January 24, 2008
Rabbi Cooper; Enough with the Spinka; Tuskeegee Airmen
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Donatas Empakeris
XIII Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival
Why did you term [Venezuela President Hugo Chavez] an "anti-democratic wing-nut" ("End Hypocrisy Now," Jan. 4)? Even if he was attempting a constitutionally mandated power grab (which I concur he was doing), he still put the issue before the voters. Was he called a wing-nut for promoting adult literacy in which his followers were encouraged to use the Constitution to learn to read in order to vote? Was it because he is an indigenous leader that looks like the most impoverished sector of his nation? Or because he provides gasoline subsidies not only to his own people, but also to poorer Americans who purchase Citgo?
These were some of the perceptions of some of the non-Jews with whom I interact.
They note, particularly, that the mainstream U.S. media never use such terms for obvious dictators when they are pro-West and pro-Israel.
I was appalled by Gabriel Lerner's blind acceptance of the Azeris' view of their war against Armenia ("Azeri Jews: Centuries of Coexistence in Azerbaijan," Jan. 11).
It seems that they, like the Palestinian gang, exist only to threaten their peaceful neighbor.
They started the war with Armenia, beginning with pogroms against Armenian civilians in Baku. They claim Nagorno-Karabakh although it is an Armenian province, populated by Armenians. Armenia did not conquer it, any more than the Jewish yishuv conquered Israel: The Armenian residents, like the Palestinian Jews, defended themselves against their vicious and avaricious neighbors. The territory was given to Azerbaijan by the Soviet Union, which had no right to dispose of it so, and the Azeris feel, like typical Muslims, that any gain, no matter how ill gotten, must remain forever theirs.
I will not credit the Azeris' claim of Armenian atrocities against them in 1918 before I hear the Armenians' response to that accusation, and I expect The Journal to solicit that response for the next issue.
I am ashamed of those Jews who helped Muslims kill people who are quite as civilized, gentle and unjustly oppressed as Jews. I am horrified to read of Israeli arms supplied to Azerbaijan to continue the slaughter. How will I face my Armenian friends?
Could Blair Be the One?
In his Jan. 18 column, Rob Eshman asks if Tony Blair, in his new role as the special Middle East envoy of the U.N., could be the one who brings peace to the Middle East ("Could Blair Be the One?" Jan. 18).
In early 1940, FDR sent Sumner Welles, the undersecretary of state, on a tour of London, Paris, Rome and Berlin to sound out the parties on a possible "general settlement" that would end the war in Europe, then in a quiet phase. Welles' mission, of course, had no success, and soon thereafter the Nazis conquered Western Europe. To answer Eshman, Blair will not be the one, nor will the next "special envoy" or the one or two or three after that one, because of the mindset of the Arabs, including our good friends the Egyptians and the Saudis and the Jordanians. This might be news to Bush and Blair and Rice and the United Nations, but it's obvious to anyone who brushes self-delusion from his eyes.
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