Letters Week of Oct. 5, 2011


An ad took potshots at President Obama and "evangelical" candidates sound just like Mideast demigods. 


Full-Page Ad Took Unfair Potshots at the President

There are ads and then there are ads.

The full-page and obviously costly one which appeared in the Sept. 29 issue of the Jewish Exponent and referred to President Barrack Obama as the "most anti-Israel president" in American history is full of statements that, when researched, are found to be dubious at best and completely taken out of context.

I do not see any fingers being pointed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and what he has said and done to make the Israelis lose confidence in him as their leader.

Republicans — Jewish or otherwise — demean our president at every turn. Every step he takes is scrutinized and put under a microscope, to negative effect.

I am a Jewish Democrat. If President Obama were to run tomorrow, I would vote for him again. He came into office with much turmoil to handle, all of it created by Republicans, and now they want to blame him for their mess. He can't possibly clean up the debris in just three years.

In fact, the mess created by George W. Bush may take another 25 years to straighten out.

Gloria Gelman 


Some Candidates Sound Like Mideast Demigods

For a long time, I only had to worry about the ayatollahs of the Middle East and their insistence on their religion or else.

But now, when I hear evangelicals like Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) stress that ours is a Christian nation, it sounds to me like theirs isn't just a statistical analysis. It sounds more like a religious agenda.

Any time I hear such pronouncements, I find myself dashing to my copy of the Constitution where it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

I like to think this means we will continue to enjoy free exercise of any and all religions — or none, for that matter, for those who are so inclined. It frightens me that the candidates' quest for voter support smacks of intolerance.

I worry that if any such candidate is elected, we may hear from them, like the ayatollahs of the Middle East, "It's my religion or else."

Bernard Miller 


Letter Writer Described Wrong Kind of Nightmare

I was confused by Steve Mendelsohn's letter, "Israel's Headed for Public Relations Nightmare," which appeared in the Sept. 22 issue.

On the one hand, he correctly states that the Palestinians are incapable of negotiating in good faith to bring about a two-state solution; on the other hand, he sees Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza as positive acts.

He then goes on to suggest a withdrawal from the West Bank and states that not getting on the Palestinian statehood bandwagon would result in a public-relations nightmare for Israel.

The reality is that the Jewish state exists in a neighborhood of Islamic fundamentalists whose only goal in life is the destruction of Israel as we know it. This is the reason that the Israelis can't find a negotiating partner.

Worse still, withdrawing from Lebanon and Gaza simply convinced many Palestinians that their strategy of terrorism was wearing down Israel's will to fight.

Should Israel compound this mistake by withdrawing from the West Bank, without ironclad assurances to prevent further Palestinian terrorism? In that potential scenario, Israel would indeed be setting itself up for a nightmare.

That nightmare would include allowing the territory they just surrendered to be used as bases from which to lob rockets into every Israeli city. It would also involve setting up a terrorist state in the middle of Israel, with the right to create its own defense forces. That state would also be in charge of large areas of formerly Israeli air space.

This unstable situation, rather than evolving into peace, would quickly devolve into a nightmare of war waged in the very heart of the Jewish state.

Steve Heitner 
Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.


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