Letters to the Editor: Feeling disgust

The motivation for terrorizing our youth stinks.

By
July 21, 2016 21:40
3 minute read.
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Feeling disgust

It looks like the mission of the Shin Bet is to pursue, interrogate and force confessions from our teenagers, in this instance, 9th and 10th graders (“Three Jewish teens indicted for ‘price tag’ torching of Israeli- Arab car,” July 20).

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How proud these agents must feel at being able to break down three kids. I, on the other hand, feel only disgust at how this government has made Jews afraid to speak out for their rights.

The fact that the authorities always manage to link Jewish “suspects” to the so-called radical hilltop activists in Samaria speaks volumes as to what their intentions really are: to silence all who show up the prime minister and his government as the weak and useless lot they have proved to be.

The motivation for terrorizing our youth stinks.

PHYLLIS STERN
Netanya


Counter-productive

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Michael M. Cohen’s prescription for resolving the moribund peace process is well meant, but naïve and counter-productive (“Letter from America: On using the word ‘Occupation,’” Comment & Opinion, July 20).

Cohen regrets presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s decision to “avoid the word occupation” in the party’s campaign platform, yet acknowledges that the word is “usually associated with an aggressive action by one country against another.”

It is precisely this delineation of “occupation” that continues to be at the center of the Palestinian narrative, a narrative buttressed by the demonization of Israel.

The realization of Cohen’s hopes that the next US president “will choose creative and audacious thinking when it comes to creating the right conditions for the establishment of two states” will not advance the peace process. This will happen only when the Palestinian Authority abandons its verbal intifada and declares its readiness to negotiate directly with Israel for a settlement that provides peace and security for all the inhabitants of this troubled land.

JACK E. FRIEDMAN
Jerusalem


Conversion views

With regard to “Rabbinical court declines to recognize woman converted by US Rabbi Lookstein” (July 14), I converted to Judaism in 2015.

I approached the rabbis from both Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and Lincoln Square Synagogue in preparation for my conversion.

My experience is that these rabbis offer little to no personal guidance in navigating the difficult journey.

Instead, one is asked to apply with a fee, read myriad books and attend run-of-themill classes.

I wasn’t happy and found another Orthodox rabbi experienced in conversions.

I connected with this rabbi, who spent time to guide me and answer my questions. I converted through him and soon felt that the other rabbis had come to reject me in light of me not having converted through them.

Since Rabbi Lookstein has now himself experienced rejection and discrimination as to the validity of his conversions, I felt compelled to ask the rabbis I originally turned to whether this might be God’s way to make them feel how converts feel when they are treated poorly.

They never answered my pleas for clarification and support.

Now I see news articles and letters by Rabbi Lookstein and others boasting about how wrong it is to torture a convert and how much they care. Really? Ignoring a convert is also a form of cruelty.

The rabbis of America should stop pointing fingers at the “evil” rabbinate in Israel and instead practice the Torah-prescribed kindness, care and compassion toward converts that they themselves preach.

CHAYAH POKORNY
New York


Some perspective

Just when you thought that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the pits, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and now China’s Xi Jinping, who is destroying the environment there, oppressing the Tibetans and upsetting world order over the South China Sea, show you it could be even worse.

STEVEN K. ROSS
New York

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