Where Father and Son Differ
In praising the venture capital investment ideas of Chemi Peres, the son of Israeli president Shimon Peres, Rob Eshman writes, “An hour into [a discussion of these ideas], I realized no one had mentioned ‘peace process’ or ‘settlements’ or any of the other sinkholes of Middle East hope” (“The Arabpreneurs,” May 18). Shimon Peres, who dreamt about Israeli investment in the Arab world, clearly stated in his writings that such investment should be a major benefit of negotiated peace agreements. If Chemi Peres did not mention that fact in the discussion Eshman attended, then he is not being faithful to the approach of his father.
Barry H. Steiner
Professor of Political Science
California State University, Long Beach
Who’s Faking It?
Dennis Prager of course has every right to hold and voice his own opinions, but I must protest when he uses the 12 steps, which stress, above all, honesty and integrity as prerequisites for emotional healing, to support his tenuous position to “fake it till you make it.” I would appreciate any citation referencing such a statement within the recovery literature, which as Mr. Prager acknowledges, is “perhaps among the wisest programs in our society.”
Dennis Prager responds:
I learned this phrase from countless callers to my radio show who have profoundly benefited from the 12-step program and from its “fake it till you make it.”
“Fake it till you make it” Wikipedia entry: “The phrase is often associated with Alcoholics Anonymous ...”
“AA to Z: An Addictionary of the 12-Step Culture” by Christopher Cavanaugh: “Fake It Till You Make It: A suggestion often made to newcomers who feel they can’t get the program and will go back to old behavior.”
“The Twelve-Step Facilitation Handbook: A Systematic Approach to Recovery From Substance Dependence”: “Fake it till you make it” is one the Twelve-Step program’s slogans.
Finally, inflicting one’s bad moods on others is not an expression of “honesty and integrity.” It is an expression of narcissism.
I agree with Dennis Prager: “Happiness Is a Moral Obligation” (May 18). King David says in Tehillim 118:24: “This is the day that Hashem has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Happiness is a sign of unselfishness. It is a commitment that whatever happens in any given day, I will be on the upbeat side to those around me. My own interpretation of Prager’s thought process is that chronically inflicting bad moods on a spouse or on anybody is a form of emotional and mental abuse, not only spousal abuse. Happiness is the outer expression of inner emuna (faith).
Where Israeli Democracy Falls Short
It is ironic that a rabbi has to be an advocate for Jewish equality in a so-called Jewish democracy (“Time to Expand Dialogue and Partnership With Israel,” May 18). What happened to Ben-Gurion’s Declaration of Independence promise that his nation would have equality for all residents? A true democratic government should be the great equalizer for residents and citizens of every race, color and creed.
Israel’s “democracy” has a long way to go.
Martin J. Weisman
Ask More Questions on Road to Nuclear Deterrence
At the end of the article “Can Israel Live With a Nuclear Iran?” (May 11), Paul R. Pillar, professor of security studies at Georgetown University and former CIA counter-terrorism expert, says, “It would make at least as much sense to ask how Iran can live with a nuclear Israel.” Also in the article, Pillar says: “Israel can live with a nuclear Iran the same way the United States and others have lived for decades with nuclear-armed adversaries more potent and more fearsome than Iran, such as Mao’s China and Stalin’s Soviet Union. It’s called deterrence.”
Perhaps the article could have gone a little further by asking: Can Egypt live with a nuclear Israel? Can Pakistan live with a nuclear India? Can Pakistan live with a nuclear Iran? Can Iran live with a nuclear Pakistan?
The list can go on with many enemies and even friends wondering what a nation with nuclear weapons can do. Deterrence is the answer.
A Community News item on a visit by children’s book author/illustrator Eugene Yelchin to Brawerman Elementary School (“Brawerman Students Learn From Newbery Award Winner,” May 18) should have said that the school is affiliated with Wilshire Boulevard Temple.