So Bishop Mixa from Germany expressed his concern over Palestinians facing “ghettoization with almost racist characteristics” (front-page news story, March 9). When asked to confirm that statement, Mixa said, “I wanted to say that building the wall between Israel and the Palestinians amounts to provocation from the point of view of the Palestinian population.”
Excuse me – provocation? Let me explain provocation to the good bishop. The Palestinians were (and are) mounting murderous assaults against Jewish men, women and children. The wall was built as a necessary protection against those provocations. We know the bishop values the notion of turning the other cheek, but that never worked for us.
If Bishop Mixa’s visit to Yad Vashem was a sincere expression of contrition and compassion, I’m confident he’ll be inspired to publicly voice strong protests against the crowd of anti-Semites whose provocations include shouting threats of extermination against my people.
Turkey And Armenia (I)
Thank you for your March 2 editorial “Armenian Genocide Resolution: Turkey’s Chutzpah.”
As a young and proud Armenian, I sometimes imagine how I’ll feel when the Turkish government finally acknowledges it committed genocide against the Armenian population in 1915. At such moments, tears well up in my eyes, but they are neither tears of anger nor tears of sorrow – they’re tears of joy for my ancestors, who when that time comes will at last begin to rest in peace.
Tamar Haytayan Armen
Turkey And Armenia (II)
I enjoyed the March 2 editorial on “Turkey’s Chutzpah.” I’m a second-generation American of Jewish and Armenian descent, so this issue affects me in many ways. I had six million erased from my mother’s side and another million and a half from my father’s. What really galls me is that a Turkish diplomat could think his deceptive lobbying efforts would not come to light.
Turkey And Armenia (III)
Have the editorial writers at The Jewish Press gone mad? Why would you take off after Turkey, one of Israel’s few reliable friends outside of the U.S. and perhaps one or two Western European countries? Whether Turkey did or did not commit genocide nearly a hundred years ago is no concern of ours – we have no dog in that fight.
The only question you as a Jewish newspaper should have is whether something’s good for Israel. Turkey’s good for Israel. Case closed.
Re the March 2 Media Monitor column:
History, which unarguably must be learned from, presents a problem for those Hillary-doters who appear unable to fault her for a mealy-mouthed reaction some years ago to a particularly egregious anti-Semitic slur by the Rev. Charles Norris, one of Sharpton’s buddies.
And if any of them deny that Hillary exemplifies “political expediency at its most shameful” – of which the most glaring example was her kissing Suha Arafat after Suha had falsely accused Israel of deliberately poisoning Arab wells – they are guilty of deliberate obfuscation and selective outrage.
Hillary Clinton has an overarching ambition to return to the White House and every action she undertakes is carefully synchronized and orchestrated to attain that goal. Her support for Israel since she became a U.S. senator from New York is calculated to help bring that ambition to its glorious fruition.
Builder Of Lives
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein (“Watching An Extraordinary Rebbetzin Build Lives,” op-ed, March 9) is to be lauded for his insightful and remarkably accurate perspective on the life and career of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. Her latest bestselling book, Life Is a Test, takes us on a trajectory of the countless lives the Rebbetzin has dedicated herself to building. Through her genuine warmth and love for every Jew, she has reached out to a multitude of unaffiliated Jews, infusing them with a love of Hashem and Torah.
It is through the treasure trove of true personal stories in this book that we really get an insider’s look into just how many lives Rebbetzin Jungreis has touched, how many lives she has personally built and how many future generations of Jews will live Torah lives because of her.
Through her personal unwavering faith, she has taught others how to face the challenges and trials of life. She imbues those she counsels with a solid spiritual foundation. Life Is a Test is a compendium of true wisdom, predicated on decades of experience, from a consummate builder of lives.
Fighting For Pollard
I agree with some of the points made by Professor Morris Pollard (“American Jews Have Turned Their Backs On Pollard,” op-ed, March 9) regarding past injustices inflicted upon his son, Jonathan.
No one can take issue with his pain as a father and his perception that American Jews have abandoned Jonathan. He may, however, find some solace in recent initiatives undertaken by a number of Orthodox Jewish organizations, which began in January and February of this year.
For instance, the Rabbi Leib Geliebter Memorial Foundation (www.rlgfoundation.org), the National Council of Young Israel and other national Jewish organizations are engaged in a campaign involving daily phone calls to the White House urging clemency for Jonathan. Full-page ads and headline stories first appeared in much of the local New York-area Jewish media.
These initiatives have resulted in a burst of activity in the United States, Israel and other parts of the world. (To keep abreast of the ever-changing events, one need only visit the Arutz Sheva website, www.Israelnationalnews.com.)
Dr. Pollard pointed out that March 4 was the 20th anniversary of the life sentence imposed on Jonathan. This year, March 4 also coincided with Purim, a joyous holiday that marks the turnabout of events through a series of “coincidences,” ultimately pointing to Divine intervention, through which the Jewish people in the Persian Empire were saved from Haman’s plan for annihilation.
We must maintain our faith and optimism that there will be continued momentum leading to the ultimate deliverance of Jonathan from his 22 years of torturous imprisonment.
Joseph Geliebter, PhD
Rabbi Leib Geliebter Memorial Foundation
Constructive Uses For Purim Nosh
I’d like to express my dismay at reader Shlomo Kleinbart’s attitude toward the mishloachmanot foods that many people send (letter to the editor, March 2).
Not only am I disgusted by his views, I am outraged that a frumperson could even suggest that these foods be “disposed” of. Mr. Kleinbart makes it sound like what is being distributed on Purim is nothing but poison. In fact, if it were poison, we would not be required to make a bracha on each item and thank Hashem for the delicious food.
Taking these items and burning them would undoubtedly violate the issur of baltashchis.
With regard to his concern about chometz, has Mr. Kleinbart ever heard of the concept of mechiras chometz? Even if he has not, or chooses not to keep any chometz over Pesach, I would like to offer the following suggestions for the “disposal” of these items that can be used lidvar mitzvah.
● It was announced in my shul on Shabbos that JEP of Long Island was collecting these sweets to be used to distribute to youngsters as part JEP‘s wonderful kiruv work.
● The idea suggested by the woman referred to in Mr. Kleinbart‘s letter – sending the sweets to soldiers in Iraq – is not something to poke fun at, as he did. In fact, these soldiers, who serve to protect Mr. Kleinbart and every other American, would be most appreciative if they were to receive packages of sweets from the frum community with an explanation about Purim. What a kiddush Hashem that would be!
● Even better, were Mr. Kleinbart to gather up these items and send them to members of Tzahal, what a wonderful gift and morale boost it would be for every chayal who received such a package.
The key word Mr. Kleinbart seems to be unaware of is moderation. If parents supervise what their children ingest, there is nothing wrong with occasional treats. No bones, teeth, or minds will suffer any “deleterious health” effects if sweets are eaten in moderation.
I believe any pediatrician or dietician would agree with this assessment.
West Hempstead, NY
Letters to the Editor