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February 2, 2015 / 13 Shevat, 5775
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Letters To The Editor


Blaming the Victim?

In “Blaming the Victim” (op-ed, May 2nd) commenting on Lord Norman Lamont’s New York Post article
(“Terrorism as an excuse for lawyers to loot global banks”), Alan J. Bauer makes numerous misstatements about Arab Bank and the lawsuits against it:

*The Second Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule to maintain sanctions against the bank but judged that the issue was legally premature.

* We are not asking the Supreme Court to decide Arab Bank’s culpability, but whether we may present a jury with evidence and arguments of its innocence. The trial judge ruled against this.

* The New York office was not “shut down,” but converted to a “federal agency,” the US regulatory term for a bank that lends and facilitates international transactions but does not accept deposits. It remains open.

* Virtually all organizations with which the bank is accused of dealing were vetted by and received grants from the US government during the periods in question.

* Well before then, all US-based transactions were filtered against US lists, transactions elsewhere against lists in those jurisdictions.  In 2003, the bank voluntarily decided to use US lists at all foreign offices.

No one can read of the suffering terrorists brought to Dr. Bauer’s family without being shocked and moved, including, I am sure, Lord Lamont.  Those responsible should be fully prosecuted. If allowed to present our case, we believe juries will agree that Arab Bank is not among them.

Kevin Walsh
DLA Piper
New York, New York
The author of this Letter is one of the lead attorneys for Arab Bank in Arab Bank v. Linde.


Looking To Reunite Siddur And Shul

While visiting Flatbush a few weeks ago, I stopped at a local minyan to daven Maariv.

I noticed the siddur I was using (Hebrew/English ArtScroll Ashkenaz) was different from the rest of that shul’s siddurim.

Inside its cover was a sticker stating: “Property of Congregation Shaare Shalom, 472 Avenue P.”

I took the siddur with me, hoping to return it to its home.

However, I soon realized the address 472 Avenue P simply doesn’t exist.

Furthermore, I cannot find a record of a shul named Congregation Shaare Shalom in that neighborhood.

Please let me know (RabbiMales@Yahoo.com) if you can help me reunite this siddur with its shul.

Rabbi Akiva Males
Harrisburg, PA

Feckless Policy

Your June 6 editorial “The Neo-Isolationist President” suggested that the Obama administration make greater use of U.S. air power to “get the attention of our adversaries without the need to commit troops.”

Unfortunately, your wise proposal is not likely to be adopted by this administration. It has made clear that it prefers to negotiate with terrorist regimes (such as Iran, North Korea, and the new Palestinian Authority-Hamas alliance) and tolerate terrorist dictators (such as Syria’s Bashar Assad and Sudan’s Omar Bashir), rather than confront or challenge them.

The lesson for Israel is clear: the next time Arab armies begin mobilizing on its borders, don’t count on the Obama administration to intervene. President Obama will not have Israel’s back. And at that point, the crucial question will be whether Israel still has the strategic depth – provided by the Judea and Samaria regions – it needs to fend off an Arab invasion.

Moshe Phillips
Benyamin Korn
Members of the Board
Religious Zionists of America

Block Hamas/PA Funding

As most readers of The Jewish Press are well aware, both the PLO and Hamas charters still call for Israel’s destruction, and both entities refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist (“Netanyahu Rips Palestinian Unity Government,” news brief, June 6).

Yet the U.S. government is doing a dance with the devil, calling the Hamas leaders “technocrats” and expressing its intention to continue funding the new Palestinian unity government and pressuring Israel to negotiate with the murderers.

Fortunately, Representatives Michele Bachmann and Trent Franks are launching a new House Resolution designed to block funding to the PA/Hamas team. It seeks to designate the new PA unity government as a terror organization, thereby making it ineligible for U.S. taxpayer funding. The HR also asks that the PLO itself, without the Hamas connection, be re-designated as a foreign terrorist organization, one reason being the salaries offered to terrorists, incentivizing them to kill and bomb innocents.

The House Resolution, which is quite detailed, cites the $5 billion of U.S. taxpayer money given to the PA since 1993 and reminds us of the U.S. anti-terrorism Act of 2006 which stipulates that there can be no aid for the PA if it power shares with Hamas. The HR also lists the long record of PA violations: the 10,000 rockets against Israel by Hamas since 2007; the pursuit of statehood unilaterally at the UN; the promotion of anti-U.S., anti-Israel incitement, and the absence of elections in the PA.

Thanks are due to those elected officials who see the need for immediate action.

Helen Freedman
Executive Director
Americans for a Safe Israel

Underestimating Gay Inroads

In his letter (June 6) decrying my campaign that urged yeshivas to withdraw from the Celebrate Israel Parade rather than march alongside Jewish Queer Youth, reader Michael Brenner writes: “Modern Orthodoxy has actually evolved considerably from intolerable views” such as mine.

Brenner neatly captures the modus operandi successfully employed by the gay rights movement: rather than being defenders of traditional morality, I and my supporters are “intolerant” and stand in the way of an “evolution” of social mores.

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