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Letters To The Editor

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Cardozo And Carter (I)

What a travesty for Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law to bestow its International Advocate for Peace award on Jimmy Carter (“That Award to Carter,” editorial, April 12).

Just think of the incalculable diplomatic damage that shameless, self-righteous, meddler has wreaked over the course of his post-presidential years. His sorry legacy includes a critical role in enabling the nuclearization of North Korea, leading to its subsequent nuclear and missile technology transfers to Iran; giving hechshers to rigged elections; advising the late Yasir Arafat; and, not least, serving as a persistent purveyor of anti-Israel propaganda.

School administrators can blame the students for this scandalous honor, but surely it is they who bear ultimate responsibility.

Richard D. Wilkins
Syracuse, NY

Cardozo And Carter (II)

Either the editors of the Cardozo School of Law’s Journal of Conflict Resolution are completely ignorant of the abysmal record of Jimmy Carter, not only in his dealings with Israel but also with North Korea, or they are trying to show that morality and ethics have no bearing on their award. Unfortunately, too many professors with little background on subjects they voice opinions on are instilling young students with their false values.

While the case of Cardozo is somewhat unusual given its affiliation with YU, the same scenario is being regularly played out nationwide in our universities through boycotts of Israel and anti-Semitic acts perpetrated against Jewish students and supporters of Israel.

There does not appear to be a realistic solution in the immediate future, except perhaps for supporters of Israel to cease contributing to universities that foster hate of Israel and Jews.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, MD

Cardozo And Carter (III)

I think you were too kind to Yeshiva University in your editorial last week (“That Award To Carter,” Editorial, April 9).

I certainly understand your point about the growing assertion of the independence of students vis-à-vis school administrations in institutions of higher learning. However, I also read elsewhere that some school officials actually supported the students in their choice of Carter for an award.

Moreover, I can’t help but believe that if the students’ choice had been someone like David Duke, somehow a way would have been found to thwart it. It’s just that in this case an expendable ox was being gored.

Stuart Goodman
(Via E-Mail)

Jabotinsky Bio

Rafael Medoff’s March 15 op-ed article, “Equating Zionist Pioneers With Arab Terrorists,” made reference to Joseph Trumpeldor, a great Jewish hero who was much admired by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Reader Reuven Solomon’s April 5 letter to the editor described a bit of the relationship between the two heroes, and concluded by suggesting that people read Lone Wolf: A Biography Of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz.

It is my pleasure to inform Jewish Press readers that Jabotinsky has been the spiritual guiding light of Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI, with one of its founders being his aforementioned biographer, Shmuel Katz. As such, we are in a position to offer special discount rates on Katz’s two-volume biography of Jabotinsky.

Members of AFSI get an even better discount, and we have a supply in stock so that orders are filled immediately. Please contact us at 212-828-2424 or afsi@rcn.com.

Helen Freedman
Executive Director
Americans for a Safe Israel

FDR And The Jews

Shameful Behavior

Gregory J. Wallance’s April 12 front-page essay (“FDR and the Jews – Time for Reconciliation?”), in which he reviews a new book by American University history professors Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, is all fair and balanced, presenting the good and the bad. But one line and one fact merit attention:

The line in question is this: “Still, Roosevelt reacted more decisively to Nazi crimes against Jews than any other world leader of his time.”

Pray tell, what world leader would that be? Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini or the Nazi and Communist puppets in various countries? Talk about setting the bar as low as it can go!

The fact in question is the behavior of the American Jew. From the wealthy assimilated Jews of The New York Times who buried news of the Holocaust to the average American Jew steeped in fear of anti-Semitism, the American Jewish community failed to fight for its own people as it later did for the civil rights movement for blacks in the South.

Before every Jew who lived through the Holocaust is dead, the American Jewish community needs to come to terms with its shameful behavior during the war years – with its cowardice and its collaboration and its being firmly ensconced in Roosevelt’s back pocket.

Ira Silverman
(Via E-Mail)

Bombing Auschwitz

Gregory Wallance claims it is “debatable” whether bombing Auschwitz would have “stopped the killings,” since “the SS and German police had shot Jews in large numbers before and after the use of gas chambers.”

At its peak, 12,000 Jews were gassed daily in Auschwitz. If the gas chambers had been damaged or destroyed by Allied bombers, that number would have been far smaller. Gassing was obviously a lot more efficient than shooting. That’s why the Germans started doing it in the first place.

So let’s say the mass murder would have been greatly reduced rather than halted altogether. Wouldn’t that have been worth a few Allied bombs? Why is Mr. Wallance going out of his way to make it seem as if the Roosevelt administration’s refusal to bomb Auschwitz was not such a big deal or wouldn’t have made any difference?

Glenn Richter
New York, NY

Mixed Feelings

I read Gregory Wallance’s excellent front-page essay with great interest. It has always been difficult for me to think about FDR and his role regarding the Jews during World War II.

I surely understood that he had the monumental task of running a war against a Nazi colossus that had amassed an unprecedented military capacity. He was also still dealing with the effects of the Great Depression. The fate of America and, by extension, the world as we knew it literally lay in his hands and he did succeed in defeating the Nazi threat to humanity.

So I recognized that he had to juggle the resources available to him in terms of time, domestic concerns and political capital and that what appeared to some to be indifference to the plight of European Jewry may have been, in reality, a function of human endurance. I am not one to really be able to judge. And I have read that his efforts to save Jews were greater than those of most other leaders.

On the other hand, despite Wallance’s often compelling analysis, I still have the troubling sense that FDR did not accord the proper priority to the suffering of the Jews even as he had to make difficult choices. He certainly did not give the impression that he spent an appreciable amount of time trying to address the ongoing attempt to systematically obliterate millions of human beings because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.

Eli Schwartz
(Via E-Mail)

FDR’s Responsibilities

I appreciated Gregory Wallance’s piece on FDR and I agree with him that it’s time we Jews recognize that those with great responsibilities – in FDR’s case the very survival of democracy – cannot always make Jewish interests their No.1 priority. Of course I think saving the life of even one Jew merits Herculean efforts, but we still have to appreciate that FDR had to worry about hundreds of millions of people.

If Mr. Wallance’s article is read carefully, it’s easy to see that the negative picture painted by many historians is somewhat distorted. For one thing, FDR did make attempts to save large numbers of Jews. As for his supposed insensitivity and not forcing his anti-Semitic State Department to be more involved, I would chalk that up to his doing what he thought he had to in order to grind the Nazis into the ground.

Michael Heller
(Via E-Mail)

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