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Jewish Journal

We pledge allegiance to your shorts

July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

Camp Pranks

There is something inherently cruel in laughter at the expense of other people ("We Salute Your Shorts," July 13).

It's one thing to satirize, mock or lampoon where it's appropriate. However, pranks at summer camp often are hurtful and scary for children.

It's disturbing to read that well-known rabbis and cantors have no regret for their actions. Do they encourage children to do the same?

I detect a profound lack of maturity, compassion and consideration when adults approve or tolerate such behavior.

We belong to a people charged with the task of uplifting the human spirit.

Pranks at summer camp, which harm the dignity or emotional health of others, are antithetical to our purpose.

J. Sand
Los Angeles


Grocery Chains

Susan Freudenheim's editorial brought back memories ("Berries, Pizza and a Smile," July 13).

During the 2003 grocery store strike, the behavior of management was so egregious that it alienated conservatives who wanted to hear their side of the story. They simply locked themselves up and refused to dialogue with the community. In contrast, the workers expressed themselves with tremendous passion, clarity and integrity.

Apparently, the "big three" grocery store chains, similar to other businesses, are trying to rid themselves of career employees who have families to care for and mortgages to pay. They wish to create a cheap, docile workforce of students and youngsters who are simply "passing through" on their way to other things. This should be a source of concern to all of us.

The big three grocery store chains are moribund already. They are not welcome in blue-collar neighborhoods, where they have been supplanted by ethnic markets and mom-and-pop stores offering better service and much better prices.

If the big three grocery store chains die, it won't be because they were killed it will be because they committed suicide.

Rabbi Louis J. Feldman
Van Nuys


Sonenshein Wrong

Raphael J. Sonenshein gets it all wrong in his article, "Neocons Setting Dangerous Course to Iran," (July 13).

He derides a laundry list of Jewish thinkers who do not embrace a pacifistic, defeatist view of America's place on the world stage. He dismisses as lightweight thinkers Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliot Abrams, Douglas Feith and Scooter Libby -- and as a toss in, "evil incarnate" Sen. Joesph Lieberman, the whipping boy of every leftist Democrat.

But let's be real. The idea to change the politic of the Middle East was well placed -- however, a flawed execution of early success, wasted a brilliant vision by those just mentioned.

Let's get one thing straight. The far left is no friend to Israel or to Jews in general. We are not talking about the socialist Democrats of the World War II era or those that stood with the civil rights movement in the '60s or opposed the Vietnam War. We are talking about the pro-Third World whatever bunch who hate Israel because it is Western oriented and prosperous.

They prefer Jews who are victims, not those with tanks and a modern air force. The human rights violations and sheer mass murder by countries such as China, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, just to mention a few, fail to stir up a fraction of the scorn and indignation directed at Israel. What I wonder makes them different?

Now, as to the outlandish notion of taking on Iran, what is the problem? If the idea of a nuclear Iran, which has sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the planet, is not troublesome to you, then Sonenshein's averment that the threat from Islam is, to use his words, "exaggerated," is both noteworthy and justified.

If, however, you believe that Islam in general and Iran specifically pose a threat to both the United States and Israel, then what grand plan does Sonenshein offer as an alternative? The answer is none.

Richard Binder
Pasadena


Inside Job

It saddens me to think that Jewish singles would think it takes someone else to complete them ("," July 6).

Would it not be better to look for a soulmate when one feels they are whole and complete within themselves?

Would they then not have more to offer a relationship, and then they could also seek someone who is also whole? I don't believe anyone else can really complete you. That's an inside job.

Judith O. Kollmon
Sherman Oaks


No New Arab State

Morton Klein's rejection of Gidi Grinstein's approach to Fatah and the Palestinians is unfortunately a continuation of the lack of open-mindedness and innovative ideas that characterizes many mainstream pro-Israel American organizations like his Zionist Organization of America (
Letters, July 6).

Klein and the leaders of these organizations are partly responsible for the lack of open debate in our community. Unlike in Israel, where an overwhelming majority support a Palestinian state and frank discussion about the status of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is encouraged, Jewish organizations have branded those who discuss these options as outside the mainstream.

It is time for a new approach from our community leaders and organizations, an approach that mirrors the openness in Israeli society to these complex issues.

Rabbi Mitchel Malkus
Via e-mail


Open Discussion

Observers are right to note that Hamas' conquest of the Gaza Strip calls into question the idea of giving the Palestinian Arabs another state (i.e. in addition to Jordan, which comprised the majority of Palestine) ("Political Shake-Up Spurs Ideas on Two-State Solution," July 13). Yet this epiphany is long overdue. Every step taken over the past 14 years toward creating a 23rd Arab state, from granting autonomy to releasing terrorists, has, in point of fact, led to increased murder on the part of the Arab terrorists, as well as deterioration of conditions among Arabs in Judea, Gaza, and Samaria.

Yes, the Arabs should not be given another state -- but this should be news to no one.

Julie Sager
Zionist Organization of America
Los Angeles


Correction

In "Backlot Parties Put Simchas in the Spotlight" (July 13), Susan Shapiro took all four photos and she should have been listed as a licensed psychologist.



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