for the destruction of the state.
Have they been out in the sun too long?
We’re not alone
Isi Leibler’s “Postmortem of a disastrous month” (Candidly Speaking, August 10) can be read with a little less depression when considered from the point of view of Prof. Rabbi Jacob J.Schacter’s Tisha Be’av webcast.
He explains that the rabbis tell us that there are big miracles and little miracles. Hanukka was a big miracle that we commemorate with the little miracle of the flask of oil. Similarly, when Joseph was incarcerated in the wagon after being sold, he was miraculously given “sweet smelling spices” showing God’s presence.
Our scholars explain that the day of the destruction of both our temples plus other calamities could have fallen on the Fast of the 10th of Tevet, in the winter, but God gave us a small comfort, a bit of light, when the destruction occurred on Tisha Be’av. And the people and the sages instituted the celebration of Tu Be’av giving us a means to be comforted.
Although it is not mentioned in Leibler’s excellent column, the term “disastrous month” was especially apt for our period of the three weeks and the current month of Av. For example, on August 3, your newspaper featured headlines about a terrorist attack (“Stabbing at Yavne supermarket was terrorism, victim in critical condition”), but we could take some comfort in the lead article “Netanyahu to attend settlement ceremony for 1,000 new homes.”
My conclusion? The good Lord is with us; we are not alone.
A survivor’s plea
Recently, I attended an event where I heard someone say: “In Syria, not far from here, a Holocaust” – he was speaking in Hebrew and used the term Shoah – “is taking place. Barrel bombs and gas are being used, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children.” He quickly added: “Of course, this is not like Auschwitz.”
Then I heard another man say: “There are many Holocausts” – again, he used the term Shoah – “being perpetrated just beyond our borders.” This, too, was immediately followed by “Of course, this is not like Auschwitz.”
I cringed. Neither man was a Holocaust survivor. I am a survivor.
It pained me to hear such talk.
If those events are not like Auschwitz, why use the term Shoah? It is places like Auschwitz, Treblinka and other death camps that made the Holocaust what it was – the methodically planned and executed murder of Jews.
Being an engineer, I stood in the museum at Auschwitz looking with horror at a photo showing German engineers and draftsmen at drawing boards designing the camp’s facilities.
The firm Topf & Söhne, in the small town of Erfurt, Germany, designed the ovens in which the bodies of a million gassed Jewish people were turned to ash.
The owner of the firm made five(!) trips to Auschwitz to make sure the ovens worked properly, cremating more than 80,000 bodies per month.
The use of the term “Holocausts” makes me angry. The word should never be used in its plural form. If it creeps into the world’s vocabulary, people will soon be saying: “Oh, that Holocaust with the Jews... well, there were many of them. Look at what happened in Rwanda and Cambodia.” The loose talk of today will result in the cheapening of the image and the remembrance of The Holocaust.
The Hutus in Rwanda did not strive to kill every Tutsi in the world. Pol Pot did not aim to kill every Cambodian in the world.
Yet Hitler’s most intimate desire was to murder every Jew in the world, wherever he or she could be found. He justified it by considering Jews an inferior race to be exterminated. Had he conquered the Middle East, England or America, ghettos would have been formed and gas chambers erected.
The Holocaust was a unique black hole in the history of mankind.
Its uniqueness should never be challenged either through intent or the careless use of words. As a survivor, I plead with all of you who, even though you have good intentions, are doing immeasurable harm to the memory of The Holocaust and its victims by comparing it to other genocides.
The Holocaust was genocide, but the genocides around us are not Holocausts.
Perfect candidate
Bibi, why don’t they like you? Is it because you don’t know that 1,000 plus 2,000 equals 3,000? Or is it because of the percentages of your underwater flotilla? Maybe it’s because you insist on smoking cigars. (Personally, I don’t always like the color of the necktie you wear.) Or maybe it is because you are the best prime minister we have had since David Ben-Gurion.
In any case, since you are the prime minister of the State of Israel and this is our state, I would suggest that we show you a little more good will – then, maybe our neighbors in the Middle East will also want to show a bit more good will.
I recommend that we hold an election. Then, we can all express our legitimate opinion.
Maybe there will be some candidate who knows arithmetic better than you or wears a blue and white necktie I can put up with.
Of course, it will have to be someone who doesn’t smoke cigars.
If there is such a candidate, I might even consider wishing you, Bibi, a well-earned bye bye.
Due to a layout error, the answers to the August 14 puzzles appeared on the same page as the puzzles themselves. We apologize for the inconvenience