Letters week of Nov. 12, 2009

Newspaper Gives J Street Conference Short Shrift

It's unfortunate that, instead of sending its own reporter to the inaugural conference of J Street in Washington, D.C., the Jewish Exponent chose to print a Jewish Telegraph Agency news brief (Nation & World: "Confab: Generational Divide on Israel," Oct. 29).

The piece stressed the differences among the 1,500 attendees at the expense of stating their overwhelming support of achieving Israel-Arab peace through a two-state solution, assisted by robust efforts by the U.S. government.

A more complete report would have mentioned that the keynote speaker was Gen. James Jones (national security advisor to President Obama), who is reported in Ha'aretz as saying that Israel's security and peace are inseparable, and that the time for peace is now.

A more complete report would have also stated that Tzipi Livni, leader of Kadima and former foreign minister, sent a letter to J Street congratulating it upon its conference, highlighting her shared commitment to peace.

There was also a full-page ad printed in The Washington Post, Ha'aretz and a number of American Jewish weeklies, signed by 11 members of the Knesset, six retired generals and an admiral, and by Amos Oz and Dalia Rabin, congratulating J Street on its conference and endorsing its objectives.

Harold Jacobs

Book Column Opens Up Whole New Worlds

Thank you for publishing Robert Leiter's book column.

Just when I think there is not much left to learn about Jewish culture, he opens up whole new worlds for me.

How much I appreciate that!

Stephanie Sosenko Walinsky

About Gays, the Doctor's Views Seem Backward

I'd like to address certain issued raised by letter writer Ronald J. Werrin, M.D. ("Reader Ready to Cut Ties to Paper Over New Policy," Oct. 22).

If you have children, doctor, either none of them are gay or, if one is, you probably haven't been told, since he or she is obviously aware of your views.

I am amazed that, as a doctor, you are not more informed about homosexuality. It is not a choice; it has been scientifically proven that the cause is biological. One is born with brown, blue, green or hazel eyes; brown, black, blond or red hair; straight or gay.

To state that some "fall short" is not only hurtful, it is backward.

Our son, a singer and successful entrepreneur, is gay.

We are friendly with many in the gay community, and contrary to your belief that they are an abomination, they contribute much to our society.

Equally important, Jewish gays add strength and diversity to our culture.

Edina Lessack, CMP

Counting Her Blessings, Even After Two Cancers

Beth Forman Rondinelli's article in the Jewish Exponent ("When Pink Becomes Too Personal a Color," Oct. 29) brought back many memories.

In 1981, I found out that I had Stage 3 ovarian cancer. Surgery was undertaken; afterwards, the doctor informed me that I would need chemotherapy; even then, I had a 20 percent chance of survival.

I was 54 years old, with no married children and no grandchildren.

This wise surgeon said: "Somebody has to be in that 20 percent group."

That gave me an upbeat feeling that has sustained me through the years, even after I was later diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and went through radiation therapy.

I am now 82 years old with 11 grandchildren. I know I was one of the lucky ones.

Louise Leibman
Merion Station


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