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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Marans’

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Inaccurate Characterization

In his July 6 “Charming Nation” column, Dov Shurin wrote that the only death caused by Saddam Hussein’s Scud attacks on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War was that of a man who suffered a heart attack – a man Shurin characterized as an opponent of Shabbat road closures.

The truth is that man was not someone who opposed any Shabbat laws. He was a fine, Orthodox, God-fearing Holocaust survivor who had seen most of his family killed in Europe. His heart gave out when the Scuds started falling and air raid alarms were sounded.

He happened to have been a friend of mine and it was very disturbing to read Shurin’s claim that he had been against Sabbath observance.

Amy Wall
New York, NY

The Times Already Lost It

Re “Is the Gray Lady Losing It?” editorial. June 29):

The question really should be “When did the gray lady lose it?” While certain sections of The New York Times continue to be credible, the news, editorial and op-ed pages lost any credibility years ago. The motto of the Times should be changed to “All the news we choose to print” from “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Those looking for accuracy and balance should turn to a paper like the Wall Street Journal.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, MD

The Roberts Decision

Reams of analysis and debate will doubtless be generated in response to the incoherent and inexplicable legal finding by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts validating Obamacare (“Not the Supreme Court’s Finest Moment,” editorial, July 6).

The 2,700-page bill was passed through bribery, intimidation and funding falsehoods, though no one in Congress actually read it. Former speaker Pelosi’s (in)famous diktat “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” speaks to the hubris of the Democrats in Congress.

This mammoth legislation is the harbinger of an anticipated flood of new regulations to be administered by thousands of new bureaucrats enforcing the new rules still being written.

As for Chief Justice Roberts, his decision to deliver such a convoluted decision will set back the Supreme Court’s reputation for years.

Fay Dicker
Lakewood, NJ

Handful Of Fanatics

Re “Haredi Men Arrested in Yad Vashem Vandalism” (news story, June 29):

Neturei Karta is a small (albeit vocal) group that is in no way representative of the haredi community as a whole.

On the one hand, from a haredi perspective the Holocaust is seen as just another chapter in the history of persecution, albeit more efficiently executed and more recent. That is why haredim generally do not observe such commemorations as the Warsaw Ghetto anniversary, subsuming it instead in the general mourning on Tisha B’Av. This does not, however, mean haredim in any way approve of such offensive vandalism as was perpetrated by this handful of fanatics.

On the other hand, there is certainly a feeling in the haredi community that a wholly exaggerated cult of the Holocaust has become a sort of substitute religion for those estranged from Torah Judaism. Haredim object to this negative definition of one’s Jewishness by reference to the hatred of others rather than pride in one’s heritage.

Only someone completely prejudiced against haredim could consider these nutcases as being in any way representative of the greater haredi community – but unfortunately such an attitude is all too common.

Martin D. Stern
Salford, England

Making Our Own Choices

As the brouhaha over the Internet continues, I would like to make a few comments to those who vehemently oppose the Internet in Jewish homes.

New York City is home to many Jewish institutions but also, lehavdil, to a number of obscene and lewd establishments. Should Jews be prohibited from living in New York because they might be tempted to frequent such places?

We can use our two legs to take us to perform mitzvos, but we can also use our two legs to take us to commit aveiros. Shall we cut off our legs because they might take us to sinful places?

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a vacuum – but we do have the ability to know the difference between right and wrong and the strength, imparted to us by our parents and teachers, to follow a moral and ethical way of life and to make the correct choices for ourselves.

Pesach-Yonah Malevitz
Los Angeles, CA A

Shabbos In Midwood

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, May 2nd, 2012

Mother Of Liberty (I)
Reading Zev Golan’s article about the work of members of the Stern Gang (“Mother of Liberty,” front page essay, April 27) it occurred to me that while they zealously espoused Jewish nationalism, central too was a desire to save the Jewish people who they felt were in mortal danger from European anti-Semitism generally and the growing menace of Nazism in Germany.

I am not sure that the goal of political self-determination alone would have been enough to drive them absent the sense that Jews desperately needed a place of refuge.
Howard Miles
(Via E-Mail)

 

Mother Of Liberty (II)
Zev Golan’s riveting article about the Stern Gang, particularly 96-year-old Tova Svorai, persuades me that given half a chance, Jews can take care of themselves and do so without losing their innate humanity.
Sarah Ellinger
(Via E-Mail)

 

Against The Odds
Last week’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut issue of The Jewish Press led me to reflect on how the odds have seemingly been against Israel’s survival at every stage of its existence.

When Israel was about to declare Independence in 1948, the best military minds said it would be defeated in a war with the Arab states – and in a very short time. General Montgomery said the Jews would be defeated in about two weeks. General Marshall also predicted immanent defeat for Israel.

In Israel’s early years it was common for reporters to ask people such as Golda Meir and Abba Eban about the “slim” chances of Israel’s survival, witness Meir on Meet the Press and Mike Wallace’s 1958 interview of Eban.

In a his April 20 Media Monitor column, Jewish Press Senior Editor Jason Maoz mentioned the aforementioned Mike Wallace quoting anti-Israel statements made by the historian Arnold Toynbee. Toynbee happened to believe Jews were historical fossils. Jews – and Israel – have proved him, along with all the other naysayers, dead wrong.
Reuven Solomon
(Via E-Mail)

 

Israel And Redemption
Rabbi Eliyahu Safran is mistaken if he believes “the majority of Orthodox Jews in America act as though nothing of note happened on May 14, 1948” (“How Can Orthodox Jews Deny the Miracle of Israel?” op-ed, April 27).

I suggest that it would be difficult to find many Orthodox Jews who believe Divine intervention played no role in the Jews’ victory over the Arabs. There are, of course, those of us who believe this did not necessarily constitute the onset of a redemptive age. Rabbi Safran alludes to this when he writes, “The fact that modern Israel may not as yet be the fulfillment of all Messianic dreams and aspirations does not, cannot and must not mean its rejection, denial or disdain.”

I’ve always wondered how supporters of Zionism can arrogate to themselves the role of providing context to the achievements of modern-day Israel? Are they claiming equal status to the biblical and Talmudic narratives or those of the Prophets? Where is our equivalent of Moses who told the Jewish people why they were miraculously freed from Egypt and victorious over Pharaoh and Amalek? Where, indeed, is Mashiach?
David Edelman
Jerusalem

 

Eisner Affair (I)
I appreciated your comments on the incident in which an IDF officer was videotaped hitting a Danish demonstrator with the butt of his rifle (“The Eisner Affair,” editorial, April 27).

My visceral reaction to the video was great disappointment that a representative of the Jewish state could do such a thing. I don’t buy the story that he was perhaps justified by provocation, or that the video didn’t tell the whole truth, as you insinuated.

What I do find compelling, though, is your argument that the facts in this matter are largely beside the point. The real significance here lies not in what one soldier may have done but in drawing attention to the efforts of leftists and anarchists to force Israel to respond to what is widely mislabeled as “non-violent protest.”

Israel is situated in a sea of very dangerous enemies and that reality has to be factored in when critiquing any defensive measure the government and its soldiers take. Your point about the protesters ignoring what is happening nearby in Syria was well taken.
Bruce Sherman
Los Angeles, CA

 

Eisner Affair (II)
Your editorial “The Eisner Affair” missed the point. It is not the reaction of the world that’s the problem but rather the reaction of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, the IDF command and the Israeli media.

They should be ashamed of themselves for destroying a Jew who is so loyal to Eretz Yisrael. They should have given him a medal. When will our people ever learn?
Alan Ernst
Cedarhurst, NY

 

Predictable Behavior
“The Community Organizer-In-Chief” (editorial, April 27) captures much of what President Obama is all about. From the beginning of his administration he went around telling everyone that it was U.S. policies that were the cause of most of the problems around the world. Domestically, though he didn’t use the label “capitalism,” his message was that our economic, law-making and legal systems didn’t work for most Americans.

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

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Agrees With Feiglin

Moshe Feiglin’s Jan. 20 column (“The Real Coercion In Israel”) was right on the money. He argued that “No coercion is good – religious or secular” but also that “Today, Israel suffers more from secular coercion than from religious coercion.” As examples he noted the problems facing soldiers who want to adhere to halacha, the demonization of the settler movement, the provocateur-inspired gender discrimination controversy, and “the continuing offensive against anything that smacks of Jewish identity….”

His conclusion is well worth pondering by those who are being carried away by the excesses of a relatively few mindless zealots: “Those who discriminate against women or harass them must be punished according the law. But none of that has anything to do with the murky wave of incitement that has lately been washing over our heads.” Avraham Weinstein Jerusalem

 

Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (I)

I think reader Martin Fried missed the point last week when he suggested that criticism of President Obama is somewhat irrational (“There seems to be something about this man that drives all too many frum Jews absolutely crazy.”)

I wonder whether Obama’s abrupt and dramatic about-face on the issues of settlements and the 1967 lines just as the presidential election season began heating up mean nothing to Mr. Fried. Am I off the wall if I believe this indicates the change in tone is driven by politics and that Obama will unload on Israel if he is reelected? Ross Eilberg (Via E-Mail)

 

Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (II)

Notwithstanding reader Martin Fried’s take on American political history, I think any American president who treated Israel and its prime minister the way Obama did should not expect applause from the Jewish community.

The calculus is simple. He wants to change the American posture toward the Muslim world. Israel has heretofore enjoyed a special relationship with the U.S. Even if we don’t attribute sinister motives to the president, how does this shift occur without Israel paying the price? Think about it, Mr. Fried. Rivkah Levine Los Angeles, CA

 

Obama’s ‘Chicanery’

The abrupt cancellation of the proposed joint military maneuvers of Israeli and U.S. forces (editorial, Jan. 20) is only a new example of the chicanery of the Obama administration.

From the time of his inauguration, and even before, Obama has voiced his support in words for Israel but not in action. From attempting to negotiate with Iran and then proposing only limited sanctions on that nation as well as his apologies to Muslims worldwide and his less than friendly relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, he has shown a dislike for Israel while attempting to line up Jewish domestic support for his anti-Israel stance.

Hopefully the charade is over and Jewish contributors to his campaign coffers and Jewish voters who opted for him in 2008 will be finally disenchanted and act accordingly. Nelson Marans Silver Spring, MD

 

WJC’s Naïve Approach (I) Re: “What Were They Thinking?” (editorial, Jan. 20): I have long wondered about the dynamics of Jewish organizational life. When our self-proclaimed leaders take a public position or engage in some action, do they first check with the members of their organizations?

Moreover, if they blunder as Lauder and Terpins of the World Jewish Congress did in giving Mahmoud Abbas legitimacy as someone truly interested in resolving the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, is there any accountability?

At the very least, they should be required to respond to the devastating indictment of the Palestinian president you delivered last week. The WJC leaders did not move the cause of peace along by positing the harebrained notion that the problem stems from the Palestinians not understanding each other. David Ginzberg (Via E-Mail)

 

WJC’s Naïve Approach (II)

The anger that comes through your editorial “What Were They Thinking?” is righteous anger, thoroughly justified. It is incredibly disheartening to hear our leaders repeat what they know are lies and deceptions just to be politically correct and keep the pretense going for some inexplicable reason.

As you pointed out, the fact that Ronald Lauder and Jack Terpins met with Mahmoud Abbas in London and spoke words of “better cooperation between Jewish and Palestinian communities around the world…” bringing about a “peaceful future” is such a betrayal of truth and decency.

Lauder and Terpins know better, as their quoted words in other contexts make clear. They should be saying that there is no chance for peace with people who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and who promise on a daily basis to exterminate the Jews of Israel.

What purpose can possibly be served by the continuation of the lie of Oslo? It is time for our leadership to announce that the possibility of peace with the present Hamas/Fatah alliance is non-existent. The “two-state solution” is dead.

It is time for Messrs. Lauder and Terpins to go back to the drawing board and examine other formulas. One definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Helen Freedman Executive Director Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-196/2012/01/26/

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