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Jewish Journal

Hard Truths, Hard Peace; Isn’t It Ironic?; Baby Crazy

July 8, 2009 | 7:53 pm

Hard Truths, Hard Peace
I have just carefully reread both Opinion pieces, “Obama’s Hard Truths Can Help Bridge the Gap” by Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater and “‘Hard Truths’ Just Political Convenience” by Caroline B. Glick (June 12). I was struck by the positivism of Rabbi Grater’s article and the utterly black negativism of Glick. After reading her “opinion,” I can only conclude she offers no hope for peace.

Jerry Rabinowitz, Encino


Isn’t It Ironic?
How ironic that on page 8, David Suissa writes about the evil of lashon harah (“Man of Agnon,” June 26) and then on page 9, Teresa Strasser provides us with the perfect example in writing about her mother (“Inner Child, Meet New Baby, Please Don’t Smother It,” June 26).

Daniel Langbaum, Los Angeles


Baby Crazy
I really enjoyed Teresa Strasser’s article (“Inner Child, Meet New Baby, Please Don’t Smother It,” June 26). I’m sure that when your baby is born you will love him. When I had my kids I had a nurse, and after she left and the baby cried I wondered, “Where is that lady who is supposed to be taking care of this kid?” I felt like a baby sitter, even though I had never babysat in my life.

I don’t really like kids too much either, but I love my own very much and now I have five grandchildren who I love dearly.

Just give it time and he will grow on you and you will eventually kvell when they do something soooo cute.

Good luck to you and your husband.

Beverly Rothman, Encino


Trader Joe’s
Regarding your article on the attempted boycott of Trader Joe’s due to their stocking Israeli products (“L.A’s Trader Joe’s Stores Unaffected by Boycott,” June 26), thank you Trader Joe’s for your fair business practices.

Art Newberger, Encino


Back to the Basics
While extolling the virtues of the Conservative movement, David Suissa (“Rembaum’s Unity,” July 3) lamented that he “can’t understand why they’re failing.”  Suissa need only look at the movement during its heyday a half-century ago for the answer.

In the mid-1950s, Conservative Jews were expected to maintain kashrut, daven and rest on Shabbat and provide their children with a robust Jewish education. Today, Conservative leaders (under occasional pressure from synagogue board members) are oftentimes reluctant to preach adherence to those core values. The fear is that if they push, members will be driven toward Reconstructionist or Reform congregations. To be sure, some will leave.

However, for every Jew who migrates to a liberal branch, one or more will experience solace in a Conservative movement that has returned to its roots. The movement will grow stronger as these committed individuals fill Conservative sanctuaries.

Like the townspeople of Anatevka, modern Americans find comfort in tradition. The Conservative movement is positioned well to offer America’s Jews that option.

Leonard M. Solomon, Los Angeles


Ariel U Clarification
Thank you very much for publishing such a well-written article about Ariel University Center (“West Bank’s Ariel U Grows, Reaches Out,” June 26), but allow me to clarify one point.

Tom Tugend wrote: “Four years ago, the college decided to upgrade itself to university status, a decision immediately contested on both political and academic grounds. The name Ariel University Center appears to be an interim arrangement, but at this point it is not yet a full doctorate degree-granting research institution.”

Upgrading the college to a university was a governmental decision. Doctoral students and some of the master’s students are fully trained at Ariel University Center, in accordance with agreements with other universities. In the near future, the university center will also be granting the actual degrees.

Eldad Halachmi, VP Resource Development, Ariel University Center


Has the Clock Struck Midnight?
David N. Myers seems to think that because “most analysts concur” that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would encompass Israeli retention of the largest Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, most Arabs concur as well (“Has the Clock Struck Midnight?” June 19).

They do not. Not only has Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) made it abundantly clear that they do not accept the presence of any Jews in a future Palestinian state, but they do not even accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state.

Only in April, Abbas stated, “I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish state, call it what you will.” Muhammad Dahlan, formerly a Fatah commander in Gaza, stated this rejection succinctly in March: “We demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today.”

For these reasons, Myers’ observation that, “It is naïve to believe that a fledgling, fragile and demilitarized Palestinian state would happily welcome the presence of tens of thousands” of Jews misses the point: if Palestinians cannot accept a Jewish presence in a future Palestinian state, that fact itself is indication enough that they are not prepared to live in peace with Israel.

Who is prepared to argue that a people that resolutely insists on throwing all Jews out of their country, that criminalizes the sale of land to Jews and that lynches those deemed guilty of “collaborating” with Israel by having sold land to Jews is actually ready to live in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel?

Morton A. Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America, New York


Jewish settlement in the West Bank is not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Arab/Muslim hostility to Israel is the obstacle to peace.  Denying Jews the right to live in Judea and Samaria is outright discrimination.

Shimon Paskow, Thousand Oaks


L.A. Times on Israel
Not too long ago you published an article about the meeting between a group of concerned members of the Jewish community and a senior member of the editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times (“That’s Where The Debate Is Going,” April 3). The shocking disclosure at the end of your article was the statement by the L.A. Times man that the Israel-Arab dispute is resolving down to the simple question of whether Israel has a right to exist.

Well folks, the L.A. Times has jumped on to that very grotesque bandwagon.  Just take a look at their editorial of June 16th titled “Roadblock to Peace.” This Jewish-owned, Jewish-staffed newspaper had no problem stating that Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state is a “Roadblock to Peace.”

Never Again?

Leon Perlsweig, Woodland Hills


Where was the Federation?
“We don’t want to go!  We don’t want to go!”  I wept when I read these words spoken by two children, in “Families Bid Farewell as Valley Cities JCC Closes” (June 26). Sad, isn’t it, when our Jewish community loses such a valuable asset — one that serves the needs of young and old in the community.

Then I got angry again at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  How could they allow this to happen?! I say “again,” because I remember how The Jewish Federation abandoned the Westside JCC (I was a member at the time) and several other JCCs in our area back in 2001. Must have been embarassing to the Jewish Federation when an Episcopal church came to the rescue of the Silver Lake JCC.

I thought The Jewish Federation was established to help build — not destroy — the Jewish community.  How dare their solicitors ask me to donate again.

George Epstein, Los Angeles


Entertainment News Outshines Global Crises
Due to the tragic passing of so many celebrated icons this past week: Michael Jackson; Farrah Fawcett; Bill Mays; etc., the major news outlets seemed to only be reporting on these immortals as they neglected their reports of previous weeks about possible massive terror strikes.

What ever happened to the reports out of Iran describing how their nuclear program is only months away from completion of a bomb? What ever happened to the reports of the North Korean cargo ship steaming it’s way towards the U.S. state of Hawaii, possibly carrying weapons of mass destruction?

We know too well that history does repeat itself, often.

Neville Chamberlain’s first response to Nazi Germany, over 60 years ago, was to negotiate his way out of a conflict with Hitler as he gave him a passport to Czechoslovakia and to Austria. Like Obama, he too was very non-committal as he was sure that he could negotiate with a fascist dictator and avoid the Blitzkriegs upon Western soil.

Wow, was he wrong while still in the process of negotiations with Hitler, the Nazi V2’s rained down upon London.

On Sept. 1, 1939, Chamberlain said, “The time has come when action rather than speech is required.” 

Will Obama not see the light in time to stop the hatred and destruction of Western ideals and democracy by the new Nazis of the 21st century, the Iranian Mullahcracy, its Hitler-like leaders and its allies?  Will Obama ever have to repeat Chamberlain’s words, “The time has come when action rather than speech is required.” I hope not.

Will media outlets again place importance upon what really is paramount to world peace and front-page news in these difficult times?

Harry Grunstein, Canada


Correction
“Jewish Camps Face Down Swine Flu” (July 3) erroneously reported a case of H1N1 Influenza had been confirmed at Camp Ramah in Ojai. The Ventura County Department of Health confirmed only that the patient had Influenza A. Camp Ramah in Ojai has not had any confirmed cases of H1N1.

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