Departing Democrats (I)
I was greatly troubled by the news that several stalwart Congressional supporters of Israel will be leaving office this year (“Congress Losing Several Longtime Pro-Israel Pillars,” front page news story, Dec. 14).
The problem is not only that their individual votes for Israel will no longer be there but also that several of them were in key positions given their substantial seniority. I fear it will be a long time before our community can rebuild this level of support.
We in New York City are experiencing the very same deterioration in the numbers of Jews in government and the courts. The exodus is ominous. We had better wake up and get organized. Otherwise we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Departing Democrats (II)
I suppose I would have preferred the departing Democrats to have stayed around in terms of the old “cardiac Jew” theory – i.e., they supported Israel from the heart. But I am not so sure that their continued presence would have made much of a difference.
In recent years it has been the Republican members of Congress who have stood up for Israel in its battle with the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular. The Democrats, including most of those listed in your article, had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the effort to get President Obama off the anti-settlement crusade that characterized his first year and a half in office.
Not one of those mentioned in the list of those leaving has done nearly as much for Israel as Florida’s Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the foreign relations committee in Congress.
I understand where Rachel Weiss is coming from (“A Match Lit in Heaven,” front page essay, Dec.14), but I do not fully agree with the point she was trying to make.
Yes, people may have shallow and immature standards when seeking a mate. However, if this is the way they feel, that’s the way it is. Heaven forbid they should go into a marriage not really feeling good about it.
New York, NY
Looking For Good News
Re “Public Pressure and the Ostreicher Case” (editorial, Dec.14):
I too was taken with the contrast between the attention paid to Jacob Ostreicher’s plight and the lack of same to the millions of Jews who perished just seven decades ago. I look forward to the time soon when you can report that he was released from prison.
Editor’s Note: See news brief, page 3.
Method To Hamas’s Madness
Re: “Settlements, Obama, and the European Union” (editorial, Dec. 14):
There is, indeed, method to Hamas’s madness. That terrorist outfit realizes more than most others that the appearance of victory can often pass for actual success, especially in the make-believe world of Arab politics. As long as the Palestinian street accepts Hamas at its word, Hamas will have prevailed over Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
Foxman And The Democrats
Reader Harold Sklar was exactly right in his calling out the ADL’s Abraham Foxman for equating criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice with partisan politics (Letters, Dec. 14).
Unfortunately, Foxman has a habit of instinctively conflating Democratic Party positions with American national interests. While I think that on the whole he usually has some good things to say and is certainly is entitled to his opinion, so do the rest of us.
I agree with reader Doris Cooper (Letters, Dec.14). There is no doubt in my mind that the Palestinians will seek to capitalize on the General Assembly’s decision to award it faux statehood. The next step will probably be an attempt to bring Israel up on charges at the International Criminal Court.
The fact is, though, there really would be no justification to hear a case against Israel there, since among other things the ICC can only hear cases against a country whose own courts do not take up the issues raised. It can hardly be argued that Israeli courts do not rule in favor of Palestinians against the Israeli government.
The situation in Egypt is fraught with danger. The ordinary Egyptian does not want a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. He wants food and butter, not bullets. He did not dispose of Mubarak in order to get a more brutal version of Mubarak.
The United States has made a catastrophic mistake in its handling of Egypt. A Muslim dictatorship cannot fulfill the needs of the people. Elected officials in Washington need to understand that the average Muslim who lives in the United States is not the average Muslim who lives in the Middle East and that Islam cannot achieve economic prosperity in areas of the world where governments brutalize their people.
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