November 13: Outta here

If rabbis ever take control here, I’m gone. Period. First available seat.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
November 12, 2013 22:59
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

US Jewry’s future

Sir, – The Jewish nation is bleeding. The clock ticks on its future.

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The frightening rates of assimilation and intermarriage, touched on at the GA (“Israel enters battle against assimilation,” November 11), point to an inevitable outcome: Many of the children – and certainly the grandchildren – of the present generation will no longer count themselves as Jewish. Our numbers will shrink, our influence will dwindle and we will fall into the abyss, doomed by a demographic trend of mathematical certainty. Our enemies will rejoice.

The State of Israel, for years buttressed and protected by virtue of a strong Jewish presence in America, will find itself in peril. Alone. America’s traditional and virtually automatic support will no longer be a given.

And it will surely buckle under world pressure.

And then what? Long-term programs and plans to thwart the trend? Yes! But this issue is much too urgent to wait. Time is of the essence. We need first aid to stop the bleeding. That next mixed marriage – probably taking place today – erodes us further. We need something to stem the tide until the plans we devise (hopefully) kick in.

I have a suggestion. Let someone design a compelling and impassioned appeal to Jews of today in the form of a professionally produced film clip. Something truly powerful.

Let it go viral on YouTube and Facebook. Let it remind us of the drama of our people – our illustrious history, our tradition of education and excellence, our contribution to the world, our common destiny and our near destruction.

Show millions of Jews a graphic image of today’s frightening trends. Make it clear that if continued, the alarming rate of assimilation will, by our own hand, finish the job that our vilest enemies began.

Implant in our minds this eleventh-hour duty to the Jewish people and Israel. (Perhaps we can engage eminent Jewish figures from entertainment, science and politics.) Demonstrate how each of us, in our life choices, has a real effect on our collective future.

Please someone, do this right now.

HARVEY FRENKIEL
Nir David

Sir, – The General Assembly of the Jewish Federations is being held in the shadow of the survey by the Pew Research Center, which indicates that the Jewish community in the United States is being devastated by assimilation, intermarriage and alienation from Judaism.

The survey shows that Jews who define themselves as having no religion (22%) have the weakest attachment to Israel.

And 69% of American Jews believe that “leading an ethical/ moral life is an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.”

In his analysis of the results of that survey, Daniel Statman (“Ethics and the essence of Judaism,” iEngage, November 8) writes that “this emphasis on morality as essential to Jewish identity may be a partial explanation for the decreasing attachment to Israel among members of the younger generation....

The settlement project, with all its ramifications for the Palestinian population, is difficult to reconcile with a serious concern for justice.”

Renewed Jewish life in the heart of our historic homeland – Judea and Samaria – after two millenniums of exile has been blamed for a plethora of unrelated problems ranging from lack of peace in the Middle East to poverty in Israel.

However, to the best of my knowledge this is the first time that settlements are being blamed for assimilation and intermarriage in the United States.

This claim, like all the others, is absurd and easily disproved.

Those who hold themselves responsible for the future of American Jewry should seek the causes of the present situation in their own failures over the past half century, particularly the lack of sufficient support for Jewish education for all age groups.

The use of the existential crisis in American Jewish life as a tool to further a political agenda in Israel will not serve to provide solutions to any of the problems faced by both communities.

JAY SHAPIRO
Jerusalem

Obama shill


Sir, – Surprise, surprise! Dennis Ross has arrived in Israel to let us know, now, that we must be ready to increase sanctions against Iran (“Dennis Ross: West must be ready to step up sanctions against Iran,” November 11). Where was he, along with too many well-meaning Jews represented in the GA, when it came to choosing and supporting the US administration? Ross has been one of the main shills for the administration of President Barack Obama, pressuring Israel at every turn to make uncompensated concessions to pan-Islamic demands. Isn’t it a bit late for him to recognize that the emperor has no clothes? I suggest we beware of the latecomers to this game, recognizing that they are the same ones who are already lining up to support Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. That is the same Hillary who suggested that Bashar Assad was a “reformer” and that Benghazi was the fault of a little-seen video.

While the GA is in Israel, there needs to be an awakening and a focused attempt to educate American Jews that the Democratic Party is no longer their home! 

DORON BEN-AVI
Anchorage, Alaska

Outta here

Sir, – I just read “Government by rabbis” (Think About It,” November 11). On the day that happens, I’m on the first flight out of here.

They’ll have “kashrut police” going into the homes of Israeli citizens making sure they’re in compliance with the haredi version of Jewish dietary laws.

El Al, Air France, Lufthansa, British Air, Delta – it doesn’t matter which one. If rabbis ever take control here, I’m gone.

Period. First available seat.

MITCHELL RADOV
Ashdot Ya’acov

No bar at all


Sir, – It appears that the writers of “Lower the bar for two states” (Comment & Features, November 10) would like to remove the bar altogether, at least for the Palestinians. In return for nothing they suggest that we should retreat behind the indefensible 1948 armistice lines, abandon our valid historical claims to the heartland of the Jewish nation and evacuate a few hundred thousand people, and then, if the Palestinians agree, we should continue to negotiate, though what will be left to negotiate is not clear.

The writers also mention glibly that the parameters of a twostate agreement are well understood.

Maybe they’re well understood in Washington and Geneva, but they are far from being well understood in Jerusalem or Ramallah, to say nothing of Gaza, where their understanding, clearly stated, is the destruction of the Jewish state and the removal of any Jewish survivors to a rabidly anti-Semitic Europe.

Surprisingly enough, even if we were so stupid as to follow the writers’ advice, the Palestinians would still not agree to accept the presence of a Jewish state inside even the most truncated of borders within the area between “the river and the sea,” which in their minds is sacrosanct Palestine, regardless of the legal, historical and demographic facts.

In another op-ed piece in the same issue (“Riding the tiger”), the writer outlines Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s dilemma, given the obvious impossibility of any solution that comes close to meeting the minimum desires of both sides and the enormous pressure being applied by US Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s consigliere, to achieve the impossible.

Given these facts, our best bet at this time is to do nothing, because any change would be a change for the worse.

STEPHEN COHEN
Ma’aleh Adumim


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