The Pope’s Visit
There was never any reason to doubt that Pope Francis would give his imprimatur to a non-existent “State of Palestine” (“Papal Intervention,” editorial, May 29).
The New York Times, as you noted, abetted this bias with its empathetic report on “the Palestinian reality under Israeli occupation” but found no reason to mention Christian churches being torched with worshippers burned alive in the Muslim-majority Middle East or the enactment of sharia law impacting negatively on Christians who were sentenced to death or flogging for refusal to convert to Islam or other minor infractions of Islamic law.
The pope’s invitation to Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres for a prayer “summit” in the Vatican was bizarre and his putative “evenhandedness” a farce.
As a loyal subscriber and occasional contributor to The Jewish Press, I must register my dismay with the May 30 op-ed article “Hillary: the Kim Kardashian of American Politics.”
For readers who are not familiar with Kim Kardashian, her rise to fame began with a lewd videotape. In contrast, Hillary Clinton’s career began at Yale Law School, where she tackled cases of child abuse, and as a law firm partner earning more than her husband did as governor of Arkansas.
Comparing Hillary Clinton’s successful career in law and government to Kim Kardashian is a cheap shot.
Fresh Meadows, NY
The Persistence Of Anti-Semitism
Re Father Gabriel Rochelle’s unfortunate meeting with an anti-Semitic woman in a pharmacy (“My Encounter With Jew-Hatred,” op-ed, May 30):
It seems that many of us are under the misimpression that anti-Semitism waxes and wanes. It’s quiet for a while, rears its head, then goes away again.
I originally thought that too, until I read Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. What Goldhagen posits is that anti-Semitism is present at all times, on the same hateful level. What is not always present is a means of facilitating the violent removal of Jews from a given society or nation. Many efforts to achieve that goal were attempted through the centuries. No nation, however, was more receptive to the idea of Jewish eradication than Germany. And while there was much anti-Semitism in other European countries, they did not have the wherewithal to carry out a massive extermination program.
Goldhagen illustrates with detailed documentation the willingness and enthusiasm the Germans had for Hitler’s plans. At first Hitler’s goal was for Germany to simply be Judenrein, empty of Jews, but when the Germans realized most other countries didn’t want the Jews either, the Final Solution was born.
At any rate, I salute Father Rochelle for his disgust at that woman’s ignorance.
East Brunswick, NJ
Re “Spiraling Price Tag Violence Could Provoke Third Initifada” (news story, May 9):
Unnamed Israeli officials claiming that “price tag” vandalism may cause an “intifada” cannot be taken at face value. For example, in 2009 media outlets in Israel and abroad reported that “settlers” had thrown acid into a police officer’s eye. This came from the Israeli police, but Israeli media investigations ascertained that the incident never happened – no acid had been thrown at anybody by anyone.
Some on the pro-Palestinian Israeli left are promoting new legislation to redefine “price tag” vandalism as akin to Palestinian terrorism. Jewish vandals could then be prosecuted using anti-terrorism measures so severe as to be suited only for cases of extreme danger to the public.
Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty strictly forbids such anti-democratic legislation but has a loophole – paragraph 8 – which makes an exception for legislation “enacted for a proper purpose.”
My educated guess, then, is that the unnamed officials who generated this “prediction” of a new intifada may be seeking to persuade the public that, say, apprehending youngsters for passing out bumper stickers (which actually occurred here recently) is allowable because there is a purported “proper purpose”: preventing an intifada.