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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Foxman’

What About the Defamation of Pollard?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Recently, the Anti-Defamation League, along with several other pro-Israel and Zionist organizations, formed a “broad coalition in support of marriage equality.” The ADL, a long time champion of Jewish rights, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the California bill restricting opposite-gender marriages.

This is an example of the misplaced priorities of the Jewish organizations in America and is a major cause for concern. The ADL slogan, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” begs the question, what about Jonathan Pollard – does he not fall under the aforementioned criteria?

In a 2011 interview with Haaretz, ADL Director Abraham Foxman voiced his disappointment with Vice President Joe Biden’s unwavering stance regarding Pollard: “It’s almost inhuman to keep him in prison – he served his time and there is no justification to keep him in prison.” Despite the director’s beliefs, the organization has yet to take an official stance.

Numerous high level American officials have already called for Pollard’s release, namely the former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Most recently, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb came out saying that Pollard’s sentence was disproportionate. Yet the ADL still remains silent.

In 1993, Foxman and Chairman Mel Salberg sent personal letters to President Clinton pleading on behalf Pollard – letters lacking ADL letterheads and stressing the disconnection between their personal views and the ADL’s position. In 2011, Foxman opted out of visiting Pollard: “I may have gone quietly and privately, but I am certainly not interested in media hype, which is to little avail.”

Foxman certainly did not mind the media hype caused by his letter – addressed on ADL stationary – to President Clinton on behalf of March Rich, a wealthy Jew indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran, or of the ADL press release commending President Obama’s decision not to deport 800,000 undocumented immigrants. In fact, the ADL usually does not miss an opportunity to decry injustices.

Pollard is the only person in United States history to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally. With the average sentence for such an offense being two to four years, his verdict should have had anti-Semitic, or at the very least, civil rights warnings flashing throughout ADL offices world-wide.

While the ADL has a rich history of Jewish advocacy and commitment, it is transforming into a hypocritical machine with a liberal agenda and double standards. The ADL fights against the defamation of the Jewish people and for justice and fair treatment for all – as long as the two don’t clash.

Whether the case of Pollard is falls into the category of “defamation of the Jewish people,” or “justice and fair treatment to all,” the ADL’s indifference goes against its very own mission. Pollard along with other important Jewish matters (Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense for one), have taken a backseat to an array of liberal, non-Jewish, issues.

With the systematic rise of anti-Israel sentiment in the liberal world, the ADL and other Jewish organizations must decide if their loyalties lie with the Jewish people or with the fashionable liberal trend (which, more often than not, is against Israel).

President Obama’s visit to Israel presents the ADL and the other Jewish organizations of America with a major opportunity to advocate for Pollard’s release.  Already over 180,000 Israelis have signed a petition calling on Obama to mark his visit by releasing Pollard.

The defamation of the Jewish people must be called out and stopped at all times, not only when it is convenient and politically correct to do so.

Abraham Foxman: The Professor Who Wants To Give Iran The Bomb

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Worried about a nuclear Iran? Do you think such a development would not only threaten Israel’s very existence but would intimidate the Arab countries of the Gulf, put the radical Islamist regime in position to threaten the West, and lead to unmanageable nuclear proliferation?

Have no fear. Along comes Kenneth N. Waltz, the highly respected professor of international relations at Columbia University, who argues in a feature-length article in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs magazine that not only is there nothing to worry about, but in fact, “Iran Should Get the Bomb.”

While Waltz takes a highly unusual approach to the issue by actually arguing that an Iranian bomb would stabilize the Middle East, he knows (and maybe Foreign Affairs knows) he is planting his ideas on somewhat fertile soil.

There are significant players around the world who are unhappy with the international efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Those players use some, if not all the arguments that Waltz brings to bear. The opposition to action against Iran operates on different levels.

It starts with a kind of panic about the possibility of Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Indeed, the single largest reason why, after more than a decade of inaction, the international community in the last year and a half has mounted serious sanctions is because of fear of an imminent Israeli attack.

You don’t have to do it, says the world, because we are imposing sanctions and pursuing a diplomatic solution.

In other words, even the positive steps taken to pressure Iran come out of a negative.

Other arguments come into play which are not merely intended to prevent Israeli military action but which question the wisdom of any kind of a campaign to stop Iran.

One argument is that Iran is a completely rational player and therefore the policies of containment that worked between the Soviet Union and the United States during the cold war can now work between Iran and Israel.

Of course, Iran is not the Soviet Union. However evil the Soviet Union was, its leaders were not crazy. In the case of the Iranians, as one Israeli expert put it, there is a high degree of rationality in their policy-making. But there is enough of an element of irrationality and apocalyptic thinking that makes it impossible for Israel to live with a nuclear Iran under such uncertainty.

Others argue that as long as Israel has a nuclear arsenal, the world has no right to deprive Iran from doing the same. Under the rubric of a nuclear-free Middle East – a noble goal – efforts to stop Iran from going nuclear are seen as one-sided and unfair.

Waltz has now brought these various arguments together in one piece and extended them further. It is as if he worries that at this point, any international efforts against Iran will end up leading to the military option rather than prevent it. And therefore he feels the need to say that all such efforts are invalid because Iran’s getting a bomb will be a good thing.

Waltz stretches reality to the breaking point to reach his conclusion, so it is reasonable to assume he falls into the category that says: there is nothing worse than an Israeli military attack, and that includes allowing Iran to have a bomb.

Waltz is particularly out of touch in two of his claims: that Iran’s having a bomb will bring more stability to the region, and it will not lead to nuclear proliferation in the region.

Just ask the Arab states whether they agree with these conclusions. The U.S. diplomatic cables made public by Wikileaks made clear that the Gulf States are just as concerned about an Iranian bomb as is Israel. They see an Iran with a bomb as a nation that will try to intimidate its neighbors, make greater claims over disputed territories and try to promote Shia interests over Sunni – in other words, a major force for instability.

And what will they do about it? Inevitably, some will seek their own nuclear capacity to offset Iran.

Waltz argues that proliferation will not happen because it did not happen for decades when the Arabs learned their enemy, Israel, had its own weapons.

Attack on N.J. Synagogue Being Treated as Murder Attempt

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

An explosive thrown through the window of a New Jersey synagogue and residence is being treated as attempted murder, the Bergen County prosecutor said.

The latest in a string of attacks that have hit the county’s synagogues recently took place Wednesday morning at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford. The Orthodox synagogue also doubles as a home for its rabbi, Nosson Schuman, and his family.

Schuman suffered slight burns as a result of the explosive, The Record newspaper reported. No one else was hurt.

In the past month, synagogues have been attacked in Paramus, Maywood and Hackensack. Police are unsure if the attacks are related.

Prosecutor John Molinelli will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday to talk about the recent attacks.

A previously scheduled meeting involving law enforcement and representatives of 80 synagogues and Jewish day schools to discuss enhanced security measures in the wake of the attacks will be held Thursday.

“This is getting out of control, this is so troublesome,” Joy Kurland, director of Jewish Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, which is organizing the meeting, told The Record. “This is beyond comprehension that someone could do such horrible harm to a rabbi and his family.”

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to arrest of the perpetrators.

Trivializing The Holocaust

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

There was a time when no one living in Israel needed a reminder of what was at stake when the Jewish state was created in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust.

Israelis and Jews the world over knew that the survival of the Jewish people depended on the ability to have a home to return to after our near-ruinous encounter with European anti-Semitism.

There was also a time when the words “Hitler,” “Nazi” and “Gestapo” were not thrown about recklessly, when images of the emaciated inmates of Nazi concentration camps were a reminder not just to the Jewish people but to all the world of the terrible turn of events that led to the death of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust.

The uniqueness of the Holocaust was what made the state of Israel such a powerful answer to those who had attempted to annihilate the Jews. And its memory would ensure that the mass genocide that befell European Jewry would never happen again. Indeed, the message of “Never Again” redefined Jewish experience and peoplehood in the latter half of the 20th century.

But over time we have found the need to remind others – and sometimes ourselves – of the importance of this experience and of the need to protect its memory from those who would distort it. That is why we have felt it necessary to battle efforts to undermine or trivialize the history of the Holocaust. It is why we have worked to expose Holocaust deniers. And it is why we repeatedly speak out when the Holocaust becomes grist for inappropriate comparisons, or when terminology such as “Nazi” or “Hitler” are misused to wage political attacks or are trivialized in popular culture.

Yet never did I think that we would have to speak out about the abject trivialization of the Holocaust by a group of Jews living in Israel. But that is exactly what happened recently when, following efforts by secular Israelis to roll back gender segregation on some bus lines, a group of haredim protested by dressing up in concentration camp garb and wearing yellow Stars of David inscribed with the word “Jude.”

The scene in Jerusalem was both an aberration and an outrage. This was blatant, in-your-face Holocaust trivialization on a level that until now we have rarely witnessed in Israeli society.

For decades, Israelis and Jews around the world have worked to protect the memory of the Holocaust. We built Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. In the United States, we founded the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Today there’s even a Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany.

We worked hard with like-minded righteous gentiles and governments to protect and preserve the sites in Europe most closely associated with the Shoah, including the concentration camps, the deportation sites, the mass graves and the evidence of once-thriving Jewish communities. And we created and stressed educational efforts, such as Echoes and Reflections – the multimedia Holocaust curriculum developed by the Anti-Defamation League in partnership with Yad Vashem and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute – to ensure that the lessons of the Shoah are passed on to future generations.

We also battled efforts to undermine or trivialize the history and memory of the Holocaust. The most pernicious form was Holocaust denial, a form of anti-Semitism. But while the deniers remain mostly on the fringes of society, we have found ourselves increasingly engaged in a battle against a more subtle form of trivialization borne of ignorance, forgetfulness and carelessness about truth and memory.

For more than a decade, inappropriate and offensive comparisons to the Holocaust have cropped up increasingly in the U.S. Political leaders have accused each other of using propaganda like Goebbels or of “sending in the brownshirts.” Celebrities compare their personal ordeals to those of Anne Frank, or in a traumatic moment in their lives, make trite comparisons to Hitler or the Holocaust.

As Jews, we have found ourselves needing to constantly raise our voices against this kind of trivialization in an effort not only to remind others of the pain and offensiveness of these remarks, but also to protect the memory of the Holocaust, so that we do not wake up one day to a world that no longer remembers the lessons of that period – or, worse, is indifferent to them.

At a time when trivialization of the Holocaust is booming around the world, it is now becoming apparent that we also need to do a better job of reminding ourselves and our children of the importance of remembrance and of protecting the memory of those who perished and the honor of those who fought to defeat the murderous Nazis.

Israelis should no longer refer to other Israelis as “Nazis.” Jewish settlers should know better than to shout “Nazi” against Israeli soldiers (there primarily for the settler’s protection) in the West Bank. The fact that some Israelis refer to the 1967 border between Israel and the West Bank as “the Auschwitz border” shows how far removed some Israelis and Jews have become from the true horrors of the Shoah.

Sharia Law Is Not Making Inroads In The U.S.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years.

The notion that Islam is insidiously making inroads in the United States through the application of religious law is seeping into the mainstream, with even some presidential candidates voicing fears about the supposed threat of Sharia to our way of life and as many as thirteen states considering or having already passed bills that would prohibit the application of Sharia law.

Louisiana and Tennessee were among the first to approve such measures. The bills were based on model legislation issued by the American Public Policy Alliance, an advocacy group that defends the legislation as seeking to “protect American citizens’ constitutional rights against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially Islamic Sharia Law.”

When the legislation was introduced in the Tennessee state Senate in early 2010, the bill defined Sharia as a “legal political military doctrine and system adhered to, or minimally advocated by, tens of millions of not hundreds of millions of its followers around the world.”

In defense of the bill, state Sen. Bill Ketron said it “deals solely with a single part of Sharia that is strictly political in nature,” and “in no way inserts itself into the religious laws of Islam.”

The language was nearly identical to that of similar bills considered in other states, some of which were thinly disguised in terms of protecting against “the application of foreign law.”

All of this anti-Sharia activity has come despite the complete absence of evidence of the unconstitutional application of foreign or religious law in our judicial system. It has also come with a great deal of political handwringing – and myth making – about the threat of Sharia overtaking this country. This has led, in turn, to a false perception among a growing number of Americans that Sharia is a very real threat to our way of life and constitutional freedoms.

In fact, these legislative efforts are the proverbial solution in search of a problem. The separation of church and state embodied in U.S. and state constitutions prohibits our courts from applying or considering religious law in any way that would constitute government advancement of or entanglement with religious law.

But the anti-Sharia bills are more than a matter of unnecessary public policy. These measures are, at their core, predicated on prejudice and ignorance. They constitute a form of camouflaged bigotry that enables their proponents to advance an idea that finds fault with the Muslim faith and paints all Muslim Americans as foreigners and anti-American crusaders.

It is true that Sharia is being used elsewhere around the world in dangerous ways. While Sharia law can address many daily public and private concerns, it is nonetheless subject to radical interpretation by individuals or groups who subscribe to a more puritanical form of Islamic jurisprudence.

Some individuals try to interpret Sharia law for their own radical agendas. It raises more serious concerns when it comes to implementing Sharia law in its entirety, as can be seen with the examples of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Taliban. But that certainly doesn’t apply to America, where concerns about a “creeping Sharia law” are the stuff of pure paranoia.

If the hysteria over Sharia law continues to percolate through our political and social discourse, there is bound to be unintended consequences.

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in an uncertain economy with millions of Americans still out of work, we also face the prospect of a political season in which more political candidates may be tempted to invoke this mythological threat in an effort to pander to bigotry and fear, and to score political points.

We stand at a crossroads in American society. We have the option of heading down a path toward a greater tolerance of anti-Muslim xenophobia and fear of the “stranger in our midst,” or we can rededicate ourselves to the ideal of an America that is open and welcoming to immigrants as well as minority groups who have been here for decades.

Let us hope that the better nature of America will enable us to proceed down the second path and reject those who seek to divide us for political gain, or those who wish to stereotype and scapegoat an entire people because of their religious faith.

Abe Foxman Doesn’t Speak For Me

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

On his radio program last week, Rush Limbaugh touted Norman Podhoretz’s excellent new book Why Jews are Liberals. As the title suggests, Podhoretz attempts to answer a question that is often asked of Jewish conservatives. Limbaugh distills his analysis down to its essentials: Liberal Jews are liberals first, last and always, and their political liberalism trumps all their other “isms,” including Judaism.

I would add that liberal Jews, being in the main irreligious, have filled the void left by lack of religious belief with a secular catechism: the belief in man’s ability, through the force of government, to solve the ills of mankind. Many of these Jews are uneducated in normative Judaism and have been taught that “social justice” is the primary avenue for fulfilling the Jewish ideal of tikkun olam – repairing the world.

No one doubts the motives of such Jews, but the result has been, in my view, a self-destructive allegiance to liberalism (and the Democratic Party) that has become synonymous with Judaism since the days of FDR’s New Deal.

At any rate, Limbaugh wondered whether Jews – often self-labeled as “independents” – had been a factor in Scott Brown’s decisive win over Martha Coakley for the “Ted Kennedy” Senate seat in Massachusetts. Independents broke for Brown almost three to one, and Rush opined that if Jewish independents had voted in the same proportion as independents as a whole, that would be an astonishing political sea change.

Limbaugh suggested that Jews – who are well represented in the worlds of finance and banking – might have been antagonized into voting for Brown by Obama’s new War on Wall Street.

Apparently this was a bridge too far for Abe Foxman, the longtime national director of the Anti-Defamation League, one of the nation’s oldest Jewish activist groups. Foxman issued a press release accusing Rush of anti-Semitism, or something close to it. Foxman seems to think Limbaugh was playing to an audience of bigots and Jew-haters who buy into the ancient and persistent stereotypes that Jewish bankers control not just the money but even much of the U.S. and global government.

Foxman demanded an apology from Limbaugh.

Now, anyone who has listened to Limbaugh knows he is a faithful and passionate friend of Israel and the Jewish people. He has often taken on the Left for its growing intolerance of Israel and blind acceptance of the Palestinian anti-Jewish narrative.

As Podhoretz pointed out in a post at Contentions, Commentary magazine’s main blog, Limbaugh was suggesting that Obama, by attacking Wall Street, might be the one playing on the fears of anti-Jewish bigots for whom “banker” is code for “Jewish.”

Foxman, wrote Podhoretz, “has a long history of seeing an anti-Semite under every conservative bed” and has “blinded himself to the fact that anti-Semitism has largely been banished from the Right in the past 40 years, and that it has found a hospitable new home on the Left, especially where Israel is concerned.”

Podhoretz characterized Foxman’s charge of anti-Semitism against so openly loyal a friend of the Jews as Limbaugh as “chutzpah” and declared that it is Foxman who owes Limbaugh an apology.

I must respectfully disagree with Podhoretz. It doesn’t take “chutzpah” for Foxman to ingratiate himself with his supporters and contributors by calling a conservative a Jew-hater. It just takes a willingness to foment scorn and even hatred toward conservatives, something at which the ADL is becoming an old hand.

Late last year the ADL published an outrageous report, titled “Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies,” which essentially cast the Tea Party movement and populist anger at government spending and meddling in the free market as a dangerous lurch into right-wing anti-government extremism and violence akin to the white supremacists of the militia movement.

In the world according to Foxman, blame for the “dangerous” new political environment is to be laid squarely at the feet of talk radio hosts like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who broadcast “extreme sentiments, including Nazi imagery, racist imagery, and imagery that implicitly or explicitly promotes violence.”

Foxman’s report reads almost as if it were ghost-written by the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, which is at the forefront of the campaign to rid the country of the scourge of talk radio under the banner of – wait for it – free speech.

Palin, Other GOP Presidential Prospects Lash Obama On Israel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009


WASHINGTON – As Sarah Palin embarked on a tour for her just published book Going Rogue, she became the latest prospective Republican presidential candidate to criticize the Obama administration’s policy on Israel.


In an interview with ABC News last week, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate told Barbara Walters that Jewish settlements “should be allowed to be expanded upon” because “more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.”


At least two other likely candidates for the GOP nomination in 2012 have made similar comments in recent months.


During a trip to Israel over the summer, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the United States should not be telling Israelis where they can live.


And last month, in a speech to AIPAC leaders at a conference in San Diego, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered broader criticism of the administration’s Middle East policy, saying it was putting too much pressure on Israel and not enough on the Arab world.


Jewish Republican insiders said the Israel talk from the prospective 2012 candidates should not be seen as an effort to court Jewish voters, but simply a desire to weigh in on an issue that is important to the candidates themselves and to conservative voters in general.


Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former Bush administration liaison to the Jewish community, noted that there aren’t many Jewish voters in Republican primaries. But, he added, maintaining a strong U.S.-Israel alliance is an issue that unites the sometimes disparate elements of the conservative coalition – from neoconservatives to evangelical Christians to economic conservatives.


“If you want to be a conservative candidate, you have to check that pro-Israel box,” he said.


Some GOP insiders also said that Jewish Republicans make up a significant portion of the party’s financial base, and one way for candidates to become more attractive to such donors is to shore up their pro-Israel bona fides.


But right now, said Republican Jewish activist and fund-raiser Fred Zeidman, people are thinking much more about the 2010 races than they are about 2012 presidential hopefuls.


Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks said he didn’t think there was political calculation in the criticism of Obama administration policy.


“These are individuals who believe very passionately and strongly in the security of Israel,” Brooks said. “They’re all private citizens and speaking out.”


Meanwhile, Palin’s remarks on settlements spurred a war of words between Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman and J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami.


Ben-Ami issued a statement saying that Palin’s “pandering to her right-wing base comes at the expense of the security of the State of Israel” and “the lives of those actually living the conflict.” The J Street leader said her words “reveal a glaring ignorance of damaging facts and a callous disregard of past and present U.S. policy.”


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have argued that limited settlement expansion should be permitted to accommodate the growth of families already living there, not for the purpose of absorbing immigrants.


J Street’s strong criticism of Palin drew a rebuke from Foxman, who specifically called JTA to slam J Street’s statement, asserting that it was “over the line.” Foxman said it was “the height of chutzpah” for J Street to claim that it knows what is best for the security of Israel.


“They’re attacking a celebrity for supporting Israel, but not in the way they want her to support Israel,” Foxman said.


Foxman acknowledged that he thought Palin’s remarks were a “simplistic effort to be supportive of the Israeli government,” but also insisted that they were “clear and well-intentioned” and “didn’t put any lives at stake.”


The ADL leader also questioned whether J Street should be calling itself “pro-Israel.”


Foxman noted that In addition to its negative reaction to Palin’s comments, J Street has criticized Israel’s invasion of Gaza, opposed new Iran sanctions at the present time and failed to support last month’s congressional resolution condemning the Goldstone report.


Ben-Ami struck back with an open letter to Foxman in which he reiterated his view that Palin’s comments were “outside the mainstream of American and Israeli thinking,” as well as “misinformed and dangerous.”


The J Street leader insisted that Foxman is not entitled to determine who is pro-Israel.


“You have every right to disagree with us. It’s a free country,” Ben-Ami wrote. “But you have no right to decide who is and is not pro-Israel based on whether they agree with your views.”

(JTA)

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Information Sought
 
   I am looking for Arthur Kurtz, whose photograph of my late husband, Rabbi Meir Kahane, zt”l, appeared in a Brooklyn College newspaper in 1974. I’d appreciate hearing from him, or anyone knowing his whereabouts, to request permission to use the photo in a book about Rabbi Kahane. I may be contacted at mrslkahan@yahoo.com.
 

Libby Kahane

(Via E-Mail)
 

 

Olmert’s Chelm (I)
 
   Chelm beyond Chelm certainly describes Israeli politics today as illuminated in the December 1 issue of The Jewish Press. The front-page essay was a chilling interview by Aaron Klein of a potential suicide bomber. In the main news story on the same page we read that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert can’t wait to give away to our enemies more Jewish land in Judea and Samaria, “to establish an independent and viable Palestinian state with Israel’s blessing.”
 
   Then on page two we read about how Olmert and his defense minister, Amir Peretz, are engaged in an argument about who should get the credit for the latest “cease-fire” in which the fire has not ceased.
 
Boy, do we ever need Moshiach now!
 
Helene Wishnev
Pittsburgh, PA
 

 

Olmert’s Chelm (II)
 
   Has Olmert’s Israel become Chelm? The defenseless citizens of Sderot are suffering constant injuries and fatalities resulting from the bombardment by rockets and mortars fired from Gaza. The official response, as reported in The Jewish Press of Dec. 8, (page 46) is to build a new medical facility in Sderot!
 
   In Chelm, the railing had broken off from the walkway of an old bridge and the residents of Chelm were falling off the bridge in large numbers. After much debate, the town elders solved the problem – they ordered a first-aid station to be built under the bridge!
 

George E. Rubin

New York, New York
 

 

Queen Uncovered
 
   In her continuing series on why married women should cover their hair, Rebbetzin Jungreis stated, “The Queen of England will not be seen without some sort of hat covering her head.”
 
   Ironically, the very same issue of The Jewish Press (Dec. 8) featured a front-page photograph in which the Queen is seen, very much bareheaded, accepting a gift of a menorah from the British chief rabbi.
 

Marsha Greenberg

Stamford, CT

 

 

Consider The Source
 
   Professor Yakov M. Rabkin of the University of Montreal last week took to the pages of The Jewish Press to defend anti-Zionism against the charge that it is poorly disguised anti-Semitism (Letters, Dec. 8).
 
Without even taking a breath he defended at one and the same time the Neturei Karta cult and far-left anti-Zionists as sincere believers in peace. He also cited as a “patriot” Professor Joseph Agassi of Tel Aviv University, citing Agassi’s statement that “As an Israeli patriot, I consider it essential to integrate the discourse of Judaic anti-Zionism into the badly needed public debate about our past, present and future.”
 
   What the good professor Rabkin conveniently forgot to mention in his letter is that he himself is a longtime advocate of the “One State Solution” (also known as the Rwanda Solution) by which Israel will no longer exist as a Jewish state (http://www.one-democratic-state.org/articles/rabkin/html). When he is not turning out anti-Zionist boilerplate for PLO-front websites, Rabkin writes for the extreme left-wing Tikkun magazine.
 
   As for Agassi, he happens to be a far-left anti-Israel radical from Tel Aviv University, which is crawling with such people. No wonder Rabkin writes of him with such fawning approval.
 

Chaim Weissman

Raanana, Israel
 

 

Foxman’s Unconvincing Argument
 
   Last week’s letter from ADL National Director Abraham Foxman was vintage Foxman. He focused on the final paragraph of your editorial of the previous week (“Foxman Hearts Chirac,” Dec. 1), which speculated that given the award Foxman was presented with by French President Chirac, the Anti-Defamation League might, in the future, go easy on France.
 
   But Foxman totally ignored the thrust of the editorial – namely, the damning evidence you presented against Chirac (including some statements sharply critical of Chirac made by Foxman himself some years back) regarding Israel. The substance of the editorial rendered incomprehensible Foxman’s praise of Chirac for his “strength, moral courage and friendship to the Jewish state and people.”
 
   I also found disingenuous Foxman’s account of how he provided a forum for the mother of the young French Jew murdered in a bias attack in Paris and how he called for an investigation into how the police handled the matter. He obviously wants us to think that, notwithstanding his award, ADL will pull no punches where France is concerned. He failed to convince me.
 

Herbert Ritter

(Via E-Mail)
 

 

Chirac’s Prop
 
   Who authorized Abe Foxman to tell the world on behalf of the Jewish community that Chirac’s ongoing challenges to the U.S. and his continuing antipathy to Israel don’t really amount to much?
 
   Chirac obviously saw Foxman as an easy mark – someone who, in his zeal for the spotlight, could be used as a prop in the French government’s attempts at damage control in the wake of the terrible Halimi killing.
 
   It’s time Foxman got over his delusions of grandeur and realize that the size of his salary is in no way a realistic measure of his importance.
 

Eitan Feinberg

(Via E-Mail)
 

 

Terrorists In Paradise
 
   In Aaron Klein’s Dec. 1 front-page essay (“Face to Face With My Potential Killer”), the potential Palestinian suicide bomber understates the fact that his driving force is sexual gratification in paradise.
 
   The Gemara (Sanhedrin 63a) says that Jews fell for the sin of meaningless idolatry because it was used as a pretext to engage in sexual promiscuity. By the same token, the suicide bombers – young men with raging hormones – are using wars in which Muslims are the supposed victims as a cover for their real motivation: the reward of bedding 72 virgins in the afterlife, as they have been indoctrinated with this nonsense.
 

Jacob Mendlovic

Toronto, Canada
 

 

Menorah Update
 
   Re: “The Menorah Controversy” (news story, Dec. 8):
 
   I am pleased to report that in late November the Fair Lawn, New Jersey municipal council voted 4-1 to include a Chanukah menorah as part of the town’s holiday display. The lone vote against this was cast by the borough’s Jewish mayor. This brings to an end nearly thirty years of controversy, petitions, and adverse publicity for the town regarding the erection of a Jewish holiday symbol near a municipally sponsored Christmas tree. In a town whose population is close to 45 percent Jewish, these citizens can finally feel equally represented.
 
   Kudos to Rabbi Levi Neubort and Dr. Scott D. Lippe who advocated tirelessly for this cause over these past many years. Fair Lawn now joins approximately 28 other municipalities in New Jersey – as well as the White House, the State House, and the Great Wall of China – in including a Chanukah menorah as part of their festive holiday displays.
 

Rabbi Dr. Avi Kuperberg

Fair Lawn, NJ
 

 

Conference Call

   Your columnist Rabbi David Hollander implies that those who demand conferences on issues such as the plight of agunot are arrogant, uninformed rejecters of Torah and halacha.
 
   I am only concerned about the welfare of my daughters as they approach marriageable age. Shall I recommend to them a ketubah document that protects them for only 200 zuzim and could subject them to literal imprisonment by some mean-spirited man? I want rebbeim to step up to the plate and assure me it’s safe to have a ketubah. People are scared. Let’s have a conference.
 

David Altman

Toronto, Canada
 

 

Forest Of Signs
 
   There seems to be a widespread need to plaster throughout the Orthodox Jewish community advertisements promoting various causes and/or individuals. I have long questioned whether we should be using public property such as lampposts or trees to promote distinctively Jewish causes. Even if the letter of the law is observed in terms of ad size and timely removal, it still constitutes, in my humble opinion, inappropriate advertising of purely religious institutions and causes in less than ideal settings.
 
   Among other things, signs fall down, purposely or otherwise, and the faces of our gedolim are trampled on by many who mean us no good. Also, notices of lectures addressing problems in our community serve to tell the world that all is not well in our midst. Do all of the residents of the Midwood/Flatbush and Boro Park communities have to know about our children at risk, our developmentally challenged persons, our shalom bayis problems, and other unfortunate situations?
 
I think the answer is obvious.
 
   To the best of my knowledge, virtually every adult in the Orthodox community has at least one phone as well as access to e-mail, either at home or at work (or both). There must be a way (phone, e-mail) by which anyone who needs to know about an event can be notified. I know The Jewish Press has a community calendar, as do other publications reaching our communities.
 
   There is no reason why every event or visit by an important person has to bring with it news of the event or pictures of rabbinical leaders stuck to every second lamppost or tree. In my opinion, no event promoting kavod haTorah (honoring of the Torah) justifies a situation that leads to zilzul haTorah (degradation of the Torah).
 

Shlomo Kleinbart

Brooklyn, NY
 

 

Chazzanim In A Hurry

 
   I get very frustrated when I cannot keep up with the chazzan in shul. I try to say my prayers word for word and sometimes would like to look at the English, but I don’t have time. Isn’t the chazzan supposed to represent all the congregants? Doesn’t he know the law is not to rush, but to give us a chance to keep up?
 
   I realize there are congregants in the morning or afternoon who have to get going – so why can’t the services start five minutes earlier? This rushing is also done on Shabbos, when we are not supposed to be in a hurry.
 
   The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (14:2) states that Pesukei Dezimrah are not to be said hurriedly and (14:7) that “If the worshiper sees that even if he begins with the benediction Yotzer Or he will not be able to read the Shemoneh Esreh with the congregation unless he reads the prayers very quickly, then it is best that he pray by himself, according to the prescribed order, slowly and meditatively.”
 
   Because of this rushing, many worshipers do not find davening with some chazzanim very meaningful. On the other hand, if a chazzan says the prayers with more feeling, it may inspire others to join him.
 

Joseph Platnick

Aventura, FL

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-167/2006/12/13/

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