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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Shanah Tovah from Queen’s Park

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On behalf of the government of Ontario, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to the members of the Jewish community as you celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and offers a time for reflection and contemplation. As you come together with family and friends to mark this holiday and reflect on the past year, I send you good wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead.

Please accept my very best for a sweet and happy New Year. Shanah Tovah!

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

 

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Anti-Semitism cannot be justified

 

Elizabeth Block starts off her letter criticizing Bill Gladstone for his critique of the petitioners opposing Israel’s actions (“Petition shouldn’t be derided,” The CJN, Aug. 15). Well and good.

From there, however, she goes on to say nothing less than that anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jews for the mere fact of their being born Jews, may be the responsibility of Jews themselves. It renders one almost speechless to read that this monstrous hatred, which has caused unspeakable suffering for centuries, is given implicit, hinted-at legitimacy.

With her claim that she only means that this vile mentality is the responsibility of a modern Jewish government, she uses the same logic and the same essential calumny which has always been the pacifier of the anti-Semite. The “logic” is the condemnation of an entire “race”/nation because of the supposed or even real characteristics or actions of some individuals (or even, as nowadays, a government). The calumny is: “It is their own behaviour that makes them despised.”

One can only wonder, does she even understand the true extent and significance of the phenomenon of anti-Semitism?

Sam Izenberg

Toronto

 

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Pieces without peace

 

I am very taken aback by the tone of Arie Raif’s article “Two States Now, Peace Later” (The CJN, Aug. 22).

Raif advocates as follows: “The solution to the current stalemate can be overcome provided Israel is ready to make a significant long overdue move.”

Raif makes no suggestion whatsoever about any long overdue move required by the other side. He suggests that Israel give up pieces such as the northern West Bank, part of area ‘C’ and five square kilometres of Jerusalem.

Is he serious? If Israel gives up those various pieces, the same things will happen that have happened elsewhere when Israel has given up land. There will be new demands for further concessions of land, new rockets brought in to bombard an ever-smaller Israel, and more terrorists will have easier access to attack Israel’s citizens. New dividing walls will have to be built.

All of this as a result of Israel giving up, as Raif would have it, pieces without any resulting peace. Who is Raif fooling? There has never been any peace as a result of concessions made by Israel to the Arabs. The only time that peace will come to the land will be when all Israel (God forbid) has been conceded to the Arabs.

David Freudmann

Toronto

 

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Israel must not make painful concessions

 

Arie Raif states in “Two States Now, Peace Later” (cjnews.com, Aug. 22) that Israel is able to make painful but necessary concessions. Israel indeed has done that over the past 20 years, including release of thousands or murderers, and only terrorism was exchanged as a token of thanks. What civilized nation would do that?

What historical precedent or political science theory does Raif employ to prove that we must have two states now and peace will eventually come later? What imbues confidence in Raif and his fellow researchers that Palestinians really want peace? So far, no such thing is visible.

Raif tries to prove by means of Catastrophe Law that because only painful concessions were made after tragic losses suffered in the Yom Kippur War, while Israel defended itself in Lebanon and during the first intifadah, it must make concessions now to stop further disaster. He then cites “forget the Gaza evacuation as an argument against withdrawal.”

Raif is in essence stating that the replacement of Jews by Hamas murderers who committed countless acts of terror from Gaza against Israel is not a phenomenon that invalidates his Catastrophe Law. Raif is sufficiently educated to know that any hypothesis, theory or law is invalidated by only one example contrary to it.

Raif and his colleagues need to wake up to the fact that they are self-deluded. They need to learn Jewish history, as well as engage in-depth Jewish Bible study, and realize that those who don’t learn from history must repeat it.

Knowing the bitter truth can help avert another Holocaust, God forbid. 

Gershon Pick

Toronto

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