Urge Attendance At Rally To Oppose False War Crime Charges Against The IDF
Next Wednesday, March 30, 2022, a group of hard-core antisemitic extremists will hold a sidewalk demonstration at 4:30 pm at the Friends of the IDF national office, 60 East 42nd Street (between Madison and Park avenues) in New York City. (See the announcement by American Friends for Safe Israel, AFSI.org, for more details.)
As usual, it should be expected that this group will regurgitate all the phony war crime charges made by Arabs and their supporters against the IDF. Moreover, this group will never acknowledge the true record of extraordinary IDF efforts to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties in wars started by Hamas with rocket bombardment against Israeli towns and cities.
This type of anti-Israel and anti-IDF propaganda demonstration is a mainstay of the BDS campaigns on college campuses across the U.S., which aim to bully and shame Jewish students to weaken their basic Jewish identity and support for Israel. As parents, friends, and family members of these young students we probably are not in a position to stand with them as they are impacted by anti-Israel attacks. However, a demonstration against the IDF based on phony war crime charges in midtown Manhattan is a different situation and should be met with an overwhelming community response.
I trust therefore that all rabbis and community and organization leaders will join the effort to form a giant peaceful, lawful rally to reject this shameful antisemitic demonstration in the heart of New York City. We need to send a message of Jewish pride and active resistance to antisemitism as we express our gratitude to the IDF for all its sacrifices and good deeds in emergency situations around the world.
Lawrence B. Dvores
‘National Pastime’ Ruined By Wokeism
My letter may seem frivolous given the current global climate, but I felt compelled to respond to Mr. Zeitlin’s lovely article (“Finally, It’s Time To Play Ball,” March 18).
I had been a NY Yankees fan for over 50 years and loved the team dearly.
I also played organized ball in multiple leagues for many decades. The start of every season was accompanied by the sweet smell of the grass and dirt of the field and much anticipation.
The start of the Covid-delayed 2020 season in July was such a spirit lifter, only to be dashed when I began to watch opening day. I tuned in to BLM emblazoned on the pitcher’s mounds and players kneeling during the national anthem and immediately had to turn away from the game in disgust.
What a wanton politicization of our beloved pastime. I did not watch another game that year.
This was followed by the virtue-signaling commissioner moving the All-Star game away from Atlanta the next season over supposed violations of voting rights enacted by the Georgia government.
The politicization of professional sports has detracted from the enjoyment and escapism that they had heretofore provided.
I can no longer continue to follow my beloved teams until this stops, and it pains me to witness this devolution into wokeism by sports organizations.
I think that in this case climate change is actually much desired.
Not ‘Concentration Camps’ But Assembly-Line Death Factories
“Southern NCSY’s ‘Hate Ends Now’ Project Revolutionizing Holocaust Education” (March 4) is a reminder of the dismaying fact that Jews are losing the narrative in trying to convey an accurate portrayal of the horrors of the Holocaust, especially to the newer generations who didn’t live through those dark years, and a new approach to teaching it is needed. Classical antisemitism, which waned in the years immediately following the Holocaust, is after just 75 years again rising as Jews are once more becoming scapegoats for all the ills of the world. Even the slogan “Never Again” is not used much anymore, for the reality is that it is more like “Here We Go Again.”
Birkenau was not a concentration camp – it was an assembly-line death factory.
I submit that one of the main problems in getting our message out is semantics. Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka, Dachau, and Majdanek are all called “concentration camps.” Even Jewish survivors of these hellholes describe being in the “camps.” One problem with this description is that the German word Konzentrationslager was translated as “concentration camp,” and the word “camp,” to the uninitiated, conjures up a vision of children playing, as in summer camps, sports camps, and baseball camps. Only when one talks about harsher facilities such as labor camps, POW camps, internment camps, refugee camps, and prison camps does one start to convey a feeling of dread. And only when one reaches the level of brutal gulags and slave labor camps, does one exhibit a level of actual terror. Yet even here, these inmates were usually drawn from selected elements of the population targeted for specific reasons, usually political or military, and there was always at least some hope of surviving those conditions and eventually being freed and returning to former lives.
Treblinka was not a concentration camp – it was an assembly-line death factory.
By contrast, during the Holocaust all Jews, men, women and children, six million of them, were rounded up indiscriminately and transported, not to “concentration” camps but to death factories, where all were murdered on a brutally efficient assembly-line basis, not “exterminated” like vermin. Even in the German slave labor camps, the main objective was to work the laborers to death, not to maximize production. There was no hope of release or freedom. This was the first and worst case in world history when a sovereign state deliberately set up and maintained state-run genocide assembly-line killing factories to systematically murder an entire segment of its people.
Dachau was not a concentration camp – it was an assembly-line death factory.
When one enters the realm of hell, it seems there is no limit to the depth to which demented human minds can descend. Not only were the helpless victims brutalized and murdered, but before being rounded up and transported to the crematoria, their valuables, jewelry, art, possessions, land, houses and businesses were confiscated and seized to enrich the coffers of the state and their leaders.
And in unimaginable evil acts of twisted minds never even conceived by the likes of Dante, Caligula and Torquemada, the bodies themselves were actually used as raw materials for harvest by the German state. Brutal medical experiments were conducted on the living, and after their death, human hair was cut off for use in mattresses, gold teeth and fillings were extracted for their gold content, eyeglasses and mounds of clothes, and piles of baby and children’s shoes were collected for other use, tattoos were removed for decorations, and even the dead bodies were melted down for their fat content to make soap.
Majdanek was not a concentration camp – it was an assembly-line death factory.
This is the message, the narrative, that must be conveyed to the outside world about the hell of the Holocaust, and the death factories, and the murder of six million Jews, and genocide, and avoid using sanitized terms like “concentration” camps and extermination.
Highland Park, NJ
Educating Antisemites Doesn’t Work
In today’s woke world, antisemitism has found fertile ground and is growing profusely amongst all classes and people. Our so-called leaders of the various Jewish organizations have not adapted to this new surge and continue to address antisemitism with the same tired methods that have failed all along. To the ever-growing severity of antisemitic actions, be they in the streets or in the Congress through such vile creatures as AOC, Tlaib, etc., these organizations continue to respond with the need to “educate” as their solution, without any evidence of ignorance on the part of today’s antisemites, or any large-scale success as a result of years of education. We even have some of the most highly educated people, i.e., professors, spewing antisemitic teachings in some of the most highly regarded universities.
Towards the end of the Megillah we read that the Jews were granted permission to defend themselves. And defend themselves they did! They forcefully stood up to the Persian antisemites and showed strength. They did not try to educate these enemies. As a result, we read how these enemies were now afraid of, and in awe of Jews. In modern times we saw the same result following the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War.
We need to stop presenting ourselves as the nebish who is going to try to teach those who hate us and wish to harm us that we are nice people. Nor will education convince them that antisemitism is just not a nice type of belief to have. It never worked in the past, and it is failing us now again. Our organizations need to take a more forceful and outspoken stand. Make demands, not beg favors. Don’t let either political party take the Jewish vote for granted. Denounce the antisemites publicly, including the self-hating Jews like George Soros and Bernie Sanders. Call for boycotting antisemitic companies – Jewish, like Ben & Jerry’s, or non-Jewish. Demand that antisemitic statements by members of Congress result in at least censure of the member, if not more. Call on the individual Jew to protest loudly when encountering antisemitism and demand repercussions, be it at work, school, from the government or even the local store.
It’s not possible to eliminate antisemitism. However, if we flex the collective muscle of the Jewish community now, we have a chance to drive these antisemites back into the holes they’ve lived in until now. If we continue to wait and grovel it will be too late. While that is not a total solution, we’ve seen that it has held the level of overt antisemitism in check for nearly 80 years. Trying to “educate” has resulted in attacks and open scorn for Jews. Just as the antisemites in Persia didn’t suddenly become lovers of Jews, they did fear to tangle with us, and peace for Jews was restored.
Dr. Robert Solomon
Boynton Beach, FL
The Cost of Lowering the Gas Tax
Governor Kathy Hochul and some members of the State Senate and Assembly are considering supporting legislation that would temporarily suspend the state gas tax of 16 cents per gallon. This would go into effect from May 1 to the end of the year. They remind me of J. Wellington Wimpy, who famously said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” In this case, it would be a discount for the cost of filling up your gas tank. What they all miss is that these taxes raise $2.8 billion per year. They pay for 50 percent of the state’s dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust fund. The MTA counts on these funds for 25 percent of their annual operating budget. MTA Chairman Janno Lieber is correct to express his concern about this proposal, as it could result in a loss of $400 million in revenue to his agency. This is a critical source of funding for maintaining bridges, highways and transit.
How would the loss of these funds be made up? Governor Hochul, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie would have to agree on how to make up the lost revenue. They will either raise other taxes, transfer revenue from other sources, or reduce the scope or number of bridge, highway and transportation funded projects. At the end of the day, both motorists and transit riders will be the losers.
Great Neck, NY