October 21: Foxman's Mandate

Foxman’s mandate as director of the ADL is to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in America. Deporting illegal aliens is neither racism nor bigotry, merely common sense.

October 21, 2010 07:38

letters 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Foxman’s mandate

Sir, – Even as Israel, sadly, denies immigration to Monique Martinek, a Swiss woman of clear Jewish origin who desires to live her life among her own people (“Government to block aliya of granddaughter of Holocaust victim,” October 20), the ADL’s Abe Foxman pressures Israel into providing permanent residency to illegal aliens who have overstayed their visas (“Do not send these children away, Foxman pleads,” October 20).

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Foxman’s mandate as director of the ADL is to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in America. Deporting illegal aliens is neither racism nor bigotry, merely common sense.

For Israel to buy into the politically correct anarchy of illegal immigration is nothing less than suicidal.

We can afford it neither financially nor demographically.

Foxman would be on far more solid ground were he fighting for the right of Monique Martinek to make aliya, rather than strong-arming Israel into diluting itself hopelessly into a non-Jewish state.


‘Ma was misinterpreted’

Sir – Regarding The Associated Press’s dispatch (“Taiwan’s Ma focuses on economic benefits of better China ties, plays down prospects for broader political agreements,” October 20) reporting that President Yin-jeou Ma suggested that “political talks could start as early as a second four-year term if he wins re-election in 2012”: This was a serious misinterpretation and misleading.

Firstly, President Ma has never made any remarks on the presidential election in 2012 because of sensitive domestic politics and electoral process regulations.

Secondly, the most daunting task for him now is to carry out his strategies of minimizing the military threat from mainland China while normalizing economic and financial relations between the two sides. Once the dual goals are reached, then there is the possibility to set political talks in motion.

As a former deputy minister for handling Taiwan’s China affairs, I know quite well that any assertion or prediction on the timing for political talks with China is unfounded, especially so if linked with presidential elections.

Since assuming the presidency, President Ma has been trying very hard to smooth the waters across the Taiwan Strait. The optimal choice for Taiwan and China at this moment is to face the political reality, pushing it aside if it hinders economic and cultural relations between the two sides. Any political dialogue is doomed to fail if lacking mutual trust and benefit.

Representative Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Tel Aviv

Funding and meddling

Sir, – Your article “Education Ministry mum as haredim put on show of defiance against Sa’ar’s demand they teach core subjects” (October 19) states that the haredim consider the subject of teaching core subjects as “external meddling in a crucial internal matter.”

Fine, if that’s what they feel, then they don’t have to teach the core subjects. However, they then shouldn’t be given the 100 percent state funding either. They can’t have it both ways. Either it should be core subjects and state funding, or no teaching of core subjects and no state funding.


IFCJ and walking a fine line

Sir, – I was pleased to see your detailed feature on Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (“Reaching out,” October 19).

Eckstein is to be commended for enabling Christians from around the world to feel connected to and supportive of Israel. The charity dollars that he brings to Israel are invaluable as well.

Personally, I have had the privilege of working with him and the IFCJ to bring Christian tourists to donate blood in Israel, something that’s been both successful and meaningful and tangibly helps save lives here.

It’s a great shame that he has to go out of his way to convince skeptics in order to help them receive financial support. From my perspective, anyone shunning Eckstein and the IFCJ is missing an opportunity to serve the people that their organizations claim to benefit.

It’s odd to have to fight an uphill battle to give money away to help Israelis of all walks of life. Kudos to Rabbi Eckstein for his commitment, fortitude and success.


Sir, – In your report “Reaching out,” Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein refers to rabbis, the “haredi community and others,” as being the last major obstacle to his success. Our organization, JewishIsrael.com, is one of the “others” that Eckstein refers to.

While we’ve all enjoyed good relations, assistance and benefits from gentile friends who choose to take a moral stand with the Jewish state, organizations like IFCJ put a theological/evangelical spin on those efforts – and that makes things complex.

Eckstein may claim that he “would never work with any group involved in missionary activity targeting the Jewish community,” but there is ample evidence that the Christian figures appearing in IFCJ’s promotional material (Jack Hayford, Pat Robertson, and Pat Boone) do promote missionary activity which targets Jews, and they support the growing and strengthening Christian messianic community in Israel.

As a community concerned with Torah values and spiritual continuity, we have very real concerns and questions which must be asked: Is it healthy for the Jewish state and the state of Jewish society to become utterly dependent on non- Jewish and devout Christian sources for our philanthropic needs? And should those sources be intimately involved and wield significant influence in government agencies and the private sector of Israeli society? It’s the job of our rabbinic leaders to get past the money issues and to uphold the Torah, Halacha and the unique status of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel – which includes separation from foreign worship and beliefs.

Red lines on this theologically loaded relationship are necessary and honest questions should be asked.

The “last major obstacle” that Eckstein can’t seem to overcome may simply be our need to ensure Jewish independence, integrity, unity and spiritual continuity.

Public relations director JewishIsrael.com

Don’t pin it all on the poor

Sir, – Your editorial “The urgent imperative to tackle poverty” (October 19), concluded that poverty is largely due to chronic, deliberate, and excessive unemployment among the Israeli Arab and haredi sectors and is largely centered in these two communities.

While this conclusion is basically correct, it is certainly incomplete.

Indeed, another, recent Post editorial addressed the financial problems caused by the excessive concentration of wealth among a relatively small number of wealthy families and the monopolies they control. This editorial was mainly concerned with the enormous financial problems such concentration of wealth can cause in times of economic instability and not the negative impact these monopolies have on consumers and the poor.

Kiryat Arba

Yes, but...

Sir, – While I find Shmuley Boteach’s advice to Jewish homosexual couples quite in order (“The Jewish view of homosexuality,” October 19), his presumably Orthodox Jewish view of homosexuality fails to accept that the Torah’s prohibition of the sexual act between two males as an abomination implies its detrimental effects on the private and public social fabric.

Boteach’s view is based on his value distinction between moral and religious precepts, which Maimonides in his Guide explicitly disqualifies.


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