Letters the Week of July 31, 2014


Two readers voice their thoughts on the Gaza conflict and another responds to a letter about the Perelman Jewish Day School union dispute.

Guess the Side to Be Hit With War Crimes
Are war crimes charges likely to be leveled as a result of abhorrent events that are occurring in the Israeli-Hamas conflict  (Cover Story: “Facing Threats Above and Below,” July 24 )? Very likely. Every time Hamas fires a rocket that could kill or maim
Israeli citizens, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Bedouin or Druze, they are committing a war crime. Every time Hamas fires rockets from schools, mosques and private residences — and prevents its citizens from leaving harm’s way — it is committing a war crime.
Will Hamas be charged with war crimes? Of course not! In a world in which justice is turned upside down, Israel, the state that was relentlessly attacked, that does everything technically and humanly possible to defend itself in a humane way — even to the extent of endangering its own military personnel and citizens — that alone has accepted cease-fire offers, is the state likely to be charged with war crimes. 
Saul Axelrod | Elkins Park
The Time Is Now to Buy Israel Bonds
It was 1973 and Israel was under vicious attack from all her Arab neighbors on Yom Kippur. Things looked desperate. 
Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir would later blame herself for not being prepared.
I was 12 years old. Frank Rizzo was mayor of Philadelphia and his friend, City Councilman Al Pearlman, encouraged all Philadelphians to buy Israel Bonds. Jews and Christians responded in a big way.
Today, City Hall and City Council are silent. The silence is deafening.
While the names change and the strategy does, too, the objective is always the same: Kill the Jews and get Israel!
If you can’t attend rallies, if you can’t write letters to publications, if you can’t call your elected officials, please do one thing — buy Israel Bonds now.
They can fit anyone’s budget and will finance Israel’s defense.
If Hamas beats Israel, guess who’s next? You and me!
Myles Gordon | Philadelphia
Citing Halachah in PJDS Dispute Foolhardy
Daniel E. Loeb cites the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards as “halachically binding” on legal positions for the Conservative movement. (Letters, “PJDS Bound by Halachic Rulings on Labor Law,” July 24).
This is the same committee that prohibits travel on Shabbat (except to support its large institutions that cannot survive without an extended community that travels on Shabbat) and insists on observance of kashrut as defined and supervised by the Orthodox community. This restricts observance to the small minority of Jews who live in the midst of an Orthodox community and can pay its high prices.
Clearly, these examples show that the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards does not represent a consensus on halachic observance in the Conservative Jewish community today. Were the law committee to address issues like these — and others such as the status of children of Conservative family sons in mixed marriages — Loeb’s claim to credibility would be improved.
D. Korenstein | Wayne