October 19, 2011
Letters to the Editor: UN vote, Occupy Wall Street, Gilad Shalit
Our Role in the UN Vote
Your “You and the UN” editorial is a refreshing voice amid the handwringing anguish over the Palestinian U.N. action (Oct. 14). Gidi Grinstein is correct that the U.N. action is an opportunity to move forward; to not stay buried in “my way or the highway” thinking, but to understand that negotiation and compromise is the only path to peace.
Making peace doesn’t require friendship. As Moshe Dayan said, “You don’t make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies.” What is needed is a mutual agreement on secure borders, the recognition of Israel and Palestine as free and independent states, and the will to negotiate the remaining issues.
In these days of awe and reflection, I pray for clarity and courage on both sides.
Rob Eshman’s article requesting the readers to support a Security Council resolution establishing a Palestinian state is incredible coming from the “publisher and editor-in-chief” of a magazine that calls itself “The Jewish Journal.” The article demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the Middle East problems.
The last thing the Jewish people and the United Nations need at this time is to legitimize another country in addition to Iran, whose charter and goal is the destruction and elimination of the State of Israel from the face of the earth.
Mr. Eshman, you should resign your post.
The Grinstein approach makes perfect sense. I will follow up with Feinstein, Boxer and Hahn. Thanks for highlighting this very reasonable and forward-looking analysis.
Barbara H. Bergen
No Joking Matter
As a past president of Shaarei Tefila, I am truly embarrassed by the article about our once-proud shul (“Synagogue Dispute Heads to Court,” Oct. 14). I have my opinon of what is going on, as does everyone I meet — whether on the street, in other shuls or in the men’s room. People who have never davened in our shul or who have never given a dime to Shaarei Tefila know what’s best for the shul. As for me, I urge the people involved to get the matter settled in a quick, peaceful settlement. I am tired of hearing people jokingly comment, “Hey, did you hear the one about Shaarei Tefila?”
‘Occupy’ Crowds Don’t Measure Up
Marty Kaplan astonishingly praises the Occupy Wall Street crowd, joking (or was he?) that it might be a bit premature to nominate them for a Nobel Peace Prize, while admonishing the Tea Party (“Occupy K Street” Oct. 7). Is Mr. Kaplan aware that these “occupiers” are blocking traffic, fighting with the police, urinating in public, destroying bathrooms of local businesses and displaying public nudity? The Tea Party demonstrators were peaceful, asked for fiscal responsibility from our elected officials, and even cleaned up after themselves. He also bemoans how special interest money has destroyed our political system, while picking on the “usual suspects” in financial services and the energy business, while conveniently leaving out the profound influence of power and money from unions.
Shalit Release Is Too Dangerous
Did Israel ask the relatives of those hundreds of Israelis who were murdered about their feelings and opinions pertaining to the release of their relatives’ murderers?
Gilad Shalit is worth more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners. However, is Gilad Shalit worth more than the dozens of Israelis who are likely to be murdered by the very Palestinians who are now to be released in exchange for Shalit? How would you feel if one of these released prisoners subsequently detonated a bomb in a crowded Israeli cafe and your son were one of the dead?
When the Israelis and the Palestinians begin to live in tranquility with each other as the residents of Switzerland, Luxemburg, Monte Carlo, the Netherlands and Belgium live with their larger neighbors, then Palestinian prisoners can be released.
William K. Langfan
Funeral Picketers Are Anti-American
The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the First Amendment rights of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., to picket at the funerals of military personnel was a victory for our constitutional rights but a defeat for morality in this country. The followers of this so-called church typically gather at the funeral ceremonies of our fallen heroes, accusing them of condoning homosexuality within the military.
These misguided disciples are reminiscent of the Nazis and other fascist elements who persecuted gays, the clergy, Jews, Gypsies and various ethnic peoples in the 1930s and 1940s. They should be looked upon as anti-American bigots who are trying to undermine our military and tear at the fabric of our country. States should pass laws that prohibit such provocative and anti-American behavior within one mile of a funeral ceremony.
Donald A. Moskowitz
In “Food Forward Gleans and Grows” (Oct. 14), the photo on Page 16 is of Wendy Wilson, a volunteer with Food Forward; Richard Weinroth is the food bank director at MEND, Marianne Haver Hill is president and CEO; and Food Forward has provided MEND with nearly 200,000 pounds of fruit since Food Forward’s inception.