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Jewish Journal

Ralph Waldo Emerson, it’s always Sunny in Hebron

December 18, 2008 | 2:26 am

2009

I have but one question for Rob Eshman. It seems that in the economic hardships ahead, which will include loss of funds to send your children to college, loss of retirement IRAs, loss of homes, loss of jobs and other Depression or near-Depression hardships, Eshman finds comfort in the hopes that relationships with fellow Jews will be like meat and money in these hard times ("2009," Dec. 12).

Having been born in the heart of the Depression, I cannot share his rosy Ralph Waldo Emerson philosophy. So, Eshman, here is the question I have for you: Brother can you spare a dime?

Leon M. Salter
Los Angeles



Peace House

Sunny Sassoon is dead wrong when he characterizes the extremist settlers who were evicted from the Palestinian house they were occupying as "heroes," ("Peace House Expulsions Show Need for Sensitivity," Dec. 12). Those settlers were not heroes -- they broke Israeli law and put all 6.5 million Jewish Israelis at risk.

Regardless of the controversy over who has legal title to the house, the settlers broke Israeli law by moving in without government permission. By moving in, they placed a requirement on the army to protect them and added to the friction between Israel and the Palestinians, thus putting all Israelis at risk.

Once evicted, the settlers, to use Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's word, they carried out a "pogrom" on the Palestinians by marauding through Arab Hebron -- by far the larger part of the city -- torching houses and cars, shooting and stoning and even defacing mosques and Muslim cemeteries, not only in Hebron but elsewhere in the West Bank, as well, for a day or two afterward.

No Sassoon, those settlers were not heroes; they were terrorists, and their actions undermined the rule of law in Israel and put all Israelis at risk.

Jeff Warner
La Habra Heights



Moral Crime

Allowing unimpeded movement in and out of Gaza would provide free passes to terrorists theologically committed to murdering Jews and destroying Israel. Hamas refuses to acknowledge Israel's existence. Its commitment to destroy it is the very reason why it broke from Fatah and took over Gaza. Territorial compromises won't satisfy Hamas. Read its charter -- http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm.

It's therefore baffling that anyone claiming to care about human lives would suggest "lifting the siege" of Gaza, since the result would be tantamount to sanctioning the murder of innocent Israelis. Where are the calls for Hamas to renounce violence and accept Israel's right to sovereignty?

The key to co-existence is held by Hamas and its supporters. Allowing free movement of those committed to your destruction is not only a logical absurdity; it would be a moral crime against the Jewish people, as is the media bias against Israel.

Dan Calic
San Ramon


Fit to Neuter

Marty Kaplan dismisses a complaint that a factual reporting is compromised when the same reporter prints a follow-up editorial favoring one party ("All the News That's Fit to Neuter," Dec. 5). Kaplan's concern over so-called "factual reporting" significantly applies to the BBC's reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where the BBC overlooks the Arab Muslim imperative of an Arab Muslim Middle East (as in the genocide of non-Muslim blacks in Darfur and the attempted genocide of Jews in Israel). Each Palestinian atrocity is "balanced" with reporting a prior Israeli retaliation or a justification by a terrorist identified as a combatant.

It was Clark Clifford and Harry Truman's response to England's despicable betrayal of the Balfour Declaration, when it prevented survivors of the Holocaust to go to the only place they were welcome, cum a boycott of arms leaving the Jewish minority to be slaughtered by genocidal Arabs, that influenced the U.S.A.'s recognition of Israel.

When English academics passed a resolution to boycott Israeli academics, U.S. academics squelched the boycott. Correspondingly, PBS television must make it clear to the English government-owned BBC that America will not be the sounding board for English anti-Semitism.

Charles Berger
Los Angeles



Museum of Tolerance

I find it appalling that the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which previously said that it would not build on a site were it known that it was a cemetery, continues to build a Center for Human Dignity, despite more than 150 skeletons being dug up at the cemetery under the center's supervision ("Protests Over Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance Spread," Dec. 12).

And the claim about Muslims being silent for the past 50 years is just plain wrong. Israel imposed martial law from 1949 to 1966. During that time, any signs of nationalism among Palestinians were crushed.

But Muslims in Israel did legally oppose the designation of waqf land as absentee property in the 1960s, lobbied to rebuild and maintain the Ma'manullah graves after the 1967 War, protested the desecration of the graves in the '70s and '80s, and have been opposing the building of the Center for Human Dignity on the cemetery land.

This issue is not about politics or victory. It is about respect and fair treatment of the living and dead -- something taught in both Judaism and Islam.

Munira Syeda
Communications Coordinator
CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area


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