The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
When Sharon Was Sharon
Some words from Ariel Sharon’s 1995 eulogy for Ofrah Felix, who was murdered by terrorists:
“I remember her as a little girl in the Shomron horizons, one of the followers of this beautiful and difficult land. How can we eulogize a 19 year old girl? A girl who is a sacrifice to concessions and surrender to terrorism, to Jewish weakness, to the loss of the sense of our
right to the land…”
“I know that these are harsh words, but no words are too harsh when these murderous acts have become a daily fare, and when a government in Jerusalem transfers responsibility for Jewish lives to a Palestinian terrorist organization… And the situation is getting worse, because despite the fact that the [Oslo] agreement has failed, as could have been predicted, the government continues its efforts to give over the authorities and pieces of our homeland to the war criminal Arafat.
“The government is hoping that the settlers? spirit will fall, that their faith will break, that they will want to leave… I know them for more than 20 years, and I know: Their spirit will not fall, and their faith will not break. Governments will fall and will arise, but the settlers will remain here forever, and will continue to build beautiful communities…
“I see the next generation, the generation of Ofrah, and I see that they are no less [strong] than their parents. There is a continuance. They lead in the settlement enterprise; they lead in the army; they lead in love of the land and in self- sacrifice. For them, Zionism is not yet over, and they still have a long way to go. For them, the Shomron hills, the mountains of Judea and the sands of Katif and Netzarim are not just a historic right but also a true home.”
May these words go before Mr. Sharon?s eyes and his conscience.
As a health care professional, I am alarmed by the high prevalence of alcohol abuse in our community, especially over the recent holidays. Perhaps people are not aware of the serious health consequences of chronic alcoholism. Increased consumption of alcohol increases the risk of hypertension, Alzheimer’s Disease, pancreatitis, impotence and cardiomyopathy (congestive heart failure).
Alcoholism greatly increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and pancreas. The incidence of depression, divorce, suicide, and motor vehicle accidents are much higher in alcoholics. And, of course, liver disease. Almost all cirrhosis (end stage liver failure) in the United States is due to alcoholism.
But there is one disease that is very common among Orthodox Jews. It takes its name from the longest river in Africa – denial. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol dependence, don’t be an ostrich. Get professional help.
Ariel Fischer, M.D., F.A.C.P.
With great dismay I’ve read about the genocide in the Darfur province of the Sudan, where the government-supported Arab Janjaweed militia massacres black Africans.
The killings are an act of racial cleansing in the highest degree. This is supported by the fact that the persecuted black Africans share the same religion and language but are not of the same color as the marauding Arab nomads and their supporters.
I’m equally dismayed by the reaction – or rather the non-reaction – of an African-American community that is so quick to condemn Israel for defending its citizens against Arab terrorists.
In light of what is happening in Sudan, I would strongly suggest that Louis Farrakhan and his followers closely examine the situation and conclude who their friends really are. Certainly they are not the Muslim marauders, the killers of black Africans
Far Rockaway, NY
Defending The President
Removal Of Saddam
It is unfortunate that Richard H. Schwartz (Letters, Oct. 1) continues to obfuscate the issues in claiming that John Kerry would be better for Israel than President Bush.
The confusion is understandable when one merely looks at their respective verbal overtures of support for the Jewish state; however, to really understand how the two candidates size up, one need look no further than Kerry’s inability to justify Saddam Hussein’s removal from power given the current cost of war in Iraq vs. Bush’s unswerving resolve to eliminate this brutal dictator from the world scene despite those costs.
From an Israeli standpoint, one cannot ignore the enormous impediment this has been to the Palestinian homicide bomber movement.
If Saddam’s $25,000 cash award to families of homicide bombers seems like a small payout for giving up one’s life, some simple math can put it all into perspective. According to the most recent survey of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the average yearly wage of a Palestinian worker is (NIS) 17,496. Based on the most recent rate of exchange, that translates into (U.S.) $3,916. Compare that to the average yearly salary of an American worker of $37,764.
In other words, a lump sum of $25,000 would be the equivalent of close to six-and-a-half years’ salary for the average Palestinian, or in U.S. terms, almost $250,000. That’s a pretty big enticement that prospective Palestinian homicide bombers no longer have, thanks to President Bush. If John Kerry were president, that deadly incentive would still very much be a viable one today.
Was removing Saddam Hussein from power the primary cause of the reduction in homicide bombings against Israel since his demise? Probably not. But was it a contributing factor? You bet it was.
West Hempstead, NY
‘Foremost Destroyer Of Israel’s Enemies’
Three years ago America was brutally reminded of the dangers we face from hate-filled extremists. Our response to the attacks on our soil has been to remove two regimes that President Bush deemed threats and sponsors of the terrorism that imperils us and Israel.
Some call invading Iraq a mistake. I think not. Beyond allowing terrorists harbor and training on his own soil throughout the 1990’s (the butcher Zarqawi and Abu Abbas, the thug who killed a wheelchair-bound American Jew on a hijacked ocean liner, are two prominent examples), Saddam Hussein was among the world’s foremost terrorists and sponsors. He had a standing reward for families of Palestinian suicide bombers and tried to outdo them by shooting Scud missiles at Israel. He kept an airliner for hijacking practice at a training camp in Iraq and used chemical WMD on the Iranians and on his own Kurdish population.
Hussein defied the UN for eleven years and we gave him an additional year in what some insist on calling a “hasty” buildup to the invasion.
Hussein employed biological-weapons scientists. In these perilous times, we couldn’t afford to wait any longer and we couldn’t leave him alone. All civilized people, especially Jews with concern for Israel, should rejoice at his ouster and be grateful to the one responsible.
But I recently received an e-mail from a strong supporter of Israel who gratuitously mocked the president. I replied that it was hard for me to understand how folks with such love for Israel could be so negative toward the world’s foremost destroyer of Israel’s enemies.
Each terrorist who dies in Iraq is one less to invade our shores or board a bus in Jerusalem. Libya took notice of the war and gave up its nuclear ambitions. Pakistan is now apprehending terrorists. Mullahs in Iran and Ba’athists in Syria are desperately repressing the popular unrest that’s being fueled by the unfolding of freedom next door. Just having our forces on the Iranian and Syrian borders justifies the war in Iraq, as no war on terrorism will ever be won until those governments no longer exist in their present form. All this is a direct result of President Bush’s decision to remove Saddam Hussein.
If we’re serious about eliminating those that would do to each of us what they did to Leon Klinghoffer or Daniel Pearl or the victims of 9/11, then rooting out terrorists wherever they lurk is our only option.
I realize that John Kerry will easily win the majority of the Jewish vote (even though a recent Israeli poll shows that Israelis support Bush almost three to one), but it would be nice if more American Jews recognized President Bush and the present-day Republican Party as the allies they are.
Left-Wing Candidate Of A Left-Wing Party
The Democratic Party of 2004 is no longer the party of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Scoop Jackson. Those Democrats firmly stood for a strong central government, a moral foreign policy and for national defense. These policies have augured well for Israel, the Jewish people and America.
However, the party is now led by Kerry, Edwards, Dean, Kucinich, and Sharpton and represents policies of isolationism, class distinctions, and a weak national defense. Kerry’s foreign policy record demonstrates that he is in this far-left category.
Over the past three decades, Kerry has consistently sided with Communist Vietnam against the interests of the United States. In 1971, he led the Veterans Against the Vietnam War. In 1972, he personally brought the Viet Cong negotiation positions to President Nixon from the Paris talks. As a senator, in 2003 he blocked the Vietnam Human Rights Bill which attempted to ameliorate human rights conditions in Vietnam. He also supported open trade with Vietnam in 1993 without demanding much in return for the United States.
Kerry has shown a consistent pattern of trying to block a strong defense for the United States including voting against planes, armor for the troops in Iraq and missile systems. He believes in the far-left view that the U.S. is an imperialist country. In his sweeping indictment of all Vietnam veterans – and indeed the United States military – at his infamous Senate hearing in April 1971, he used language typical of the radical left
Furthermore, Kerry emphatically stated in the first debate that as president he would look to the UN and to Europe, and would subject U.S. foreign policy to a ‘global test.’ Israel’s existence is in danger if it is subject to a “global test.”
Surveys show that only 26 percent of registered Democrats support Israel in its current conflict with its neighbors; while 73 percent of Republicans support Israel. Republican Senators like Brownback from Kansas and Sessions from Alabama are now in the forefront of support for Israel. Approximately 70 percent of Americans living in Israel are voting for President Bush.
Let us not be distracted by Democratic social policies, or wrap ourselves in moral platitudes concerning domestic issues. Congress effectuates domestic policy. No president can create jobs. The exclusive domain of the Executive Office is foreign policy. President Bush’s response to the horrific events of 9/11 initiated the first major American offensive against Islamic extremism.
President Clinton gave the terrorists, including Arafat and Bin Laden, a pass. President Bush, on the other hand, has surrounded himself, at the highest policy levels, with persons sensitive to American and Israeli security and whom the far-left radicals categorize as “neocons” (an anti-Semitic innuendo).
Jewish voters gave Ronald Reagan 40 percent of our vote in 1980 and thereby helped defeat the anti-Israel, anti-national defense Carter administration. It worked out well for Israel, the U.S. and the world in the 1980’s.
This year let us show our gratitude to President George W. Bush.
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