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Jewish Journal

Letters to the Editor

October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

Steve Cooley

Your article on the district attorney's race ("Jewish Stake in the DA's Race," Oct. 20) was neither balanced nor fair. It is obvious to anyone familiar with Gil Garcetti's failed leadership that David Evanier did not do his homework. Evanier solicited comments about Garcetti from three Jewish activists but sought no comments from the many Jewish activists who support Steve Cooley.

More importantly, Cooley has a broad base of support from all ethnic and racial groups. The district attorney's race is about the need to restore confidence and leadership to an office and a criminal justice system that has been under attack - and rightly so. Cooley has the vision and leadership to restore that confidence. He has been endorsed by every newspaper in this county.

As a prosecutor in the district attorney's office for the past 22 years, as a Democrat and a Jew, I am disappointed that The Jewish Journal gave such little thought to such an important race in the upcoming election.

Lael R. Rubin, Santa Monica

I have been a reader of The Journal since its inception and feel I must reply to what I consider a one-sided article regarding the race for district attorney.

Cooley and I both served the City of Los Angeles as reserve police officers; he served with distinction for several years at the Newton Street Station. He has devoted his entire professional career as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, the past 14 years as a head deputy district attorney, and has successfully prosecuted many cases of robbery, burglary, rape and other heavy-duty felonies.

One of the differences in the handling of the three-strikes cases between Cooley and his opponent is that Cooley has a gutteh neshoma (good soul). Unlike his opponent, he would not seek a 25-year-to-life sentence for a defendant who, after living a good life of many years, is prosecuted for stealing some food to feed his family.

I have known Cooley as a close friend for over 30 years. He is straight, honest and will bring a level of integrity to the district attorney's office, which it has not had for the past eight years.

Norman Tyre, Toluca Lake

Violence in Israel

I read Sequoia Schroeder's letter (Letters, Oct. 20) with some interest. I am a reserve staff sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a supporter of the peace process and active in what she and I obviously share - a desire to help our Jewish community "prevent the nightmare of us turning into the image of our old oppressors."

But Schroeder is way off the mark. Israel didn't ask for this outburst of violence. Indeed, Prime Minister Barak has offered more than anyone else - including Prime Ministers Rabin and Peres - in his search for peace. At the recent Camp David meeting, never has Israel offered so much to the Palestinians at the opening of a negotiation (let alone during one). What would Israel have to benefit from violence at this time? Nothing. To blame Israel (or even Ariel Sharon, a man for whom I tend not to have much respect at the best of times) for the outbreak of rioting and violence would be as disingenuous as it would be inaccurate.

Don't misunderstand me. When the fighting stops and some movement to renewing the peace process is underway, I will be there, with my friends, supporting the sharing of Jerusalem, the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the rights of every Palestinian and Israeli child to live in peace and security. We'd just like to get there in one piece.

Dov Ben-Shimon ,Los Angeles

Sequoia Schroeder's outrage is misplaced. Why isn't she outraged over the hanging of two Israeli soldiers by Palestinians? Why isn't Schroeder outraged over the fact that Yasser Arafat keeps his police at bay when Palestinians are attacking Israelis?

It seems to me that not only does Israel need to respond swiftly and strongly to the campaign of terror unleashed against it by its purported partner in peace, Arafat, but in addition it is time for Israel to initiate a public relations effort so that the world, and people like Schroeder, truly understand what is happening in Israel and who is responsible for the violence.

Fred Silberberg, Los Angeles

Does Sequoia Schroeder expect the Israelis to blow kisses as a response to death-threatening action on the part of Palestinians? Or does she think the Israeli forces should merely retreat and allow the Palestinian mobs to overrun Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or wherever they may choose?

Schroeder fails to question how it is that Palestinian children are in the front lines of the violence. What kind of parents are the Palestinians who send their children out to be maimed or killed?

Joseph M. Ellis,Woodland Hills

CNN doesn't show how Arabs attack Israeli citizens and places. CNN doesn't tell you that young children are pushed by Palestinian adults, who hide behind walls and houses and shoot at Israeli soldiers while the children are between them. CNN doesn't tell you that the pictures you see from the West Bank and Gaza were sent by Palestinian reporters who live there.

CNN shows Israel as a monster and the Palestinians as victims. If you want to help Israel, you must stop being silent. It's time to tell people what CNN doesn't show.

Dina Harani, Kibbutz Hefzibah, Israel

Harold Schulweis

It is unfortunate that Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis chooses to reprove the clear-eyed view of those in the Jewish community who foresaw the tragedy that is now unfolding in Israel as guilty of a "taunting cynicism" which they are said to express with a "wink and whisper" ("Is Peace a Four Letter Word?," Oct. 20). On the contrary, individual ability to foresee the folly of popular movements is something to praise, not disparage, as are exhortations to learn from sad experiences.

Gideon Kanner, Burbank

Rabbi Schulweis posed the rhetorical question: "Is Peace a Four Letter Word?" The real question is: Can peace be unilateral? In view of the rioting by supposed peace partners, the obvious answer is "no." Those Jews who prated endlessly about a peace process now accuse the rest of us, who warned against this self-delusion, of harboring cynical and unworthy I-told-you-so sentiments. To the contrary, we feel sadness and horror, not cynicism, on witnessing the tragic events resulting from the misguided idealism of Israeli politicians.

What is astounding, however, is the refusal of Peace Now advocates to recognize the hatred in the actions and faces of the current generation of Palestinian Arabs who were nursed and weaned on the poisonous milk of anti-Israel and anti-Jew racism. They do not want reconciliation. They are not peace partners.

Seymour Croft.Marina Del Rey

Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard is lucky the court didn't see fit to impose the death penalty.

In the 1960s, I served in a position similar to Pollard. I held the highest possible security clearance and to this day am still forbidden from revealing certain details of my work.

I know the kind of information he was privy to and the temptation to tell someone. I also know that disclosure could get people killed. The consequences, up to and including life imprisonment or the death penalty, were made clear to me every day, as I am sure they were to Pollard.

What I am unable to fathom is why American Jews support a man who betrayed his country. To this day, neither Pollard nor his supporters acknowledge the severity of his betrayal. Until then, he will stay, deservedly so, in federal detention.

Jay B. Smith. Venice

Gene Lichtenstein

While wishing The Jewish Journal good fortune with its new management, I would like to express my disappointment that the community has not expressed its appreciation to former editor Gene Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein came to our city 15 years ago and became the first professional to make a serious newspaper possible within the Jewish community. This is not to denigrate the efforts of others who went before, but it is to express my appreciation for a vigorous career and a very significant achievement for our community. Lichtenstein brought talent to the newspaper, gave professional opportunity to many, and himself contributed excellent writing.

It is too often characteristic among Jews to express rhetorically our values of derekh eretz (correct behavior) and kavod (honor) without putting these matters into practice. I did not always agree with Lichtenstein, and we certainly did not share priorities at many junctures, but he did add a great deal to our city and will continue to do so.

Rabbi William Cutter, Hebrew Union College

Rudeness Rise

Hooray for Jane Ulman ("Rampant Rudeness," Oct. 13) in telling it like it is. As a teacher and counselor at a public high school, rudeness and a decline on the most basic manners is the most noticeable change that I have seen in students over the past 39 years. Not only are many (certainly not all) students rude to teachers in the classroom, but to their parents as well.

Marcia Gould, West Hills

Jewish Family Service

Recently, Michael Aushenker wrote an outstanding article about the introduction of microwaveable meal packaging at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles ("Making 'Waves," Sept. 27). His article did a great job of portraying our purpose and describing the Senior Nutrition Program. I wanted to add, however, that we serve meals at nine dining sites, scattered throughout the mid-Wilshire area, plus the home-delivered meals.

Carrie Hornby, Director
Senior Nutrition Program
Jewish Family Service

Corrections

The last two lines of the Oct. 20 article "In Character" were accidentally omitted. The last sentence should have read: "They'd just look at me, puzzled, and I'd remind myself, 'I'm not in character anymore!'"

We deeply regret that the enlarged, partial photo in the Oct. 20 article "Jewish Stake in the DA's Race" was not that of Steve Cooley.

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