Your Editorial criticism of the Rabbinical Council of America’s failure to stand up to the Israeli chief rabbinate is appropriate (Jan. 17), but its headline (“First They Came For The Liberal Rabbis…”) is not. The wording of that headline is a deliberate echo of the well-known words of Pastor Martin Niemöller concerning those who failed to stand up to the Nazis in the early days of their consolidation of power.
Yehuda Kurtzer (“When Metaphor Fails,” Opinion, Jan. 3) decries comparisons between Israel’s enemies and Nazi Germany. I suspect that most Jews would be less likely to make such analogies if the other side was not constantly invoking Hitler.
Yehuda Kurtzer (“When Metaphor Fails,” Opinion, Jan. 3) calls for an end to “irresponsible analogies” between contemporary events and aspects of the Nazi era. He is correct that it would be irresponsible to suggest that Iran’s leaders today are identical to Hitler, or that the negotiations with Iran are exactly the same as the negotiations that led to the 1938 Munich agreement. Obviously there are differences. But that does not mean there is no room to ever compare the present with the past. Examining past situations that were comparable in some way to those of today is crucial to learning from past mistakes.
Your Editorial (“Remembering Sharon”) and reports last week failed to mention one additional, very important part of Ariel Sharon’s permanent legacy.
When he announced the withdrawal from Gaza, many members of his party, the Likud, protested. So he announced that he would follow the democratic process. He would conduct a referendum among Likud members, and he pledged that he would be bound by the results.