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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Fay Dicker’

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

History Repeating?

I found Abraham Rabinovich’s account of the lead-up to the Six-Day War (“An Unintended Conquest,” front page essay, May 18) extremely moving. What was most compelling about the piece – in addition to its depiction of the great valor of Israel’s soldiers – was the lesson that in the final analysis, Israel must take ultimate responsibility for its own security.

As Rabinovich reminds us, the U.S. counseled patience and promised Israel military support if it were attacked. Maybe the Johnson administration would have fulfilled that promise, but the outcome of the war was dramatically determined by Israel’s decision to follow its own lights.

Indeed, Rabnovich’s account of President Johnson’s pressure on Prime Minister Eshkol “to desist from military action in order to give the international community time to resolve the problem” sounds very much like the situation today with regard to U.S. policy on Iran.

Michael Zilber New York, NY

Seeing Both Sides

The controversy over the Tal law is generating more heat than light (“Israel’s New Coalition Government Showing Early Strains Over Tal Law,” front page news story, May 18).

Opponents of deferments for yeshiva students need to address the fact that most Western countries, including the United States, have similar rules for religious school students. They should also explore how a Jewish state that bases its legitimacy on Divine Providence could place restrictions on the right to study God’s Torah or abandon the concept that learning Torah mightily contributes to Israel’s security.

They should also reconsider their complaint that haredi youth do not have their lives disrupted the way non-haredi youth do when they serve in the army. After all, haredi youth are essentially stagnant in terms of secular careers and so generally do not compete for jobs with non-haredi young people.

On the other hand, it’s hard to quarrel with parents of Israel’s non-haredi youth who ask why their children should be put in harm’s way while their haredi counterparts are not.

Cynthia Niss (Via E-Mail)

Doctoring Documents (I)

Kudos to The Jewish Press for continuing to shine the spotlight on President Obama’s insistence on playing fast and loose with our country’s laws and traditions (“Doctoring Documents Postscript,” editorial, May 18). The mainstream media obviously aren’t interested and other Jewish publications are seemingly afraid of being perceived as too critical of Obama.

Keith Adler Sacramento, CA

Doctoring Documents (II)

It is surely the height of hypocrisy and hubris for Obama administration officials to engage in such nefarious – if not actually illegal – actions of “scrubbing” all references to “Jerusalem, Israel” in Bush-era documents and arrogantly assuming they can get away with it.

The incontrovertible mendacity in this flagrant attempt to deny Israel’s valid 3,000-year-old claim to Jerusalem and the deliberate falsification of government records should elicit harsh criticism from all quarters.

Fay Dicker Lakewood, NJ

Wait And See

Now that Prime Minister Netanyahu has established himself as the leader of a coalition that for the present holds 94 out of the 120 seats in the Knesset, it will be important to see what his agenda will be and whether the parties on the right as well as members of his own Likud Party will endorse or reject that program. Certainly the addition of a split Kadima Party with limited prospects for maintaining its 28 Knesset seats was a boon not only to Netanyahu but to Kadima, which was facing a very uncertain electoral future.

For the future, it will be important to note whether the party platform of Kadima becomes secondary to that of the Likud or shares equal status. Israeli voters, while giving Kadima a slight numerical advantage over Likud, veered to the right in the 2008 elections granting the conservative parties control based on a more forceful approach to negotiations and further enlargement of Jewish cities and towns beyond the temporary pre-1967 armistice lines.

The first test of the new Netanyahu coalition will be its attitude toward the “settlements.” The second will be whether it chooses to weaken its negotiating stance vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority. And, finally, the third will be its response to the Iranian nuclear bomb program. Then and only then will we know whether the security of Israel has been enhanced or diminished by the formation of the coalition.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Romney Versus Obama

In refreshing contrast to President Obama’s recent and belated (and no doubt temporary) change of course in his Mideast policy, it seems clear we can expect a decidedly pro-Israel policy from Mitt Romney from the moment he takes office (“Romney Triumph Signals Return to Traditional GOP Foreign Policy Approach,” front page news story, April 20).

In fact, it was not too long ago that Romney said it would be inappropriate for an American president to make decisions about the Middle East without consulting the Israeli prime minister, for which he was roundly criticized.

Arthur Bergman (Via E-Mail)

 

Bibi And Hebron (I)

Thank you for publicizing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s earlier statements on Hebron and showing how they differ from his current attitude (“The Hebron Expulsion,” editorial, April 20).

Not that anyone should be surprised. Despite his stated commitment to give his all to protect the Jewish interests in the oldest Jewish city in the world, he gave away more of it in his first term as prime minister than any other Israeli prime minister before or since.

And now he is acquiescing to the turnover of buildings there to Arabs – even buildings owned by Jews. How can there be any question about who owns Beit HaMachpela when an Arab has been sentenced to death for selling the property to the Jew claiming ownership? It is a scandal. Things are not looking good for Israel’s future with this kind of leadership.

Yerachmiel Gordon Jerusalem

 

Bibi And Hebron (II)

Your editorial was justly critical of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose pledges of support for Hebron in 1994 and 1995 belied his current craven capitulation to Ehud Barak’s blatantly political decision to forcibly remove the Jewish occupants of Beit HaMachpela even before the “legitimacy of the purchase” was investigated and verified.

The ultimate betrayal was that this forced evacuation of Jews was carried out just days before Pesach, leaving scant time to find alternative accommodations and despite a mutual agreement to delay the eviction.

Barak’s confession that his decision was primarily based on his anti-settler mindset – “I won’t allow settlers to dictate how the government runs the country” – raises the question of whether the current Israeli government represents all Israelis.

Sadly, Bibi in effect colluded with self-aggrandizing Barak by piously pontificating that “no one is above the law,” thereby relegating his previous Hebron promises null and void.

Fay Dicker Lakewood, NJ

 

Bibi And Hebron (III)

I will never understand why the Israeli government accepts the claims of Arab ownership, even from those who have valid deeds. Why doesn’t Israel follow the American model of monetary compensation for disputed land rather than land transfers?

No one would dream of saying the U.S. has to return downtown Denver to some Indian tribe. Compensation is another thing, though. That’s what you call nation-building, especially when the “occupied land” was seized in a war the other side began in an attempt to destroy the state of Israel.

Sharon Weissman (Via E-Mail)

 

Editorial ‘Way Too Kind’

You were way too kind to Hilary Rosen (“Hilary Rosen on Women,” editorial, April 20).

While I can appreciate trying to cast her comments in the best possible light so that your criticism would be all the more compelling, others in the media had no problem slamming her without any qualifiers for her slur of stay-at-home moms.

Perhaps your criticism was more pointed – you were right that it wasn’t quite that simple a matter – but I don’t think you captured the moment, certainly not the political one. Her attitude is representative of elitist feminists who look down their snooty noses at women who live a more traditional lifestyle. Remember Hillary Clinton’s arrogant statement, when Bill was first running for president in 1992, about her decision not to stay home and bake cookies?

Martin Sarles Los Angeles

 

The Academic Left And Israel

Dr. Richard L. Cravatts (“How the Academic Left Came to Hate Israel,” front page essay, April 20) offered an interesting take on the anti-Zionist/anti-Jewish academic Left.

To my mind, however, that ilk is substantially made up of those who rebelled against the political and perhaps religious orthodoxy of their day and saw academia as an acceptable way out. Israel, as a close ally of the U.S. and a military power in its own right, was natural fodder for individuals desperate to identify with so-called oppressed peoples in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Ellen Klineman (Via E-Mail)

 

MDA And The Star Of David

Jonathan Feldstein’s carefully nuanced and seemingly fact-filled opinion piece on the Magen David Adom controversy (“Truth, Lies, and Saving Lives,” op-ed, April 2) left me wondering. It’s still not clear to me as to why the Star of David standing alone is no longer MDA’s identifying symbol across the board, and what it was that prompted the change? Was it the agreement with the International Red Cross? Or is there another reason? It really should be a simple question to answer.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Actions Speak Louder…

Re “What Does It Mean to Be Pro-Israel?” (op-ed, March 23):

While many individuals and organizations claim to be pro-Israel, their actions belie that stance. M. J. Rosenberg, one of the writers mentioned by author Jonathan Tobin, has for many years now been launching virulent attacks against Israel, first with a syndicated weekly column and more recently with the liberal organization Media Matters.

Unfortunately, false pro-Israel claims are not limited to individuals but are also made by organizations such as Peace Now, J Street, and the New Israel Fund (among numerous others). Either they are self-delusional in their claims of being pro-Israel or they are deliberately downplaying their hostility to Israel. Nelson Marans Silver Spring, MD

Obama’s New Approach

One would have to be irredeemably credulous and naive to believe that Obama’s “new and more restrained approach” to Israel’s valid security imperatives stems from anything other than the urgent need to regain support of Jewish voters and especially donors in his reelection campaign (“New Focus on Obama and Israel,” editorial, March 23).

It is surely axiomatic that actions speak louder than words – even a carefully crafted speech to AIPAC – and it is surely a given that Obama’s animus toward Israel will resurface if he is reelected. Fay Dicker Lakewood, NJ

The Lesson From Egypt

The lower Parliament of Egypt unanimously voted that “Egypt will never be the friend or ally of the Zionist entity which we consider the first enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation.”

The Parliament also called upon the government “to revise all its relations and agreements with that enemy” and further declared that Egypt should pull its ambassador from Tel Aviv and immediately end natural gas exports to Israel.

This is not the final word from Egypt. The upper Parliament can refuse to follow the lower Parliament’s vote.

Unfortunately, Israel can only watch and wait to see whether the other shoe will drop to virtually end its “peace” with Egypt. Israel will also have to adjust its defensive and offensive postures pertaining to Egypt.

This vote demonstrates that an agreement with a Muslim country’s secular government can be a worthless document if Islamists take control of the country.

This is an inkling of what could happen to any agreement between Israel and a secular Palestinian entity. William K. Langfan Palm Beach, FL

Laws Regarding Modesty

In response to reader Laurie Dinnerstein-Kurs (Letters, March 16):

Although women have “thoughts” too, there is one major difference between the genders that I don’t need to spell out here; let’s just say it can cause a man to commit what according to halacha is a very serious transgression.

What is incomprehensible to me, however, is that you would pit your human intellect against your omniscient Creator, who mandated the laws of tznius, mechitza, and kol isha. Did it ever occur to you that maybe He knows something you don’t?

Your Creator is obligating you and all Jewish women to exercise restraint in those areas, and if you fail to comply with His directives because you feel inconvenienced, restricted and burdened then you are the one who has a serious problem, and that is very sad.

Men are required to avoid situations that could compromise the purity of their eyes and thoughts, but women are required to avoid behaviors that could cause Jewish men to stumble.

Having said that, I believe the men in Beit Shemesh were totally out of line and their behavior was not condoned by the rabbis. Chavi Hornig Brooklyn, NY

One Big Jewish Family

On Thursday, February 16, I witnessed something absolutely beautiful. The previous day I had received a phone call from a young man asking if he could bring a group of twenty teenaged boys to Kesher Israel Congregation – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Orthodox synagogue – on Thursday.

He explained that they were touring in the area, and while they could recite their morning prayers in their nearby hotel, they wanted to stop by in order to have a late-morning Thursday Torah reading. I told the caller our shul would gladly welcome his group.

When the group arrived, everything fell into place. The boys were all members of Panama’s Jewish community. While touring America for close to three weeks, they were on their way to Baltimore. After enjoying the previous afternoon on the slopes of a nearby skiing facility, they had spent the night in a nearby hotel.

The boys were all very respectful, well behaved, and got a real kick out of Blackie (our secretary’s trusty dog – a fixture in the shul’s weekday lobby). The group was of Sephardic origin, and I really enjoyed watching them take out and read from the Torah according to their customs. Our Torah was soon returned to the ark amid calls of “chazak u’baruch!” and “gracias!” I shared a short d’var Torah with the group, and they left in good spirits to tour Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Teaching Tolerance

I think it was fortuitous that the op-ed article by Yael Armstrong (“Divided and Broken,” Jan. 6) appeared on the same page as the excellent one by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz.

Ms. Armstrong seems very sincere, but she is sadly mistaken if she thinks the way to teach her children tolerance for all Jews is to send them to educational institutions of Conservative Judaism, a movement that advocates changing and amending many of the eternal precepts of our Torah.

If one follows the Torah he or she will learn that “Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths lead to peace.” No need to change the Torah or assume that the actions of misguided zealots are a true reflection of Torah philosophy.

The final paragraph of Rabbi Horowitz’s article (“Raising More Tolerant Children”) suggests a much wiser way to teach tolerance for other Jews – namely, that families visit various Orthodox shuls in the community and thereby show the children that while the congregants serve Hashem in somewhat different ways, all are following our Torah.

Nachum Myers (Via E-Mail)

 

Iranian Mindset

Re “More Bluster From Iran” (editorial, Jan. 6):

We who have grown up in the Western, English speaking tradition have a hard time appreciating that not everybody shares our concept of rational decision-making. Thus, as you point out, Iran’s current behavior strongly suggests that the usual notions of nuclear deterrence are not part of the Caliphate-fundamentalist-martyrdom mindset of Iran’s mullahs.

For Iran to possess nuclear weapons and the capacity for the harm they would cause is unthinkable. James Richardson Austin, TX

 

Muslim Discontent

The Muslim boycott of Mayor Bloomberg’s breakfast,” (editorial, Jan. 6) reminds me of the recent controversy over Congressman Peter King’s scheduling of hearings to investigate the unusual number of terrorist acts emanating from the Muslim community.

Then too, the argument was made that the general Muslim community was put under a microscope because of the excesses of a few. Yet no one – despite the constant harping on alleged Muslim discontent over the alleged infringement of that community’s civil rights – has pointed to individual injustices arising out of the hearings or the NYPD partnership with the CIA.

All anyone can see is the spectacular success in thwarting terrorist acts attempted by Muslims. Esther Farber New York, NY

 

Women In Israel

Steven Plaut (“The Truth About Women in Israel,” op-ed, Jan. 6) offered a scathing indictment of Secretary of State Clinton’s recent complaints concerning the treatment of women in Israel. Of course, when it comes to the very real abuse of women in Arab and Muslim countries, Clinton suffers from a self-inflicted case of blindness.

One need only compare what Arab women face – certain death by stoning for adultery, apostasy and homosexuality, and lashes for driving a car or exiting their homes without a male family member escort – with the “fate” of Israeli women, who can aspire to be judges, members of Knesset, doctors, lawyers, high level army officers, etc., to recognize that putative “champions” of freedom and democracy like Ms. Clinton seem inclined to dispense very selective censure, focusing only on Israel’s illusory abuse of women.

This undeniable chutzpah is anathema to true defenders of women’s rights worldwide.

Fay Dicker Lakewood, NJ

 

Religious Extremism In Israel

Useful Points

As someone who firmly identifies himself as haredi, I believe “An Obscenity in Jerusalem” (editorial, Jan. 6) made a number of very useful points that are being lost in the justified dismay over those extremists and their outrageous actions that are getting all the media attention.

My personal goal is to live a Torah-true life and that means I will fight, through the political process, for my family and others like us to have the full freedom to do so. This does not mean we can ride roughshod over those who disagree with us. But it also does not mean we are somehow not entitled to advocate our views and urge their adoption. Similarly, those who disagree with us are entitled to pursue their agenda.

I also believe it inconsistent that the zealots would so shrilly challenge the Israeli government over particular policies while at the same time maintaining that any government of Israel is devoid of legitimacy until the coming of Mashiach. By their own beliefs, the government owes them no special duty.

Shmuel Gordon Jerusalem

 

Bad For Israel’s Image

As your editorial “An Obscenity in Jerusalem” put it, the vile acts of a minority of extremist haredim in Israel are “destructive to the interests of Klal Yisrael.”

These haredim not only caused a global chillul Hashem but they are also a threat to Israel’s national security. In the Toronto Public Library I found such prominent newspapers as Australia’s Sidney Morning Herald, Dublin’s Irish Times and Switzerland’s Neue Zurcher Zeitung highlighting the lunacy of these fanatics.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-194/2012/01/11/

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