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Jewish Journal

The Blog War

January 29, 2009 | 3:30 am

The Blog War
There is another battle going on, one that is not seen (“Israel Human Rights Groups Wage War Over Warfare,” Jan. 23). It goes on in blog sites for the hearts and the minds of those who bring them up on their computers. Though it is a silent war, it has its casualties. Those casualties wind up misinformed and confused.

Muslim and left-wing bloggers state lies, half-truths to try to manipulate the mind of other bloggers. Realizing that quoting Al-Jazeera or other Muslim sources would be shrugged off, they instead go to Western sources and use them.

They love to quote things like statements from the United Nations, International Red Cross, B’Tselem, university professors and any other sources. We are portrayed as murderers, rapists, baby-killers and such. Anything the Muslims do is denied, twisted and justified.

A perfect example is who started this last war. If you say Hamas instigated the war by firing rockets at Israel, their answer is that it was a justified retaliation. The Hamas apologists will find some obscure, minor thing and say, “See.”

No mention would ever be made of the causative provoking action. Their pet peeve is the blockade. Yet nobody was ever killed by a defensive blockade. An offensive blockade on the other hand would have halted things, such as electricity, water, fuel, food and medicine.

The Jewish Journal can easily become a source for them to quote. I know you try to have an even-handed approach to the news. However, can we truly afford to be even-handed?

Every left-wing, anti-Semitic blog or commentator cites B’Tselem. There are plenty of so-called “even-handed” news sources out there that do lots of damage.

Why must we ourselves add to it? Remember the statistics at Jenine. Let the dust settle first. We need to find out how many were actually murdered by Hamas.

If you went to any of the demonstrations here in town, you would have seen lots of news sources all scrambling to be impartial, while focusing on the pro-Palestinian protesters. The Hamas side always got more air time. Remember you are The Jewish Journal.

Abraham Gelbart, via e-mail


Little Gaza
Susan Freudenheim’s article suggested that the “Little Gaza” rally in Anaheim seemed pointless because it did not change opinions (“Little Gaza,” Jan. 23). As one of the organizers, I would like to point out that was not our purpose; nor do rallies change opinions.

We gathered as Christians, Jews and Arabs under the banner of peace and coexistence to voice support and solidarity with Israel and its right to defend itself. Since 2003, there has been a relentless barrage of rockets deliberately aimed at Israel’s civilian population. Over 4,000 rockets were launched after Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza. Would any other country sit by and do nothing?

I agree with [Freudenheim] that we all need to live together in peace and coexistence. However, we do not have the luxury of being naïve; nor can we lapse into magical thinking.

When a sworn adversary wants to destroy you and has rejected many attempts at peaceful coexistence, it’s time to listen and do something.


Gaza Protests
In your recent coverage of the horrible conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has been very interesting to read, I was mentioned in an article that focused on one of the Jewish community’s more extreme organizations and its approach to protesting (“Jews Join Protest Against Israel’s Gaza Actions,” Jan. 16).

While I support free speech, I wanted to clarify my position so as to not be lumped into the black and white, anti-Israel left. I would not participate in any demonstration or protest that solely blamed Israel for this conflict and solely decried the loss of life in Gaza, with no blame on Hamas, just as I choose not to participate in rallies that solely blame the Palestinians for this conflict and insist that Israel has done nothing wrong.

Both views, in my opinion, don’t represent the nuanced and extremely complex nature of the situation. Had the reporter chosen to contact me before using my name, I would have shared this with her. The letter she cited, which I did sign, was an example of a more balanced approach.

In the midst of the screaming from both sides about blame and retribution, I stand with the millions of Jews who love Israel and attempt to espouse a rational, balanced, nuanced and what we believe to be the strongest pro-Israel message possible: Pro-Israel is pro-peace.

Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, National Secretary, Brit Tzedek V’shalom


Inaugural Judaism
Why is this the sixth straight presidential inauguration where rabbis do not have a place on the dais (“The Science of Forty-Four,” Jan. 23)? Why is it that only evangelical Protestant ministers have officiated? What are we: chopped liver?

Where were the Jewish musicians or comics at the Obama HBO concert? It’s no laughing matter that Jewish humor would have been music to the ears of so many.

And, what’s with President Obama being referred to as the first black president? He’s no more black than white; no more African American than European American.

Certainly, no more black father influenced than white mother influenced. Considering our new president’s passionate interest in multiculturalism, why not celebrate the mulatto, multiculture heritage of all of us American “mutts”?

Long may America, the multiflavored, reign. Nonetheless, hooray for and unite behind number 44!

 

Corrections
In “Louis Gosset Jr. to Give Shul Inaugural Ball Toast,” (Jan. 16) article, Nelson Mandela was incorrectly listed as “the late Nelson Mandela.”

In the Circuit article, “Kudos for the Best in Jewish Ed” (Jan. 23), Jessica Gross was incorrectly identified as a cantorial student at American Jewish University instead of the Academy for Jewish Religion.

In “Temple Akiba Buzz Grows With Culver City Popularity “ (Jan. 9), the synagogue was described as the only Reform congregation between West Los Angeles and Long Beach. Temple Menorah is located in Redondo Beach, north of Long Beach.

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