Letters: Rosenblum Right

In reaction to JCRC’s ineffectiveness, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is in fact setting a new course for Jewish, pro-Israel advocacy.

Rosenblum right
Sir, – As someone who has been actively involved for decades in the Philadelphia Federation, of which the local JCRC is a part, I read with interest Jonathan Rosenblum’s “Is Israel dividing American Jewry?” (Think Again, May 6) and the letter in response from the local JCRC (“JCRCs behind Israel,” May 20).
In the May 19 edition of the Federation- owned Jewish Exponent, there is a major front-page article headlined “Looking for New Paths for Israel Advocacy.” The article clearly questions the effectiveness of pro-Israel programs run by the JCRC and, in fact, states that they have been brought to a virtual halt. The entire thrust of the article is that there is great divisiveness within our community as to what constitutes Israel advocacy and whether such programs have any place in our community at this point in time.
Federation CEO Ira Schwartz was quoted in the article as stating that JCRC does an effective job in the non-Jewish community, implicitly recognizing the lack of JCRC mobilization of the Jewish community.
In reaction to the JCRC’s ineffectiveness, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is in fact setting a new course for Jewish, pro-Israel advocacy.
Jonathan Rosenblum has it right and should be applauded for bringing the facts to the attention of your readers.
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Hamas can’t change
Sir, – In “Only defeat awaits violence and extremism” (Above the Fray, May 13), Alon Ben-Meir feels that in view of what he sees at a “moderating trend within Hamas, the US and Israel should not create undue roadblocks to its maturation from terrorism to politics.”
Ben-Meir seems to forget that Hamas is a religious organization as well as a terror organization, so its objective of destroying Israel is written in stone, and any type of compromise is just a tactic in its holy war against the Jews.
The key to the future of Hamas lies in the hands of the Palestinian people. If they have the courage to stand up to Hamas and fight, then and only then will there be a chance for a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.
If a connection can be found within the papers confiscated from the den of Osama bin Laden showing cooperation between Hamas and al-Qaida, it would guarantee a much stronger response to Israel’s call for the elimination of this terror group. The whole peace process would speed up if a strong, non-corrupt and pragmatic Arab leader emerges who really wants peace with Israel.
P. BERMAN Shoham
Spoken from the heart
Sir, – Ruth Eglash’s interview with Sharon Rosen in the May 13 Questionnaire column (“Let’s be realistic”) was encouraging.
Rosen spoke from her heart but expressed what so many of us feel. The English upbringing may have something to do with her basic principles and values, albeit this may not be true of today’s Britain. She must be a pleasure to work with and probably inspires those around her for whom a democratic, tolerant and egalitarian society is paramount if we are to remain true to ourselves.
You are right, Sharon – the choice is ours if we are not too blind to see that.
Unity the key
Sir, – In response to Rivka Schwab’s theory for the attention of columnist Sarah Honig (“Just why this is,” Letters, May 13), it is necessary to clarify some of the very relevant and profound issues she addresses.
While it is fair to ascertain that Torah principles underscore our future, history and current state of affairs, it is impossible for any particular sub-sect of Jewry to claim it has the answers or advantage. Notably, modernday Israel in no way owes any of its existence to ultra-Orthodox or even some mildly Orthodox groups, which indeed vehemently opposed the establishment of the State of Israel on the basis that the long-awaited Messiah had not materialized.
There was a massive campaign to lobby America to oppose the creation of the State of Israel. And these were not Arabs or anti- Semites. They were religious Jews.
The founders of Israel who brought about God’s will that Israel be re-established were Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin, among others. These key figures were hardly ultra-Orthodox but were fanatically pro-Israel. They were in favor of a strong, ethical and moral Jewish nation that protects all Jews – in Israel and the world over.
Maybe we should be less judgmental on whether you are “Orthodox” or “secular” since we, as mere human beings, cannot see inside one’s heart. But God can, and so chooses to bless accordingly.
Modern-day Israel is testament to Divine blessing, and the blessings ended up in the laps of the “secular.” Maybe they had tremendous heart and fighting spirit. For sure, these characteristics are the opposite of the ghetto mentality of our long Diaspora.
As an ethical, strong people that reveres God and our homeland, we are the future. The division between religious and non-religious is a danger to our state, and any reinforcement of it is damaging to all. We should be vitally interested in contributing to the state.
Uniting under good values and love for our people living in our land is the key – not segregation and judgment.