David Suissa's puff piece about Sarah Palin reads like an advertorial for a low-budget film that is struggling to entice an exhibitor ("Shooting Sarah Palin," Sept. 19).
His message was all slick but no substance.
Rather than cite any of Palin's outrageous positions on the social and economic issues that are of concern to most Americans, he chose to dwell on the trivia of personality and ignore her quaint understanding of foreign affairs or of the economic mess Wall Street has created for the nation as a whole.
It's bad enough that Sen. John McCain has cynically opted for an unqualified candidate as his running mate, but to place her in a position just one breath away from the White House simply is an insult to the intelligence of the American electorate.
Suissa assumes that all his readers are suckers. He's wrong. He is the frayer [sucker].
USC/Annenberg School of Communication
So after viewing several hours of Israeli war hero Elan Frank's footage of Sarah Palin, David Suissa lists a number of Palin's attributes: folksy, charming, quick study, ambitious newcomer to the big time and more. Frank calls her a natural-born leader, real and tough.
One dare not question a war hero, even if he seems to be saying that Palin is ready to be the leader of the free world if John McCain is sick for a day or a month or worse.
And since when does a foreign filmmaker influence our politics? Frank's first concern is the global threat of nuclear-based terrorism, and that Sen. Barack Obama would be no match for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Apparently Palin would be. Here is the man you look to for that kind of judgment.
The real problem is that too many Jews are more pro-Israel than pro-America.
They would rather our country suffer another disastrously flawed government if there is even small hope it would help Israel. Much like what has transpired in the last almost eight years.
David Suissa responds:
As someone who has praised Obama and expressed fascination for the phenomenon he represents, I was equally fascinated by Sarah Palin, and especially by the never-before-seen footage of her filmed by Elan Frank. My column wasn't intended to assess her ideology, but to make some observations on the governor based on seeing her in action, and her phenomenon continues to absolutely fascinate me.
Palin and Chabad
Two puff pieces for Sarah Palin in one issue of The Journal will not alter the fact that she is a radical right-wing ideologue who believes a woman who is raped should be prosecuted if she chooses not to bear the child of her rapist and who doubtless believes ours is a pseudo-religion and we need to convert ("Sarah Palin, Chabad Share Same Appeal," Sept. 10).
Palin sat through a Jews for Jesus sermon in her church and said or did nothing to contest its bile.
A quick study? Nonsense. Just listen to her babble. She is a stranger to the truth. Her multiple fabrications, too many to specify here, have now made her a laughingstock as her early positive ratings have plummeted.
The bubble has burst on Palin, and like Humpty Dumpty who to took that great fall, neither filmmaker Elan Frank or Chabadist Jonathan Marks can put her bubble back together again.
In the same issue, a letter from an Iranian Jew asserts she fears Sen. Barack Obama cannot be trusted to defend Israel. But on Page 21 there is reporting of news that Obama has introduced the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which will close the large loophole that now allows American companies through their foreign subsidiaries to do business with Iran. The article cites that his legislation is opposed by the Republicans in Congress who want to continue the loophole that aids and abets Iran.
There is no contest between Republican and anti-Obama rhetoric and Obama's substantive actions that clearly aid Israel.
Unfortunately, I was in the middle of eating spaghetti when I read Jonathan Mark's "Sarah Palin, Chabad Share Same Appeal." I almost choked on my noodles as I read this insipid article.
In a nutshell: Marks admires Sarah Palin for the same reason he admires Chabad women -- both women "know their place" and neither are intellectually threatening. Marks trumpets the "humanitarian" Palin because, as he claims, she would rather rock a Down syndrome child to sleep than abort it.
Gee, Jonathan, Palin's a regular Mother Teresa, huh? Too bad Palin -- brave hunter of defenseless moose and wolves -- belongs to the political party that will do everything in its power to prevent a baby's abortion but will not lift a finger to help that child once it's born.
Love the zygote, hate the child.
Oh, and regarding Mark's question: Whom would you rather have a cup of coffee with, Palin or Nancy Pelosi? Pelosi, hands down. Unlike Marks, I am more interested in picking the brain of a woman with intellectual curiosity and a desire to improve the human condition."
How insulting to equate Sarah Palin with the women of Chabad. How many of these women would welcome pregnant Bristol Palin's boyfriend into their family when he calls himself a "f----in' redneck" and talks about how if anyone messes with him he'll "kick their f---in' ass".
Also, he talks on his My Space page about not wanting children. Surely the women of Chabad want more for their daughters than to marry a thug like Palin's prospective son-in-law.
Judith M. Brown
How dare Marks equate this vindictive, vengeful, unknowledgeable woman with Chabad women? Women of Chabad are intelligent, kind, caring and do have their homes open to those of differing opinions.
Chabad women do not condone killing of wolves by helicopters. They care about the environment. When asked about their beliefs, they give a caring, intelligent response without intimidation.
Palin, on the other hand, is the antithesis of that. She is not home with her children. She has let others raise them, witness her returning to work when her youngest was three days old, and still she is not with him, nor her other children.
She has fired and tried to destroy all those who disagree with her. And, her intellectual ability is nowhere near that of a woman of Chabad.
As for opening her home, not on a bet. How many Jews does she even associate with or blacks or anyone who does not believe as she does?
Her answers on all the talk shows indicate a lack of understanding of issues or of those who differ with her. That is a far cry from anyone in Chabad.
Shame on you. Do you really think Jews of any preference are really that stupid?
The Chabad rabbis and rebbetzins I have been blessed to know have been among the most caring, compassionate, honest and spiritual people in my life. There is no doubt that they have dedicated themselves to the holy pursuits of making all of us better Jews and of modeling the mitzvah of being a light unto the nations.
This is why I could not help but be appalled by Jonathan Marks' column comparing Sarah Palin to Chabad shluchot.
The values, which seems to permeate the lives of all the shlichim and shluchot I have known, are ahavas Yisrael, love for our fellow Jews; achdus, Jewish unity, and dan lecaf zechus, always judging people favorably.
Palin has taken every opportunity since her nomination to disparage and insult her opponents, their good works and their supporters and to hammer home the wedge of divisiveness, which has rent our country and turned us against each other.
Palin does not represent all that is good about shluchot, rather, she represents the values and attitudes they spend their lives fighting against.
Marks uses his column as an opportunity to insult and disparage those Jews whose observance, he thinks, is too much in their heads and too little in their kishkes. With his tirade against intellectual Judaism, Marks proves that he has forgotten the most important lesson of the talmudic struggle between beis hillel and beis shammai: this and this are the word of the living God.
I'm not a Republican, but I had to laugh out loud at the "Why I'm a Democrat" advertisement in your Sept. 19 issue. When the writer says that FDR "defeated monstrous enemies in World War II" without "rid[ing] roughshod over our Constitution," perhaps he's never heard of the imprisonment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans without trial.
When he mentions JFK's inaugural statement about "never fear[ing] to negotiate," perhaps he doesn't know that John Kennedy substantially increased military spending and U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
As for Yitzchak Rabin's "you make peace with your enemies," perhaps Rabin didn't realize -- as the author of this ad evidently does not -- that peace can only be made when the enemy is completely defeated, or when both sides are totally exhausted, or when one or the other side has a genuine change of heart, not when one gives one's deadliest enemies autonomous enclaves in which to organize and arm themselves.
I also found it interesting that the ad said nothing about the threat posed by Islamic militants and Iran. Such willful blindness is among the reasons why I no longer call myself a Democrat.
I was offended to read the full-page ad, "I Am a Democrat" by David W. Rintels.
I beg to differ with Rintels on his admiration for Franklin D. Roosevelt and how "he did not ride roughshod over our Constitution and laws and traditions ... " or "...ever preached fear of immigrants."
Every member of my Japanese American family had their constitutional rights violated when FDR signed Executive Order 1066 in 1942, which sent them to internment camps. Their education was interrupted, and their businesses and properties were confiscated.
My mother's family was initially sent to Santa Anita Racetrack, where they slept in horse stalls and later to two camps in Arkansas. My father's family was sent to Manzanar, where my father was drafted into the U.S. Army and eventually served in MIS (Military Intelligence Service), proudly wearing an American uniform.
Rintels, I am not sure how much money you spent on this ad, but next time, check your facts.
A Fellow Democrat
Name Withheld Upon Request
As an African immigrant to this nation, I would like to thank David Suissa for writing about Joachim Prinz and for introducing me and hopefully many more of us to this great man, especially at this moment in our history when everyone of us must stand and be counted ("Before King It Was Prinz," Sept. 5).
The idea of silence as the worst problem confronting humanity is so apropos in this day and moment; I have written and talked about it in regard to Arab intellectuals' silence in the face of an Arab on black genocide.
I appreciate the wonderful things the Jewish community has done for black America, and, if I may add, for people in dark and terrible places. I am of course referring to Darfur, where Israel and the world Jewish community has been active and very helpful.
Dr. Pius Kamau
I have been reading your singles column[s] for years. Why? Who knows? It has always been so depressing. All these JINOs (Jews in name only). Why not get a writer from the Orthodox community who could actually write about a good dating experience that is positive and uplifting.
Anyone reading these columns would want to head fast for a non-Jewish date. What would they be getting themselves in for? And now, the cartoon-like Singles Column for the last month should be in Playboy magazine. It is trash.
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