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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Letters To The Editor


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Vandalizing Yad Vashem

I find it inconceivable that ostensibly observant Jews could have vandalized Yad Vashem with virulently anti-Zionist hate slogans and graffiti mocking the memory of victims of the Holocaust (“Haredi Men Arrested in Yad Vashem Vandalism,” news story, June 29).

Is it possible that even those opposed to the establishment of a Jewish state prior to the advent of Mashiach would actually quarrel with a memorial to the millions of Jews destroyed by the Nazis and even go so far as to mock the victims of the Holocaust? I don’t think these miscreants represent all haredim who feel the current state of Israel is not legitimate from a religious point of view. Even so, the leadership of that community has an obligation to rein them in and publicly rebuke them. Common decency requires it.

Elliot Mann
(Via E-Mail)

Mubarak’s Legacy

Hosni Mubarak ran a ruthless police state and thereby bottled up the anger of most Egyptians which has now expressed itself in the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood and which has put Israel at greater risk (“Muslim Brotherhood Victory Upends Mubarak Legacy,” front page news story, June 29).

Without doubt Mubarak was useful in keeping Egypt in sync with both the U.S. and Israel and was part of their overall strategy for keeping international order in the Middle East. But in the long run his dictatorial regime set the stage for the ultimate victory of the Islamists.

Stephen Fried
Los Angeles, CA

Talking Back To The Times

I think your indictment of The New York Times and its transparent bias was devastating (“Is the Gray Lady Losing It?” editorial, June 29).

It was also a compelling reminder that the only hope we have of overcoming the pervasive liberal bias of media institutions like the Times is to encourage robust competition in the delivery of news and commentary. Conservative talk shows and the Internet, with all their faults, are gifts from Above.

Chaim Burns
(Via E-Mail)

Case Not Made Against Obama

Republican flak Matthew Brooks (“Romney Would Restore Closer, Warmer U.S.-Israel Ties,” op-ed, June 29) was long on criticism of President Obama’s tone vis-a-vis Israel but conveniently short on addressing the undeniable fact that the military and strategic relationship between Israel and the U.S. has never been stronger.

His critique of Obama’s “1967 lines with swaps” proposal was welcome but he did not say affirmatively what Romney’s vision of a future Israel would be.

Edward Schechtman
Jerusalem

Petition On German Court Decision (I)

The Jewish Press website is circulating a petition against a German court decision prohibiting brit milah.

The petition states that this decision is a stain on the German people. I think that misses the point.

A stain is a deviation from the object that has become stained.

This belief that they can decide what is moral is not a deviation from the core of the German people. It is what the German people are. It is why they could decide that the Germanic race was a superior race and others could be eliminated for the good of mankind.

The belief in man-made morality is a most treacherous slope and the Jewish people, having been pushed off that slope, should not downgrade this action to a stain. We know it is the core of the problem and what it leads to.

We should take this opportunity to develop a better understanding of what the Germans are and to be sure that all Jews everywhere learn the lesson.

It should be noted that German morality also allows Germany to be Iran’s largest trading partner.

Tzvi Meir
Jerusalem

Petition On German Court Decision (II)

I think the petition against the German court decision is highly inappropriate.

This decision is not a majoritarian decision of German society. It is the decision of a rogue court in Cologne and is almost certain to be overturned on appeal or be the subject of a law clarifying that circumcision is legal in Germany.

It’s also important to understand the Jewish Hospital in Berlin was not forced to stop brit milah. It did so (unadvisedly) of its own volition. Muslims are just as upset about it as Jews. Guide Westerwelle, Germany’s foreign minister and a real friend of the Jewish people, has spoken out against the ruling, and it has been criticized by virtually all Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic religious organizations in Germany.

It is really not in the interest of the Jewish people to suggest that the decision – again, the decision of a rogue court – is an example of German anti-Semitism or to suggest that Germany hasn’t learned the lessons of history when it has done more than any country in Europe to make Holocaust education a regular part of its school curriculum and has been probably Israel’s strongest ally in Europe.

Michael Brenner
(Via E-Mail)

Correcting The Record

In her May 11 op-ed, “No Equal Justice Under the Law,” Sarah Stern unintentionally led readers to believe she was solely or at least primarily responsible for the passage of the Koby Mandell Act which created an office in the U.S. Department of Justice to capture and prosecute terrorists who have harmed or murdered Americans.

Although Stern worked for the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) during a portion of this effort, many others at ZOA made this happen. After the passage of this bill, Sherry Mandel, Koby Mandel’s mother said, “We want to thank the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) for initiating this fight for justice…. Koby would have deeply appreciated this fight for justice by the ZOA.” Stephen Flatow, father of terror victim Alisa Flatow, said, “We want to thank the ZOA for being the only organization to have made this bill and this fight a priority and being relentless in this pursuit of justice.”

The New York Times ran a full article saying that “an intense three-year campaign by Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America” was “important” in this issue. ZOA’s campaign included ads in the New York Times and in newspapers around the country, organizing House and Senate press conferences on Capitol Hill, publishing op-eds and letters in newspapers, delivering speeches around the country, discussing the bill on TV and radio, and distributing a powerful ZOA booklet entitled, “The Forgotten Victims: American Citizens Murdered By Palestinian Arab Terrorists.”

As Uriel Heilman wrote in the Jerusalem Post (6-8-05), “The ZOA…spearheaded the drive to get the bill passed last year,” then quoted Morton Klein, president of ZOA: “We had met with many Department of Justice officials and there seemed to be a lack of interest in capturing Palestinian Arabs that murdered Americans. That’s why we decided we really needed legislation.” The Forward newspaper wrote (12-17-04), “The ZOA achieved one of its top legislative successes with the passage of the Koby Mandell Act…. Klein initiated the legislation.”

And a key factor in the passage of this legislation was a private meeting between Morton Klein and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a close personal friend of Mort’s, who promised Mort he would personally lead the fight to get this bill passed. Thanks in large part to Senator Specter, President George Bush signed this into law as part of the omnibus spending bill in December 2004.

Dr. Michael Goldblatt
Chairman
Zionist Organization of America

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