Print Edition
Letters.(Photo by: REUTERS)
August 26, 2019: The grapes of Rothman
Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.
The grapes of Rothman

Ruthie Blum has done a splendid job critiquing Noa Rothman’s visit to Ramallah and her infamous meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas (“Noa Rothman’s pathetic embrace of Abbas,” August 16).

Blum hit the nail on the head dissecting all the pertinent information and explanation of where we stand from the Oslo Accords up to the coming election night. She describes the sad realities and the pathetic illusions of some past leaders through the years. Blum socks it, too, to the granddaughter of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, calling out the truth of the absurdity of Rothman’s statements and outright lies against Israel and its government.

This is a perfect example of how easily blinded some may be by the nepotism of owning a title – be it congressman, president of a major organization or granddaughter of a past prime minister. The title means absolutely nothing if one does not live up to its name, but rather puts it to shame. This granddaughter who thinks she will climb the ladder of fame had better take a long hard look in the mirror and at reality.


Unwise move with repercussions

In the Six Day War, Israel liberated the Temple Mount. Then, in an act of complete stupidity, Israel handed management and control of the Mount to the Wakf. Israel boasts of religious freedom for all. This is true, except where it applies to Jews. Jews are banned from praying on the Temple Mount, and when they are grudgingly allowed up, they are hassled by the Muslims. Then to add insult to injury, on much of the 9th of Av the Temple Mount was closed to Jews. Why? Because intolerant Muslims did not want the Jews there.

Kfar Aviv

Sidney Handel (Letters, August 14) writes “How odd that the rabbis should end up agreeing with Abu Mazen that the Jews, and only the Jews, pollute the Mount.” He is sort of correct but has it backwards, and the real reason may indeed be racist. Because of the holiness of the place and the restrictions placed on Jews only, they are prohibited from entering certain areas of the Temple compound. You may not like it, but Muslims lack that special “kedusha” (holiness) and can freely enter the Temple compound. If the Muslims wanted to show that they are just as holy, they would issue a fatwa that Muslims may not go up to the Temple compound.


Hitler’s Jewish bloodline

“Study suggests Adolf Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Jewish” (August 8) addresses the long-debated question of Hitler’s Jewishness.

The 1935 Nuremberg Laws spoke of the purity of the Aryan race. It was necessary for citizens of the Reich to demonstrate that they had four “pure” grandparents. Those that could not do so – Jews, Romanis and others – were taken as being of inferior status.

Hitler fell into that situation, being unable to demonstrate that this grandfather was Aryan. Of course, he was not Jewish according to Halacha or any other metric. Perhaps they had serious feelings of inferiority, leading in part to the disasters of World War II.

On a personal level, I have to say that I benefited greatly from those evil Nuremberg Laws. I came to this country almost a quarter of a century ago to work as an engineer on major infrastructure projects. Although my wife and I are not Jews, we fell in love with the country and its people. We made aliyah under the Law of Return, thanks to those laws and my Jewish grandfather from England. On retirement, we decided to stay and live our lives out in Eretz Israel, reflecting on the grandfather who “married out,” but who later in life made steps toward returning to his Jewish roots.


The other Torah

I see Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg got the award for “Creativity in Torah” (Horowitz slams ‘murder supporter’ Ginsburg and his Torah award, August 9).

Is creativity in Torah anything like creative accounting? I often feel that people on the far Right don’t read the same Torah as the rest of us. It says things like “Don’t burn down fruit trees” and “Be nice to those who are different from you.”

Kiryat Tivon

Three questions

Regarding the views recently expressed in many articles and letters in The Jerusalem Post and in an effort to encourage meaningful, respectful dialogue on some current critical issues, I would like to raise the following questions, hoping it will lead to benefits for our amazing country that I am proud to be a part of:

• While Palestinian actions and statements make it easy to score debating points, isn’t it better to seek common ground rather than to only win debates?

• If there is no resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, how will Israel be able to avert continued and possibly increased violence and diplomatic criticism, effectively respond to our economic, environmental, and other domestic problems, and remain both a Jewish and a democratic state?

• In view of the increasingly dire warnings of climate experts that we may have only about 10 years for the world to make ‘unprecedented changes’ in order to avert a climate catastrophe, isn’t it essential that the world’s people end the many current disputes and unite in efforts to stabilize the climate?

My proposals may sound utopian, but as Buckminster Fuller put it, we may have a choice today between “utopia or oblivion.” There is no planet B and survival is far from certain.

Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island

Fascinating review

Stéphane Cohen’s article “A French general in the Holy Land” (August 21) gives a fascinating review of Napoleon’s Levantine adventures.

Writing with Gallic charm and style, he describes Napoleon’s arrival in May 1798 aboard the French flagship, L’Orient. Nowhere does he mention the decisive sea battle in August of that year, between the French and British navies (the latter commanded by Sir Horatio Nelson), which resulted in the collapse of French maritime power in the Mediterranean, and the annihilation in a famous explosion of L’Orient. Napoleon, stranded in the east, had to beat a retreat and the British domination of sea power led to his later defeats, in the Peninsular War, and ultimately at Waterloo 17 years later.


Enough is enough

The August 25 front page article “Manhunt continues for Rina’s murderers” screams out the tragic death of Rina Shnerb at the hands of murderous terrorists, leaving a father and brother injured and a family devastated.

The nation starts its usual hand wringing and “enough is enough” is once again heard as an understatement that merely becomes at best a lazy response and at worst a mere platitude in the face of such a heinous crime and stark tragedy.

In a democracy the paramount obligation of its government is the protection of its people and therefore the priority now requires a proactive approach to terrorism not the reactive one that will unfortunately provide your esteemed journal with ongoing similar headlines we woke up to today.

Obviously not wishing to trivialize this dark happening but to use a sports idiom, “how much longer is someone to take a bullet, knife or bomb for the team?”

The forthcoming election might or might not provide an answer but my vote goes to the entity that states “enough is enough” and this time truly really means it.

Tel Aviv

Let’s take a lesson from the Palestinians: they send their so-called “martyrs” monthly checks. Therefore whenever a terror attack occurs (G-d forbid) the cost to treat those who have been wounded and hospitalized will be paid for by the terrorists imprisoned.
It costs Israel millions of shekels a year to guard and feed these criminals. Calculate the amount of the budget that is spent on their behalf and deduct it from the taxes they receive. They might consider having second thoughts to encourage acts of terror.


Not a trendy policy

I would like to react to the article by Roee Kibrik and Nimrod Goren “10 trends in Israel’s regional foreign policies,” August 21, in concrete terms to its paragraph 7, where it is written: “The rise in power of far-right actors [...] raises questions regarding Israel’s policy toward ties with them and its willingness to compromise on historic memory of antisemitism.”

I don’t think it is correct to qualify so Israel’s policy. First of all, if it is indisputable that the antisemitism was often propagated by the far Right, the hatred of the Jews was showed by many other groups. And all the tendencies that can be called far Right were not and are not antisemitic.

The antisemitism of the Left didn’t start with the “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. In France, Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), whom his contemporary Karl Marx called “the most eminent of the French socialists” wrote: “The Jews, we should exterminate them, or send them back to Asia.”

Karl Marx (1818-1883) himself, whose parents accepted baptism in order to ameliorate their social status, was the author of the booklet “Zur Judenfrage” (“About the Jewish question”). He presents there the Jews as having imposed their mentality to the world with the capitalism. The study finishes with the assertion that “It is necessary to free the Jews from the Judaism and the humankind from the Jews.”

And than, what do we call “far-right”? First of all, the nationalists. But Zionism is also a type of nationalism. And a nationalism with much older roots than those of the nationalism of European nations. Those, among the Jews, who  are opposed to nationalism, are close to Saul of Tarsus, better known as St. Paul, who has said: “There will be neither a Jew nor a Greek, neither a slave nor a free man, neither a man or a woman, but all united in Jesus Christ.”


No easy solutions

Regarding Yohanan Plesner’s article on August 16, I agree that Ehud Barak’s legislation before 2012, enabling the IDF to grant exemptions, was absurd, but not because the haredim (were allowed to or even encouraged to) avoid the draft and were also barred from the workforce (implying the government made them unemployable).

No, it was because while the IDF should be the Israeli melting pot, actually it is not in the IDF’s interests to have haredim in the army at all. They are too demanding in respect of time off for religious duties, kosher food, segregation of sexes, poor discipline/divided loyalties, low socioeconomic background etc. Nowadays there is a surplus of personnel in the IDF, even without the haredim, so IDF really doesn’t need or want them.

I don’t think that the law passed in 2013 with quotas was a serious attempt so solve the conscription quandary of haredim. The  target number of recruits was too low and the enactment of the law was scheduled to a date far beyond its proponents’ duration in the government. Dead on arrival. 

I don’t agree that Israel’s leadership must soon decide davka on this issue and that ignoring it is no longer possible. There are so many issues that are currently in the doldrums.

A president of the Democracy Institute should be able to envision applying the existing law equally to haredim; if he can’t then who can?

Plesner offers two new policies: Increase the pay for haredim – I do agree, only because our combat soldiers do not receive enough compensation. Lowering the age when yeshiva students leave their studies to work – will that help resolve the inequality of carrying the burden or rather exacerbate the problem ? 

Perhaps there are no easy solutions. But perhaps keeping it simple is best: they should be treated like everyone.  Let’s be realistic: no government emerging from these elections will do that.

So let’s focus on electing the right party for solving burning problems that really should and can be solved now. 


Puzzling policy

I am puzzled that in all the op-eds and letters about Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, and their problem in visiting us, no one has mentioned the elephant in the room. It is clear that all countries select those who are permitted to visit and those who are excluded. Therefore those who castigate Israel for exercising that right are imposing a double standard on Israel. Such a double standard has been recognized as antisemitic.

I assume that those who criticize the decision on the grounds that it wasn’t smart would also argue that to point this out is not very smart either. I would agree that our diplomats and politicians should speak obliquely using a formula such as “one must consider the motives of those who criticize in this way” but the rest of us, the rank and file, should have no such inhibition.

It is not very smart to give outsiders the impression that we are unwilling to fight for our rights.


print gohome Arab-Israeli Conflict | Israel News | Diaspora | Middle East | Opinion | Premium | Blogs | Not Just News | Edition Francaise | Green Israel

Copyright © 2014 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved • Terms of UsePrivacy Policy