letters to the editor 88.
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Democrats or GOP...
Sir, - In "Let the Democrats and Republicans compete" (October 15) Jonathan S. Tobin points out that most American Jews are Democrats. That's too bad, and it's got to stop.
The fact is, left-wing parties around the world have been swept away by a tide of appeasement when it comes to Islamo-fascism, and the Democrats in America are no exception. That is not to say the Republicans have always been consistent, but in general they are less gullible when it comes to indulging obnoxious ideologies just because they are espoused by non-whites. It's the Democrats who are proven suckers in that regard, as are many Jewish voters.
Compare and contrast George Bush with Jimmy Carter, and there's no doubt which party should command the support of the US Jewish community.
...the issue is the soul of US Jewry
Sir, - Whether Republicans or Democrats support Israel more is not about the 2006 elections but the soul of American Jewry. We US Jews are now on the wrong side of history, blindly supporting a party that no longer supports us. There are no equivalents of Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore in the Republican Party.
In recent times, clearly Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have been the best friends to Israel. The Christian Right, overwhelmingly Republican, supports Israel; the Congressional Black Caucus, all Democrats, does not.
Unfortunately, among most secular Jews Israel is simply not an important issue. In fact, many actually support the Palestinians. So they support the party that is as wishy-washy as they are: the Democrats.
The real America
Sir, - I am only one American speaking for myself, but there are many like me. We here in America support Israel defending itself. Do not heed what is on US newscasts, or in US newspapers. They do not speak for America. They are biased against both Israel and America.
I am sure it is tough to keep your heads up during the worst of times. Don't hang them now. And please do not be angry with America. We are with you. We pray at night for Israel. We pray for your soldiers, your families and your freedom.
I hope this makes it to print. I just wanted you guys to know the real feeling in America.
Sir, - I am an American, Christian by birth and by my chosen faith. I now wear my Star of David in public to express my love for Israel.
Sir, - There has to be a non-violent way to solve this problem. Let us seek divine guidance from Torah, Bible and Koran. Let each Arab and Jewish child plant a tree and dedicate it to peace, and proclaim: "Never again."
What the heck, let us all say "Never again."
Sir, - Morris Amitay sadly reminds us of Henry Kissinger's advice in 1973 "to absorb the first attacks" ("What swayed Golda," Letters, October 13).
Kissinger was reported to have said: "Let [the Israelis] bleed a little." The Post later reported Golda serving him coffee and cake in her kitchen.
In the IAF, from the outset, my son saw many of his comrades bleed to death on pitifully thin lines, when the talk of our having a defensive "wall of fire" was patently false. The other half of his unit was butchered by the Syrians.
From our ancient national inception to the current worrisome hour, it is still painfully difficult and dangerous to suffer from those among us who put their own naked self-interest first.
Sir, - Much as I respect Evelyn Gordon, this writer, with a 60-year legal background, finds it necessary to criticize her rebuke of the Supreme Court for accepting jurisdiction of the dispute relating to a
state commission of inquiry concerning the government's conduct of the Lebanon War ("Judge, jury and executioner," October 12).
What Ms. Gordon has overlooked is that the dispute does not involve a run-of the-mill controversy over governmental operations, but a serious contest between the government and the bulk of the citizenry as to the management of a war in which the lives of Israeli soldiers may have been unnecessarily lost.
One question to which the citizens have not been able to obtain an answer from their government is the reason for what appears to be the government's engineering of a cease-fire, which appeared in time to preclude total Israeli victory in the war. Such issues as deceit and duplicity on the part of the government, as well as conflict of interest and aid to the enemy's situation, which may well appear, are certainly not the kinds of issues which should be tendered to a governmental hand-picked commission, particularly when the head of the government openly rubs shoulders with the hand-picked head of that governmental commission.
Sir, - When the Olmert government decided to save lives via a cheap war it abdicated any right to government. Winding up with a disaster instead of victory, shouldn't it try to salvage some personal honor by calling for new elections?
State of things
Sir, - "UK NGOs join forces to call for arms embargo of Israel" (October 13) quoted Sarah Mandel, associate editor of NGO Monitor, as saying that ICAHD: The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions calls "for a one-state solution (the destruction of Israel)."
This is simply untrue.
ICAHD is a political action and human rights organization that supports a just and equitable end to the ongoing Occupation of Palestinian lands. However the Board of Directors of ICAHD does not support any particular "solution" to the occupation, and does not
promote "one state."
Individual members of the board or staff may express opinions that support such a solution, but they do not represent the position of the organization.
It should be noted that the coordinator of ICAHD, Jeff Halper, was a nominee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Why, Shmuley, why?
Sir, - Shmuley Boteach seems hell-bent on undermining one the few redeeming organizations of Jewish American youth. His description of the yeshiva students he encountered represents the smallest of minorities.
Every year American students discover and, yes, sometimes abuse their freedom, but it usually lasts only until Succot vacation ends. I worked for a Jerusalem yeshiva and noticed that it's the wildest students who turn around the most by the end of the year. Rabbi Boteach says we should screen students and send only those who want to learn to Israel, but that would decrease the number by 90
The whole point of the year in Israel is for the students to get inspired and leave spiritually fulfilled. American yeshivas do not get the credit they deserve.
Like on his television show, Boteach is once again seeking problems instead of focusing on the good. And as regards how Israelis see those students, they do not usually associate American yeshiva students with Orthodox Jews as a whole, rather with young teenage Americans.
The fact that the soldier who was bothered was unfazed by the actions of the yeshiva boys just goes to show that he is used to the actions of American tourists, and to those of drunk teenagers. If you walk in the Ben-Yehuda area at night, drunk Israelis outnumber drunk Americans at least five to one. Additionally, many times Americans are mistaken for Israelis with Anglo parents.
Boteach speaks only from his own experience in Israel when he was 18, and from his one week during Succot, when none of the schools were in session. There was no research standing behind his statement, and if he stayed for the whole year he would see that his generalization is not the case ("Falling into the gap trap," October 12).
Sir, - More news in English is commendable, but let's not stop there. Might it be possible for parts of the news to be broadcast on radio at a slower speed?
This would enable new olim to get used to hearing the news in Hebrew. Then, as their skills and vocabulary improve, they will be able to understand the rapid rate of the regular news.
Sir, - You seem to have found a world-class editorial cartoonist! May we please see more of Ronny Gordon's hilariously dark and witty vision of the world we live in?