Letters to the Editor


Rewriting Jews Out of Existence

Dear Editor:

Among the most chilling of experiences was a tour of The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. We were shown Torah scrolls with odd looking numbers on each and were told, “Hitler gave an order to his generals: burn the synagogues, but save the silver and the scrolls. They marked and catalogued each item. Hitler’s intention for after the war, when he had killed all the Jews in the world, was to make a “Museum of the Extinct Race.”

Today’s deliberate rewriting of history to deny Israel’s right to exist, to portray Israel as an illegal, evil usurper, and to write Jews out of centuries old history in their ancient homelands, is the first step in this narrative to eliminate…us. George Orwell, 1984, said it best, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, “From Congress to Classrooms: Reframing the Israel Narrative” gives us a telling example. “In Britain…David Collier wrote about a textbook, The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change, 1917-2012, that is used in schools as part of the history curriculum…a systematic loading of the narrative to sanitize the Arab war against Israel, disproportionately mention violent Zionist responses, and obscure the overwhelming legal, historical and moral Jewish claim to the land. More astoundingly still, it makes no mention of Hitler’s ally, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who did more than anyone else to incite the Arab mobs against the Jews.

America is seeing a similar attempt to indoctrinate schoolchildren into anti-Israel falsehoods and, worse yet, into outright hatred. In Newton, Massachusetts, parents discovered in 2011 that a textbook used by ninth-graders called the Arab World Studies Notebook was telling pupils: “…women have been active in the Palestinian resistance movement. Several hundred have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces.”

Similar attempts to subject pupils to anti-Israel propaganda have been identified in California, Chicago, New York City and elsewhere. “

We have Rep. Tlaib attempting to rewrite history, telling us how the Arabs helped Jews survive, a complete and utter lie. “The Arabs did not provide the Jews with anything after the Holocaust, except more wars and death,” Shir stated. “The Jews who survived, immigrated to Israel were forced to deal with terrorism, the Arabs’ repeated rejection of coexistence and peace until they had no choice but to defend themselves.”

And in New Jersey, “P” is for Palestine” a reading of the anti-Israel book at the Highland Park Library is now the subject of a possible “watershed lawsuit”.

And yet more rewriting of history- “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth,” Linda Sarsour tweeted. “Are you that stupid?” Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli prime minister, retorted to Sarsour’s comment, “Jesus lived during the Second Temple period, prior to the Romans renaming Judea as Palestina.” The New York Times published an opinion piece that claimed, “Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin.” And as I wrote in 2016, “Silence in the Face of Slander,” “At the Democratic National Convention, the Rev. Barber’s speech calling “Jesus a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew” is factually incorrect slander that the Palestinian Arabs use against Israel in rewriting their own false narrative, whose goals are to erase Jewish 3,000-year history and invent false Palestinian, Muslim and Arab histories in this land.”

In 1930’s Germany, facts no longer mattered, lies became part of the norm, routinely printed in mainstream media, taught in universities and schools, with its larger goal of inciting hatred and violence. This is how it began, drip by poison drip, repeating The Big Lie, the telling of tall vicious tales, long enough until…

I will end by hoping this article doesn’t end up displayed someday in a museum, tagged by a number, telling of a people who once were…


Ginette Weiner,
Scottsdale, AZ

Infertility in the Jewish Community

Dear Editor:

I read with great interest the article on the donor-conceived family’s tri-generational Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Infertility is such a relevant issue within our community and I’m grateful your paper is progressive enough to have published it. I thought the author’s association with Rosh Hashana… a time for addressing our balance sheets, was most appropriate. As someone who has experienced the pain associated with infertility, I was overwhelmed by the content of the article. I loved the line she drew between the unconventional way of the heroism in Masada and the non conventional way in which she conceived her child. I could sense the love she feels for her daughter. I really can’t say enough about it. Her article referred to history and heritage—and most of all honesty, integrity, pride and family. I hope to see more articles like this one.

Thank you


Should Cuomo become MTA Chairman?

Dear Editor:

Governor Cuomo continues attempting to portray himself as the second coming of the late President Franklin Roosevelt and master builder Robert Moses.

Cuomo is not an engineer, construction contractor, transportation expert or daily commuter. He does excel at photo-ops when walking New York City Transit, Long Island or Metro North Rail Road tracks continuously ignoring Federal Rail Road Administration safety requirements by not wearing mandated orange protective vests just like all other MTA employees when touring active track areas.

How many times do we see him holding a press conference on an active right of way not wearing either a protective vest or hard hat? NYC Transit, Long Island Railroad and Metro North track employees are required to wear a reflective vest when working or walking near active tracks. They also have to take a mandatory safety certification training course. Has he ever been safety certified to participate in such activities without wearing a safety vest or hardhat as required by the FRA?

If he is bored being Governor and believes he can do a better job managing NYC Transit or MTA, there is an easy solution. His last act as Governor before resigning could be appointing himself NYC Transit President or MTA Chairman.

In the interim, Cuomo still needs to come up with $5.8 billion balance of the original $8.3 he still owes to fund the $33 billion 2015–2019 MTA Five Year Capital Plan.


Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, LIRR & Metro North, MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit, NYC Department of Transportation and 30 other transit operators in NY & NJ)


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