Thank you for that intelligent, thoughtful, information-packed, sensitive article on the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech. Thank you, above all, for helping me express my grief through your tribute to Professor Liviu Librescu.
I share with you the ... hope that the civilized world should view his life as a testament of the aspirations of Israel and all the Jewish People.
Harold M. Berlfein
Property owners have a moral right -- and should have the legal right --to set the price for the rent of their property without interference by the state ("Will Condo Threat Inspire Unity Among Seniors?" April 27).
The role of the state should be to protect the rights of landlords to reach voluntary agreements with tenants for mutual benefit. The government has no business determining what a "fair" rent is and ramming it down the throat of property owners.
Rent controls have no place in a free society that respects individual rights.
Ayn Rand Institute
I was moved by Maya Nahor's story in your April 27 issue ("An Inadvertent Gift"). While I've been aware that Hitler used matrilineal descent to define who was Jewish and who was not, I'm surprised and dismayed to find the Halacha in agreement. As there were a couple other articles in the same issue dealing with this, perhaps, hopefully, a movement is underway towards the obvious, more inclusive definition.
I read the article that Lewis Groner wrote about his late mother ("Farewell, My Beloved Mom," April 27). I just want to say that [it] was a very touching story, and very well written.
There are many people that can identify with him.
Finally, a cover worthy of a real publication that can carry the title of "The Jewish Journal" ("The Ultimate Donors," April 27). Enough of the previous third-rate "clever covers" featuring cartoons, etc.
Now you and the entire community can hold their heads high.
Tragedy of Darfur
The last edition of The Journal had three articles about the genocide taking place in the Darfur section of Sudan ("A Troubled Exodus," April 6). All three articles bear witness to the Jewish imperative of tikkun olam, to heal the world. The articles report on how the conscience of the world is stirred in an attempt to protect the overwhelmed Darfuians.
As praiseworthy as these efforts are, they do not stop one bullet, one village from being burned or one woman from being raped. When you unwrap all of the verbiage surrounding the tragedy of Darfur, the years of inaction indict the United Nations. The UN position on genocide is clearly stated in its charter: "... genocide is a crime under international law whether committed during war or peacetime."
In spite of the charter, empty speeches ring through the halls of the UN with unfulfilled promises to stop the killings. Threats are constantly made to invoke sanctions against Sudan if peacekeepers are not allowed to separate the marauding horsemen from their civilian victims. All of this bombast has accomplished very little -- the murders and rapes continue.
The convoluted geo-politics that swirl around the UN have rendered this world organization worthless in saving Darfur. The polished diplomats, with their incessant meetings and speeches, are hung up in the swirl of conflicting national interests. While UN members suck their rhetorical thumbs, lives are lost.
Jews must be careful when present-day situations are compared to the Holocaust. Nothing can compare to the utter depravity of the Nazi regime. But, as Jews, we cannot stand by while innocent men, women and children are slaughtered. To fulfill our obligation for tikkun olam, the United States must be more forceful in demanding, yes demanding, that prompt, decisive action be taken to stop the genocide in Darfur. Please convey that message to your congressmen.
In the past two weeks, you've managed to print three fluff pieces for the Democrats ("Women's Caucus Endorses Clinton's Presidential Bid," April 20). One on Nancy Pelosi, another on her father "to show your readers what good stock she comes from" and then on Hillary Clinton, disguised as a report about the Women's Caucus.
I know you have an affinity of authoritative, liberal women. But can you, at least, pretend to give The Journal some semblance of balance? Let me suggest an article on Republican frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani, and how, as a prosecutor and then mayor of New York, he reduced crime tremendously, cleaned up Time Square and culminated his career in that city as a genuine hero during, and in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
Letters supporting the recent trip of House Speaker Pelosi to Syria as a way to achieve peace show a consummate ignorance of history ("Pelosi-Palooza," April 13).
The Ba'ath party, currently running a totalitarian regime in Syria, was founded in that country in 1941, with many policies based on Germany's Nazi party.
Syria is the host to leaders of both Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas openly states its goal to be the genocidal mass murder of every Jew in Israel - no compromise. Hezbollah has the broader goal of the genocidal mass-murder of every Jew on earth - also a goal with no compromise.
Reporter Mike Wallace once asked Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir why she would not hold talks with the PLO. She responded simply: Because I will not discuss the nature of my country's national suicide.
Readers should consider these facts, lest they too -- unwittingly-- foster their own genocide.Fred Korr
I read with great interest your story today on the position of several major Jewish organizations that are working with the Turkey to oppose recognition of the Armenian Genocide ("U.S. Jews Enter Debate on Armenian Turkish History," April 27).
As an American Armenian, I have always treated any effort to minimize, rationalize, or deny the Holocaust as an outrage against mankind and have fought against it.
My question is how can mainstream Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee both of which have held human rights out as one of their hallmarks, how can they continue to support Turkey's shameful campaign at Genocide denial? And how is it that the American Jewish community tolerates this?
What happens to all of Judaism's teachings when it is traded for very shortsighted political expediency. Don't you think there were plenty of otherwise "good " Europeans who went along with the Nazis based on the application of same flawed formula.
Henry Morganthau and Raphael Lempkin would never tolerate these folks, to say nothing of Israel Charney Deborah Lipstadt and a host of other preeminent holocaust and genocide scholars.
I cannot imagine what could ever motivate me to suborn the denial of any genocide.
THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from all readers. Letters should be no more than 200 words and must include a valid name, address and phone number. Letters sent via e-mail must not contain attachments. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used, but names will be withheld on request. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Mail: The Jewish Journal, Letters, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90010; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax: (213) 368-1684