July 31, 2003
Does Gov. Davis expect the 67 percent of the Jews that vote for the Democratic Party to become whores and support him for the $40.2 million donated to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Zimmer Museum and the Skirball Museum ("Davis Recall Fight Plays Jewish Card" July 25)?
His Jewish supporters have already been rewarded with:
1. The worst state government in the nation.
2. The state government that is rated last in being business friendly.
3. A massive amount of businesses and jobs leaving the state.
4. A huge amount of money spent on school systems that are failing their students.
5. An $8 billion surplus that was thrown away.
6. A $38 billion deficit.
7. Complete incompetence and bumbling in the so-called energy crises.
As a Jew, I am embarrassed that my fellow Jews continue to support the socialist Democrats of this state. This support of the "progressive agenda" has become almost psychotic; it does not seem to matter that our state is collapsing. They do not face reality.
Laurence F. Almond, Los Angeles
Since when are we Jews and our Jewish politicians defending corrupt politicians? Gray Davis has squandered our tax money and lied to us.
Jews once respected high ethics and honesty, but now Mel Levine says we shouldn't support the recall, because it will cost too much and bring instability to our government, hurting Jews and other minorities.
What weak excuses! How can he look at himself in the mirror?
The money it would cost is a mere pittance compared to what Davis has already squandered. Why give him a pass for three more years to squander billions more?
Most of all, I resent the use of scare tactics to make us accept the malfeasance of an incompetent, dishonest governor, who will stop at nothing to stay in power. I, for one, refuse to be manipulated by politicians who think they can count on my Jewish vote to enable their nefarious deeds.
Suzi Patrusky, Beverly Hills
It was outrageous for former Rep. Mel Levine to convene a meeting and announce that the "Jewish community" opposes the Davis recall. No one has the right to speak for the whole Jewish population on any partisan political matter -- or to put such a matter in Jewish terms.
Levine's actions weren't just absurd and undemocratic, they were terribly arrogant and even dangerous. The organized Jewish community, through The Jewish Federation, the Board of Rabbis [of Southern California] and others, should publicly rebuke Levine and emphasize publicly that no one can speak for the Jewish population on a partisan political matter.
Dr. Bruce J. Schneider, Irvine
Smoke or Cheat
In framing his hypothetical moral question, smoking vs. cheating, in absolute terms, without allowing for any variables, Dennis Prager reveals once again his Manichaean worldview ("Prefer Your Teen to Smoke or to Cheat?" July 25).
To Prager, something is either good or it's evil, black or white, conservative (good) or liberal (bad). That's why he won't accept what I think would be the response of most parents, namely, that they wouldn't want their teen to smoke or cheat.
Are we talking about a 13-year-old junior high student or an 18-year-old college freshman? Did the kid look at a classmate's paper one time, occasionally copy someone else's homework or did he break into the teacher's office and steal the exam as part of a long pattern of cheating? Did she take a drag from a friend's cigarette one time, does she smoke a couple of times a year or does she have a two-pack-a-day habit? If Prager can't deal with nuance, context or circumstances, then I submit that he's the one who's morally confused.
Finally, I have a few questions for him: Suppose, Mr. Prager, that your 13-year-old smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. Would you encourage him or her to stop? If so, why? If not, why not?
Chuck Mazursky, Westwood
Once again The Jewish Journal lends its space to Dennis Prager to spout his usual uninformed nonsense. He bemoans the fact that more American parents consider smoking to be a greater evil than cheating and the consumption of alcohol, a reversal of attitudes since the 1960s. He also expresses shock that people consider tobacco a drug.
He should be aware that the potential lethal effects of smoking were not a major source of concern to most people in the 1960s, as it is now. Also, that tobacco contains nicotine, a very potent addictive drug, and that over 400,000 Americans die each year from the effects of smoking.
I certainly do not endorse cheating or the abuse of alcohol. But, I would not minimize the very harmful effects of smoking as Prager seems to do, while admitting to the fact that he is a smoker.
Melvin Reier, Northridge
Your July 4 cover story, "Mourning on the Fourth of July," was one that touched me deeply emotionally. I lost my son at age 47 to cardiac arrest two years ago. Time has softened the pain, but the memory grows stronger. And the why goes unanswered. Besides reciting "Kaddish" and planting a fruit tree in my garden named "Randy's Tree," I became a member of Compassionate Friends. We all lost a child and console each other and meet at the University of Judaism. For more information, call (310) 889-7726.
Hyman H. Haves , Pacific Palisades
Shinui Weighs In
Tommy Lapid claimed that if Israel does not agree to release Palestinian prisoners, it would put an end to the peace process ("Shinui Weighs In on Releasing Prisoners," July 11). How so?
The first sentence of Phase I of the "road map" requires that "the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence." If terrorist groups unilaterally decide that an Israeli refusal to release Palestinian murderers from prison will void their temporary truce, it is they who have put an end to the peace process.
Deborah Koken, Costa Mesa
Why does UCLA professor David N. Myers persist in complaining that the Los Angeles Jewish community keeps him from expressing his views ("Open Debate Preferable to Blind Support," July 18)? In the last three years, he has been quoted, published or discussed in The Jewish Journal approximately 40 times. So how is the debate no longer "open?"
Nathan D. Wirtschafter, Encino