Letters week of Oct. 12, 2006



What Kind of 'Friend' Leaves a Nation Unaided?

I feel compelled to respond to Paul D. Rosenstock's comments (Letters: "Don't Judge Candidates on One-Issue Line Items," Sept. 21).

When it comes to former President Richard Nixon, it's always good to get the story straight. Many Americans believe he was a strong supporter of Israel, but he was never a friend. He was, however, not above taking credit for other's actions when it was politically advantageous to do so, especially during the Yom Kippur War.

After Israel was attacked on Oct. 6, 1973, Prime Minister Golda Meir immediately sent a request to the State Department that they were desperately in need of supplies for the defense system. Our so-called "heroes" of that war — Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger — conveniently made themselves unavailable to Israel until after Oct. 12.

The real American hero turned out to be White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, who quickly gave the order to secretly send missiles to Israel to keep its defenses alive.

Later, we found out that Nixon wanted Israel to "come out ahead, but bleed a little." Kissinger wanted to "teach the Israelis a lesson for not complying with U.N. Resolution 242."

Arab countries and the Soviet Union stood with their jaws hanging from what Israel was able to accomplish — in spite of our "heroes," not because of it.
Charles Doneson


Wanted: Article About the Woman's Achievements

I can't say exactly what the focus of the article on the race in the 13th Congressional District was (Politics: "GOP to Give Incumbent a Run for Her Money," Sept. 28).

It wasn't supportive of my congresswoman, and it didn't highlight the differences between the candidates.

The article was a stew of bits and pieces without the gravy to keep it together. It's beyond me as to why the Jewish press isn't writing more about the work of Allyson Schwartz. How often do we have a responsible Jewish woman representing this state in Washington?
Merle Salkin

Vote for Politicians Who Support the Jewish State

In response to Robert Fox on the Senate race (Letters: "Senatorial Candidate: A True Friend to Israel," Sept. 21), when the next war comes, Israel will need friends whose first instinct is to support it.

Israel will not be helped by those whose first instinct is to go to the anti-Israel United Nations or look for guidance from the pro-Arab careerists in the State Department.

So, what can you do to support Israel?

One thing is to vote for politicians who are friends of the Jewish state, and have a track record of supporting it.

That means a vote for Sen. Rick Santorum.
Myron Goldman
Elkins Park

It's Not Just Getting Gifts, It's How to Use Them!

With regard to Gary Tobin's article (Opinion: "Why Don't Jewish Causes Get More Jewish Money?" Sept. 28), I would submit that many givers have had better experiences with gifts to the non-Jewish community.

Many of us have been dismayed at the lack of stewardship and unprofessionalism surrounding even large gifts. The Jewish community needs to do a better job of using gifts successfully so that the donors see that their money does what it was meant to do.

Too much effort is spent getting the gift, and in many cases, the follow-up is abysmal.

It would be interesting to hear the experiences of other givers who were discouraged by this, and thus decided to give elsewhere.

Just because a Jewish cause is worthy, that doesn't excuse the agency from executing it professionally. A Jewish community that wishes to attract Jewish dollars has a long way to go before it can assure major givers that it knows what to do with the money that it collects.
Steven Fisher

Wider Community Needs to Look at GLBT Issues

Thank you for your articles on gay and lesbian life, and the Philly Pride Mission (Cover story: Gay Life in Israel: Now 'Part of It All,' Sept. 14; Israel & Mideast: "A Significant First: 'This Was About Being Proud of Who We Are,' " Sept. 21).

It's so important for the Philadelphia Jewish community to realize that gay, lesbian and transgender Jews are just as much a part of the community as anyone, and that this extends to our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael as well.

Having lived in West Mount Airy for the better part of the last 18 years, I sometimes feel like I live in a cocoon where this is taken for granted. However, outside of our little enclave, things are different.

I also hope that the next phase is the inclusion of same-sex commitment ceremonies and singles ads in the Jewish Exponent.

One would think that a community that hired the first openly gay executive director would be at the forefront on an issue like this.

But things don't always go as we expect them to.
Rabbi Steven Nathan
Mount Airy

Oh Where, Oh Where, Has the Jewish Food Gone?

As a former Philadelphian and subscriber, I must comment on the cooking section. With all of the healthy and calorie-conscious recipes I so often see, much of the delicious flavors of old-world Jewish cuisine has been sacrificed.

This is particularly true with Ethel Hofman's recipes. She is so caught up with keeping fat and calories down that taste seems secondary.

Fortunately, back in the 1980s, my husband bought me the complete set of Fannie Fertig's Favorites. Around the holidays, there is nothing I love better than to break out those books and whip up the venerable Eastern European delicacies I savored as a youngster.

Don't get me wrong: Too much of this can be harmful to one's coronary arteries and weight, but on occasion, this is the ultimate comfort food.

I feel sorry for young chefs who may never have been exposed to this type of ethnic cuisine. Like the Yiddish language we heard our relatives speak, this type of cooking may be nearing extinction.
Brina Dozor Segal
Beaver Falls, Pa.




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