Letters week of Jan. 15, 2009



Bush Critic Says Prez Now Deserves Jews' Praise

President George W. Bush deserves the Jewish community's appreciation for his stalwart support of Israel's current actions in Gaza.

The Israeli government is taking necessary moves against Hamas and merits international support, and here the president has taken the lead in standing behind Israel.

This is coming from one who has been a habitual and severe critic of Bush's record, and I have likewise criticized Israeli leaders from time to time.

Now, as a Jew, an American and a supporter of Israel, I'm very grateful to President Bush. Israel's heavy assault upon Gaza is needed to weaken Hamas' war machine that, it no doubt, hopes to employ for Israel's destruction.

This chapter in the 60-year conflict is essential for Israel's survival. Hamas has pushed Israel into a corner where it must choose between endangering its people or causing harm to innocent Arabs.

I have long been upset with President Bush on many issues, especially the Iraq war, the economy and his unquestioned support for some misguided Israeli actions. It is ironic that Bush's support of Israel — at a time when Israel is right and needs all the help it can get — allows him to leave office on a graceful and dignified note.

Bruce S. Ticker

Defense of RJC: Long on Rhetoric, Short on Truth

Muddying the waters of thought like a startled squid, Suzanne Kurtz's defense of the practices of the Republican Jewish Coalition (Letters: "RJC Is Mischaracterized by a Disingenuous Writer," Dec. 25) was long on rhetoric, but short on truth.

She accused Stas Cohen, whose letter appeared in the Dec. 4 issue, of being disingenuous and of mischaracterizing the RJC, yet offered no rebuttal of the particulars of his argument, nor a single counter example of where the RJC has sided with a Jewish community consensus in the face of GOP dogma.

Lest we forget, in 2005, the RJC ran an ad comparing DNC Chairman Howard Dean (whose wife is Jewish, and whose children are being raised as Jews) and the Democratic Party to Palestinian suicide bombers.

The organization also published scurrilous and innuendo-ridden anti-Obama ads during the 2008 campaign.

By engaging in double-talk and smears, the RJC's behavior calls to mind the deceit-laden tactics of another "Jewish" organization that purports — to employ Kurtz's language — to "act as an important bridge between the Jewish community" and its host group: Messianic Judaism.

Indeed, although the RJC is a political advocacy group and Jews for Jesus is a religious advocacy group, the two partake of much the same ideological chatoyance: that of the Christian right — i.e., Protestant fundamentalism.

God help us!

Rachmiel Gottlieb
Pikesville, Md.

Would You Like Some 'Treif' With Kosherfest?

Sundown comes so early at this time of year. So that means that you had plenty of time to light your Chanukah candles and still make the early-bird Christmas Eve lobster-and-crab dinner at Scoogi's restaurant, whose ad was placed across from the food page titled "Kosherfest" in the Dec. 4 edition of the Jewish Exponent.

In the race to the bottom, surely, a winner was just declared.

But it got even "better."

In a subsequent issue, there was a dining editorial across from the Christmas lobster special, where the Exponent described Scoogi's as a great place for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

I recognize that there is a diverse readership, but shouldn't a publication that calls itself the "Jewish" Exponent be … uhh … a little more Jewish?

As a reader, I felt scrooged — no — scoogied.

You know what I mean.

Hanna Perlberger

A Decision to Be Made: What Palestinians Want

As a mother, grandmother and teacher, I write these words with a saddened heart after hearing a Hamas leader state that they will "never allow even one Jew to remain alive on Islamic land."

Thousands of rockets have been launched from Gaza, and still the people of Israel have been denounced for a "disproportionate" response.

Does that mean that murderous intent must be endured because the objective failed? If Hamas had its way, every rocket fired would kill an Israeli child!

What would be our country's response if Cuba launched a rocket into the Florida Keys? Would Cuba be exonerated because they missed? After an American child was maimed, would we simply sit down and negotiate? A bomb in only one pizza parlor would have us at war.

When the State of Israel was formed, 800,000 Jews were forced out of all the other Middle Eastern countries. They left penniless; their dignity, their livelihoods stripped away.

Where was the world's outrage for their "right of return?"

I want that mindset for the people in Gaza. I don't want to see anymore of their young people or ours harmed. But it is the people of Gaza who must choose between their children and Hamas.

Clearly, Hamas has chosen to sacrifice their children's lives in order to destroy ours.

The real people of Palestine must now decide: Will they join with us to guarantee prosperity and healthy futures for all of our children, or will they carry forever the knowledge that they, and they alone, have destroyed everything that we all hold dear?

I want to believe that the mothers, grandmothers and teachers in Gaza would choose their children.

May their voices be heard.

Marilyn Bricklin Lebovitz





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