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Letters Week of Aug. 31, 2011
Ask Important Questions to Ensure Shalit's Release
I commend the Jewish Exponent for its Aug. 25 editorial, "Another Anniversary," urging continued pressure for Gilad Shalit's release. As some readers may wonder what they can do, I'd like to offer a simple suggestion.
Over the next 14 months, before the November 2012 elections, Jews will be in the presence of candidates -- including incumbents -- who will be appearing at town hall meetings, synagogue brunches and such.
I propose that at every such occasion, someone ask, preferably during an open question-and-answer session: "What are you personally doing now to pursue the release of Gilad Shalit from his Hamas captors? What are you personally doing now to pursue access to him by the International Red Cross?"
This simple step will raise the profile of Gilad's plight and show candidates that we care.
Peace Won't Happen Until Palestinians Accept Israel
Having just finished reading the Aug. 25 opinion pieces by Marc Stanley, "Obama Hasn't Gotten Fair Shake When It Comes to the Jewish State," and Morton Klein's "Administration's Approach: Shocking, Unprecedented, Very Dangerous," I was reminded of the old tale in which two blind men describe an elephant by feeling different parts of its anatomy.
Interestingly, on the previous page, a letter writer stated that it doesn't matter who says what because of Muslim intransigence. After thousands of years, this point should be obvious, but many people won't accept it.
Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are consummate politicians, and each is aware of his constituents' views and speaks to them accordingly. I was taught, at an early age, that actions speak louder than words so before anyone gets his knickers in a knot, let's consider $3 billion in aid, the United States defense of Israel at the United Nations and its pledge to defend Israel should the necessity arise. U.S. largesse is totally selfish, of course, since Israel's existence is important to this country.
Both leaders know Israel is our only friend in a hostile environment and both walk a political tight rope with their constituents. Their words reflect what they believe will placate their respective voters, since both want to be re-elected. In other words, politics as usual.
Everyone, except those who desire the total elimination of Israel, understands that, despite political rhetoric, the peace process cannot begin until the Palestinians accept Israel's right to exist.
Ralph D. Bloch
Opinion Writer Was Right on the Money on Obama
Morton Klein was right on the money in his Aug. 25 opinion piece "Administration's Approach: Shocking, Unprecedented, Very Dangerous."
It distresses me that so many Jews voted for such an enemy of Israel. I am an ex-Democrat now and as an independent, I will vote for anyone running against Obama in 2012, even if it means that other important issues, such as abortion and gay rights, will not be safeguarded.
Camp Gave Her a Clear Sense of Herself as a Jew
In response to the Jewish Exponent's articles on Jewish camping, I want to say that I grew up Jewish in a south Georgia country farm town, 200 miles south of Atlanta, and I was fortunate to go to Camp Blue Star in North Carolina in the late 1950s. I learned so much about Judaism and made lifelong friends.
It was a wonderful and enriching experience, especially for small-town Jewish children who had very little Jewish education and little contact with other young Jewish people.
Jewish camp did have a major impact on my life.
Devara Felson Goodman