September 12: Lobbyists for strike

I hold both American and Israeli citizenship. I am horrified to think that AIPAC might throw its support behind Obama in what he is asking.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Lobbyists for strike
Sir, – Despite the developments surrounding Russia’s proposal that Syria give up its chemical weapons, Israel is being forcefully thrust into the eye of a brewing storm surrounding a congressional vote on an American military strike (“Pro-Israel groups in the United States scramble to save Syria strike resolution,” September 10).
Despite the fact that our political and security officials have stated unequivocally that it is of vital importance for Israel not to be involved in this bloodstained internecine conflict, their wishes have been brazenly violated.
Both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have made public statements declaring that one of the prime reasons for striking Syria is the defense of Israel.
This is an absolute falsehood, which ignores the fact that Israel is not a party to this war, nor does it favor one ignoble side over the other.
Israel does not require or seek outside protection in this fight, and the use of its name to gain congressional votes merely serves to drain any real humanitarian content from what should be an authentic effort to end the brutal slaughter of innocent civilians.
The European Union, the United Nations and Russia have each declared their rejection of the Obama program, thereby leaving the American president alone with only the pro-Israel lobbyists. Since “limited” actions tend to grow into larger, even regional, conflagrations – and even into world wars – the obvious villains will be Israel and the Jews.
Sir, – I have been following the story that President Barack Obama is asking AIPAC to lobby Congress for going to war with Syria. I also noticed your editorial “AIPAC and Syria” (September 9).
I hold both American and Israeli citizenship. I am horrified to think that AIPAC might throw its support behind Obama in what he is asking.
I am also upset that Israel says it has information that Assad was behind the August 21 chemical attack. Israel can’t have such information because Assad was not behind it. Russian President Vladimir Putin knows this.
Even Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry know this.
In any case, it could put us in grave danger if the US pursues a military strike. No one should play roulette using Israel. I hope this story disappears now.MARILYN JACKLER Haifa
Sir, – On September 10, you had an item headlined “Liberman warns that Israel will topple Assad if he attacks.” Does this mean that if Assad does not attack but continues to gas and murder his citizens he can remain in power? Similarly, the world remains silent while 100,000 Syrians lose their lives, but when some 1,300 (as reported) lose their lives to a gas attack, all hell breaks loose. Is it time for me to alter the definitions in my dictionary of the words consistency and hypocrisy?
Court too lenient
Sir, – I do not understand the low sentence given the pedophile (“Top court increases penalty for man’s sexual abuse of daughter,” September 10).
First it was two years (and probably out in one), then 45 months for ruining his daughter’s life.
When this person leaves prison after serving half his sentence, will he go back to his marital home and carry on the abuse, maybe with another of his children or somebody else’s? Interestingly, on the same page was a story headlined “Sudanese man gets 10 years for raping Filipina.” Does rape take precedence over a father sexually abusing his daughter? Don’t get me wrong – the rapist should get 10 years, if not more. But why didn’t the man who sexually abused his daughter get a proper sentence? MARY SHERMAN Tel Aviv Defining ‘best’ Sir, – If the sum total of a man is his profession, then the premise in “What is the best Jewish education?” (Comment & Features, September 10) might be correct. But Jewish parents, even “my-son-the-doctor” mothers, know they are raising a total human being, with values and a religion. They know they are raising not just an individual, but a member of a Jewish community.
These young people have an obligation not only to be the best lawyers and doctors they can be, but to uphold Jewish values and perpetuate the religion.
They are members of an eternal Jewish nation.
Frankly, I don’t know of any Jewish professional who was accepted to an Ivy League college but chose to study at Yeshiva University and is starving.
Unfortunately, though, I do know successful professionals who attended prestigious universities but have forgotten their roots.
At the end of his days, the Harvard grad will probably leave a tidy estate. The Yeshiva professional will leave behind a traditional Jewish progeny in addition to his estate.
SARA REINES Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Jacob Scharf’s attack on Yeshiva University ignores three facts.
First, recent research has shown that the wage differential between Ivy League school graduates and those of “lower tier” schools is not worth the extra tuition of the so-called prestige schools.
Second, graduate school applicants from Yeshiva University are rated higher than those from other universities because they carried a double load during their undergraduate years.
Finally, the religion-based questions asked by college students are different from those asked by high school students.
Shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to obtain answers from religious leaders trained to answer their questions rather than by “going to a synagogue and buying some Jewish books?” DAVID FEIGENBAUM Netanya Sir, – Jacob Scharf need not worry about having to turn down Harvard or Stanford in favor of “lesser schools – like Yeshiva University.” If his college admissions essays are as riddled with grammatical errors, unwarranted capitalizations and malapropisms as this silly piece, such schools will reject him outright. It is unlikely that even Yeshiva University would accept him.
Clearly, this self-described yeshiva high school dropout is also clueless about the facts.
There is zero evidence that graduates of Yeshiva University (and I am no fan or advocate of YU) face discrimination or hurdles when applying to elite professional schools. In fact, it could well be that these graduates are relatively better represented than the undergraduate alumni of these same universities.
J.J. GROSS Jerusalem
Sir, – Why does The Jerusalem Post insist on publishing articles that are relevant only to those who live in the United States or are from there? Jacob Scharf’s opinion piece is totally irrelevant to Israel and to all Jews who don’t live in America.
I know that the status of Jerusalem is disputed by the US, but I didn’t realize Washington had proposed annexing it as the 51st state.
Hashmonaim CLARIFICATION David Newman, who wrote “A new year, a new chief rabbi” (Borderline Views, September 4), wishes to note the following about British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis: “As has since been pointed out to me, he received his rabbinical education in Israel, at the Kerem Byavneh and Har Etzion yeshivot.
He is the first chief rabbi of the UK to be trained here. A strong supporter of Israel, he proudly mentioned this point during his recent installation address in London.”