The whole truth about UNESCO

Reading the editorial “Jews and the Western Wall” (October 23), many if not most of your readers will miss the irony of its emphasis and omissions. The editor has honed in on the alleged fact when, referring to the Wall, “that world will unite to assert our claims to truth and history.” Which “world” is she referring to, the Jewish world or the world at large?

She lauds the fact that UNESCO has postponed a resolution to declare the Western Wall part of the Al-Aksa Mosque complex and thus a Palestinian/Muslim holy site.

I must ask how many readers of the Jewish Standard intend on visiting the newly declared by UNESCO Palestinian/Muslim Historical Heritage Sites of Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque when they visit Israel? Not sure, not in the readers’ bucket list? Perhaps if I refer to their names before UNESCO asked Israel to take them off the list of Israeli Historical Heritage sites — Kever Rachel and Ma’arat haMachpelah (Tomb of the Patriarchs) — they will know of what I write. UNESCO has changed or attempted to change history from Jewish to Muslim by a vote of 26 to 6, with 25 “Duh, I don’t knows.” One can’t argue that this really “asserted” our claims. Another great victory in the halls of the U.N.?

The most current problems facing Jews and the State of Israel do not just hone in on the Western Wall. Instead of writing about the “Jews and the Western Wall,” the editor should have written about the current twisting and distortions of history. She should be writing about the attempts to deny the historical connection of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael. The Jews of today are linked in an unbroken chain with the Jews of thousands of years ago. The Muslims claim many of their holy sites because they are Jewish sites and they believe that their religion has superseded the Jewish religion. Muslims believe the sites are now Muslim, and only Muslims can worship there.

Why not include the contents of the two resolutions that were passed and the one that was postponed? Give the full contents of these three resolutions, information that has not been forthcoming in the general media. The Muslims are intent on denying and erasing any connection of the Jews historically to our Holy land. Inform your readers, so that they can become informed individuals and able to counter these lies and distortions. “Ignorance” on the part of your readers in this instance is not “bliss.”

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford

Where are our leaders?

The blatant anti-Semitism in the U.S. press and all over the world has me extremely concerned. And contributing to that concern is the lack of a strong response by our Jewish leadership.

When someone—anyone—criticizes Obama or any African-American, we are all treated to a barrage of the words “racist” and “racism”. Make no mistake—criticism of Israel in the current situation is anti-Semitic.

Sympathy for Palestinian children and their mothers, along with photos, is prevalent in the American press, with no corresponding sympathy for Israeli parents and their children suffering at least the same amount of violence perpetrated against them.

Currently, Israel’s very existence is at peril because Obama has forsaken her and has thrown his support to her enemies. Where are our Jewish leaders? Why aren’t they calling out our politicians and the media for their unjust treatment of Israel?

A campaign has to be launched to do just that in order to raise the awareness of the general public. (Christians are being tortured and beheaded by the Mid-East zealots and Christian leadership is also silent.)

We should not be afraid to identify anti-Semitism where it exists, and I am asking our Jewish leadership to take command by using the public arena — TV, radio and the press — to bring our plight to our citizens. It is not sufficient to write about this in Jewish publications.

Susan Ebenstein

Being good, having fun

Now that we’re back to routine, after the intense and on-going beautiful aura of spending many Yom Tovim with family and community, we can all reflect on the days of awe 5776 before our next round of chagim.

Kudos and acknowledgement go to the administrators and staff of our local yeshivot, especially on the high school level, in directing our Jewish children to greater heights.

To enjoy a vibrant Simchat Torah in our midst, so teenagers would have friends and guests from all over joining together, my daughter Ilana hosted over 18 children in her Englewood home; many other community families did the same thing. Ilana was so impressed with the turnout, and wholeheartedly praised they way in which the administrators and staff had done an effective, wonderful job conveying to the student body how to conduct themselves appropriately over the chag while being able to enjoy in the lively festivities as well. Admiration for Rabbi Ciner, at the helm of Frisch, where my granddaughter is a student, and all the high school administrators, including Rabbi Yosef of TABC, and the staff had guided the students to conduct themselves appropriately during the festivals. It’s a pleasure to recognize that in stark contrast to many previous years, when there had been some behavioral problems, the youth of klal Yisrael in our area today have been guided with yirat shamayim while having fun at the same time.

Such behavior is something that everyone — administrators, staff, and the students themselves who get the primary credit — can be so proud of!

Ruby Kaplan (Sara Gdanski’s grandmother)

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