August 26, 2004
Having followed your treatment of the political campaign these many months, I've concluded that the appalling and disgraceful prejudicial coverage requires a concrete action directed to The Federation. It's one thing for a public newspaper (The Los Angeles Times) to take a political position, but The Federation speaks for all Jews in the community and, therefore, it should be apolitical. Your latest articles and columns are so blatantly slanted there is not even an attempt at fairness. Therefore, I am writing to The Federation advising that I will no longer support its efforts financially. I do not want my contribution (modest though it may be) helping fund a propaganda sheet for Kerry.
Harry Finkel, Century City
The Journal strives for balance in its reporting and opinion (see this week's op-ed by Arnold Steinberg, for example). Whether you think we hit the mark or not, please don't blame The Jewish Federation. The Journal is not affiliated with or supported by The Jewish Federation. The Journal is an independent community newsweekly solely responsible for its editorial choices. We have no business or editorial interest in alienating Jews for Kerry, Jews for Bush or even Jews for Nader.
'Da Ali G Show'
Your article "Anti-Semitic Sing-A-Long" reports that the Anti Defamation League (ADL) received "hundreds" of complaints about the skit on "Da Ali G Show" in which the Jewish Sasha Baron Cohen, as the Kazakhstanian reporter Borat, got patrons of a Tucson bar to join him in a song, the chorus of which contained the words, "Throw the Jew down the well! ...You must grab him by his horns...."(Aug. 20).
My husband and I watch "Da Ali G Show" every week. Baron Cohen is brilliant in all three guises (Borat, Ali G and Bruno) and gets people to show their true selves. Would those who complained to the ADL prefer to think that anti-Semitism didn't exist in that Tucson bar that night? Did they think that Baron Cohen was inciting anti-Semitism? In fact, he was -- but to show that it lies just below the surface of our society. Wouldn't they rather see and hear what still exists in this country? At least then they will not become complacent thinking nothing bad could happen here. They should be grateful to all of Ali G's personae for exposing anti-Semitism as well as homophobia and bias against minorities and the disabled. When people are prejudiced against any one segment of our society, a good chance exists that they are prejudiced against many others.
Baron Cohen exposes this weekly. As he would say, "Check it!"
Judi Birnberg, Sherman Oaks
We Love Singles
My wife and I subscribe to The Journal. We are not on the Internet and I therefore made a special trip to the library about 10 miles from our home to send this e-mail. I really enjoy the singles articles because I think way back to when I was single in both Phoenix and then later in Van Nuys. The articles really make me smile and laugh. They are great. Here are some of my favorites:
"Test a Jew" by Mark Miller (July 30); "Un-Orthodox Date" by Marilyn Anderson (July 23); "A New Relationship" by Teresa Strasser (July 2); 4. "Pariah or Trendy" by Sandra Hurtes (June 25); 5. "What Men Want (to Say) by Mark Miller (June 18).
Thanks to all of you. It takes great articles like yours to cause me to stop and read them.
Armand J. Filer, Thousand Oaks
Doug Rushkoff is very naive in thinking that without Israel, anti-Semitism will actually go away ("Was Israel Created for Another Reason?" Aug. 20).
He forgets all atrocities committed against Jews all over the world, not just Europe. He discounts Islamic anti-Semitism as a by-product of the creation of Israel. Islamic anti-Semitism has been around as long as Islam has. Arab populations are oppressed because of their ignorance, illiteracy and ruthless regimes. With or without Israel, those regimes will find 1,001 excuses to oppress their people. As they have done in the past 14 centuries of Islamic existence, and often Jews have been the scapegoat. Anti-Semitism is a feeling with no reasoning behind it. It is passed down from generation to generation.
Solie Nosrat, Encino
One Tough Room
I found Bill Weiner's column on older adults hilarious and kind-hearted ("One Tough Room, " Aug. 13). I hope to see his oblique take on life in future issues.... I do miss Teresa Strasser, though. Perhaps Weiner will make me a regular reader again. What a find.
Ben Caswell, Los Angeles
Tom Tugend's article on Mel Levine contains a distortion of history by Ed Sanders that made my blood turn cold ("Mel Levine Takes Kerry Mideast Post," Aug. 20). Sanders stated that American preoccupation with Watergate was responsible for the Yom Kippur War. The truth is that Egypt and Syria had been meeting regularly since March 1973 to carefully plan an attack on Israel. While there was rattling of sabers over Watergate, the "hot button" issue of October l973 was the resignation of Spiro Agnew, which occurred during the Yom Kippur War.
The American people, in giving Nixon a massive, landslide victory in l972, saved Jews from their own naivete.
Rabbi Louis J. Feldman, Van Nuys