Letters Week of Aug. 18, 2005


If That’s the Best Case They Can Make, Forget It!

In a full-page letter printed Aug. 11 in the Jewish Exponent, the board chair and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia send Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon these incredible words: “It is our hope that the implementation of this disengagement plan will enhance the security of the people of Israel and we expect President Mahmoud Abbas to become an equal partner for peace by dismantling terrorist groups, ending incitement of hatred against Jews and Israel, and further reforming the Palestinian Authority.”

Pray tell us all what that expectation of Abbas disarming terrorists is based on — this same man who’s already made clear he will not disarm terror groups, and who has, in effect, said, “Today, Gaza; tomorrow, the West Bank and Jerusalem.” His friends in Hamas have stated that they will not disarm.

On the next page, in another full-page letter to Sharon, the Vaad: Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia tells us that Isaiah taught that “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. It is this noble ideal that the people of Israel have been stubbornly dedicated throughout the millennia of our existence.”

Unfortunately, the great lesson of Isaiah did not make it to Abbas, the P.A., Hamas and others who are not apt pupils of Old Testament idealism, and who are, in fact, bent on the destruction of Israel.

If this is the best case these learned institutions can make for disengagement, then maybe there is no case for it.
Herb Denenberg

If These Jews Can Be Just Thrown Out, So Can You!

In the midst of the ongoing tragedy of expulsion of Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip, most Diaspora Jews seem oblivious to the danger that this retreat represents not only for Israel, but for them.

I agree with Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America when he writes of the dangers of the Gaza plan (Letters: “If Rubin, Pipes and ZOA Agree, It Can’t Be ‘Stupid,’ ” Aug. 11).

But he neglects the threat to Diaspora Jews represented by the expulsion. If Jews can be expelled from parts of their internationally established national home, then why not make them leave Philadelphia, South Jersey, Bucks County?

Diaspora Jews ought to consider the harm to their own rights of residence. Where are the so-called “liberals” when the issues of human rights of Jews are at stake?
Elliot A. Green

Your Life Can Be Insured, Even If You Go to Israel

Being involved with Israel personally, professionally and charitably for decades, I can attest to the problems of obtaining life insurance when traveling there, even though I’m in the insurance business (People & Politics: “In the Works: New Legislation to Maintain Travel Insurance for Visitors to ‘Risky’ Countries,” Aug. 4).

This is wrong — and should be changed!

However, for those who think that getting coverage is impossible, insurance brokers who care about this issue can obtain agreements with major U.S. life-insurance companies to provide coverage to individuals traveling to Israel.
Lee B. Zeplowitz
Bala Cynwyd

The Word Got Out — and Now, Many Will ‘Hear’

The Jewish Exponent wrote an article about our efforts to get people to forward us their old hearing aids, which are refurbished and sent to Hadassah Hospital to be given to the poor and needy at no charge (City & Suburb: “ ‘Hear O’ Israel’? They Will, With This Program,” July 14).

Following the publication of the article, the calls started coming in — first from the Philadelphia area, then New York, then California, Florida, and upstate Pennsylvania. They all said that even though they left Philadelphia, they still get and read the Exponent.

What a mitzvah the newspaper has done!

But our need is still great.

If you have a hearing aid to donate, call 610-278-1055 or e-mail: [email protected] You can also mail them to: Meyer Markowitz, 199 Gleneagles Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422.
Meyer Markowitz
Blue Bell

A Great Uncle Packed a Punch When It Counted

Your story about Jewish boxer Dimitriy Salita quoted him as saying that during the 1930s, there were “Jewish fighters who were considered some of the greatest fighters of all time … Benny Leonard is the Jewish Muhammad Ali” (City & Suburb: “Jab With a Left, Hook With a Right: Orthodox Boxer Packs a Punch,” July 14).

Benny Leonard was indeed a great fighter, but my uncle, Barney Ross, was not only a great Jewish boxer, but also a man of conviction.

Forty years before Ali made headlines with his refusal to fight in Vietnam, Uncle Barney entered the ring of public controversy with his efforts on behalf of rescuing Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

Thanks to research by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, we know that Uncle Barney was active in the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, also known as the (Peter) Bergson group, which used full-page newspaper ads, public rallies and Capitol Hill lobbying to pressure the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration to save Jews from the Nazis.

Uncle Barney was also active in another of the Bergson committees — the American League for a Free Palestine — which sought to rally American support for the creation of a Jewish state.
Audrey Cantor
Northbrook, Ill.


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