Jewish Journal

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Sep. 7, 2000 at 8:00 pm


The Anti-Defamation League has an 87-year history of speaking out against appeals to religious, racial or ethnic bias in political campaigns. In December 1999, ADL wrote to each major party presidential candidate expressing the League's concern about excessive religious speech in election-season political discourse.

Should ADL have given Sen. Lieberman a pass because he is Jewish and the League is a civil rights agency founded by the Jewish community? ("The Honeymoon's Over," Sept. 1) Just as ADL disagrees with those who say that racial and ethnic minorities cannot be racist, ADL believes that all candidates, regardless of whether they are in the religious majority or minority, must strive to be a leader for Americans of all faiths. This is the American Dream of which Sen. Lieberman has spoken so eloquently.Next year, when ADL is confronted with a similar issue involving statements made by an evangelical Christian candidate, had we not spoken out now, we would legitimately be asked where we were when Sen. Lieberman injected religion into the political arena. Are we to answer that it is okay for Jews, but not for Christians? Consistency and logic required that ADL react to Sen. Lieberman as we did to Gov. Bush and Vice President Gore.

Tamar Galatzan
Western States Associate Counsel
Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League is happy to accept donations of U.S. currency that declares "In God We Trust," but condemns Sen. Lieberman for promoting the same concept as a basis for ethics and morality. If there is so little anti-Semitism in the United States that the ADL's priority is to condemn faith-based morality, they can take me off their mailing list.

Dr. Robert J. Meth, Marina del Rey

Germany's Nazi Present

I found David Meyers's article ("My German Question" Aug. 25) truly shocking. We are talking about a country that even now is in the midst of a disturbing revival of neo-Nazi activity that includes cases of beatings, fire bombings, death threats to foreigners and local Jews, synagogue defacement and graveyard desecrations on an almost weekly basis.

Having lived and traveled in West Germany during the 1970s, I can personally attest to having inadvertently purchased cases of fine Mosel Valley wine from a well-heeled merchant who was later identified to me as an ex-member of the Waffen SS, having served a mere three years in jail for murdering over 1,000 Jewish civilians in Russia.

Yes, Germany has paid reparations to many. But the country has not yet fully or freely come to grips with restitution for the theft and confiscation of art, businesses, real estate, life insurance policies and bank accounts from millions of its victims.

There's a reason why no one in Meyers's circle of German acquaintances wanted to discuss the Shoah. Anti-Semitism is a pathological disease of the German mind and culture which has not yet been rooted out from society, even after the perpetration of some of the most horrendous crimes in human existence, possibly because of widespread denial and avoidance of the facts in the German educational system.

Steven Schoenberg
Los Angeles
Green Party

If presidential candidate Ralph Nader was not of Arabic descent, Assembly candidate Sarah Amir was not Iranian, and U.S. senatorial candidate Medea Benjamin was not from San Francisco, would you cover their Green campaigns?

Andrew Liberman , Los Angeles

Editor's Note: Be sure to read our coverage of Green Party candidates on page 10.

Pope Pius IX

For years I have been an admirer of Pope John Paul II for his finally taking the reins and attempting to right so many of the wrongs the Church has inflicted on the Jews through the ages, so I am completely baffled as to his allowing the beatification of Pius IX. It seems totally out of character for the pope, and I can only venture that there was some behind-the-scenes political cross collateralization that has resulted in the honor.

Sam Fibish, Toluca Lake

Joseph Lieberman

Being a survivor of the Holocaust and living in a free country , it made me proud to learn of the nomination of Sen. Joseph Lieberman for vice president on the Democratic ticket. It is rewarding to know that there are no barriers in this land of opportunity and challenges, regardless of race, religion or color.

Janet Arzt, North Hollywood

What a blessing it is to have Joe Lieberman on the road to the White House, with or without yarmulke or tzitzit.

In the U.S., anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry are freely expressed in the name of freedom. Maybe Lieberman is the antidote.

Keyle Birnberg-Goldstein,West Hills

Trauma Centers

In response to Wendy Madnick's article ("Learning From Tragedy," Aug. 25), I'd like to address the comment about "some idiot at Northridge Hospital" who was, in her mind, responsible for not locating her brother initially after his injury and hospitalization.

I provided medical social work services to our trauma victims from 1985 until last year. I suppose one could identify me as that person, for it was my responsibility to identify our John or Jane Doe patients once they were admitted to our critical care unit after a major trauma. Obviously, they are unable to communicate with us, may have no identification on them and have no one presenting to the hospital on their behalf. Every effort is made to locate next of kin, either through the L.A.P.D. missing persons unit or through various media sources.

Every year our trauma centers provide life-saving emergency medical treatment to hundreds of victims of motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, crime victims and victims of home injuries, often with little or no reimbursement to the hospital and medical staff accepting a trauma call.

Our trauma surgeons, respiratory therapists, nurses and social work staff deserve our support.

Eileen Sudeck, Granada Hills


This letter is to correct a possible misconception given by your article(³The Jewish Experience in the UCLA PLATO Society,²Aug. 25). We offer over75 study discussion groups a year covering a wide variety of topics such ashistory, science, philosophy, literature, music, art, economics,archaeology, etc. Jewish topics are only a small part of our curriculum.

Susan Siegel
PLATO Society of UCLA

JDate Coverage

Our sages have taught us that one who is without derech eretz is likened toa wild, unruly animal. I didn¹t expect that this would be a useful piece oflearning until now. Michael Aushenker's comments regarding the age of thepartiers certainly showed his lack of consideration and hisself-centeredness (³JDate Parties Offline,² Aug. 25).

The underlying negative tone throughout the article is not necessary toreporting of a singles event. It should also be noted that this was thefirst year for such an event, and the organizers are to be commended fortrying something different .

If anything, Jewish singles searching for a Jewish mate should beencouraged, and not be subjected to the howling of an ill-mannered writer.

Valerie Kern (via e-mail)

West Coast Jewish Theater

The article on the West Coast Jewish Theater (WCJT) and Naomi Jacobs(Seeking a Home, Sept. 1) left out the name of the man who wrote, directedand produced ³Der Onshtel Makher.

Howard Teichman is a brilliant playwright, director and member of the boardof WCJT. He should not have been ignored.

Hindi BrooksSanta Monica

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