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Jewish Journal

Letters to the Editor: Glenn Beck, Prager, Domestic Violence

December 1, 2010 | 6:03 am

Glenn Beck

Rob Eshman, what’s wrong with Glenn Beck loving Israel and hating specific Jews (“Beyond Glenn Beck,” Nov. 19)?

I’ll bet you love Israel and Jews but are not too fond of Bernie Madoff or the guy who shot former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin.

I’m guessing you love Africa and African Americans in general, but you probably are not a big fan of Louis Farrakhan or former Ugandan leader Idi Amin.

In your column, you did not offer any convincing arguments that what Beck says about George Soros is untrue. You just refer us to the Internet.

Soros is a far-left ideologue with a far-left agenda and vision for the world. He has billions of dollars and direct access to Barack Obama. What’s wrong with Beck warning us about him? Wouldn’t you have wanted someone to warn us about Mr. Madoff? It seems to me that you’re the reactionary. Unless you too have a far-left agenda. Certainly your paper would suggest so.

Corey Daniels
Los Angeles


As a conservative Jew and regular Glenn Beck viewer, I feel the opinion pieces by Rob Eshman (“Beyond Glenn Beck”) and Michael Tolkin (“Conspiracy Theory: Where Does It End”?) in the Nov. 19 issue characterizing Beck as anti-Semitic because of his attack on George Soros were dangerously mistaken. I think both men are writing about someone they’ve had little previous exposure to and were already strongly prejudiced against. I watched the same shows and saw no anti-Semitism, just strong criticism of a wealthy political contributor who happens to be a Jew. Eshman compares Beck to a Der Sturmer cartoon and to Father Coughlin, Farrakhan and Pat Buchanan, but Beck’s point wasn’t about Soros’ religion, which he doesn’t dwell on and mentions infrequently, but about his political activities. Tolkin asserts that “no reasoning is possible with the far right ...” and then immediately compares Beck to a vampire. So much for reasoning.

Rueben Gordon
North Hollywood


Your attack on Glenn Beck is as absurd (“Beyond Glenn Beck,” Nov. 19). When I first heard Glenn Beck, I thought, “This guy really has some common sense, unlike the liberal counterparts.”

First of all, Rob, if you would use Snopes or some other fact-check organization, rather than Google, you would find that George Soros has admitted to some of the accusations by Mr. Beck. George Soros is funding many programs that are detrimental, in my humble opinion, to this country. He is funding them by supporting organizations that work against what this country stands for. But then again, I love this country and want it to stay America and not a socialist entity.

He has heavily funded America Coming Together and MoveOn. org ( Snopes).

You know when people generally complain about Fox, I ask them what shows they watch. They don’t. They perhaps see one 10-minute segment or they base their opinion on comments from their other uber-liberal associates.

I have never felt that Beck’s platform is news. Of course it isn’t, but it is his personal opinion of what is happening to our country. I happen to agree with most of it. I feel as Dennis Prager once alluded, that the liberals have such bleeding hearts that it obscures their ability toward reason. I substitute reason with common sense. It is true. It is also true that a liberal (as you clearly are, an uber one at that) also doesn’t feel that the other side has any business stating their opinion. That “other opinion” is always wrong and should not be allowed to be stated, right, Rob?

Anyone who is open-minded enough to watch Fox or MSNBC for any length of time, but particularly Fox, would see that they actually are “fair and balanced.” There is always a liberal and a conservative with their opinions on the programs who give their perspective and their version of the truth. It is for you to research and to decide , if you so choose, or you can just believe the rhetoric that people like you put out there.

To link Beck with Charles Coughlin, Louis Farrakhan and Pat Buchanan is just truly a lie and as vicious as one can get. You liberal Jews are so worried that people like Beck are going to come to your door holding crosses and burning your doors that you have no intellect left yourself.

Fox, Beck and most conservatives have been great supporters of the Jews. You just don’t want people to know that.

I have to listen to the liberal left on ABC, CBS, NBC all day long. It is delightful when I can get a different perspective on another network like Fox.

You can call Beck a blowhard du jour all you want, but he is excellent at what he does and he does it very intellectually. I would like to see you try to explain the complications of our country and our country’s history as clearly as he does it. You can’t.

NPR? They are the best for you because you are so leftist.  “All Things Considered” should be the title of the discussions on Sundays on Fox.

NPR with its firing of Juan Williams (which was unconscionable) and its gigantic support from the socialist himself, George Soros, should be removed from public funding for sure, and if I had my way it would be removed from the airways, but then that would not be living within a democracy, would it?

Freedom of speech however seems to be applicable only if the speaker is from a leftist organization.

But then again, you really want those of us who are more open-minded and moderate to fight with you, don’t you? That seems to make you look good to your base, which is why you throw out such intolerable garbage.

Susan Beckman Schwarz
via e-mail


Prager

As a lifelong devout liberal, I’m tired of Prager’s obsessive, irrational attacks and misrepresentation of  others’ beliefs, but I completely agree on all his points as to why there will never be peace as long as the hatred and focus on destruction of Israel is the Arab agenda (“I Wish Settlements Were the Issue,” Nov. 19). However, in simple terms, as a magician is successful in his performance by distraction, so is the issue of settlements the distraction the world would have us believe is preventing any peace. Abbas, like Arafat, can proclaim what he wants on the international stage, but as long as he and his allies exhort their citizens with anti-Israel rhetoric in Arabic rallies, the focus will never be on anything but hatred.

Lenny Bronstein
Santa Monica


Let me begin by stating that I have great respect for you and your leadership at The Jewish Journal. If nothing else bears this out, then your decision to marry Naomi Levy (whom I had the pleasure to hear speak the other evening) stands as proof.

I am, therefore, puzzled why you permit Dennis Prager to write for The Journal. I freely admit, I disagree with Mr. Prager on most issues. He is conservative, and I am liberal. He watches Fox News, I watch Jon Stewart. I will not rehearse all the reasons to disagree with Mr. Prager; you have heard them before. My objection, however, goes beyond the normal disagreement and dislike. I truly believe Mr. Prager is a danger to the Jewish community.

In his most recent comments, he claims that the real problem preventing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the Israeli settlements, but Arab opposition to the existence of Israel (“I Wish Settlements Were the Issue,” Nov. 19). In support of his claim, he points to figures such as Gamal Nasser, the Khartoum statement, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If he intended to give a history lesson, fine. But that was not his purpose. Rather, he uses these persons and events to justify his argument that Muslims “do not believe that a state of Israel should be allowed to exist.” Two of the three persons are now dead, and the third is certainly deranged but hardly a factor in negotiations with the PA. Moreover, he completely misunderstands and misuses the Khartoum statement. Ambassador Michael Oren (hardly someone Mr. Prager or anyone would identify as being on the left), noted that in his book on the Six-Day War, through this statement, “The Arabs’ focus had shifted away from liberating Palestine to liberating those areas recently conquered; from erasing Israel to erasing the races of the aggression.” The clearest refutation of Mr. Prager comes from The Journal itself and its report that a majority of Palestinians support direct negotiations with Israel and a two-state solution. This information is not news, yet Mr. Prager completely ignores it. 

Here is why I think Mr. Prager does real damage to the Jewish community. Mr. Prager is guilty of leading the community astray (a capital offense in rabbinic law). His presentation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is grossly irresponsible. It continues to focus on past sins (Nasser has been dead 40 years; let’s move on), misuse history, ignore present realities, and reinforce a very dangerous stereotype, that Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular wish to destroy the State of Israel. Rather than illuminating a very complex situation, he presents the Jewish community with false and misleading information. I don’t know what the biggest obstacle is to peace. I do know that by repeating these old, tired, misleading and false statements, Mr. Prager leads the Jewish community away from a better understanding of and responsible engagement with the current problem. His views will only foster attitudes that will prolong the conflict and the suffering it brings to both sides.

As you yourself have noted, The Journal is more than a newspaper but exists in part to serve the Jewish community. I sincerely and earnestly ask, therefore, that you aid and guide that community by removing Mr. Prager as a columnist from The Journal.

I wish you a Shabbat shalom,

Gary Gilbert
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Claremont McKenna College
Claremont


Kudos for Coverage of Jewish Domestic Abuse

As a retired social worker who published a pioneer article on issues related to women veterans — including violence and sexual harassment — I applaud The Jewish Journal for its front-page coverage of verbal and emotional abuse (“The Ugly Secret,” Nov. 19).

I would like to suggest that Marshall Rosenberg’s work on nonviolent communication has a direct application to this problem. Additionally, Riane Eisler, a Jewish feminist whose family escaped the Nazis in Vienna, addresses the underlying social and political issue of the felt need for dominance systematically and accessibly. Her outstanding work “The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics,” combined with Rosenberg’s techniques, provide many practical ideas on how emotional abuse can be addressed at the interpersonal, familial and societal levels.

Gene Rothman
Culver City


Kaplan’s Israel Experience

Marty Kaplan takes a second trip to Israel after 40 years and has an epiphany (“I Take Israel Personally,” Nov. 26). He is suddenly a born-again Zionist and part hawk, convinced that the fight against terrorism is acceptable. He sees that the fence is good and “settlements” is not a bad word. He then takes a leap of faith and declares his love of Israel. So far, so good. But wait, the old Marty has not left us. He is moved to claim that the State of Israel has nothing to do with religion. It is now the state of the nation of Jews. And finally, there is old Marty, making certain that we know he is much more J Street than he is AIPAC. Marty, please take another trip to Israel.

Hershey Gold
Los Angeles


First Chanukah Warms Hearts

Great piece by Mojdeh Afshani on her first Chanukah gift and her friendship with Lt. Col. Cindy Rosen, USMC (“My First Chanukah Gift,” Nov. 26). The story ends wonderfully, with both women happily married in Southern California. Just to be factually correct, I believe the “spears” she is referring to are swords, Mameluke swords, to be specific. They are actually derived from Ottoman Empire and Egyptian swords and related to the “shores of Tripoli” campaign in the 18th century. Also, the officers honoring Rosen and her husband were almost certainly Marine officers, not Army officers.

As the Marines say, “Semper fi.”

David Schechter
via e-mail


Greenberg’s Distorted ‘View’

Usually I don’t relate much to the Jewish Journal cartoons, they are sometimes funny, mostly upsetting, but today was somehow different (“Greenberg’s View,” Nov. 26). Greenberg intentionally distorts the fact about what the Tea Party stands for and compares it with almost everything that is bad with our present government, wrapping it up as a shelter, presumably, for the week, the homeless and the poor. Yes, and a lot more of free goodies that we will personally pay for out of pocket once nobody will be willing to buy anymore U.S. junk bonds that are now financing this spree of benefits.

There is no question that our government is straddled [sic] with and responsible for many welfare programs that are here to stay, no argument there. However, we should all join the fight to prevent our government from continuing on this wild Christmas shopping spree to make us all feel good and dependent on the government. It is not only bad economics, as Europe can testify, too, it is bad morally. We are no longer taught to depend on ourselves and work ourselves out of our problems, it teaches us that someone will always be there and therefore we can just go on doing whatever it is we fancy because Nancy (Pelosi) will always have a new cure for our problems.

As the sages said: Life, unlike the male appendix [sic], is hard all the time. We should keep this in mind and rely on ourselves, not our government.

Ethan Teitler
Sherman Oaks

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