April 17, 2008
Shoah, McCain, Ziman vs. Lee, Obama, Pope
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Shani M. Rotkovitz
American Film Institute
Is there any particular reason that Charlton Heston warrants an 11-paragraph, top-of-the-page obituary in The Jewish Journal ("Charlton Heston, Oscar Winner and Advocate, Dies at 84," April 11)? Has portraying Jews in the movies become a criteria for a major obituary in The Journal?
If so, why wasn't there an obituary for Rod Steiger ("The Chosen," "The Pawnbroker") or Jessica Tandy ("Driving Miss Daisy") among others?
Ephraim A. Moxson
Hate in Translation
Editor Rob Eshman in "Hate in Translation" (March 28) describes the need to inform the Arab world of the work of German scholar Matthias Kuntzel, who presents new findings regarding the Nazi roots of anti-Semitism in the Middle East. Eshman also notes that the mainstream media in the United States have not paid sufficient attention to Kuntzel's findings.
Readers will be interested to know that not only the media, but also our universities, including our own UCLA, including the departments that the public expects to be eager to examine such discoveries, shunned Dr. Kuntzel in his last visit to our city on March 11. Both Jewish studies and the Near East Center declined an invitation to co-sponsor his lecture at UCLA or to publicize his lecture to their students and faculty. There are forces in academia that defy understanding.
Church and Israel
Your April 11 issue was notable for two articles that illustrate the continuing failure of some Jews to understand the nature of the world today. One article expressed shock that the Catholic Church continues to use a prayer that asks that the Jews convert to Christianity ("Upset Remains as Pope Nears U.S. Trip."
Apparently, the notion that a church founded on spreading the good news of Jesus to the world by converting all unbelievers might sincerely believe this and that uninterested Jews can simply say no is unfathomable.
The second article told us to look for 10 signs that the peace process (which I call the self-delusion process) is working, rather than to examine the fact that the last 15 years has put Israel in greater danger than ever before ("Top 10 Signs of Peace Progress"). I find this juxtaposition sad and ironic.
I am concerned about the bias of the recent articles regarding Sen. Barack Obama ("Letter to Obama," April 4). I like Sen. Hillary Clinton as well, but Obama is not as well known to the Jewish community as Sen. John McCain or Clinton, so perhaps we are looking too hard for reasons to make him earn our trust.
Obama sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, he opposes the literal right of return of Palestinians within Israel's borders, has rejected the rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan and pushed his pastor into retirement.
The leaders of AIPAC, the NJDC and many other groups have made clear that Obama and Clinton both have excellent records on Israel and other issues concerning the Jewish community, and for those of us who have actually taken the time to research the positions of all the candidates, we should be proud of having two great Democratic candidates who support Israel and will stand up for Jews in the United States as well.
Democrats for Israel Los Angeles
Ziman and Lee
Like many, I am beyond amazed at this story ("Jewish Philanthropist Accuses Black Pastor of Anti-Semitism," April 9). Few questions that I hope/assume somebody is pursuing:
- In today's You-Tube-everything-is-somehow-recorded-age, is there no tape (video or audio) of the Rev. Eric Lee's remarks?
- Even if there is no tape, are you telling me that in a room of 200 people, there's no corroborating witnesses one way or the other?
- There's no -- or very little -- room for the predictable follow-up of: "There was a miscommunication and the truth is somewhere in the middle." I mean, if Lee's account is indeed true, then what is the suggestion: Daphna Ziman is a pathological liar or some unstable woman who makes things up? If it's not true, then shouldn't Lee be outraged at Ziman for making up such a story and defaming him? Again, there seems very little for a plausible explanation in the middle that bridges the two stories.
- If nobody from the audience is willing to come forward to simply say what happened, is that not a story in and of itself?
- Why won't people simply confirm what they heard and saw?
Is there a transcript of this speech by the Rev. Eric Lee? Can we confirm independently anywhere the statements paraphrased in your article that come from Daphna Ziman, who is not doubted, but it would be helpful to have some solid documentation on this. I understand people left before this speech, and there were very few there to confirm that it happened as stated or who would be willing to stand behind Ziman's statements about it.
Also Has anyone sent this information on to Barack Obama to see what his response would be, since his name is being bantered about by an obvious Clinton supporter -- Ziman.
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