Letters week of May 11, 2006

Pizza, T-Shirts and a Real Resolve to​ End Genocide

At the April 30 rally for Darfur in Washington, D.C., thousands of people came from around the nation, and Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley sent eight full buses (Cover story: “A Profound Cry of ‘Never Again!’ ” May 4).

One of the buses was filled with more than 50 USYers from the Hagesher Region. In D.C., two other USY regions welcomed us at Adas Israel Synagogue. We all made posters, blew up “USY Cares” balloons, ate pizza and learned about the situation in Darfur.

At the rally, we sold T-shirts imprinted with the slogan, “Never Again!” All of the proceeds are going to “Kids for Kids,” a group in England that donates money directly to children in Darfur to buy necessary staples and supplies.

As Jews, we feel obligated to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. After the Holocaust, we vowed never to let history repeat itself. It was such a rewarding experience to see people of different backgrounds come together for this cause.
Jessica Baer
Aurora Greenberg

Har Zion USY
Penn Valley

Darfur Outcry Leads to Thoughts of Holocaust

On April 30, I traveled with a group of Hadassah women to Washington, D.C., to support the Darfur people in their quest to stop genocide and rape in their country.

Yet all the moving speeches could not compare to the feelings present when a group of young men and women from Darfur marched in, and in unison cried, “No more genocide!”

I just cannot express how emotional that moment became, as I reflected back to what I had read and been told about the Holocaust.

I wondered what would have been different if the Jews had had such an amazing group of people speak on their behalf.

Darfur is the first genocide of the 21st century, and hopefully, it will be the last.

We must never turn a blind eye to the suffering.

We must remain a people of conscience.
Gloria Gelman

Compassion for Illegals Hurts the Whole System

As I read the Jewish Exponent’s editorial linking the debate on immigration and Passover (Editorial: “Compassion Required for Strangers Among Us,” April 13), I found myself getting more and more confused.

On the one hand, the Exponent admits that America has a right to control its borders and determine who enters the country; on the other, it seems to deny us the means to do so.

Building a wall at the southern border and criminalizing the illegals is necessary because everything else has failed. If we provide citizenship and benefits for the illegals who have defied our laws; in 10 to 15 years, we will have 25 million more demanding that we do the same for them.

I have no doubt that the Exponent will then be writing an editorial asking for compassion for the new immigrants.

I, too, have compassion for these people, though I wonder whether this is the last demand for compassion or just the second of many more.

My compassion is for those who waited their turn to come here, for those border communities whose hospitals and schools are overwhelmed, and for the American people who bear the extra tax and crime burdens imposed on them.
Steve Heitner
Port Jervis Station, N.Y.

DeLay’s Passion for Israel Will Be Missed on the Hill

Contrary to the erroneous assertions in Douglas Bloomfield’s political obituary of Rep. Tom DeLay (Opinions: “Don’t Mourn the Demise of Extremist Operator DeLay!” April 27), election results since 1988 have shown increasing support in the Jewish community for the Republican Party.

Tom DeLay — one of the most ardent supporters of Israel in Congress — was so because it was the right thing to do, not because of some cold political calculation or religious motivation, as cynically suggested by Bloomfield.

What Bloomfield and others who share his politics continue to fail to realize is that peace and reconciliation between the Arabs and Israel will only be achieved when Israel has an actual peace partner, and when the Arabs and their corrupt, fanatical leadership recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state. DeLay understood that concept.

Unfortunately, the religious intolerance that Bloomfield cites is most often found on the left side of the political aisle.

Tom DeLay was indeed an ardent and vigorous voice in support of the U.S-Israel relationship.
His passion and commitment will be missed.
Scott M. Feigelstein
Republican Jewish Coalition Pennsylvania/South New Jersey
Bala Cynwyd

Needy ‘Nawlins’ Businesses Hang on by a Thread

Thanks for the great coverage of Arlo Gutherie (Arts & Entertainment: “The Daily Special on the Weekend Menu: Guthrie With Grit,” April 6) and his efforts on behalf of our city. He’s been such a good friend to New Orleans and its musicians.

There is so much work still to be done here, and keeping us in your readers’ minds is crucial. Our tourism-based economy has suffered a severe blow; still, there is a duality to New Orleans right now that makes it a must-see for anyone planning a vacation.

Visitors could come to New Orleans now and see nothing wrong, though the large area of destruction should not be skipped. Our world-class restaurants, galleries, music halls and hotels are waiting for you.

Many of our attractions are small businesses, owned and operated by native-born residents who are now suffering. With no financial aid forthcoming for the thousands of small businesses that represent the very heart of what makes the traditional “Nawlins experience” so unique, most are hanging on by a thread.

We are counting on visitors to keep us going.

We thank you, we love you, and we need you!
Joanne Hilton
St. Charles Guest House
New Orleans



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here