March 4, 2004
It is a sad commentary that The Jewish Journal chooses to designate Robbie Conal's propaganda "message art" ("Conal's the Poster Boy for 'Art Attack,'" Feb. 27). I don't need The Journal to tell me how to vote in the upcoming elections but Conal's left-wing message is abundantly clear, and Tom Teicholz lauds him for serving as our social conscience in the post-Sept. 11 era.
Teicholz briefly mentions Conal's affiliation with the L.A. Weekly and its agenda, depicting only his most famous posters of the Dalai Lama, [Martin Luther] King and Ghandi. Conspicuously absent from the article and extremely relevant to the Jewish community was a scathing piece he did on Ariel Sharon titled, "Schmeckle in a Pickle" (in Hebrew-style letters), where Sharon is depicted as a bloodthirsty war criminal.
Conal's art is not politics; it is defamation, which I see has become chic for the radical left and its sympathizers.
Nir Dayanoff, Los Angeles
I think J. Shawn Landres' piece on how to get along with everyone in general, and Christians in particular: "'Passion' Response Dos and Don'ts" (Feb. 13) was not really needed. My rationale is this: Most Christian folks that I know regard Jews as fellow travelers along the road we are jointly on and see God as the same deity. My family has been friends with and has loved all of our Jewish neighbors for many years. I think it is kind of funny that Jews need an instruction book to deal with Christians. Most Christians that I know love and respect Jews.
David L. Wilson, via e-mail
The best actor Oscar should have gone to Mel Gibson. For acting as if "The Passion of the Christ" is not anti-Semitic when it shows Jews as stereotypes of greedy, bloodthirsty, vengeful and sadistic murderers; for acting as if the film is historically accurate while reducing Roman culpability so that he wouldn't offend the Vatican (since he wanted their support even though he rejects their teachings on this very issue); for acting as if his refusal to renounce the Holocaust denials of his father were a question of loyalty, rather than an accurate reflection of his own distorted view of history; for all this and for convincing many in the media and the public, even in the Jewish community that a film filled with hate and violence is really a film of love and compassion, he deserves more than best actor. He deserves the lifetime achievement award.
Ellen Freyer, Los Angeles
I take issue with Morton Klein's assertion that an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza would both reward and encourage terrorism ("Gaza Withdrawal Rewards Terrorism," Feb. 27). For one thing, recent history of Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory has shown the exact opposite. When Israel withdrew from Lebanon, terrorist attacks on Israel decreased by 91 percent. Similarly, terrorist attacks virtually ceased when Israel withdrew from Egyptian territory in the Sinai.
In addition, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will decrease the pool of desperate Palestinians who have all but given up on hope and life and who are as a result easily recruited to engage in suicide attacks. With the injection of aid, the improvement of the economy and the resurgence of hope in Gaza following an Israeli withdrawal, these same Palestinians will choose life instead of death.
Finally, a withdrawal from Gaza would be in line with international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, of which Israel is a signatory, explicitly prohibits the acquisition of territory by force, even for defensive purposes. Such a withdrawal should only be the first step to a withdrawal from the rest of the occupied territories. This would secure the lasting peace that both Israelis and Palestinians much deserve.
William S. van der Veen, American Task Force on Palestine Washington, D.C.
I agree with Gene Lichtenstein's characterization of the recent Tikkun conference as being both heartening and disappointing -- but that's where our agreement ends ("Tikkun Alone," Feb. 27). The conference was disappointing because Tikkun (Michael Lerner) stubbornly refuses to learn any lessons: from the abject failure of Oslo; from Arafat's total rejection of unprecedented Israeli concessions at Camp David and Taba; from three and a half years of Palestinian murder of 1,000 of our men, women and children. What was heartening, however, was reading that Lerner's fringe, extreme-left-wing politics and policies are appealing to only a dwindling few.
Jeff Kandel, Los Angeles
Tom Tugend's article on Jewish candidates in the March 2 primary election was guilty of one serious omission (serious to me, anyway) -- me! ("Jewish Candidates Fill County Ballot," Feb. 27).
I am unopposed for the Republican nomination in the 42nd Assembly District. In November, I'll be facing incumbent Paul Koretz.
Paul Morgan Fredrix , West Hollywood
Ed. Note: We regret the omission. Good luck in November.