Letters Week of Sept. 7, 2011


One reader demands a little "journalistic courtesy" while another asks what the letters ADL really stand for.

How About a Little Bit of Journalistic Courtesy?

I recently read the online piece "Ambassador Works to Head Off Palestinian Statehood" by Lisa Hostein, which was posted July 27. And while it appears to be a sound interview and factual assessment, one glaring error is worth correcting in the following paragraph:

"Indeed, relations between the Obama administration in Washington and the Netanyahu regime in Jerusalem have been rocked by disagreements over settlements in the West Bank and other issues."

Prime Minister Netanyahu is the democratically elected head of state of the Israeli government. He does not lead a "regime" — which is typically used as a term to define dictatorships (Assad, father and son; Mubarak; Stalin to name a few).

The pejorative use of this term deserves an immediate correction. I would also like to add that while American Jews and those in the media do not vote in Israeli elections, unless they hold duel citizenship, we can and should offer the government and its leaders the same level of accuracy and respect for the office as the prime ministers of England, France and Germany, which journalistic standards do not refer to as the Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel regimes. 
Elyse Rabinowitz 
Minneapolis, Minn.

Just What Do Those Letters 'ADL' Stand For?

Call me crazy, but I always believed that Jewish "defense" organizations were supposed to defend Jews.

I believed that whereas Jewish students can't wear kipahs safely, cross college campuses without seeing "Israeli Apartheid Walls" and other distortions, where pro-Israel speakers are shouted down and shut out, where boycotts of Israeli people and products multiply daily, where the United Nations' hostility will soon vote to sever Israel's parts — I thought any of these troubling developments might get the ADL's attention.

Adding to the above: the plight of Jonathan Pollard, Gilad Shalit, Alan Gross — unjustly held Jewish prisoners — might have gotten a nod, as well.

Alas, it is not so. Abe Foxman, the head of ADL, publishes the opinion piece, "The Threat of Sharia Law: It's All a Matter of Myth," in the Sept. 1 Jewish Exponent — thus scolding anyone who believes Sharia may be a growing danger in the United States. Foxman mocks legitimate concerns; but millions take Sharia's growing influence seriously.

In Great Britain, 87 Sharia courts now exist — not following U.K. laws. In England, France and Denmark, hundreds of areas are known as Sharia Compliant Areas — no non-Muslims may safely enter. In New Jersey and Florida, two cases were decided in favor of Sharia — not U.S. law. Other cases in the United State are pending, but Foxman asserts "no worries here."

The ADL gave its approval for the mosque at Ground Zero, and now proclaims Sharia an innocent addition to our shores. Maybe ADL stands for Arab Defense League. Too bad — it used to stand for Jews. 
Roberta E. Dzubow 
Plymouth Meeting

Obama's Policies Hurt Not Only Israel but U.S.

Ralph D. Bloch's letter ("Yes, the President Should Put U.S.  Interests First," Aug. 11), although making some good points, misses the fact that President Obama's policies for the last 21/2 years have been not only anti-Israeli but also destructive to U.S. interests.

For the past 60-plus years, Israel has been under attack from Muslim extremists, who not only wish to destroy it, but also wish to destroy the West, including the United States.

To put it in simple terms, Israel is in the Middle East, and if Israel is destroyed, the United States and Europe are walking blindly into the Middle Eastern chaos.

Bloch's mistake is seeing Israel as a special interest group rather than the first line of defense against Arab fascism. The basic question that Americans in general must answer is: Do Obama's policies make sense not only for Israel's security, but also for the security of America? Bloch sees these as separate questions; I, and many others, see them as intertwined. 
Steve Heitner 
Port Jefferson, N.Y


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