November 21, 2012
Letters to the Editor: Abortion, Barack Obama, Chris Christie
Prager on Abortion
I am so very tired of middle-aged white men weighing in on abortion, professing to be experts on morality, female anatomy or forensic pathology (“Jews and Abortion,” Nov. 16). Moreover, these same men rarely apply a similar analysis to the morality of the death penalty. So, unless Mr. Prager has a direct line to HaShem, I doubt that he can provide us with a code of universally accepted morality. Some of us may believe that rape does not justify abortion because the fetus is guiltless. Others may believe that it’s wrong to strap a teenage girl with an unwanted pregnancy. Either way, it is for the woman to decide.
Alice J. Garfield, Los Angeles
Mr. Prager laments the fact that rabbis generally don’t call abortions immoral and further that most Jews don’t distinguish between the legality and morality of abortions, while they do distinguish between the legality and morality of adultery. An apples-and-oranges dichotomy. Abortion and adultery are not similar. The reason Jews are pro-choice is because abortion is not immoral. Under Jewish law, life starts at birth, period. English and American common law have followed Torah. It is just Mr. Prager and his Christian friends who believe otherwise. An appropriate example cited by Mr. Prager, namely that the ancient Greeks let deformed and sick kids die while the Jews took care of their sick, seems to encapsulate the attitude of so-called pro-lifers (i.e., after kids are born, forget about them).
James Auspitz, Los Angeles
I’ve been reading Dennis Prager’s columns for a while now, and the thing I notice is that he uses the expressions “anti-Zionism,” “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Israel” frequently. He likes to say that most of this “anti” stuff comes from the left but doesn’t take the time to satisfactorily state what defines those labels for him. He did mention, in a recent reply to a letter (Nov. 9), a Gallup poll about sympathies with the Palestinians and Israel, and how they pan out with the Republicans and Democrats. But just because someone sympathizes more with the Palestinians doesn’t automatically make them anti-Israel. Maybe they’re concerned with the way Palestinians are being treated in that country. When Mr. Prager continually uses these “anti” labels, he’s automatically invalidating and demonizing these opinions on the left without even attempting to figure out where the views are coming from. In using those kinds of “black and white” labels, he’s adding to the problem of effective communication between people of different views, turning it into an “us versus them” mentality.
Ian Rosen, Los Angeles
Respect for Warschaw
I think that you are close-minded in your opinion that only Democrats believe in the reality of science and economics (“The Warschaw Way,” Nov. 16). Although I respect your opinion, I think that you need to respect (or at least consider) the opinion of many Republicans that it is not realistic to continue handing out checks when there is no money left in the checkbook.
While it may be easy for you to generalize about Republicans, it is more fair and honest to say that many (but not all) Republicans believe that state governments should help truly needy people with welfare, food stamps, homeless shelters, free drug needles, birth control and maybe even abortions — but only if they have the money to pay for those acts of charity.
Michael Waterman, Encino
Mr. Rosner, it is not the Israeli people who need to be reassured and it is not President Obama who should act like a responsible adult (“Obama, Go to Israel,” Nov. 16). But it is the American people who need to be reassured and it is the Israeli government that needs to act responsibly and no better time than during [Israel’s] upcoming election.
Theresa H. McGowan, Santa Monica
Gov. Christie’s Character
I loved Marty Kaplan’s column about Chris Christie, confirmation bias, internal narrative, etc. (“My Chris Christie Hypocrisy,” Nov. 9). It’s really interesting how genes, brains, belief systems, plain old emotions and being hardwired for story play into things — especially politics. Especially when the nation, friends and family are so earnest, yet, so divided about politics. Even if it is politically advantageous for Christie for a 2016 presidential bid, I’m on board with Kaplan’s hypocritical/insightful/evolving opinion about the governor. Christie stepped up to the plate. Character is revealed under pressure.
Hilary Smith, via e-mail
The name of David Siegel, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, was misspelled in the article “Fighting for Religious Pluralism in Israel” (Nov. 16).
The byline on a story by Hillel Kuttler was misspelled (“Attracting Gen Y at GA.,” Nov. 16).