February 2, 2011
Letters to the Editor: Immigration, Debbie Friedman, Beatrice (Bea) Mazure and San Remo
Israel can’t afford to grant asylum
Janice Kamenir-Reznik is wrong to defend illegal immigration to Israel (“Israel Must Grant Entry to Asylum Seekers,” Jan. 28). It’s not about dealing without care for “asylum” seekers. It’s about Muslims infiltrating and undermining Jewish sovereignty in what the United Nations intended to be a Jewish homeland. Every non-Jew seems bent on taking away that right from the Jewish people, and some Jews also support “multiculturism” and liberalism or other “isms” but betray their Jewish destiny. Those who reject the Jewish character of Israel or wish to harm Jews have no place in Israel.
The United States and Cuba were not acting with any moral courage when they refused Jews sanctuary, but America was founded just for that purpose (see Statue of Liberty plaque) and reneged on its historic moment. It is now paying dearly for this and so are all the hypocrites in the EU and U.N., as Muslims now flood their countries and change them into Sharia states. England, France, Spain, Italy all are feeling the loss of their native national traditions. Israel does not need or want to go that route. We saved Vietnamese victims (who had nothing against us and are not enemies like the Muslims) so don’t deny our human kindness.
Missing Debbie Friedman
My wife and I will always remember the time we met Debbie Friedman (“And She Shall Be a Blessing,” Jan. 14). This encounter revealed to us the depth and beauty of her Jewish soul. It was two years ago during High Holy Days services held at UCLA. We went there because Friedman was scheduled to play her guitar and sing the prayers. During intermission we saw her sitting alone. I said to my wife, “We should go over and say hello to her.” What can we say to her and what will she say? “I don’t know. Let’s just tell her how much we enjoy her singing.” When we approached, she looked up and gave us a warm smile. Then we were taken by surprise when she hugged and kissed both of us and thanked us for taking the time to say hello. She will be missed.
Beatrice (Bea) Mazure and her husband, Al, were longtime members of Temple Israel of Hollywood (“Cedars Receives Unexpected Donation for Pediatric Care,” Jan. 28). Bea was a beloved member of the Sisterhood and served on the Sisterhood board. I believe that she and Al did not have any children. Among her friends and fellow congregants were leaders in philanthropy and giving to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. How fitting that Bea Mazure’s life and lovingkindness will be remembered with a donation to pediatric services at Cedars-Sinai!
San Remo does grant Israel legal rights
Jeff Warner (Letters, Jan. 28) misrepresents, on several fronts, the San Remo resolution mentioned in David Suissa’s recent article (“Israel Should Stop Hiding at the U.N.” Jan. 21).
First, the San Remo resolution vested the Jewish people with de jure sovereignty and legal title over historical Palestine, an area that included the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea known as Western Palestine. Under international law, a sovereign has an unlimited right to control activity of any kind within its territory, including the right to build settlements. True, San Remo intended for the newly created Jewish polity to respect the civil and religious rights of non-Jews within its sovereign reach. But to claim that Jewish settlements in the West Bank violate those rights is about as logical as claiming that Israeli-constructed homes and buildings in Tel Aviv or Haifa violate the civil and religious rights of the non-Jews living there. Moreover, the Mandate for Palestine gave Jews all over the world the legal right to settle in Western Palestine. It also legally obliged Britain, the Mandatory, to do its utmost to facilitate mass Jewish immigration in that area, an obligation that the British government repeatedly and unlawfully failed to uphold.
Second, the force and legal effect of San Remo did not dissolve when the League of Nations disbanded. In fact, during its final session, the League passed a resolution that called for the various mandatories assigned under San Remo to continue administering the mandated territories “in accordance with the obligations contained in the respective mandates.” Moreover, Article 80 of the U.N Charter prohibited the United Nations from altering any of the terms of the existing Mandate instruments, including the rights of the Jewish people as set forth in the Mandate for Palestine. The International Court of Justice affirmed this in its advisory opinion dated June 21, 1971, which stated, among other things, its consistent recognition “that the Mandate survived the demise of the League.”
Finally, a sovereign power cannot “occupy” territory to which it already has sovereign title. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, therefore, is inapplicable. But even if it were applicable here, the illegality of settlements to which it refers applies to situations in which the occupying power forcibly transfers its own population in the occupied territory. This is clearly not the case with Israel.
Talia Shulman Gold