Do your homework
Douglas Bloomfield (“Bluffing for peace,” Washington Watch, September 29) claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set a trap for Abbas when he invited him to speak at the Knesset. If that were so (which I do not believe), he’d have every right to do so. Abbas, too, is playing games and laying traps.
Abbas does not want a twostate solution with the so-called Palestinians in the West Bank and the Jews in the State of Israel.
He has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He has adamantly refused to come to the table to talk peace. He encourages savagery from his people, and when Israel kills the terrorists he incites, he denounces it for ethnic cleansing and for being an apartheid state.
Why is he doing all this? Because this method works fine to demonize Israel and get the world so against the tiny state that – and on this he spins his hopes – Israel will be forced out from all “Arab lands,” and not only from the West Bank – and forever. It’s not going to happen, but that’s what he wants.
(His game also brings in billions of dollars, which he is loath to lose.) Mr. Bloomfield should do his homework.EDMUND JONAH
With regard to “US presidential debate highlights Iran deal as national security priority” (September 28), the hootenanny at Hofstra University is history.
This is a change election.
Trump has gotten this far because he has correctly calibrated that the American people want change and constantly call out politicians of both parties for taking America in the wrong direction.
Yes, Hillary Clinton has a powerful presence and presentation, but after a long tenure in the public eye, she has developed a fondness for political power and the many financial perks that apparently go with it (above board as well as murky). If she still has a soul, it is carefully camouflaged under a connection to America’s corporate kings and queens.
Trump, for all his many flaws, has a more decisive grasp of the needs and wants of the American people, most of whom remain uneasy about the future for themselves and their children.
It is this unease that is shaping most voters’ views.
As a Jewish voter, I feel that the coldness Clinton evidences does not bode well for American- Israeli relations. It should be seen as particularly chilling that as a former secretary of state and senator from the state with the largest Jewish population in America, she saw fit not to mention Israel by name even once during the debate, unlike Trump.
Donald Trump has a lot of learning to do. However, as he has shouted from every podium, he wants America to win.
Not for one minute can I imagine Clinton, the candidate of the status quo, challenging the Obama doctrine of ignoring the truth about Islam being co-opted by extremists who cite their beliefs again and again as motivation for their attacks.NEIL BERRO
New Haven, Connecticut
The writer is a media consultant who works with Jewish non-profit organizations.
Lauren Feibelman (“Covering up Jewishness with duct tape,” Comment & Features, September 28) claims to be “heartbroken” for those Jews “living in fear and undercover,” and decries the need to “cover up my Jewishness with duct tape.”
As the national associate director of campus affairs for StandWithUs, by hiding her Star of David and its Hebrew logo on her backpack, she sets a shameful example of the very thing she laments. The last thing American Jewish college students need today is to see other young Jews, especially their leaders, keeping their heads down and running scared.
What they do need is genuine courage. I suggest that Feibelman follow Harry S. Truman’s advice and get out of the kitchen if she can’t stand the heat.GERALD FLANZBAUM
Hadera As an Israeli living in the Jewish state, I can’t tell you how much safer I feel knowing that Lauren Feibelman and Stand- WithUs are looking after our interests.
Feibelman actually tells us that on the advice of her husband, in order to have her “adventure in Italy,” she covered up her luggage with tape so that there would be no outward sign of Jewishness, even though she knew that “something was terribly wrong with this.”
In Italy, she noticed “more ‘duct tape,’ more things that were shielded for safety.” She also noticed “the complete lack of security in the half-dozen churches we walked into” and the “overabundance of safety measures” at “every synagogue,” and then realized that she truly felt more nervous than ever about facing antisemitic hatred in America.
“We Jews who live in a place where we can share our thoughts and opinions freely need to stand up and take notice of those who can’t, before its too late.... We cannot put our heads in the sand and hope things get better.”
I fear that Feibelman’s head is well and truly in the sand together with those of all Jews who continue, mostly through choice, to live in the Diaspora rather than in their very own historic, Jewish land. You can take the Jew out of the Diaspora, but it’s harder to take Diaspora out of the Jew.
Regarding “‘Tipat Halav’ clinics are losing their pediatricians” (September 26), let’s get down to basics: Pay the pediatricians a decent salary and they will stay.
Let us keep our babies healthy and our parents happy for the sake of future generations.OLGA P. WIND
The writer is a retired physician.Equal education
Born and raised in a secular Jewish environment, my views of Judaism are tinged with democratic values, while my views of democracy are tinged with Jewish values. I don’t know how to separate the two.
Jews are being asked to focus on prayer this High Holy Day season, not on education, and on religion, not democracy. Yet some Ashkenazi religious schools in Israel refuse entry to Mizrahi students (especially girls), asserting that they aren’t Jewish-enough. In addition, most haredi schools in Israel avoid state-set minimal requirements for education – students don’t learn English, math, science and more.
Non-Orthodox Jews are being encouraged to lobby for equal visitation rights at the Western Wall, but they remain silent on state-endorsed discrimination in Israeli education. Without appropriate education, the future of Israel is at stake – if the country doesn’t exist, any access to the Western Wall becomes moot.
This High Holy Day season, I’ll advocate for equal education, as it’s the foundation of any state wanting to exist beyond this century.JUDY BAMBERGER
O’Connor, AustraliaMemories of a rabbi
With regard to the passing of Rabbi Simon Eckstein, when I was growing up in Ottawa during the 1950s and ’60s, Rabbi Eckstein was rabbi of “the other shul.” My family belonged to the Conservative congregation, while Rabbi Eckstein served the Orthodox Beth Shalom.
The Jewish Community Center was situated beside the shul. I remember seeing Rabbi Eckstein in the chapel when there were bar mitzvas or other community events, and even in the gym. He was always smiling and friendly to us kids. He was well liked and respected in the community.ELAINE GOLDSTEIN