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The battle for Jerusalem

It is unfortunate that Raphael Ahren uses a quote from the PLO’s propagandist spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi to repeat the big lie that Palestinians are indigenous to Israel (“Jews ignore UN’s 2012 partition plan at their own peril,” Dec.7).
This lie flies in the face of everything we know about the area from history and archeology. The Jews (Israelites) have been living there since about 1400 BCE, while the Arab conquest of the region took place around 634 CE. That is 2,000 years after the Jews first settled the area.
Also, when Israel accepted the 1947 partition plan, it led to a bloody war where fledgling Israel was attacked by five Arab states and was not favoured to win. It is no wonder that Israel wants a negotiated peace and not another partition plan. So far, the Palestinians have rejected every offer of peace, no matter how generous.

Les Lightstone
Toronto


So U.S. President Donald Trump finally recognizes a 70-year-old reality and confirms that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and says the United States will soon move its embassy there, and the world goes bananas, including the Pope, who should know better but apparently doesn’t, forgetting that the only country preserving his Catholic religion and the holy sites attesting to that religion – which has been less than magnanimous towards the Jews for millenniums – anywhere in the Middle East is Israel.

And almost all the world’s leaders, all of whom are much less holy, also start decrying a historical fact that goes back 3,000 years, echoing UNESCO’s preposterous and anti-Semitic resolutions, that Jerusalem has absolutely no connection to the Jewish People.
Over 150 countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel attest to the fact of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital since, regardless of where their embassies are located, their ambassadors come to present their credentials and are officially received by the president in Jerusalem.

Trump wisely (perhaps his first and only wise comment in the last two years), did not say whether east or west Jerusalem, or a united Jerusalem, is the capital. Assuming for a moment that a two-state solution or any other solution agreeable to both parties is reached and agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem will not cease being the capital of Israel.

At worst, for Israel, if the parties agree on a full and meaningful peace, the Israelis may decide to accord some part of east Jerusalem to the Palestinians and allow them to call that territory the capital of a Palestinian state, thereby having two countries call Jerusalem their capital.

Isidore Baum
Laval, Que.


Is this Jewish news?

On a recent trip to Toronto, I happened to read Andrew Silow-Carroll’s article “Franken and Weinstein are Jewish, but are they Jewish news?” (Nov. 30) where he listed his criteria for reporting misconduct by Jews.

Silow-Carrroll’s criteria aside, all Jews, whether they identify themselves through their activities or are referenced as Jews, are bound eternally to uphold moral standards set forth by God in the Torah. It is our mission to be a “kingship of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6).

Any denigration of these standards is Jewish news and we should all accept our individual mandate of representing the whole Jewish nation.

Judy Baldinger
Monsey, N.Y.


Thanks to The Stooges

I must thank you for finally mentioning the Three Stooges, who have been so important to me and others from the 1930s until now (Trending, Dec. 7).
Curly, Larry, Moe and, later, Shemp taught me much about human relationships and about life: carpentry, plumbing, house painting, waiting on tables, food fights. These little Jewish comedians did their own stunts and taught us all about getting even with snobs and anyone else who considered themselves superior. Find them on the Internet.

David Rapoport
Toronto