July 14, 2005
We always look forward to reading The Journal every weekend and find it mostly informative and worthwhile reading.
The June 24 issue was an exception. I was appalled at the choice of your cover story, "The Evil Stepmother Dies," both the cover illustration and the story. Was this the type of cover story about which we all need to know? Frankly, I don't like to see the words "evil" and "hatred" splashed right on the cover, when they relate to just one family member who has already passed on -- unless it's about terrorists or the like.
Isn't that a very personal story of Teresa Strasser's and not one about which greater Los Angeles needs to be informed?
I think Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson said it well: "This isn't the time to unburden yourself of your true feelings about your stepmother, but to shut up and be his [your father's] help."
It certainly doesn't fulfill any purpose to have the entire city read about this woman, and should have remained private or limited to those close to Strasser's family.
The Jewish Journal's June 24 article ("Two Families' Dreams Were Not Demolished") on a Los Angeles lecture by the parents of deceased American anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, was one-sided. Anti-Israel groups have expanded their propaganda onto campuses, into churches and in the media.
The media often uncritically promote views like the Corrie parents by reporting their presentations without context, as The Jewish Journal did.
Like the Corrie parents' speechmaking, The Jewish Journal did not put into context Israel's counterterrorism measures, though the article was written as if it were, at least in part, objectively trying to explain Israel's curbing of terrorist gun-smuggling into Gaza. Anti-Israel speakers like the Corrie parents are not Middle East experts, yet The Journal gave them infomercial-like space to distort facts and make unverified accusations and historical distortions.
Jewish Journal readers were not told of the agendas of the groups sponsoring, or allied with, the Corrie parents' event, agendas that generally include destroying Israel.
As two Jewish organizations committed to ensuring that Israel's side of the story is told, StandWithUs and the American Jewish Congress are concerned at how the media, intentionally or unintentionally, repeats anti-Israel perspectives in what appears, wrongly, to be balanced coverage of Palestinian-allied events.
The letters praising The Jewish Journal's June 24 article by Howard Blume, "Two Families," demonstrated how much his piece is part of today's organized, anti-Israel propaganda campaign.
The international letter writers were not regular Journal readers; they wrote in response to an urgent e-mail blast sent by local anti-Israel groups. A coalition of like-minded, anti-Israel crusaders, the Rebuilding Alliance, organized the Corrie-Nasrallah event. It includes Noam Chomsky, Not In My Name and the Edward Said Foundation.
It was a coup for these groups that The Journal published Blume's distorted facts and history, his whitewash of the International Solidarity Movement.
The Journal did a grave disservice to readers who trust that its news articles will be objective and well researched. The article did not show that The Jewish Journal is open to opposing views; instead, it acted as an agent for today's toxic anti-Israel propaganda campaign.
Are Jews doomed to always be their own worst enemy?
Roberta P. Seid
Praise for SOS
Regarding your article about the SOS Children's Village in Arad, Israel ("'Mothers' Offer SOS for Abused Children," June 24), I think it is important for readers and donors to know that SOS Children's Villages' SOS Kinderdorh International was the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. SOS was deemed worthy of this distinction after thorough screening and highly competitive nomination process that spans the globe. The annual $1 million-prize recognizes and advances the work of one charitable organization, anywhere in the world, that makes extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.
Finally, I thank you for the opportunity to read about Arad, a town where I spent an enjoyable and rewarding year and a half on the World Union of Jewish Students and Sherut La'am programs several decades ago.
"Factory Farms Akin to Shoah SufferingSuffering" (June 24) should have been titled "A Holocaust-Inspired Vegetarian," because the author never equated the suffering of animals to that of humans. Also, although Mohr serves as coordinator for Jewish Vegetarians of North America, the viewpoints expressed were his own, not those of the organization.