A Blatant Lie
Representative Rashida Tlaib said her ancestors, the Arabs in Palestine, were “trying to create a safe haven for the Jews.” That is almost entirely false. In fact, Palestine’s main Muslim leader – Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini – worked with Hitler to murder Jews.
Even before World War II, al-Husseini encouraged Arab mobs to riot and kill Jews. When forced by the British to leave Palestine because of his Nazi sympathies, he fled to Iraq where he encouraged Baghdad’s Arabs to murder Jews. And after being forced to leave Iraq, he fled to Berlin where he helped Hitler’s murderers.
Boca Raton, FL
A Damning Lie
Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s claim that Palestinians created a “safe haven for Jews” during the Holocaust is probably one of the greatest insults she could have leveled at the Palestinians. In an attempt to make the Palestinians look good, the best she could do is come up with a complete falsehood?
If I were to try to make Israel look good, I’d highlight many of its achievements – e.g., medical, communication, and aviation breakthroughs – that have benefited the whole world.
In less than a century, Israel has turned a fallow land into a thriving economical and agricultural region. And despite being surrounded and constantly challenged by enemies who have an inborn baseless hatred for Jews, Israel has managed to remain a free and benevolent society.
During this same period, the Palestinians have done very little to benefit their own people, let alone the world. The Palestinians’ greatest “achievement” is perfecting the “art” of terrorism; they’ve shown the world that you can kill and maim and still claim to be the victim.
Tlaib’s utter dishonesty is a disgrace and an embarrassment to Congress. If the Democrats can embrace a person of such obviously flawed character, maybe it’s time for them to examine their own character.
Measles – It’s Our Fault
Anti-Semitism is frighteningly on the rise, but Yaakov Kornreich, in his “Playing with Fire” article, uses an unfair comparison to illustrate his point. We cannot compare the current spread of measles, and the anti-Semitism it has led to, to the Black Death and the lie that Jews “poisoned the wells.”
Unlike the current measles epidemic, the Black Death didn’t start and spread rapidly in Jewish neighborhoods. In fact, Jewish communities had lower incidents of Black Death than non-Jewish communities did.
But Jews have brought back a very contagious, dangerous, and completely preventable disease for the first time in two decades, making a tremendous chillul Hashem in the process.
Mr. Kornreich writes of 229 cases of measles that have already been reported in 2019 in four frum neighborhoods. It is obvious to the world, much to our discredit, that the outbreak is due to lower vaccination rates in these neighborhoods, which places other communities at risk since people, of course, leave their neighborhoods.
Sadly for us, we can’t blame everything on anti-Semitism.
Bina Simon, RN
Hypocrisy on Steroids
Jewish Democrats’ hatred of President Trump transcends logic. They call Trump a fascist for his remarks about Charlottesville but ignore Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s statement that “some people did some things on 9-11.”
They call Trump crude but overlook Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib using an expletive to describe Trump.
They call Trump a racist but ignore vitriolic anti-Semitic statements emanating in a constant stream from Democratic leaders like Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Keith Ellison.
They call Trump sexist but excuse women-hugging Biden and support him for the Democratic presidential nomination.
They call Trump divisive but support the radical Bernie Sanders who wants to turn an exceptional America into another failing socialist, totalitarian state.
They call Trump unfit to be president, but rally around former bartender – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who advocates banning all fossil fuels, which would return civilization to the Stone Age considering that fossil fuels power most of the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships, and electricity-generating stations.
Their problem has nothing to do with what Trump says or does – those are merely excuses – and everything to do with what he is: a conservative Republican president standing in the way of the continued transformation of America into a reactionary, socialist, totalitarian regime.
We all know that if this very same Trump were a Democrat, three-quarters of all Jews would eagerly vote for him and idolize him as the most Israel- and Jew-friendly U.S. president in history. It is truly depressing to see Jews so willing to sacrifice their principles on the altar of petty politics.
Highland Park, NJ
A Holocaust Seder Plate
Your article on the Gurs Camp and the handwritten Haggadah that Jews there used was very instructive. I would like to add some information:
Gurs was an internment camp, not an extermination camp (although food, heat, and sanitation were all sorely lacking, leading to many deaths), and my father was its chaplain.
My father, Chief Rabbi Paul Tsvi Bauer, zt”l, was amongst the hundreds of thousands of British and French troops who escaped the Nazis at Dunkirk. Later he became the rabbi of Pau, in the Pyrénées mountains near the Spanish border, and chaplain of Gurs.
He could enter Gurs but was never sure he could leave it. He did his utmost to help the internees. Once, at the end of a visit, Gurs’ director told him, “I have received orders to forbid you from entering the camp. Despite this order, I will let you in today, but I want to be clear: I will not be able to do so again.” My father tried to argue, but it was in vain.
Gurs’ internees must have learned about the decision because that day they offered my father a ka’arah, a Seder plate, they had made out of pieces of wood and iron. It is one of two Seder plates I use to the present day.
The Camp Days of Herman Wouk, a”h
My late mother, Shirley Friedberg Neustein, was a childhood friend of Herman Wouk and attended the same Zionist camp (Keeyuma/Carmelia) as he did in the 1920s and 30s on Lake Champlain in Milton, Vermont. They kept up until my mother died in 2001.
I gathered bits and pieces of Herman’s personal side – his banter, humor, and zest for living despite personal tragedy – from my mother. The boys and girls in camp were separated during the week but would come together for Friday night prayer service. My mother, who was a few years younger than Herman, vividly described to me how during short breaks in the prayer service Herman would suddenly lift his head from the siddur and canvass the room with penetrating eyes. She would often tell me she could see “the wheels of his mind” turning as he scrupulously examined every camper in the prayer hall.
After writing Marjorie Morningstar, Herman called my mother to apologize profusely, swearing she was nothing at all like the protagonist in his book! He did concede, though, that he consciously used her name because of his friendship with her.
In May 1962, my mother organized a monumental camp reunion, bringing together youths that had since become household names in literary, political and business circles – Arthur Miller, Norman Lear, Moss Hart, Paul Goodman, Bob Treuhaft, Andrew Goodman, to name just a few.
Herman was immersed at the time in writing Youngblood Hawke and couldn’t attend the reunion. He did, however, make a poignant audiotape recounting his camp memories. The room was quiet as former campers listened closely to Herman’s reflections on his camp days. Out of respect for Herman’s sensitivity, my mother cut the cassette tape immediately after it was played.
If my late mother were here today, she would say Herman clearly showed signs of greatness already as a young lad!
Amy Neustein, Ph.D.
Fort Lee, NJ