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Letters Week of July 28, 2005
Something seems terribly wrong with American Jews if Jonathan Tobin’s “To the Abyss and Over” (A Matter of Opinion, July 7) is any indication. Could it be that many Jews are no longer aware of the reasons why so many of our ancestors first came to this country?
Growing up, we learned from our parents and grandparents how precious the separation between church and state was since it guaranteed freedom of religion to all Americans.
As Democrats, which most of us were at the time, we also realized that a leader who supported social values sensitive to the general populace — no matter the size of their paychecks — were the leaders we should choose.
Somewhere along the way, the conversation got sidetracked, and now much is taken for granted. Still, nothing at all has changed that would make the church-state separation irrelevant.
Rather than disregard all that we cherish in the United States, and give our precious votes to politicians whose beliefs are counter to ours simply because they profess support for the Jewish state, well, I would rather pack my bags and move to Israel.
Terror Overshadows Any of Fence’s Hardships
I applaud the view presented in “Fight the Good Fight” (Editorial, July 14) regarding Israel’s security fence.
Palestinian politicians, having barely conceded that Israel has a right to exist, would prefer that the country have even more porous borders.
But the Palestinian Authority cannot expect Israel to adopt the kind of open-border policy that we have with Canada, given the harsh realities of the security situation. As long as the P.A. refuses to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, the security fence is a necessity.
Yes, the fence causes some hardship to Palestinians, and this is unfortunate.
But on any scale of human decency, it is far more unfortunate that more than 1,000 Israelis are dead, and thousands more horribly maimed.
To deny Israel’s right to defend itself because doing so might violate “humanitarian rights” is a travesty that cannot go unchallenged.
Sherwood Cohen, M.D.
For Their Part, It’s a Bitter Fight to the Very End
I know it’s typically said that the vast majority of Muslims are not extremists. Jonathan Tobin says as much in his column on the issue (A Matter of Opinion: “Dumbing Down Islamic Terror,” July 14).
But I can’t agree.
The Koran is extremist through and through, and the pitch from Arab spokesmen is always the same — portraying the Arab world as a victim, with extremism limited to those who are psychologically disadvantaged because of Israel’s actions.
But the “greatest” terrorists of all time, Yasser Arafat and Osama bin Laden, were billionaires and highly educated.
Let’s also not forget that 70 percent or more of Palestinians polled favor suicide murder. Many of the other 30 percent say no only because the bombings have made their lives more difficult.
Perhaps we should not prejudge people, but how many Muslims have we heard condemn jihad and suicide killings as murder, and therefore wrong? Their response is always evasive, claiming that the killers are a handful out of billions.
This is, indeed, a struggle to the death. And there will never be peace instituted with a people who equate peace to submission to their religious faith.
Ignorance of History Muddies Terror Debate
Although I live in Green Bay, my brother gave me a subscription to the Jewish Exponent, since many interesting articles can only be read in your publication. I especially enjoyed Jonathan Tobin’s recent column “Dumbing Down Islamic Terror” (A Matter of Opinion, July 14).
British Prime Minister Tony Blair echoed the same idea stressed by Tobin that this war did not start after Sept. 11, but began centuries ago.
Nevertheless, many politicians blame Israel for the current malaise.
People remain ignorant of history and of Islamism’s wish to recover its lost empire.
Green Bay, Wisc.
Anti-Semitism? There’s a Better Word: Anti-Jewish
It’s time to remove the word “anti-Semitism” from our language, including in Jewish Exponent articles.
The proper word to describe people who dislike or hate Jews is “anti-Jewish.”
Irvin J. Borowsky
Founder and Chairman
American Interfaith Institute
Why Do You Publicize Russian Culture in Paper?
The promotion in the Jewish Exponent’s “Out & About” community calendar of the upcoming Russian festival celebrating the heritage and history of the former Soviet Union’s republics was certainly confounding.
We have only to recall the Soviet Union’s persecution, discrimination and outlawing of Jewish religious expression to understand the bigotry and hatred our brethren were exposed to.
Promoting “celebration” of that loathsome history is offensive. It is as ironic as advertising the celebration of German culture of the 1930.