Jewish Journal


August 18, 2005



Discussion Difficult

Bernard Goldberg's response to Rob Eshman's critique turns out to be a fine example of why some conservative voices make intelligent discussion so difficult ("My Work Is Not to Blame for Jew-Haters," Aug. 5).

Goldberg starts out with, "Usually I only respond to fair and thoughtful criticism, but I'll make an exception in this case, because people I respect tell me that Rob Eshman ... is both a smart and decent guy."

Let's look at that sentence. Despite the begrudging "smart and decent," Goldberg reveals that he really does not believe Eshman's criticism to be "fair and thoughtful." In that case, why is he sending in a response?

He goes on to whine, "It never occurred to me to count people by their religion. It's my friends on the left who love to put people in groups.... Liberals love diversity -- just not the intellectual kind."

He says that liberals love to put people in groups -- not some liberals, not even most liberals, just liberals. The man has just put all liberals into a group.

His book includes one or two conservatives like Michael Savage, whose ravings are so maniacal that even Goldberg cannot stomach them. But aside from these exceptions, it is clear that the "people who are screwing up America" are the liberals. Another prime example of those conservatives who think that those who do not agree with them are unpatriotic and anti-American.

Lou Charloff

Junk Science

In the fossil record, many forms of complex life all of a sudden explode on to the scene. There is not a smooth transition from one species to another ("Junk Science," Aug. 12).

Darwin's theory is one that believes in gradual changes. In fact, in Darwin's book, he pleads with the reader to ignore the fossil record. The more of the fossil record that is unearthed, the more it disproves the theory of evolution as Darwin proposed it.

The idea of intelligent design is just as valid as the theory of evolution. To believe in evolution takes just as much blind faith as believing in intelligent design. To teach evolution as if it is a proven fact is junk science.

Dr. Sabi Israel
West Hills

Gaza Disengagement

I am loath to understand why Jews should be prohibited from residing in areas under Palestinian control, when almost 1.3 million Arabs live in Israel proper ("We Must Show Unified Pullout Support," Aug. 12). Why must it be that to establish peace and live in harmony with Arab neighbors, their territory must be Judenrein. No Jews allowed?

The very idea of establishing policies which preclude even one Jew from living in even one place unearth historic realities that are painful.

Rabbi I.B. Koller
Richmond, Va.

The matter of Israel's expulsion of Jews from Gaza keeps many of us up at night, uncertain as to the efficacy of such a policy. Reasonable people may disagree as to whether or not it's a good idea.

The letter from Dr. Aryeh Cohen ("Letters," Aug. 12) is a disturbing example of an illogical argument used to support a policy of which many Jews are wary.

Cohen uses the specious, context-free logic employed by those who wish to destroy the State of Israel -- just point out some statistics, and it seems obvious that Israel is "mercilessly oppressing" the Palestinian people, who are being "denied" their "rightful" homeland.

Cohen's flawed argument in support of "disengagement" from Gaza assumes that there's no history -- that the United Nations has not been backing the maintenance of the Palestinian refugee camps all these years, that the Palestinians have not purposefully murdered innocent civilians for their own political ends and that the Palestinians have not missed numerous opportunities to make peace.

If I buy Cohen's argument, we may as well withdraw from all of Israel proper right now to avoid any chance of ever being an "oppressor," and then go heal ourselves by "re-engaging with morality." By insinuating that the Israelis are the only ones who have acted immorally, Cohen undermines his own position.

Time will tell whether Israel's expulsion of Jewish settlers from Gaza was wise or not. Cohen's use of the flawed logic of our enemies to defend what may be a reasonable position is more appalling than deluding ourselves that we are as blameless and innocent as he posits the Palestinians to be. That such an argument comes from a professor at our distinguished University of Judaism is more appalling still.

I hope and pray that something good will come out of this heart-wrenching decision by the Israeli government. Am Yisrael chai.

Gary Lainer
Los Angeles


Thank you for Toby Klein Greenwald's thoughtful piece ("Barbed Wire Fails to Separate Hearts," Aug. 12). Although I am sadly baffled by the pro-expulsion view of the Southern Californian Board of Rabbis, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee (don't they read "From Time Immemorial" by Peters or arutzsheva.com?), I find it quite telling that The Journal's "Losing Faith" (Aug. 12) headline really refers more to the Peace Nowniks' unfortunate lack of faith, understanding in the Torah and vision of Yisrael.

Joshua Spiegelman


Rabbi Harvey Fields and David Pine mischaracterize support for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Gaza Strip as support for Israel ("We Must Show Unified Pullout Support," Aug. 12). Those who truly support Israel oppose that gift to our enemies over which they have prepared a celebration.

Anything those would-be genocides of our people celebrate is cause for our mourning. They have made no secret of their intent to use every parcel of our land they grab as a base for grabbing all the rest of it, "from the river to the sea."

There is nothing "courageous" in surrender, particularly when the enemy is militarily and morally inferior. No relief can be expected when we give them control over their air, sea and land conduits for re-armament.

The dream of a Palestinian Muslim state as a "peace-seeking neighbor" is contrary to all their propaganda, their declarations (in Arabic), their education in the schools and their actions throughout the generations.

That Jews occupy 18 percent of the land and use 75 percent of the water in the strip is indeed a shame: Both numbers should be 100 percent, as the ancestors of the present Arab occupiers, when first they invaded from Arabia, themselves were calling all the land "the land of the Jews." They are imperialist settlers in our country, and have no right to be anywhere in it.

Despite that, we have generously allowed full Israeli citizenship to those of them that want it. What would the writers say had Israel made any province of the country Arabrein? Is there any place in the world outside of our homeland that they think should be Judenrein? Is there any other people they think should not be allowed to live in certain places?

Louis Richter

Independent Mind

I am a Jewish voter, and I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he runs again for governor, I will vote for him again ("Schwarzenneger Is Losing Jewish Votes," Aug. 5) .

However, I vote as an individual and not as a member of religious or ethnic mindthink. This article states that Jews vote alike on a platform of democratic values, and are all pro-choice and advocates of reform.

While this may or may not be true, this is no different than the person who claims the African American vote is unilateral, and all African Americans think and vote alike. I personally find this not only a racist concept, but an offensive one. Jews, like all people, vote according to their own personal beliefs, and not part of a Jewish conspiracy.

I am also offended by the comparisons to the AM radio crowd, as if all who listen are again part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. I stand as woman, a Jew and a person who is capable of making up my own mind on how to vote, who to vote for and on what issues are important to me, a citizen of the United States, a resident in California and of independent mind.

Allyson Rowen Taylor
Valley Glen

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