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Speak Your Vues

AMAZING NEW APP

Dear Editor:
I’m all excited about the new OU All Daf app. I’m just worried that
it’s going to be hard for me to use. I’m not the best when it comes to
computers but everything I read about as far as this new app is
concerned makes me very excited. Right now I use torahanytime.com and
it’s very hard for me to navigate.
Eli Gordon/Flatbush

Editor’s Note: I have downloaded the Apple version of the App. So far
it is very easy and has two shiurim on it: Rabbis Rosner and Elefant.
There is also other stuff on the App. It is very easy to navigate. I
understand that there is more coming.

OIL ON CHANUKAH

Dear Editor:

What’s the purpose of having latkes without oil? Organic Circle on Ave
M is advertising that they are selling latkes without oil. You’re
supposed to have oily food on Chanukah.
Yoel Steinhurst/Boro Park

Editor’s Note: Maybe it is the new Lezecher oil doughnut or latka. Was
my response last week and I am sticking with it.

SIYUM HASHAS TICKETS

Dear Editor:

I really wanted to go to Met Life stadium for the Siyum Hashas, but I
can’t afford $200 a ticket. Any suggestions?

Boruch K

Editor’s Note: I am sure there are cheaper tickets left. There are
people who bought tickets at Barclays who are trying to get rid of
their Met life Tickets. Someone should start a G’mach for this.

ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

Dear Editor:

After reading an editorial harshly criticizing Secretary of State
Pompeo for his statement on the legality of Israeli settlements in the
Washington Jewish Week newspaper I wrote a letter to the editor. That
letter led to brief exchange of emails with David Holzel, the paper’s
managing editor. Mr. Holzel responded to my letter thus “Thank you for
the letter. Your points are well taken. I was wondering if you would
propose your alternative to the two-state solution.” During our email
dialogue I was offered a 600 word op-ed space to provide the Herut
answer on this. The op-ed was published earlier this month. These are
the original lines that I was responding to: “the Trump
administration’s still-secret Middle East peace plan will not promote
a two-state solution. Official recognition of Israeli control over
territory that includes land anticipated to become part of a
Palestinian state is viewed by two-state proponents as another
ill-considered step by the Trump administration.” This knee-jerk
assumption that two-states are a good plan or the only idea is what I
oppose. The very conception that every problem has a “solution” is in
my mind simply not realistic. This may be doubly true in the Middle
East.

The op-ed is below:

“The “two-state solution” would endanger Israel’s safety. The “one
state solution” may endanger Israel’s Jewish identity. So what’s the
alternative?

The “two-state solution” would create an independent Palestinian Arab
state approximately along the pre-1967 lines. It would occupy all, or
almost all, of Judea-Samaria and be linked to Gaza.

So Israel would be just nine miles wide—virtually indefensible.
Israel’s major cities and Ben Gurion Airport would be within easy
range of a Palestinian terrorist army—an unprecedented danger. Also,
there would be a mass expulsion of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds
of thousands, of Jews from existing settlement towns—which would be
utterly immoral.

Two-state advocates say the only alternative to their plan is a “one
state solution.” Which, they say, means granting Israeli citizenship
to the Palestinian Arabs and turning them into a majority; or
depriving them of citizenship and having an apartheid-like regime. But
that’s just a hypothetical issue that they use as a talking point. In
reality, not a single mainstream Israeli party calls for either making
those Arabs citizens of Israel or having an apartheid system.

The real choice is not between two states and one state. It’s actually
a choice between two states; the status quo; and a third way, which my
movement, Herut, advocates.

The status quo refers to the existing situation: the Palestinian
Authority (PA) rules about 40% of Judea-Samaria, 100% of Gaza, and all
the major cities where Palestinian Arabs live in the PA. Under the
status quo, the Palestinian Arabs do not pose a demographic threat to
Israel, because they’re not Israeli citizens and never will be.

Herut’s approach takes the status quo and builds on it in three important ways.

First, the Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria would live under
Israeli law, just as the Palestinian Arab communities live under PA
law. This would not create a demographic problem for Israel, since it
would not impose Israeli citizenship on the Arabs living in the
Israeli-ruled sections of Judea-Samaria. (The number of such Arabs is
very small, anyway.)

Second, Jews would be free to live anywhere in the Land of Israel.
This is not a “right-wing” position, but rather a sacred Zionist
principle that has been at the center of the Zionist movement since
its inception.

There’s no reason to fear that such Jewish communities would obstruct
peace. If the Palestinian Arabs genuinely want peace, they should have
no objection to Jewish neighbors, just as Israeli Jews live side by
side with nearly two million Arab citizens of Israel.

Third, Herut’s plan proposes to focus Palestinian Arab aspirations on
Jordan. That’s the country that is in an area historically called
Eastern Palestine, until the British decided in 1922 to unilaterally
change its name to Transjordan and later to Jordan. But changing a
name doesn’t change the identity of its citizens. The vast majority of
Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs; Jordan is already the independent
state for Palestinians that everyone is demanding. The only obstacle
to Palestinian statehood is the dictator king of Jordan.

If the Palestinian Arabs ever decide they actually want a state—rather
than the destruction of Israel—then 78% of historic Palestine awaits
them, just a few miles east.

Until then, Israel must be guided by the principle of
steadfastness—what Herut’s ideological forefather, the legendary
Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940), called “the Iron Wall.”
We know that Israel’s enemies will never love the Jewish State. But
they can be forced to respect Israel—by remaining steadfast in the
both the defense of Jewish rights and in the integrity of the Land of
Israel.”

With a limit of 600 words I was not able to go into so many of the
other issues that are interconnected to the mistaken premise that a
Palestinian Arab state encompassing Judea-Samaria is what has been
lacking in the challenge to build a real peace between Israel and the
Arab states. Such things as the deep historical and religious
connections the Jewish People have to Judea-Samaria were unfortunately
left unexplored and must remain so here too. In closing here’s one
more practical reason to oppose a potential Palestinian state: Gaza
and its rockets has become the most graphic illustration of why
relinquishing Judea and Samaria to the perennially hostile and
extremely corrupt Palestinian Authority is a flat-out dangerous idea.

Moshe Phillips

Editor’s Note: You went too easy with your answer. There are many
other reasons why a two state solution cannot work.

DONUTS WITHOUT OIL

Dear Editor:

Anyone who lives in New York and is not a registered Democrat is a
fool. The primaries are the real elections.

Yankel D

Editor’s Note: You are right, but ad mosai?

LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE REPUBLICAN AGENDA

Dear Editor:

I am going to enjoy being a new “liberal/progressive” Republican. The
Party needs to appeal more to groups that it has little appeal to now,
and it needs to care more about these groups especially at the
national level.
I will fight for the national Republican Party to do more to help the
lower and middle classes, the poor, the near-poor, and senior
citizens.
I will fight for the national Republican Party to NOT be in favor of
making cuts to federal government social programs such is Social
Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, College Student Loans, and
Unemployment Insurance Benefits. I will fight for the national
Republican Party NOT to have so many Republican Party members of
Congress who want to abolish these programs. Recent research indicates
that most Americans who are Republicans are much less conservative on
these issues than are the Republican members of Congress. So, I
believe I will have an audience for what I will be fighting for. And,
I will fight for the national Republican Party to stand against
white-nationalism and sexism. I will also fight for the national
Republican Party to stand in favor of equality for women, including
being for equal pay for equal work for women, and being in favor of
heavily-fining people (mostly men) who commit harassment and all forms
of assaults as well as imprisoning some of these predators. I was told
in the 1970s that I was the first male Sociology Ph.D. student in all
of Canada to take and pass the Ph.D. comprehensive area specialization
examination in “Women’s Studies” in the 1970s. I did this even though
the examining committee did not want a man to take this examination. I
am still certified and qualified to teach college courses in “Women’s
Studies.” But, apparently this was not good enough for some women in
the national Democratic Party. Some literally laughed at me for having
done it and also dismissed it as being insignificant.  It took me 11
months to complete the exam, which required me to submit over 200
typed pages of responses to questions while the women who took the
exam were required to submit 40 pages. Lastly, I will fight for the
passage of a federal government national health insurance plan/program
that is the same one that Ontario, Canada has, but not
“Medicare-For-All.” I look forward to trying to make the national
Republican Party more humane and compassionate.
Best,
Stewart B. E

Editor’s Note; You sound like you are running for political office. We
all know what happens to campaign promises They get broken. Let’s see
if your promises will be kept.

ANTI-ISRAELI RHETORIC

Dear Editor:

The official journal of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
has published an article depicting the Jewish National Fund as a
colonialist exploiter of the Palestinian Arabs. Is this an appropriate
way for a federally funded museum that is mandated to teach about the
Nazi genocide against the Jewish people to be using taxpayers’
dollars?

Amy Weiss, a young Holocaust scholar from New Jersey, authored the
article. It appears in the latest issue (Fall 2019) of Holocaust and
Genocide Studies, the museum’s official journal, which is edited by
Richard D. Breitman.

Weiss accuses the JNF of secretly plotting in the 1930s to plant more
pine trees, and fewer olive trees, in its forests, thereby “alter[ing]
a Palestinian landscape to resemble a European one more familiar to
Jewish pioneers and Holocaust survivors.”

According to Weiss, the JNF continued this European-colonialist
conspiracy after the 1948 war. “Erecting JNF forests where Palestinian
villages and olive groves once stood promised to erase the connection
to that land of the former resides who had fled or been expelled.”

The hook for Weiss’s article is an obscure episode from the 1940s in
which some American Christians planted a small forest in Israel to
commemorate child victims of the Holocaust. But the story of that
forest is not what Weiss wanted to bring attention to; Weiss
concentrates her firepower on depicting the JNF and its forestry work
in as negative a light as possible.

Weiss mocks the JNF’s claim that its work was reviving the Land of
Israel. She calls it “the myth of ‘making the desert bloom’,” and
dismisses the centuries of Arab neglect of the land as the “purported
languishing” of the land under Arab rule. According to Weiss, Zionist
leaders concocted this “environmental degradation narrative” in order
to “justify” the JNF’s land-grab policy.

“While publicly speaking of environmental improvement and jobs, in
actuality [the JNF] strove for Jewish colonization,” Weiss asserts,
suggesting the JNF was disingenuously advancing a secret and sinister
agenda.

After the 1948 war, the JNF’s colonialist conspiracy continued,
according to Weiss: “JNF pine trees figured in the planting over of
‘abandoned’ Arab villages…”

Notice the quotation marks that she put around “abandoned.” Weiss
clearly doesn’t believe they were abandoned. In fact, when she refers
to Palestinian Arabs who emigrated during the war, she calls them
“700,000 people [who] either had been forcibly driven from their homes
or voluntarily fled.” Weiss’ wording is apparently intended to create
the impression that the number who were expelled and the number who
fled was roughly equal.

Yet even Benny Morris—the king of the so-called “New Israeli
Historians” that bash Israel’s founding fathers—has acknowledged that
the large majority of the Palestinian Arabs chose to flee in order to
get out of the way of battle areas. Only a tiny number were expelled,
and even those cases were because of specific local wartime
emergencies, not as part of any Zionist plot to get rid of the Arabs.

For Amy Weiss, however, the work of the JNF is clothed in sin. It was
carrying out what she has described in her lectures as a “politicized
land reclamation project to secure land” for the Zionist movement and
Israel. It was trying to “erase” Arab villages and replace them with a
“European” model. And she alleges that the JNF caused “devastating
damage” to the environment, to boot.

In Weiss’s distorted version of history, the Jews are alien,
land-grabbing, desecrators of the ecology, while the Palestinian Arabs
are the noble indigenous planters of olive trees. “The planting of
olive trees consequently became a symbol of struggle for
Palestinians,” Weiss asserts. That’s an ironic statement, considering
how often Palestinian Arab terrorists set fire to the land for which
they are “struggling”; just the November 2016 arson wave alone
destroyed nearly 5,000 acres of forests, brush, and open land
throughout Israel.

Why did Richard Breitman, the editor of the museum’s Holocaust
journal, decide to publish Weiss’s harsh attack on a venerable and
respected Jewish institution as JNF? Why did he permit a journal that
is supposed to showcase legitimate Holocaust research to be used to
present such a twisted version of history?

Do the leaders of the Holocaust Museum endorse Breitman’s action? And
if the Museum leaders do not agree with what Breitman did, what are
they going to do about it? The public—which funds the Museum through
its tax dollars—has a right to some answers.

Moshe Phillips

Editor’s Note: Hate is always easier to publish. It makes more waves.

PC VS. MAC

Dear Editor:

You said that you generally prefer a PC over a Mac. I just want you to
know that I heard from a reputable source that every time you use
Windows or Mac OS instead of Linux, a kitten dies.

Shelly S

Editor’s Note: Please don’t say that. Soon we will have all the animal
lovers descending on our homes and removing all computers.

TEXT SOME NACHAS

Dear Editor:

I saw this on Matzav.com and I thought I would share it with you.

Eli Solomon recently shared the following with me:

There was once a Yid who spent a Shabbos with several strangers at a
family simcha. He had the opportunity to observe several Yeshivah
bochrim over that Shabbos. He truthfully felt that several of the boys
made very good impressions in terms of their middos and the like. He
had the opportunity to speak to several of them but one in particular
more than the others. He asked who the boy was and realized that he
knew who his father was, but never met the father in person. It didn’t
take him long to make an immediate “texting connection.” This meant
that the Yid immediately thought of someone that he knew who would
know the father and he texted him for the father’s number. He then
texted the father. “We don’t know each other, but I had the pleasure
of spending time with your son over Shabbos. He is a great boy, lots
of nachas.”

That was all it took.

There’s nothing wrong with texting someone in today’s day and age that
you don’t know, have never met, may not meet for years to come, just
to send him a nachas report.

We don’t only have to report to the people we know. Imagine if this
was 1984, and you wanted to reach someone random person in another
city or State to tell him that his son behaved well over Shabbos. No
one would have bothered back then. It’s too difficult, and too
confrontational over the phone. Texting is the easiest way to make the
connection.

T.

Editor’s Note: Wow I love it. We get inundated with so many texts, why
should we not receive nachas through texts.

NOT SURE ABOUT DATING

Dear Editor:

I’ve been dating this girl for around 3 months. She’s everything I’m
looking for and more. I always have a good time when I’m with her and
there hasn’t been a bad date. Everything has been going well; zero red
flags. However, between dates I’ll sometimes miss her and sometimes
not. I’m not sure if this is a sign of nervousness/emotional
detachment on my end or if it’s a sign that it isn’t right. I’ve never
questioned my feelings or felt uncertain on our dates, it’s only when
I’m not with her that I get nervous and I’m not sure why. What should
I be feeling?

Sosha B

Editor’s Note: Too much analysis. Just jump in the pool and get
married. Remember: after marriage there will be times you don’t miss
her either.

PORTABLE MIKVEH

Dear Editor:

Has anyone heard of the concept of a portable mikveh that can be used
in a person’s garage/ back yard? If so could you provide details?

Thanks

Moshe

Editor’s Note: That would be very difficult since a Mikva has to be
attached to the ground.