Satmar Is No Better Than J Street
I was extremely disappointed that The Jewish Press would publish an op-ed by Jay Lakritz that amounted to a weak attempt to excuse the behavior of those in our community who won’t recognize or acknowledge the State of Israel and the incredible IDF.
Lakritz fails to say that, thanks to the generosity of the State of Israel, there is more Torah learning going on than ever in our history. He fails to say that if not for the IDF, all of those “anti-Zionist” Jews would be slaughtered in their beds daily. He fails to say that thanks to the generosity of the State of Israel, thousands of Jews are given stipends to support themselves.
Where is the hakoras hatov? Not even a tefillah for the soldiers of the IDF! I am sorry, but in my opinion these anti-Zionists are no better than Lakritz’s so-called political anti-Zionists.
The Far Left Is Much Worse Than Satmar
Another wonderful article (“Not All Anti Zionists Are Created Equal”) by Jay Lakritz.
Throughout the years, I have come across both secular liberal Jews as well as Satmar chassidim. And while I may get upset with the Satmars’ stance on Israel at times, it pales in comparison to the vitriol, and hate-filled rhetoric of many on the hard left, which unfortunately many non-Orthodox millennial Jews belong to today.
Kudos to Mr. Lakritz on another very timely, well-written article.
Why Don’t The Lactose-Intolerant March?
I read the letter written by Mr. Greenberg, and boy, oh boy, is he right!
Does the lactose-intolerant community demand to be legally recognized? Does it parade in the streets and demand that all dairy consumers join it? Does it demand that dairy establishments cater to its needs? No. Because the lactose intolerant community is tolerant of others and the LGBTQ+ community is the exact opposite.
Kudos, Mr. Greenberg!
We Ought To View Sinners With Nuance
In a letter last month, I argued that we, as Jews, should not paint others with broad strokes of hate; that our faith requires us to apply empathy and nuance in thinking about those around us, even if they differ from us politically, ethnically, racially, or otherwise.
Reader Josh Greenberger responded by painting an entire group of people with broad strokes, devoid of that nuance and empathy, claiming that a sinner in his eyes no longer deserves the basic respect we humans extend to one another. He further claims that all members of a particular group are “arrogant and insolent,” their only purpose seemingly being to run us out of our jobs and religion.
By advancing such an extreme position, one does nothing other than propagate hate; one does not foster any sort of peace or understanding. Casting aside anyone we deem to be a sinner is not a Jewish idea.
As we leave the period of the Three Weeks and enter that of the Yamim Noraim, we need to take a look at how we conduct ourselves and ask if our words and actions are leading to a better world or just self-serving.
No, Red Meat Is Not Healthy
In an interview in last week’s paper, Nina Teicholz claims that the American Heart Association no longer says we should follow a low-fat diet and even argues that butter, liver, and red meat are healthy.
Every cardiologist I have spoken to says just the reverse. And the guidelines I found on the website of the American Heart Association, “Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations,” does suggest we should eat a low-fat diet, limiting our intake of red meat to lean pieces and only two to three times a week.
Before anyone follows Ms. Teicholz’s advice, I suggest they check with their cardiologist.
We Think He Praiseth Too Much
Wow, I still can’t get over last week’s issue of The Jewish Press. Elliot Resnick’s interview with Nina Teicholz informed me that I can now eat all the fat I want without cholesterol concerns. The article by Mr. Blum on the development of sweet proteins assured me that these new proteins will dissolve diabetic doubts and I’ll be able to eat all the sweets I want. And the halachic ruling by Rabbi Hershel Schachter eased my worries of salt from Sodom in my food.
I can now look forward to living to 120 and enjoying a life full of steaks and cakes free from any stress of consuming fat, sugar, or sodium from Sodom.
Los Angeles, CA
Stop Whitewashing Trump’s Behavior
In your editorial last week, you argue that critics of Trump’s performance at Helsinki want to restrict him. No, they want him to do a less servile job in dealing with Putin’s aggression.
You claim that Trump at Helsinki was somehow masterfully pursuing “a hierarchy of goals, playing one off against the other.” Really? Is that why Trump – who has been critical of just about every American ally, not to mention dozens of American organizations, journalists, FBI officials, and more – can never once manage to find a negative thing to say about Vladimir Putin, who tried to meddle in our election in 2016 and is planning to do so again?
Is that why Trump trusts Putin’s word over his own appointed intelligence chiefs?
I, for one, will trust the word of Trump’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, who said: “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy…. It’s undeniable that the Russians are taking the lead on this…. They are the ones trying to wreak havoc over our election process.”
As for the one-on-one meeting Trump had with Putin before the infamous press conference, Coats said last week: “I’m not in a position to either understand fully or talk about [it].”
I know The Jewish Press likes to present the Trump-Putin relationship as “everything-is-normal, nothing-to-see-here,” but when Trump’s director of national intelligence doesn’t fully understand what Trump and Putin spoke about, there is something rotten going on, and you’d be wise to take another – this time skeptical – look at the situation.
Democrats Are Abandoning Israel
Re “We Dare Not Let Ocasio-Cortez Represent the Future” (op-ed, 8-3): While the views of Ocasio-Cortez are of concern, more important is the direction of the Democratic Party whose leaders espouse her philosophy.
Ever since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, there has been a steady drift in the Democratic Party toward favoring the Palestinian Arabs over Israel.
Acts of terror by the PLO and even Hamas were routinely ignored during Obama’s tenure and blamed on Israel. Whether Obama was following the lead of his far left mentors or initiating the anti-Israel barrage is unimportant. What’s important is that it happened.
Considering the current drift of the new leaders of the Democratic Party toward the PLO and Hamas, Jews concerned about the future of Israel should show their displeasure at the ballot box.
Steep Bridge Tolls Are Coming
Allow me to add to the always insightful “Albany Beat” by Marc Gronich in reference to transportation: Remember how proud Governor Cuomo was when the new Tappan Zee Bridge opened? He made a cold political calculation by promising not to raise the tolls when running for another term in 2018.
But to pay back the $1.6 billion federal loan and $1 billion New York Thruway Authority Bond that helped finance the $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge – plus up to $900 million in final bills to the contractor – tolls will have to go up by double or more over several years. Moody’s Investment Services estimates tolls will go up to $7.60 by 2021 and $15 by 2026.
Cuomo reminds me of Wimpy who famously said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Taxpayers and Metropolitan Transportation Authority riders will have to deal with higher fares, taxes, more debt, and borrowing in coming years to cover the costs of all of Cuomo’s transportation improvements.
Great Neck, NY
Editor’s note: The write is a transportation historian, advocate, and writer who worked for 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.