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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
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Letters To The Editor


Impressed By Huckabee

Mike Huckabee impresses with his straightforward logic (“Pour the Concrete and Build the Houses,” op-ed article, March 15).

How, he asks, can Israel negotiate with people who don’t accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state? How can Israel be blamed for oppressing the Palestinians by building a defensive wall to protect its people – successfully as it turned out – from the repeated Palestinian terror attacks?

How can anyone urge Israel to trust in the goodwill of the Arab world in view of the Arabs’ history of killing Israeli Jews whenever they were not physically prevented from doing so?

Why does the U.S. government give military aid to Egypt when its president is closely associated with a terrorist organization and seizes every opportunity to threaten to abrogate the treaty between Egypt and Israel?

Why should anyone listen to Palestinian demands that Israel cease settlement construction while the PA refuses to accept Israel’s offer to negotiate without preconditions?

Keep it up, Governor Huckabee.

Gary Levine
(Via E-Mail)

Shrinking Families (I)

Re Rabbi Simcha Weinstein’s March 15 front-page essay, “How Shrinking Families Are Destroying the Planet”:

Yes, there is a fertility decline among most affluent First World countries, but such concerns may be allayed with advanced fertility methods, adoption and immigration, as well as robotics/artificial intelligence and cloning.

The future is now.

Jon M. Hardy
Miami, FL

Shrinking Families (II)

I was appalled by the insensitivity shown by the court clerk when Rabbi Weinstein asked for a postponement of jury duty for his pregnant wife and the clerk responded by rebuking him for having a “large” family.

Not only was it none of her business, the incident suggests there are those out there who have a problem with the typical size of frum families.

I wonder how much of that clerk’s comment was based on her problem with too many Jews on the planet.

Chaskel Beilenson

Shrinking Families (III)

China has had its problems with overpopulation, but it’s clear the great leap the Chinese have taken in positioning themselves as a real threat to America’s industrial and economic leadership is a function of their having, by far, the world’s largest population.

Mitchell Clark
Austin, TX

FDR’s Black Mark

I am not surprised by FDR’s refusal to join and support the efforts of many others to publicize the ongoing destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis as described in Rafael Medoff’s fine piece (“A Holocaust Pageant That Was Too ‘Political’ for FDR,” op-ed, March 15).

There is a growing body of literature that recounts FDR’s indifference to the plight of the Jews and therefore his unwillingness to take any action that might lead to an active role for America in saving them. It will forever be a black mark on his record.

What is particularly reprehensible is that Roosevelt, as Medoff suggests, was not unaware that something terrible on a large scale was going on against the Jews – he issued “a condemnation of mass murder [but] made no effort to publicize the tragedy or aid Jewish refugees.”

Sadly, it appears the media acted the same way. The lesson is both simple and profound. Never trust your future to anyone.

Robin Miller
Toronto, Canada


Rudy Giuliani’s Record

Failures Outweigh Achievements

Was Rudy Giuliani a great mayor? Despite the glowing words of praise for Giuliani offered up by senior editor Jason Maoz in his March 15 Media Monitor column (“Giuliani Still Being Slighted by Media Elites”), the answer is unreservedly no. His achievements are outweighed by his failures.

Many of Giuliani’s achievements are traceable to policies begun under David Dinkins. The revitalization of Times Square, for instance, began under Dinkins with an initiative between the city and Disney and can really be traced back to eminent domain seizures during the Koch Administration.

The city’s surplus during most of the Giuliani years was solely due to the money the dot-com bubble brought into the city; in 2001, Giuliani’s last year and the year after the bubble burst, the projected deficit was more than it had been when Giuliani took office.

New York City’s drop in crime during the Giuliani administration coincided with a nationwide drop during the years he was in office. The drop began during the Dinkins administration in 1990. Thus, how much credit Giuliani deserves for the continued drop in crime is at best disputed.

Giuliani’s awful relationship with the black community in New York City went far beyond ignoring and antagonizing African-American civil rights leaders. Even Rudy Crew, Giuliani’s schools chancellor for three years, came to regard his policies as racist. In general, Giuliani’s record on education was one of utter failure; test scores declined while he was mayor.

Giuliani gave a good media performance during 9/11, but his policies and the city’s lack of preparedness undoubtedly contributed to the deaths of 343 firefighters, a completely avoidable tragedy that resulted from outdated equipment and Giuliani’s ill-fated and ill-advised decision to place the city’s Office of Emergency Management inside of World Trade Center 7. Because OEM’s office was destroyed on 9/11, police and firefighters were unable to coordinate their rescue efforts. In addition, because the city failed to replace the Fire Department’s outdated radios despite years of complaints and operative failure during the 1993 WTC attacks, warnings to the firefighters to evacuate the building went unheard.

Giuliani’s best moments came when he crossed party lines and endorsed positions any Democratic New York City mayor would have, from his support for a path to citizenship for hard-working undocumented immigrants, to his support for civil unions.

But a great mayor? No way.

Michael Brenner
Woodmere, NY

Rudy’s Record Highlighted Liberals’ Failures

Jason Maoz got it exactly right about Rudy Giuliani being continually cast in a negative light by most of the media. The reason, as I see it, is that this is New York, where liberals can never embrace a Republican, even one who, like Giuliani, takes generally liberal positions on most social issues.

Also, while he distinguished himself in reducing crime and returning a sense of pride to New Yorkers after the disastrous term of David Dinkins, he did it largely by abandoning all those liberal nostrums that got us into the rut in the first place.

Giuliani’s success only served to highlight liberalism’s failures, which is something for which liberals will never forgive him.

Nor did it help matters when he wouldn’t allow Yasir Arafat to attend a concert marking the UN’s 50th birthday. I still remember the shocked comments from liberals concerning Rudy’s violation of diplomatic etiquette. That crowd never forgets.

Chaim Kleinman
(Via E-Mail)

Rudy-Mike Paradox

Both Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg are strong-willed, goal oriented, “can-do” people with little tolerance for fumbling bureaucrats. But Giuliani never arrogated to himself the powers of the City Council that Bloomberg has been doing for some time now.

This is all the more interesting since Giuliani was a hard driving and feared federal prosecutor who was used to having his own way with his often hapless targets, while Bloomberg’s great success in business required persuasion and inspiration.

Judy Silber
(Via E-Mail)

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