A point of clarification: While Jane Ulman cites IKAR as one of the religious institutions that does not participate in Mitzvah Day, this is in fact not the case.
IKAR proudly participates in Big Sunday, seeing it as one of many vital pathways to serving those most vulnerable in our city, and invigorating a sense of civic responsibility amongst our Jewish community ("Big Sunday," April 20).
Our hope and prayer is that our volunteer work on Big Sunday will be a source of inspiration to do more every day.
Kol hakavod to Rabbi John Rosove and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and all those in the community who help make Big Sunday what it is.
Rabbi Sharon Brous
I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see members of the Republican Jewish Coalition try to deliver a hatchet job on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-San Fransico) recent trip to Syria, Israel and Jordan ("Pelosi-Palooza," April 13).
I found Rob Eshman's piece to be very well balanced in reviewing the positives and negatives about her trip.
Further, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) spoke before Democrats for Israel Los Angeles on April 15 about his role in the delegation, exposing the Republican hypocrisy in this entire matter.
Since 2003 more than 25 Republicans have visited Syria, including Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) who has openly praised Hezbollah, and at no point has the Bush Administration even so much as admonished a single one of them, including the three Republicans who met with Assad the week before Pelosi and the one Republican who met with Assad the week after (again Issa).
Further, the Bush Administration has pressured Israel into interfering with American politics, threatening to cut aid if Israel communicates with or talks peace with Syria and pushing Ehud Olmert into repudiating the message he and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik directly asked Pelosi to deliver to Assad.
Olmert has since apologized to Pelosi, and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Sallai Meridor has praised Pelosi's support of Israel and efforts to secure the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
Every time the GOP tries to turn support of Israel into a partisan issue they lose. In fact, they received less than 11 percent of the Jewish vote in 2006.
Perhaps the Republicans should learn from the Olmert's example and stop trying to turn the support of Israel into a partisan game.
Democrats for Israel Los Angeles
Your article lauding Rep. Nancy Pelosi shows that she as well as you are unaware of the felony she committed under the Logan Act communicating on foreign policy against the wishes of the president ("Pelosi-Palooza," April 13).
Where is Patrick Fitzgerald of Libby fame? Pelosi is entitled to three years in prison. She flaunted the Constitution as confirmed by the Supreme Court in Marbury vs. Presidential authority over the Dept. of State.
Marina del Rey
Republican Jewish Coalition
To attract more members, particularly women, [the Republican Jewish Coalition] might consider referring to the first female speaker of the House in history using her title, rather then, as in the full-age ad of last week, simply 'Pelosi' (Advertisement, April 20).
I enjoyed the ad after driving home through crumbling, potholed, traffic and smog-choked Los Angeles -- dotted with struggling public schools -- appalled that trillions of my fellow citizens' dollars, not to mention lives, are being wasted in a war whose premise was an utter lie and whose impact, among other atrocious ones, has been the further destabilization of the Middle East and the creation of a power vacuum sure to benefit Iran.
With whom should political leaders meet and speak; only those with whom they already agree about everything?
I'm looking forward to next week's ad explaining why it's neither "dangerous" nor "wrong" to torture people, when precisely the Geneva Convention became "quaint" (when we Jews didn't need it anymore?) and (finally, a straight answer?) who exactly flipped the coin that decided the professional fate of David Iglesias et al.
I'm delighted [they are] spending so much of your money on these effective ads; keep up the good work.
The Republican Jewish Coalition's (RJC) ad in the Jewish Journal's April 20 edition attacking Speaker Nancy Pelosi for performing an actual productive act of diplomacy by meeting with Bashar al Assad is remarkably misguided and incredibly shortsighted.
I find it almost unimaginable that any organization, claiming to be patriotic and supportive of America, labeling a verifiable step toward peace in the region as counterproductive. When we consider that diplomacy as enacted the present State Department, as lead by the current administration, is marked by indifference to the point of absurdity and has been largely reduced to issuing edicts and other cowboy/vigilante style antics, it is refreshing to see a politician actually providing for our common defense. The fact that the government of Israel lent their voice in support of the bipartisian trip appears to be completely missed by the RJC.
The only way this ad makes sense is if the RJC is actually disagrees with the goal of peace in the region.
The RJC should be applauding Pelosi's actions, not condemning them.
Richard L. Adlof
I just returned from the Religious Action Center's Consultation on Conscience in Washington, D.C.
Among the Congressional leaders with whom we met were Nancy Pelosi, Keith Ellison and Henry Waxman -- three members of the delegation that is under attack by the administration. After hearing first-hand about the meetings, it is eminently clear that the speaker and her colleagues did not say anything untoward to or about any of the world leaders.
What they did do is attempt to open a dialogue with both friends and those we consider enemies. When does the Bush White House begin to recognize that communication is not a reward to be bestowed at the pleasure of the United States. It's actually called diplomacy. My hat is off to the speaker -- I am proud to have had her represent me.
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