Jewish Journal

Letters to the Editor: Peace, United Nations, Dancing Rabbis, Goldstone Report

Posted on Apr. 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Israelis, Palestinians and Peace

Congratulations, David Suissa, you finally proposed a peace plan that makes sense to me (“Bibi Needs a Plan, Fast,” April 15). Yes, Netanyahu should offer the Palestinians a peace plan that is essentially the Clinton Parameters. The Clinton Parameters are effectively the 2008 Palestinian offers. As reported in the Palestine Papers, those were the very offers rejected by Israel. The Clinton Parameters seems to be what the Palestinian leadership think they need for acceptance by the Palestinian people. They are a route to peace.

But why do you think the Palestinian leaders will turn down the Clinton Parameters? If Netanyahu makes an offer that is anywhere near them, it will be accepted and the people of the region will have a bright future. 

Jeff Warner
La Habra Heights

If the Israel-bashing United Nations verifies a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, the sure outcome will not be “peace now,” it will be “war soon.” No more smuggling of arms. It will be an open gate for the buildup with Iran, Syria supplying the weapons and ordering their Palestinian clients to do the Heimlich maneuver and disgorge the hated Zionist entity from the Middle East. What excuse will the Palestinians use? Israel refuses to divide Jerusalem (under duress), they don’t accept the new borders (which Israel says are indefensible), and Israel refuses the unrestricted “right of return” (that in a short time would make the Jews a minority In Israel).

And who will stand with Israel?

Robert Friedman
Los Angeles

Once More Across the Floor With the Rabbis

Dennis Prager writes in his last column: “I don’t think I am alone in the Los Angeles Jewish community in thinking that this was well-intended but not wise” (“Dancing With the Rabbis?” April 15). Dennis is right; he’s not alone; I for one could not agree with him more.

When I first saw the publicity for the dancing with the rabbis event posted weeks ago, my heart sank. Some of the evening’s participants were esteemed teachers of mine back when I was a rabbinical student.

Having graduated more than two decades ago and serving as a congregational rabbi since then, I have come to love synagogue life. I appreciate how difficult it can be trying to hold the line, while at the same time being open to modern trends and insights; attempting to serve the needs of an exceptionally diverse and sophisticated constituency.

But when our elite rabbinic leaders bemoan the downward trajectory within Judaism as evidenced by national surveys, a decline in synagogue affiliation and Federation contributions, and then yield to what’s popular and shallow in a citywide public event, hosted by the American Jewish University — a campus that offers a rabbinical school — we need not wonder as to part of the reason.

Rabbi Michael Gotlieb
Kehillat Ma’arav Synagogue
Santa Monica

So Mr. Prager feels that rabbis dancing diminishes our faith, and our faith in our rabbis. He suggests rather that they perform Shakespeare or put on a “humorous skit.” But, as Shakespeare’s plays are filled with teen sex, adultery, murder, suicide, feces, flatulence and even unflattering language about Jews, and since humor these days can run rather blue, his suggestion strikes me as unwise. And since dancing by the Red Sea was OK for Moses’ sister, Miriam, I’m don’t see why rabbis dancing to raise money for charity is a sin. I’m proud that my rabbi had not only the guts to dance in public, but also the joy in her soul to do so. I respect my rabbi for her intellect, her wisdom, her ability to inspire us, and her unflagging commitment to her congregation and to the Jewish community. And, it turns out, she’s a good dancer, too.  That makes me even prouder.

Paul Goodwin
Culver City

The Goldstone Report

Did Israel err in not cooperating with Goldstone (“Against Complacency,” April 8)? In retrospect, possibly, but Israel cannot be blamed for anticipating a typical U.N.-sponsored whitewash where it has so often found itself on the wrong end. David Myers admits that the U.N. “at times reveals a misplaced selectivity of focus” on Israel, and Myers is calling on Netanyahu to provide the world with a “Nixon in China” moment. Where is his cry to the Palestinians to stop their incitement and teaching of hatred, which, continued, will never allow for peace to come to the region? Israel doesn’t need hypocritical nations telling her how to conduct herself, and Myers should be more secure in his knowledge that Israel is head and shoulders above any country in the world when it comes to fighting the enemy civilly and with as few casualties as possible, even to her own detriment and loss of life.

Allan Kandel
Los Angeles


An error occurred in a sentence in “Early Holy Land Photos Surprise Viewers in 1800s” (April 15). The sentence should have read: Jerusalem, with a population of 9,000, is hardly the shining city on the hill, but its skyline is dominated by the magnificent Dome of the Rock, and the pious Jews praying at the Western Wall testify to the unbroken connection of the Jewish people to the city.

In the same story, the caption beneath the photo should have read: “Jews at the Western Wall,” 1870s, Félix Bonfils. The Getty Research Institute.

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