Eye On Kerry

I appreciate the careful scrutiny of John Kerry that one finds in your editorials and among many of your columnists. This is one shifty, arrogant politician, and I fear for America’s future – and, by extension, Israel’s – should he be elected president. Kerry’s wife is another potential problem – the groups to which she gives huge amounts of money are disproportionately leftist and not exactly friendly to Israel.

Please don’t let up keeping your eye on Kerry. Publicize every mean-spirited attack he makes against President Bush and every flip-flop he performs as he tries to fudge his decades-old record as one of the most liberal men in American public life.

Eileen Fuchs
New York, NY

Unfair Criticism Of Clinton Administration

I must take issue with your April 2 editorial excoriating the Clinton administration for not mounting a military campaign against Al Qaeda after the 1998 embassy bombings because of its fear that “such a move would not have been supported by the international community.”

Hindsight is 20-20. The fact of the matter is that the Clinton administration took terrorism quite seriously. I don’t recall any opponents of President Clinton condemning him at the time for not
being tough enough on terrorism. Nor is there any recollection of then Governor Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign criticizing the administration for being soft on terror. On the
contrary, the administration was widely praised for its handling of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Within a matter of days, the major suspects were apprehended and, soon after, the plot to bomb New York’s bridges and tunnels was foiled with the arrest of Sheikh

Yes, it is plainly obvious with post-9/11 hindsight that both the Clinton and Bush administrations should have done more. But it is disingenuous to blame only the Clinton administration when clearly the current administration did not expand upon the Clinton
administration’s anti-terrorism efforts pre- 9/11, and, in fact, may have actually de-emphasized U.S. anti-terrorism policy, at least according to former presidential adviser Richard Clarke.

Not only would U.S. military action in 1998 not have had the support of the international community, it would not have had the support of the American people, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld readily admitted in his testimony before the 9/11 commission. Just as it took the attack on Pearl Harbor for President Roosevelt to get our country into World War II, it unfortunately took the devastation of September 11 to make Americans realize just how
serious the threat from terrorism really is.

Yeruchim Silber
Brooklyn, NY

Danger From Muslim Extremists In U.S.

According to a recent study by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), 80-85 percent of Muslim mosques in America preach extremist views. Imagine if 80-85 percent of white Christian churches held Ku Klux Klan rallies and supported racist white groups. The media would be going crazy, and rightfully so. So the question is, why are the media silent when comes to addressing the Islamic extremism that most mosques in America preach?

Consider: If 80-85 percent of mosques hold extremist views, that probably means that 85 percent of the mosques were celebrating when the twin towers fell. If that thought doesn’t get you mad and make you want to stop Islamic extremism in the United States, then maybe you should move to Saudi Arabia.

It is high time that our government address the issue of Islamic extremism in America’s mosques. Only a handful of elected officials are willing to strongly tackle the Muslim extremists in this country. One of them is Rep. King. Please e-mail him at pete.king@mail.house.gov and urge him to continue tackling the deadly and dangerous issue of Muslim extremists on our shores. Maybe, we can organize protests outside the hateful mosques that support the slaughter of non-Muslims. Or better yet, maybe the FBI could raid those mosques that spew Islamic extremist views.

After the mosques that support terror are confronted, we must immediately stop legal and illegal immigration from Muslim countries that are breeding grounds for Islamic extremist views. The last thing America needs is even more terrorists and their supporters living in our country. Sooner or later, we will suffer the consequences for our actions – or our inaction. And, I can assure you, those consequences will be deadly.

Tim Caravello
(Via E-Mail)

Remembering Atzmona

As students, we sit at our desks in our constant quest for academic excellence. We thirst to gain greater knowledge as we study and benefit from the wisdom of our teachers.

Imagine the following scenario: You are studying late one night when suddenly you hear a loud bang. Soon after, chaos breaks loose. At first you are bewildered. You run to the door to see what is going on. To your horror, you are in the line of fire of a terrorist’s machine gun. Providentially for you, you are protected by a concrete doorpost. Many others are not as lucky. There are no weapons in the study hall; therefore, you are unable to stop the terrorist from massacring your fellow students. The terrorist throws grenades into the room. You quickly run to a corner and pray to G-d that all of you will survive.

Moments later, you see a grenade land five feet from you. You stare at it for what seems like hours, not knowing when it will explode and end your life. Fearing the inevitability of disaster, you cover your head and pray once again. Abruptly it blows up. Sharp pain spreads throughout your body. Suddenly, you are soaring through the air. When the helicopter arrives at Tel Hashomer Hospital you are rushed into the emergency room. Your chest and your arms are in horrible pain. The doctors explain to you that you had been sprayed with shrapnel. You suffered hearing loss in both ears, and nerve damage to the left side of your body. Your arms took most of the damage, but one piece had hit the center of your chest. No exit wound was found. The doctors say there was no shrapnel in your chest. They tell you that, miraculously, it bounced off your sternum.

This sounds like a nightmare that could never transpire. My friend Netanel Bluth would probably have said the same thing. Unfortunately, it happened to him.

On March 7, 2002 a terrorist penetrated the community of Atzmona in Gush Katif. This hate-filled individual waited for four hours, until the study hall was full of students. He then kicked down the door, threw at least five grenades, and started firing his automatic assault rifle. Twenty-three students were injured. Five were killed.

Last month, on the anniversary of this act of terror, my thoughts turned to my friend’s suffering. I thanked the Almighty for his miraculous recovery. Concurrently, my prayers were extended on behalf of those who were not as fortunate. I understand that I will never truly comprehend the loss that terror victims and their families endure. I will, however, remember the five students murdered that evening, the 24th of Adar. They were Asher Marcus, Tal Kurtzvail, Eran Picard, Arik Robiak, and Ariel Zana, zichronam l’vracha.

May their memories help me understand the horror generated by the appeasement of terrorists. At the same time, may I truly appreciate the enormity of the Jewish sacrifice for our holy land.

Joshua M. Rolnick
(Tenth Grade)
Houston, TX