Letters Week of Dec 1, 2005


Reform Stand Ignores the Threat of Radical Islam

As a Reform Jew, I’m deeply disappointed in the movement of which I am a part.

By voting “overwhelmingly” to oppose the war in Iraq (Nation & World: “Reform Movement Takes Strong Stand Against Two Big Issues,” Nov. 23), the Union for Reform Judaism and my fellow Reform Jews have missed the forest for the trees.

How many times in the last 60 years have we uttered the words “never again”? Never again will millions of Jews be slaughtered simply for the crime of being Jewish.

The URJ resolution fails to consider that the war in Iraq is the largest front in the broader war against radical Islam, a fascist movement that seeks to usurp the Muslim religion and replace it with a twisted political ideology.

If we fail to win the war in Iraq, the forces of radical Islam will likely reign, and the consequences to the United States, American Jews and the State of Israel will be dire.

Radical Islamists want to kill Americans, Christians and Jews. If we fail in Iraq, a radicalized Iraq is likely to join forces with an already radicalized Iran and other Islamic fascists that employ terrorism as their preferred tactic to implement their ideology.
David Edman

Why No Stories on the Flow of Traffic Into Gaza?

Concerning Jonathan Tobin’s column on the controversy over border crossings (A Matter of Opinion: “The Blame Game Continues,” Nov. 17), I live on Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which lies on the border of Gaza, opposite Gaza City.

I have often read about how the border of Gaza and Israel is like a prison, and how Israel stifles the economy in Gaza, such as the article by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Trudy Rubin, cited by Tobin.

What I don’t see much about is the Karni crossing between the two borders.

Every day, I see hundreds of trucks bringing food, building materials and other products from Israel to the Karni crossing. There is a parking lot for the trucks to wait until their turn comes because there is so much traffic, which I may add endangers the road I need to travel on to go anywhere away from the kibbutz.

How can I get reporters like Rubin to report on that crossing? Perhaps they don’t because it just might put Israel in a good light.
Don Saliman
Kibbutz Nahal Oz

Evicted Israelis Penalized for Palestinian Vandalism

In writing about the American Jewish philanthropists who are trying to help the Palestinians, Jonathan Tobin wrote: “Though she noted that Wolfensohn had donated $500,000 of his own money to purchase the greenhouses built by now-evacuated Israelis, [Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer] forgot to mention that most of those facilities that were purchased by the cash of the envoy and other high-minded American Jews simply went to pot.”

But Tobin forgot to mention that the World Bank is deducting the cost of the destruction from the amount it is paying the former Israeli owners of the greenhouses, as if they were the responsible parties for the destruction and not the Palestinians.
Israel Keller
New York, N.Y.

How to Reduce Terror? Lessen Your Use of Oil!

Jonathan Tobin’s Nov. 17 column, “The Blame Game Continues,” undoubtedly is an accurate description of the “Arab street,” but it does nothing to convince the Arabs to start growing tomatoes and stop killing “unbelievers.”

Since two-thirds of the income supporting Arab terrorist states come from oil revenues, the solution seem obvious to me — help develop an alternative to oil. The United States and the rest of the civilized world could replace oil-based fuels and chemicals with much cleaner, and now cheaper, alternatives.

The civilized world could stop global warming and deprive the Arab world of the oil machine that finances their nuclear-arms ambitions and purchase of other armaments.

Without all that money, the Arab world might just look a little more favorably on tomato-farming.
John Adam
Hebron, Ohio

Put Some Pressure on the Palestinians, Not Israel

You reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressured Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to ease Israeli controls on the Gaza border (Cover story: “Border Deal Doesn’t Lessen the Pressure on Sharon,” Nov. 17).

Rice’s goal is believed by some to increase the likelihood of peace, but in fact, this move may only lead to more weapons being smuggled into Gaza, increasing the likelihood for more terrorism. To move toward a real peace, pressuring Israel on border issues should not be Rice’s priority.

Instead, she should concentrate on pressuring Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, to honor his commitments to the road map for peace — namely, to disarm and dismantle terrorist groups, arrest the terrorists, and end the anti-Israel incitement in the government-controlled schools and media.

If that were achieved, it would be a real step toward a real reconciliation.
Morton A. Klein
National president
Zionist Organization of America

It’s Okay to Carry Inside the Overbrook Park Eruv!

Thank you for your interesting cover story on the Center City eruv (Nov. 17).

The article mentions other Philadelphia eruvs in University City and in the Northeast, but fails to mention the one serving Congregation Beth Hamedrosh. This includes almost all of the Overbrook Park section of Philadelphia, part of Overbrook Farms and a significant portion of Wynnewood.

The Main Line Eruv Corporation is working toward tripling the size of this eruv, which would be a crucial step in our shul’s impending move across City Avenue to a new building in Wynnewood.

We welcome the community at large to come carry on Shabbos inside our eruv, assuming it is up, which it almost always is.
Evan Aidman
Vice president
Congregation Beth Hamedrosh


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