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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Unfair Criticism’

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Presidential Politics: Readers Face Off

No Impression

As a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, I sometimes think there is just no hope for some of President Obama’s detractors. He instructs the dunderhead Democratic Party apparatchiks to restore to the party platform references to an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and says that this reflects his personal view as well.

Yet the big story for you and others was that the reference was taken out in the first place. Doesn’t this tell you that he means it when he says he will always have Israel’s back? What do all of you want from this man? Even the unprecedented increase in military aid and intelligence cooperation with Israel during his presidency makes no impression at all.

Robert Gelb
(Via E-Mail)

Democratic Loyalty

I accuse Jews who continue to support Barack Obama of maintaining a loyalty to the Democratic Party that exceeds all other loyalties. I accuse them of a blatant blindness to the danger confronting Israel because they have hitched their wagons to the Democrats and nothing else comes closer to their hearts than that symbiotic relationship.

I would be much more cautious in my accusation if Obama took the time and trouble to at least pretend he is a friend, but he doesn’t. His loathing of Benjamin Netanyahu is public, open and undisguised. The trap, for us as Jews, is to quibble about Netanyahu’s policies instead of seeing the reality of the horrors that are looming.

Obama blithely speaks publicly about Israel returning to the 1967 lines and instead of withdrawing 100 percent of their support, Jews debate internally about Netanyahu’s policies. Should such a catastrophic move be forced on Israel, will it really matter who the prime minister is?

We no longer have a Zev Jabotinsky to sound the alarm, but I’ll gladly settle for Bibi’s warnings in this crisis. I envision Mitt Romney as a strong and honest supporter of the Jewish state, but the overriding point is crystal clear: Barack Obama is nowhere near that position and, accordingly, should not get the vote of any Jew who loves Israel and fears for its safety, well-being and future.

Myron Hecker
New City, NY

‘Lies And Misrepresentations’

I voted for John McCain on 2008 and am leaning toward Mitt Romney this year, but I simply cannot stand the misrepresentations and lies about President Obama’s record thrown around by so many in the frum community.

It was Obama who, in his 2009 Cairo speech that everyone loves to trash, told the Arab world that the Israel-U.S. alliance is unbreakable. Obama backed Israel during the Goldstone Report and Gaza flotilla controversies. Obama has increased defense and intelligence aid and cooperation to and with Israel. Last year Obama literally stood against the international community at the UN and said “no” to a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

As for Obama’s 2011 statement that U.S. policy supports a return by Israel to the 1967 lines “with land swaps,” that is precisely what American policy has been since the Six-Day War. George W. Bush said that any final settlement would have to take into account realities on the ground – meaning Israeli population centers that have been developed in those areas over the past four decades – and this is what Obama meant when he spoke of “land swaps,” as he immediately elaborated when his initial remarks were met by a firestorm of criticism.

Besides, anytime Israel and the Palestinians have negotiated, it’s about the 1967 lands won by Israel in 1967. What territories does even the most vociferous Obama hater think they’re talking about? In fact, Israel has already given back most of the territory it won in ’67 – namely, Sinai and Gaza.

Eli Ross
(Via E-Mail)

Barack And Bibi

The fact that Obama and Bibi don’t get along has no bearing on the state of the U.S.-Israel relationship – Reagan did not like Begin or Shamir and he’s regarded as a pro-Israel president (by the way, Reagan condemned Israel at the UN and held up arms shipments to Israel – two things Obama has never done), and Bill Clinton detested Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s first term in office, to the point of meddling in Israeli politics by sending his campaign gurus to Israel to work on behalf of Ehud Barak, who defeated Bibi in 1999.

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

One View Of Obama

I hope those who believe President Obama spends every waking hour thinking about how to sink the Jews and Israel paid attention to your front-page news story last week about his appointing an Orthodox Jew as his chief of staff (“New White House Chief of Staff ‘Go-To’ Person for Jewish Groups”).

The front-page photo was interesting in this regard as well, showing Obama’s ambassador to Israel, also a Jew, learning Torah with students in the largest yeshiva in Israel.

I am not suggesting these gentlemen were chosen for their jobs because they are Jewish, but rather that they were not blackballed because of it. And that, I think, is the point. We can agree or disagree with the fine points of Obama’s policies, but it’s time we stopped demonizing the president in a manner we would never do with any other liberal Democratic president with whom we happened to disagree.

There seems to be something about this man that drives all too many frum Jews absolutely crazy. Martin Fried (Via E-Mail)

 

…And Another

I suppose President Obama’s selection of an Orthodox Jew as his chief of staff was newsworthy, as was the visit to a Jerusalem yeshiva by his ambassador to Israel. I hope, however, that we do not assume they provide a window into our president’s thinking.

I fear that putting too much stock into the fact that Obama has appointed a large number of Jews to key positions will blunt concerns about what the president will do should he be reelected in November and not have to worry about running for office again. Binyamin Roth Jerusalem

 

Heartbreaking Portrait

Devora Spitzer (“A Haunting Visit to the Gush Katif Museum,” front page essay, Jan. 13) paints a heartbreaking portrait of the aftermath of the Gaza disengagement in terms of both national and individual tragedy.

A living, breathing, flourishing community, symbolic of Israel itself, was cruelly uprooted and destroyed. Pioneering, achieving, God-fearing Jews had their homes taken from them and their lives ripped apart. And it was a Jewish government that did this to them and bestowed on all of Israel the gift of Kassam rockets. Esther Wolf New York, NY

 

No Forgiveness

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld says it’s “Time for the Dutch to Finally ‘Fess Up” (op-ed, Jan. 13). Sorry, but there is not enough time in all of eternity for the Dutch people to make their apology. Even if such an apology were sincerely given, it would come 65 years too late, rendering it not much of an apology at all.

It is beyond my ability to forgive, and beyond the ability of the ashes of Dutch Jewry to forgive. Apology is born in guilt. Allowing 65 years to pass without an apology is proof enough for me that the Dutch have suffered no guilt.

In the unlikely event that some future generation of Dutch people rediscover kindness and compassion and truly seek forgiveness for their national crimes, they will have to beg it from their Creator.

I write this response as a Jew who lived during those agonizing years of the Holocaust. How can I not respond? Norman Shine Brooklyn, NY

 

Rush to Judgment

Although not his intended purpose, reader Nachum Myers (Letters, Jan. 13) provides ample proof that Yael Armstrong’s articulate Jan. 6 op-ed article (“Divided and Broken”), espousing tolerance and ahavas Yisrael, is exactly on point.

Did Mr. Myers read the same article I did?

How do you misinterpret Ms. Armstrong’s statement about sending her (pre-school) child to a playgroup at a Conservative synagogue as endorsing sending your (Orthodox) children to “educational institutions of Conservative Judaism”? The answer, I presume: You misinterpret it if you suffer from a “divided and broken” attitude that affects many of our tribe.

Ms. Armstrong’s point (which had nothing to do with Jewish education, by the way), adeptly proven by the letter from Mr. Myers, is that people rush to judgment rather than to understanding. Sholom (Sonny) Taragin Baltimore, MD

 

Foxman And Holocaust Imagery (I)

Abraham Foxman (“Trivializing the Holocaust,” op-ed, Jan. 13) was at his best in deploring the outrageous misuse of Holocaust symbols by members of the Jewish community. He was less so when he recently reached out to condemn Republican candidate Rick Santorum for making reference to a “Jesus candidate” in the current primary campaign season.

Santorum was responding to a question about the need for a “Jesus candidate” and obviously used the term as a shorthanded call for principled candidates just as his questioner had. We already have enough problems and have no need to create new ones. Arthur Kleinman (Via E-Mail)

 

Foxman And Holocaust Imagery (II)

Abraham Foxman says those Jews who condemned the Israeli soldiers for driving them out of their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria and compared it to the Nazi expulsions of Jews by the Nazis are guilty of ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust.

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