Jewish Journal

GOP, ‘apartheid,’ Sderot

Posted on May. 31, 2007 at 8:00 pm

JCC Pool Closes

I am wondering if the general public is aware of the way the West Valley JCC (Milken Center) is ignoring the wishes of many of their members ("Federation Files for Permit to Demolish Pool at New JCC at Milken," May 4).

The swimming pool has been closed since April 25, and they profess ignorance and refuse to commit either to when, or even if, it ever will be reopened. They also have closed the locker rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and showers.

In addition to the limited nature of the facility recently, there is an additional factor to consider. As one gentleman put it to me: "First you lose your mate. Then you lose your children. Then you lose your pets and now they have taken your friends away from you."

The Milken Center is a valuable place where Jewish seniors and others can both tend to their health and be in the presence of their contemporaries.

Unfortunately, members feel as though that place is being slowly taken away from us. We don't know precisely who is to blame, because the Milken Center management refuses to communicate with us, so all we know is the rumors we hear --and there are many.

Ruth Hoffman
via e-mail

Israeli 'Apartheid'

Your "analysis piece" titled, "Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid," (May 25) lacked quotation marks around the phrase "Israeli Apartheid." One must logically conclude that The Journal considers "Israeli Apartheid" not to be a propaganda phrase to be cited in quotation marks but rather a subcategory of apartheid, such as South African apartheid or Saudi Arabian apartheid (another subject entirely).

If I am concluding this in error or if my usage and understanding of quotation marks is grammatically incorrect, please advise. If not, I urge a correction be published in next week's issue.

By the way, StandWithUs has an excellent analysis of the use of the phrase apartheid in anti-Israel propaganda at http://www.standwithus.com/pdfs/flyers/apartVsIsrael.pdf. I urge your readers and your reporter to review it.

David Schechter
Los Angeles

How is it possible for The Journal to print a piece that simply assumes the legitimacy of accusing Israel of apartheid ("Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid," May 25)? It bylines "analysis" but the only apparent analysis said that one of the speakers was "the most convincing in his arguments." What?

If The Journal really intends on serving the Jewish community, then it should provide cogent, clear discussion about such hate-filled conferences instead of giving them free space to vent their lies and distortions.

The real apartheid is practiced by all the Arab states who kicked out the Jews, stole their property and won't let any Jews re-enter their countries.

Joshua Spiegelman
Los Angeles

Ed note: Indeed, the headline for" Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid Comes to UCLA" (May 25), should have read "Campaign to End Israeli 'Apartheid' Comes to UCLA." The Journal regrets the error.

I am responding to the article titled, "Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid Comes to UCLA" that appeared in the May 25 edition of your Journal.

You state that I am "a descendant of Holocaust survivors."

What I actually said was that I am a 70-year-old Jewish American, many of whose relatives were exterminated in the Holocaust. If you will do your math, you will see that I was born in 1936 or 1937 and could not be a descendant of Holocaust survivors, unless you believe in "pre-incarnation." This might not be a terrible error, but it is an example of the overall sloppy reporting on your part.

Then, as to another speaker, you report, "A tall, thin man, Hershfield wore a black T-shirt and black pants, had a tattoo peeking out from under his sleeve...."

Why didn't you tell us whether he had a hooked nose? What relevance is any of this to what Hershfield had to say?

Barry Weiss

Tracing Service

Edwin Black's article on the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive is inaccurate and incorrect, and given the importance of this collection to survivors, the record needs to be corrected ("Survivors Blast Holocaust Museum Over Archive Access Restrictions," May 18).

It is only because the United States Holocaust Memorial has pursued the ITS records that the process of opening them is moving forward.

Their availability is contingent on the ratification of an international treaty among 11 participating countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, United States). To date, France, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg have not completed this process. Only an institution with the museum's international stature , with the support of Congress and the State Department, could have achieved this result.

The museum's archive is overseen by an academic committee comprised of some of the world's most distinguished Holocaust scholars. To suggest that these men and women of distinction would tolerate the sequestering of records is outrageous. The museum's track record of more than two decades of acquisition and 14 years as an open archive guarantees otherwise.

Black has been on a one-man crusade for reasons known to him alone to deprive the museum of these archives. His accusation does not comport with my personal experience. In my more than 20 years of association with the museum -- more than a decade on staff, five years on the council and two years on the President's Commission on the Holocaust -- [it] has always held to the highest standards of scholarly rigor and service to the survivor community.

As to the availability of the records, once the treaty is signed by all parties, they will be made available as soon as technologically feasible. We should expect no less, and we will receive no less.

Michael Berenbaum
Sigi Ziering Institute:
Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust

Jerusalem Center

I very much appreciated The Jewish Journal's coverage of our recent reception at the Consulate General of Israel (Community Briefs, May 25). It was the first time that any Christian church has been allowed to host a reception at an Israeli diplomatic facility anywhere in the world, and we were honored to celebrate the reopening of [Brigham Young University's] Jerusalem Center together with Consul General Ehud Danoch, Jewish Federation President John Fishel, senior officials from all major national Jewish organizations and our many friends in L.A.'s Jewish community.

The successful event was the latest chapter in the long history of Jewish-Mormon relations, and we were touched to see our love and support reciprocated in such a positive way by prominent local Jewish leaders. May our communities continue to find ways in which to celebrate our growing ties.

Mark Paredes
Jewish Relations Committee
Southern California Public Affairs Council
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Truth, it appears is like kryptonite to the leaders of Hamas, who claim the rocket attacks on Sderot are in response to Israeli aggression ("Shell-Shocked," May 25).

The proof lies 100 miles to the west and to the east. Since signing accords with its two neighbors, how many acts of 'Israeli aggression' have occurred in Egypt and Jordan? The answer is zero, not coincidentally, the same number of Palestinian leaders willing to make peace with Israel.

Of course, the news isn't all bad. With the escalating battles between Hamas and Fatah, the Israelis finally have a reason to cheer for a Palestinian military victory.

Go Fatah!

Rich Siegel
Culver City

Scary Hummus

I am certainly glad that Rob Eshman was not around in the late 1930s ("Scary Hummus," May 25). He would no doubt have fraternized with groups dedicated to the demonization and annihilation of the Jews and written about all the organizational similarities between such groups and Jewish groups dedicated to defending themselves.

Ronnie Lampert
Los Angeles

In "Scary Hummus" (May 25), Shalhevet High School's Israel Festival was planned by the school's Israel Action Committee and co-chairs Natan Sperling and Maxine Renzer.

The Jewish Vote

In several recent letters, including one by Leeor Alpern, current statistics regarding the Jewish vote have been misrepresented. One extremely small, unscientific 2006 poll of less than 200 Jewish voters in a staunch Democratic East Coast district continues to be referenced as the only measure of the Republican Jewish vote. When large samples are carefully studied, the Jewish GOP vote has grown from 10 percent in 1992 to 26 percent Republican in 2006.

More Jewish voters are continuing to turn to the Republican Party because of the GOP's strong resolve in defense of Israel and the United States and because of sound fiscal policies which include lower taxes that benefit our overall economy.

It is quite clear that the three major Republican contenders for the 2008 presidency -- [Rudy] Giuliani, [Mitt] Romney and [John] McCain -- (along with several of the other GOP candidates) have long demonstrated their support for Israel.

However, here are a few recent illustrations as to why thoughtful Jews should have trouble supporting Democratic leaders.

Too often, Democrats such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi promote moral balance between Israel and her brutal, undemocratic enemies in direct opposition to President Bush's foreign policy. Further, Democratic politicians, such as Sen. Hillary Clinton, flip-flop and now support the precipitous withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, with no clear plan for security in the region. And then there is former President Carter and his frequent anti-Israel comments.

No wonder more Jews are joining the GOP.

Richard Sherman
Republican Jewish Coalition
Los Angeles Chapter

Love of Animals

Rafael Medoff faults Americans for their love of animals but fails to realize that a beloved pet is a defenseless creature, subject to the kindness and cruelty of human beings ("Sympathy for the Suffering Goes to the Dogs," May 18).

If more people would adhere to the spaying and neutering of their pets, it would reduce pet overpopulation and give animals a better chance at life.

Ed Cress

THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from all readers. Letters should be no more than 200 words and must include a valid name, address and phone number. Letters sent via e-mail must not contain attachments. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used, but names will be withheld on request. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Mail: The Jewish Journal, Letters, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90010; e-mail: letters@jewishjournal.com; or fax: (213) 368-1684.

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