Jewish Journal

Letters to the editor: Israel, Palestine, peace, John Kerry and global warming

Posted on Mar. 5, 2014 at 10:08 am

The Dark Before the Dawn

Rob Eshman’s piece in this week’s Journal brought to mind a couple of analogies (“The Bright Side,” Feb. 28). The first that occurred to me is all the things I could accomplish if only I had the winning ticket in one of those humongous lotteries. The second is the belief that when the Messiah returns there will be peace in the world. You listed a series of beneficial outcomes for Israel and its supporters in the event that Secretary of State John Kerry forces a peace plan on them and the Arabs. I view the likelihood of that occurring as far less than either of the analogies for a very simple reason. A while ago there was a song titled “It Takes Two to Tango.” A peace agreement requires two sides willing to be reasonable. I see absolutely no reason to believe that Arabs are at that point, and I certainly do not trust Kerry or the Obama administration on anything to do with Israel. You may call me a pessimist, but I prefer the term “realist.”

Richard Fishman, Los Angeles

Rob Eshman says that looking for the positive aspects in the negotiations is important. I disagree. We cannot merely look at the positive parts of the negotiations and settle for some advantages. The Palestinians win as long as they still support the centrifuges enriching uranium in Iran. They cannot win without jeopardizing the safety of Israeli citizens. The minute that they get weapons of mass destruction, they will not hesitate to use them on the civilians; therefore, we cannot settle for a seemingly good deal, we must be certain it is the best deal. The Israeli government of course will make the right decision for Israel ultimately, and I have full belief that they will make sure the peace will be successful before [entering] into a peace agreement with a nation that refuses to acknowledge our statehood. The Israeli government will look at the negative, not the positive, to ensure our safety.

Rachel Mund, Los Angeles

In your recent editorial, urging support for the agreements Secretary of State John Kerry is working on between Israel and the Palestinians, you present nine benefits that Israel stands to gain.  The elephant in the room is the consistent failure of the Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a democratic Jewish state. All other benefits must rate second to that overriding first step.

Dorothy Simmons via e-mail 

Foxman to Seinfeld to Suissa?

David Suissa, YOU are such a comedian (“Replace Foxman with Seinfeld,” Feb. 21). You should replace Abraham Foxman!

George Manes via jewishjournal.com

Considering Kerry

I agree with Shmuel Rosner’s opinion that Kerry’s “chances for success” in bringing peace to Israel and Palestine “are not great” (“Israel, Palestine and Kerry’s Legacy,” Feb. 28). As Rosner points out, Palestinian President [Mahmoud] Abbas will likely demand more and more concessions from Israel. Historically, Palestinian leaders have refused to negotiate unless the terms of the agreement require Israel to give up the entire country. However, I disagree with Rosner that an achievement in obtaining peace may not be “worth the trouble.” He assumes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not important to most of the world. ... We must consider Israel’s historical context and the realistic potential for future violence. Until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, Arab countries continue to be a threat to the existence of Israel. I disagree that if Kerry succeeds, he will have “won in the minor league while losing in the major league.” If Kerry succeeds in brokering peace to Israel, he will have won a major victory in the major league. 

Lily Swartz, Beverly Hills

Channeling Heat of Hollywood

I truly appreciated Marty Kaplan’s article reminding us all how short a time window we have to address climate change (“Once Upon a Climate Change,” Feb. 28). I agree that hopeful visions of the future would move more people to action than grim facts. And what better vehicle than Hollywood? I suggest, for starters, more movies with pan shots that include solar panels and wind turbines … as part of the “new normal” background. 

And may I also suggest that those who are tired of just wringing their hands, and who want to help “create the political will for a stable environment”.... consider joining a local chapter (or starting one) of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. CCL is nonpartisan and involves building relationships with your federal politicians and local editorial boards. CCL lobbies for a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend. 

Maureen Milledge via e-mail


In last week’s calendar, an incorrect date was given for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 2014 Los Angeles dinner. The event will take place Thursday, March 6, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Call (310) 556-3222 or e-mail wester@ushmm.org.

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