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Unsubscribing To The NY Times (I)

In “Why I’m Unsubscribing to The New York Times” (op-ed, Sept. 5), Richard Block explained why he is canceling his subscription to that newspaper.

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Excuse me, but where has he been? The Times’s incredible bias against Israel during the recent war against Hamas terrorism was but its latest such journalistic outrage against the Jewish state. This viciously slanted coverage of Israel and the Middle East has been going on for a very long time. I ended my subscription years ago, as did a considerable number of other fed-up Jews.

Block identifies himself as “a lifelong Democrat, a political liberal, a Reform rabbi.” Does “lifelong” mean what it sounds like? Would he vote for the Democrat in every single race, every single time? My parents, of blessed memory, taught my sister and me to “vote for the best man.” If asked, I’m sure they would have identified themselves as Democrats, but today, many years later, there’s been a sea change in how we as Jews should be voting.

When the majority of delegates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention signaled by a voice vote their desire to remove references in the party’s platform about faith in God and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, didn’t that ring any bells for Rabbi Block a Jew and a supporter of Israel?

Myron Hecker
New City, NY

 

Unsubscribing To The NY Times (II)

While I’m sure that Richard Block means well and has Israel’s best interests at heart, I wonder how an obviously intelligent and well informed person could have failed to recognize the Times’s blatant anti-Israel bias long before the recent Gaza war.

Organizations like CAMERA and Honest Reporting and Media Research Center and writers like Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin and The Jewish Press’s own Jason Maoz have been dissecting the Times’s biased coverage of Israel for years and years. Correspondents and bureau chiefs come and go but the Times’s skewed coverage continues; current bureau chief Jodi Rudoren is only the latest – albeit one of the worst – in a long line of Times reporters whose stories almost always reflect the Palestinian narrative.

Ellen Grossman
(Via E-Mail)

 

Hagee And Israel

Whenever I read about Pastor John Hagee (“I Knew I Wanted to Help the Jewish People” interview, Sept. 5) I can’t help but compare his fearless and outspoken advocacy on behalf of Israel with the generally timid and apologetic tone of our so-called Jewish leaders.

Forget about the secularized and assimilated Jewish leaders at the countless do-nothing Jewish organizations – what can you expect from them, after all? But how about our Orthodox leaders, lay and rabbinic? When was the last time you heard a rabbi speak in forceful terms, unafraid of quoting the Bible, in the mainstream media concerning the Jewish people’s relationship with God and their ownership of the Holy Land?

Hagee refuses to be deterred by physical threats and by the scorn of the media and academia. If only we had Jewish leaders like Hagee who would speak the truth plainly and clearly. Instead we have timid souls who are more comfortable resorting to lawyerly “on the one hand, on the other hand” equivocations.

Baruch Asch
(Via E-Mail)

Rabin’s Prophetic Words

The Aug. 22 op-ed column “A Pundit’s Prophetic Words” by Jason Maoz, which focused on a 1998 essay by Charles Krauthammer titled “The Coming Palestinian State,” reminded me of something in Yehuda Avner’s 2010 book The Prime Ministers (Toby Press).

It’s note 54 at the end of page 706, and it’s Rabin’s response when Avner, who had just returned to Israel after serving as ambassador to Australia, questioned him about the handshake with Arafat at the Oslo Accords ceremony at the White House in 1993.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Yasher koach to Baruch Asch for his kind words about Dr. Hagee.

    While I am a Noachide rather than a Xian, I am from the rural Southern “Bible Belt” and must say that I also have long been flummoxed by the apparent reluctance of “community leaders” to invoke G-d in defending Jewish claims to 'Eretz Yisra'el. This silence is absolutely mystifying. Instead, a whole host of secular and political reasons are always trotted forth. Ironically, the secular world seems to sympathize with the very people who invoke their “gxd” the loudest in the Middle East.

    I read recently that Nietzsche insisted that his opposition to the Jewish religion did not make him an anti-Semite. Anti-Semitism, according to him, was an ethnic prejudice. In fact (he further claimed) the ancient Biblical Jewish religion was the fountain and origin of anti-Semitic Xianity! Perhaps post-enlightenment Jews agree with him. After all, Jewishness is defined in terms of ethnoculture: the Catskills, Hollywood, the IM Peretz Workman's Circle, “lox-and-bagels,” etc. A cursory glance at Jewish Life TV will show how minor a role the Torah seems to play in much of American Jewry's self-image.

    While I can certainly understand the hesitancy of Jews to accept Xian support for Israel, I notice that not all Xians are shunned. Instead it is always this one particular group. The very churches which are actually guilty of historical crimes against the Jewish People are now considered “dialogue” partners. Why is the line always drawn when it comes to the people of the Bible Belt? Why are they worse than the Patriarch of “Constantinople?”

    Is it because they “talk funny?” Because there has been little historical contact? Perhaps because so many Jews are embarrassed that anyone would interpret the first two Parashiyyot of the Torah as actual history (as does Seder `Olam)? This latter is a good candidate for the reason for the very different treatment. But are Jews, even secular Jews, really more afraid of Genesis than they are of the “gospels?”

    I can think of one more reason. Because they have little contact with actual Jews, the Bible Belt stereotype is very different from that of other Xians, and even of modern Jews. Instead of the “conspirator” or Broadway impresario, in the Bible Belt the Jews are forever frozen in amber as the rustic Theocratic warrior shepherds their ancient ancestors were. You know—back before so many Jews got so “enlightened” and “modern” and “sophisticated.”

    But then again, I've actually read of an Israeli politician who said the claim that G-d gave the Jewish People the land of Israel is “fascism.” Really? Is that what it is?

    Perhaps some Israelis think that Nietzsche was right.

    I suggest that the way to get this courageous and no-compromise position is to abandon the “enlightenment” and substitute Judaism and return in full to the Holy Torah. No more politics; just “Koh 'amar HaShem.”

    And you don't even have to have an “embarrassing” Bible Belt name like Jedidiah or Amminadab to do it!

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