Letters to the Editor: Jewish credentials?

With regard to US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, there is evidence of the senator’s feminist and liberal credentials.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jewish credentials?
With regard to US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (“The 50 most influential Jews,” Shavuot supplement, May 22), there is evidence of the senator’s feminist and liberal credentials.
But what of her Judaism? Her father was Jewish, but her maternal grandparents practiced the Russian Orthodox faith. Her mother sent her to a Catholic high school (Convent of Sacred Heart in San Francisco), where she graduated in the Class of 1951.
I submit that her ranking as the 19th most influential Jew is based on hearsay and ought to be rescinded.
KEREN HOROWITZ Safed The writer made aliya in 2010 from California, which Feinstein represents in the Senate.
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We were astonished that you replaced your Friday magazine with a special supplement concerning “influential Jews,” which seemed to be no more than shallow PR for the chosen few! It is not an exaggeration to say that the weekly Jerusalem Post Magazine is the central part of your Friday newspapers. The Shavuot supplement in no way replaced its important content.
Three musketeers
Ami Ayalon, Orni Petruschka and Gilead Sher, the authors of “Act independently” (Comment & Features, May 21), might as well be the three musketeers.
Sounding very confident in their “new” solution for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, they in essence just regurgitate the old Arab/leftist mantra. They delineate the various failures of US presidents to solve the problem and then immediately list the same conditions as the basis for success. Reference is also made to the dubious fact that a majority of Israelis desire a Palestinian state next to Israel.
In addition, and with a possible typo, they say a two-state solution is “also in the interest of most of the interventional community.”
Herein lies the crux of the matter.
The international community is indeed intervening, but has no business deciding how Israel conducts its foreign policy.
Gastronomic Judaism
As usual, Dvora Waysman hit the spot on the real significance of Shavuot (“Shavuot: More than just cheesecake,” Comment & Opinion, May 21).
Years ago, I agreed with derision of the feasting observances of Jewish holidays as a form of weak-kneed (knead?) Judaism.
In the 1990s, however, when I taught Jewish subjects in a series of adult Yiddish seminars in various cities of the former Soviet Union, I experienced a turnaround in my attitude.
During class discussions about Communism’s 70-year suppression of religious practice, including Judaism, it became clear that three specific factors preserved my students’ Jewish identity. These were the Yiddish language; a few religious practices, such as candle lighting on the Sabbath eve; and Jewish foods, especially at holiday time.
For most of these young people, hamantaschen, matza brei, latkes and cheese blintzes were their sole connection to Yiddishkeit. They experienced and remembered a Jewish holiday solely by its association with a particular food.
Don’t belittle the delights of gastronomic Judaism!
Out of proportion
I have been living in Israel since making aliya in November 2012.
During this time, I have been shaken by the number of items in your newspaper regarding anti-Semitism in the world. It appears to me that there is a concerted effort among the more right-wing politicos, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on down to the political writers in your paper, to instill fear in the population.
The opinion piece “UK vote: The anti-Semitism that could have been” (Comment & Features, May 20) was really the catalyst for me to respond. Despite the qualifications of writer Tal Buenos, I have to say it was the least objective article I have read in years.
During the election campaign in the UK, Ed Miliband’s religion (or lack of religion) was hardly mentioned.
In fact, the whole campaign was run in a manner that I would expect from what is, after all, one of the great democracies of the world. Maybe one day, we will be blessed with that type of campaign here instead of the corrupt and racist politics we seem to take for granted and even accept.
Having lived in Ireland in my early years, and in the UK for most of my adult life – including in places like Stamford Hill in London and Leicester Road in Manchester, both major centers of Jewish life – I did not experience any anti-Semitism except for odd and isolated incidents of name-calling. I never heard local politicians say that the Jews were coming out in droves to vote.
Of course, there are anti-Semites out there, as well as people who firmly believe in the Palestinian cause. But let us not blow it all out of proportion.
Perhaps your political writers would be better off having an introspective look into the type of Israel we are encouraging with our complacency.
Woman of valor
Tucked away modestly on Page 10 of your May 18 issue, our very own Greer Fay Cashman is shown accepting her well deserved Woman of Valor award presented by the Ambassador’s Club (“Woman of valor”).
It has been almost 40 years since we arrived in Israel. At that time, it was only possible to marvel at Cashman’s eclectic expertise, which has developed remarkably over the years.
Whether it be covering harrowing journeys to Poland, interviewing dignitaries, commenting on fashion or her erudite Grapevine feature, her writing is always of the highest and most informative caliber.
Cashman is one of the jewels in the crown of The Jerusalem Post.
Her award should not have been relegated to an inner page.
May she long be heralded and lauded for her contribution to enriching readers’ lives.
No ‘cautionary tale’
Caroline B. Glick’s “The Marshall Islands’ cautionary tale” (Column One, May 1) had little to do with the facts of Iran’s diversion of a Marshallese- flagged vessel. Nor did the facts serve as a cautionary tale about US-Israel relations, as she apparently intended.
The Marshallese government did not complain about the US government’s discharge of its responsibilities under the US-Marshallese Compact of Free Association (not a treaty), which I had the privilege of negotiating for the US government. Indeed, as the world knows, the Marshallese- flagged vessel detained by the Iranians was released in a week.
Whatever one might think about the current US-Iran nuclear negotiations, US performance under the US-Marshallese Compact is not a “cautionary tale” for Israelis.
PETER R. ROSENBLATT Washington - The writer is an attorney and served as US President Jimmy Carter’s personal representative to the Negotiations on the Future Political Status of the US Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which established the successor governments of Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted after the 1967 Six Day War, calls for a “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” It does not specify which territories or how much of the territories, and does not call for an “Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines,” which was stated in “The pope and the Palestinians” (Frontlines, May 22).
 In “Druckman: Welcoming conversion of Israelis from FSU is our moral duty” (May 22), it was mistakenly stated that the Biblical figure Ruth was the grandmother of King David. She was, of course, King David’s great-grandmother.