Kudos for Saul Singer Articles
This is just a letter of praise and thank you for the weekly column of Saul J. Singer. It is the best part of the paper, including many other good articles. Is he going to publish a book of all the articles? Each one is great. The quantity of fascinating facts and information in his column is wonderfully enormous and enlightening.
Jackie Kennedy’s Jewish Connection?
Thank you for the article by Saul Jay Singer, “Jackie Kennedy: Friend of the Jews and Israel” (Nov. 17). However, the assertion that she was a grandparent to a Jewish child, like former President Trump, is misplaced. Her daughter, Caroline Kennedy, is married to a Jew but their child is not Jewish – unlike Ivanka Trump, who properly converted to Judaism before her marriage to her Jewish spouse.
Also, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. had Jewish roots on his father’s side and so was not Jewish.
The trend started by the Reform movement to disregard established halacha is unacceptable. I have been to a shul where a non-Jew sought to join the minyan, but fortunately, someone knew that his mother was not Jewish.
Harvey (Chaim) Herbert
Punish Bus Bigotry
It will be interesting to see how the mainstream press will cover the fact that in at least two places, attempts were made to prevent Jews from attending the pro-Israel Rally in Washington, DC (“Nearly 300K Jews Rallied for Israel in Wash DC, minus 300 from Detroit Sabotaged by Antisemitic Bus Drivers,” (Jewish Press e-edition, Nov 15). It will also be interesting to see what legal actions will be taken concerning the two bus companies involved.
At Dulles airport, several hundreds of individuals traveling from Detroit attempting to attend the rally were informed that the buses chartered to transport them would not make the trip from the airport. It was reported by the New York Post that when the drivers found out that they were to transport Jews to the rally, they reported “sick.” No other transportation could be found and they were forced to spend 11 hours on the tarmac.
In Westport, Connecticut, hundreds were left lacking the transportation they hired and paid for when the buses they chartered did not show up. Fortunately, enough drivers with private cars were able to load up and go to the rally with the bus passengers.
One can only view this as another of the antisemitic acts we are facing. Hopefully, lawyers will step forward and pursue all the legal actions they can against the companies and the drivers. Also, the seemingly bigoted drivers should all be fired. The bus companies should be identified and all those who were not able to travel the way they paid for, should be well compensated, as well as the private drivers in Connecticut.
Howard J. Cohn
New Milford, N.J.
In Defense of Democrats
The Jewish Press editorialized (Nov. 17) that it is “time for Jews to rethink the Democratic party.” But is it not the Republicans who in the House of Representatives are at the mercy of their extreme elements who are playing games that are delaying funds for Israel, and whose indisputable leader, President Trump, is still unapologetic after dining with well-known antisemites?
As for the Democrats, The Jewish Press applauds the response so far of President Biden, a Democrat, to the October 7 terrorist attacks, and on the very second page of the paper Congressman Ritchie Torres, another Democrat, is correctly described as “one of the most vocal pro-Israel voices in the U.S. Congress.” The bulk of the Democrats in the House, as The Jewish Press noted, supported a resolution condemning Hamas.
I would add that even many on the far left who voted against it – like representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Ilhan Omar – have unequivocally condemned Hamas by name in their own statements. In light of all this, one would have to bend over backwards to argue that we should be concerned with the Democratic party.
The Jewish Press argues that House Democrats opposing the censure of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is evidence of “institutional Democratic insensitivity to rampant antisemitism” and anti-Zionism. Specifically, they fear that since the censure resolution involves the Palestinian cause, as opposed to just condemning terrorism, it can be deduced that there is more sympathy towards the Palestinians and criticism of Israel. I believe The Jewish Press reads too much into the representatives’ votes in this resolution, which speaks less about actual opinions of the conflict, or of Rep. Tlaib, and more reflects partisan bickering.
To be sure, we have known for a while that there are critics of Israel’s policies in the Democratic party. But the diversity of perspective parallels that of the Jewish people (indeed known for our varied opinions), and as the Democrats’ support during these difficult times has shown it is a mistake to confuse that with the distinct ugliness of antisemitism or with denying the right of the Jewish state to exist.
New York, N.Y.
A Telling Contrast
This is a short list of the arrests at pro-Palestinian rallies:
ABC7NY: Five people arrested at ‘Flood Staten Island for Gaza’ march in Richmond Hill.
ABC7 Chicago: Ogilvie protest … Over 100 arrested at Accenture Tower protest against war.
WCVB-TV: Tensions high at Brandeis University after Palestine supporters arrested.
On November 15, CBSnews.com reported that protesters in Washington D.C. calling for a cease-fire … were illegally and violently protesting….”
The pro-Israel rally in Washington DC on November 14, on the other hand, drew around 300,000 people; the number of disturbances and arrests: zero.
What the Palestinians and pro-Palestinians in this country prove is that peaceful coexistence with others is just not part of their makeup. You’d think at least some of them would speak up and say how embarrassed or disturbed they are about the barbarism of their own people. No such apologies. Instead, they rally in support of evil. How low have these people sunk?
The Real Occupiers of Gaza
Yes, Gaza is occupied. It is occupied by a Hamas death cult that no Arab army, nor the Palestinian Authority, had the wherewithal or fortitude to liberate. It is occupied by a Marxist liberation philosophy that rationalizes nihilistic acts of violence against Jews as ennobling or, as one American professor stated, “exhilarating.” Thanks to the Israel Defense Forces it is now being liberated from “occupation.”
Hamas supporters in the United States aver concern for Palestinian civilian casualties of war, including children, but what is fiercely stated as Western world altruism is contaminated with another motivation – antisemitism. The hatred of Jews among many calling for a ceasefire is clear since there is a justified way to spare needless Palestinian deaths – publicly demand that Hamas surrender. A surrender by Hamas would quickly spare Palestinian civilians from the trauma of war.
An entreaty urging Hamas surrender is undoubtedly heresy. Such pleading in Gaza, and maybe on some U.S. college campuses, would likely be a call for traitorous execution. But the absence of surrender calls in the Western world shows the true passion for this cause is not love of the Palestinian people but rather resentment that Israelis are capable of a necessary military response to a cruel, implacable and sadistic terrorist enemy.
The demand for surrender makes sense if Hamas cared about the people of Gaza. The truth is, Palestinian lives are expendable to them. Hatred of Jews, not preservation of people in Gaza, drives their supporters. Hamas terrorism not only threatens and murders Jews; it also enslaves the people of Gaza and indeed threatens Western civilization. Hamas never offered Palestinians the chance to prosper or evolve a civil society. Hamas denied them the enrichment of education, opportunity and even the basics of life, as necessary resources were diverted into rockets and extended warfare tunnels below ground.
If the American protesters in support of Hamas had their way, the people of Gaza would continue to labor under the fascist authority of a terrorist organization that has never allowed dissent. Hamas summarily executes those who oppose their authority or that they arbitrarily deem traitors or heretics. American protestors who blithely shout pro-Hamas slogans would likely be killed in Gaza for personal preferences of whom to love, how to worship G-d, or the role of women in society contrary to enforced Hamas dogma.
There is no free press in Gaza. No elections. No human rights. Those denials of basic freedoms do not come from Israel’s actions. They come from the gun barrel of a tyrannical, outlaw regime. It is a regime financed by Iran, to serve Iranian interests, and not the interest of Gaza residents. Despite radical views and a population mired in poverty, tellingly, Hamas leaders, Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh, have each accumulated a net worth of $4 billion.
The Palestinian people of Gaza will eventually be liberated not by terrorists but by the Israel Defense Forces. Once liberated, the world needs to help that ailing island of despair that has become isolated not by Israeli occupation but as a result of their own leaders’ genocidal intentions. History, too often, is a recycled story told through tears of despair.
In the past, to gain the Irish free state, terrorists fought the British authorities, but then the Irish terrorist leader, Michael Collins, turned his own guns against his former allies when they stood in the way of a pragmatic, compromise peace agreement and civil progress. It is a historical analogy the Palestinian people should heed.
The Palestinian people of Gaza do not deserve the life they have endured under the Hamas dictatorship that assumed control after Israel left in 2005. The mountainous rubble they live in is evidence of the fantastical delusion that almost two decades of intermittent war and terrorism, including indoctrinated racial and religious hatred, can bring tangible triumph. Israel will not be driven into the sea and the Jewish people will never capitulate to another Holocaust.
Brian J. Goldenfeld
Oak Park, Calif.
Rally Round the Flag
It is indeed heartening that an estimated 290,000 people representing all major faiths and mainstream political affiliations came to Washington DC for what was said to be the largest pro-Israel rally in American history, although the event was marred by a walkout of bus drivers allegedly refusing to transport Jews arriving at the DC airport from Detroit to attend the rally.
An additional 250,000 viewers, including me, followed the event live on the Internet. These impressive numbers were a stark contrast to the attendance at a similar rally in July 2021.
Nevertheless, there is also a negative insofar as the rally was necessary in the first place. Recent news reports have included highly disturbing events such as:
- Jewish college students are increasingly feeling endangered on campus, particularly at elite universities. A Cornell student was arrested for allegedly making violent threats against Jews. (His mother says he’s mentally ill.)
- The Yeshiva Gedola of Montreal was the target of gunfire for the second time in a week.
- Cornell University canceled Friday classes after a student issued a vile antisemitic threat.
- The Cornell Graduate Students’ Union voted overwhelmingly to become a chapter of the United Electrical Workers’ Union, a long-term opponent of Israel and supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement.
- Widely shared videos capture people tearing down posters showing kidnapped Israelis.
- Worst of all, however, is an event that occurred in southern California a week before the rally, on Sunday, November 5, when a pro-Palestinian demonstrator struck a 69-year-old Jewish man holding an Israeli flag in the face, possibly with a megaphone, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the sidewalk. He died from his injuries in the hospital the following day.
Throughout this process, university administrators have done very little to protect Jewish students. At least one remedy is at hand: “A major New York law firm told Fox News Digital it expects to sue a number of universities for the alleged violation of Jewish students’ civil rights, while demanding immediate remedial changes and financial penalties” (New York Post, Nov. 15).
The Jewish community has an additional remedy: let us discontinue contributions to the secular universities and redirect the money to Jewish education, especially for scholarships to day schools, so we can remove our children from the toxic atmosphere of leftist-dominated institutions and provide them with the genuine knowledge and skills that the mainstream education-industrial complex has been neglecting in favor of pushing “social justice” issues. As the slogan goes, we need education, not indoctrination.
Tehillim at Simchas
Here is an idea that can be easily implemented at every simcha (chasuna, bar mitzvah, bris, etc.). Have available two sets of Tehillim Mechulak – one for the women and one for the men. Put each set into a box labeled “Not read yet” and have another box next to it labeled “Already read. When you count 28 booklets here, please transfer them back to the ‘Not read yet’ box.”
You can designate a few guests to periodically check to see if the 28 booklets are in the “already read” box, and transfer them back to the first box (although any guest can do it as well).
There is plenty of “down time” at a simcha that can be spent productively by saying many rounds of Tehillim for Eretz Yisrael – for the soldiers, the injured, the hostages and everyone else in possible danger.
May we hear of miracles and wonders very soon, b’ezras Hashem.