Letters Week of Oct. 6, 2005


Sure, Peace Will Come – When Israel's Gone!

Jonathan Tobin's conclusions about Israeli politics (A Matter of Opinion: "The 'Big Bang' Will Echo Here," Sept. 22) are as viable as disengagement itself, which purportedly was a huge success.

Meaning: You can fool some of the people all of the time.

Enabling homicidal attacks by Palestinians and enabling those who would weaken Israel explains the inane dhimmi attitude that aims at throwing Israel to the mercy of the Arabs.

Oh, I know, they'll really, really like us if we just abandon all of Judea and Samaria – and maybe even Jerusalem.

In the meantime, some 41 rockets were fired into Israel last week from Gaza, and calls for the deaths of Israelis have magnified.

Sure, peace is around the corner – after Israel's gone, that is!
Mark Goldberg
Aberdeen, N.J.

Here's the Simple Truth: They Aim to Destroy!

M.J. Rosenberg simply invents Israeli right-wing bogeymen to help rationalize Palestinian hostility to Israel's existence (Opinion: "Abbas' Failures Answer the Prayers of Right-Wingers," Sept. 22). Apparently, leaving intact the synagogues evacuated in Gaza was one of many "traps set for them by Israeli hard-liners."

Rosenberg claims that "focusing attention on the synagogues – and then prohibiting the Israeli army from demolishing them – would make the Palestinians look bad when they leveled the buildings."

But he never seems to ask the obvious question: Why should Palestinians be incapable of leaving Jewish houses of worship intact?

The obvious answer was proven by the destruction of a yeshiva in Nablus (1996), the vandalizing and demolition of Joseph's Tomb (2000), the torching of the ancient Jericho synagogue (2000), and the continuous attacks on Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem – to say nothing of Palestinian conduct in the 2000 negotiations in which Yasser Arafat told President Clinton that the Temple never stood in Jerusalem.

Palestinians simply do not respect Judaism, and have taken every opportunity that has come their way to vandalize and destroy Jewish sites.

The Gaza synagogues are only the latest example.

In no case did Palestinians need to fall into "traps set for them by Israeli hard-liners."
Michael Goldblatt
Board of Directors
Greater Philadelphia District
Zionist Organization of America

Bombing Would Not Have Saved Shoah Victims
The recent death of the heroic, indefatigable Simon Wiesenthal brings to mind the horror and cruelty of the Holocaust, as well as a related question: Why did the Allies not attack Nazi concentration camps by bombing their rail approaches?

When the question is raised, you often hear this answer from Jewish people and from others – "indifference or anti-Semitism."

But as a Jew and a World War II Air Force veteran, I disagree with that premise, based on the following:

The British Bomber Command and the U.S. 8th Air Force might have taken on the challenge, but when and how?

By mid-1942, when the Allied leaders possibly perceived the totality of the Nazi war against the Jews, continental Europe was in German hands, and Allied air forces were experiencing unbearably heavy losses.

Bomber Command, with its night-time area bombing, could not possibly pinpoint targets. Collateral damage, translated into deaths of inmates, may have been the over-riding result.

The U.S. 8th Air Force, with its daylight bombing, sought but seldom achieved the vaunted "precision" targeting.

Mapping inaccuracies and imprecise targeting were too common to expect satisfactory results at the time.

The destruction of German's war capability was the primary goal of the war effort. Other targets were regarded as antithetical to that end.

How, then, could a mission against the rail approaches of a Nazi concentration camp be rationalized? It could not.

But suppose the Allies nevertheless decided on humanitarian grounds to bomb a rail entry point. The mission would have presented operational difficulties because of distance and other risks to the air crew. However, let us assume a successful mission.

What then?

Well, the Nazis' could simply reroute its human cargo to other death camps.

Meanwhile, the German war machine would have benefited from the diversion away from destruction of its military assets. In that sense, the Nazis may have welcomed the mission.

If ever a people deserved a helping hand, it was those Holocaust victims. But it appears, regrettably, that the earliest possible Allied victory was the only attainable remedy.

Miraculously, Simon Wiesenthal survived the war.

And he went on to become the conscience of the Holocaust and a permanent representative of the missions of victims – determined to bring justice to the perpetrators of history's greatest crime.
William J. Hirsch

Northeast Philadelphia: It's Alive and Kicking!
We were pleased to see the article on Beth Emeth- B'nai Yitzhok's celebration of its 55th anniversary.

Northeast Philadelphia is still a vibrant community, and we hope to be here working for the good of the community – for many, many years to come.
Leonard Ginsberg
Diana Gottlieb

Beth Emeth-B'nai Yitzhok


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