August 21: J Street's influence

J Street's growing footprint in Washington, and its resources, would suggest that it could indeed become a significant player.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
J Street's influence Sir, - I've been reading very closely all of Hilary Leila Krieger's excellent reports on J Street ("J Street unveils grassroots field effort across America," August 19). It seems as if most American Jewish establishment leaders dismiss the influence and potential impact J Street has, but J Street's growing footprint in Washington, and its resources, would suggest that it could indeed become a significant player. I wonder whether American Jewish leaders are not taking the J Street threat seriously enough. I would encourage Ms. Krieger and her colleagues at the Post to investigate the extent of concern nationally among Jews, left and right, about J Street's potential impact. It would help those of us trying to counteract J Street's influence to identify who are our allies and potential supporters. JESS SADICK Washington Friends and foes Sir, - Alas for our enemies! The State of Israel has a friend, and his name is Michael Huckabee. May he go from strength to strength ("Huckabee: Palestinian state in Jewish homeland is 'unrealistic,'" August 19.) THELMA BLUMBERG Kiryat Arba Jaw-jaw Sir, - The latest wrinkle in the "talking" debate is the news item informing us that "Iran will talk with [the] West" (August 19). Going back to Churchill's "It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war," there has been an obsession with conflicting sides agreeing to talk to each other. Israel and the PLO contend for the prize of being willing to open negotiations; and, of course, now Obama is the hero of the talking approach as opposed to the confrontational one. The Prophet Isaiah says in the name of God: Let us debate. There is a time to talk, to reconcile, to agree, to declare a truce. But, as Ecclesiastes would put it: There is a time to talk, and there is a time not to talk. When Chamberlain went to see Hitler, it would have been better if he had not talked and given away Czechoslovakia. If Obama talks to Ahmadinejad and the result is that he lets him have his bomb, not talking would be better. Ditto Netanyahu if, in talking to Abbas, he gives away Israel's security and half of Jerusalem. Abraham Lincoln did not talk to the South; he fought it to preserve the Union. And the same Churchill who was in favor of "jaw-jaw," ended up fighting the Nazis with bombs and planes. Talking, or agreeing to talk, does not by itself solve problems. MENDEL MENDELSSOHN Jerusalem Holy work Sir, - Larry Derfner's article on ZAKA was very well-written, but it mentioned only haredim doing this holy work ("Faith in the face of trauma," UpFront, July 24). I would like to add that there are many National Religious men among them. For example, my husband is one of quite a few ZAKA volunteers belonging to the religious kibbutz movement. FRANCES MULLER Kibbutz Ein Hanatziv Condense Sir, - Re the detailed description of the magazine's financial woes in "'Reader's Digest' to file for bankruptcy protection" (August 18) - surely a short summary of RD's chapter 11 would have sufficed? YONATAN SILVER Jerusalem