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Letters week of March 27, 2008

March 27, 2008
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Israel Shouldn't Become Pennsylvania's Ethanol

Jonathan Tobin's suggestion that Pennsylvania's Jews should use the upcoming Democratic presidential primary to support Israel or to lay the groundwork for war with Iran is as absurd as it is wrong (A Matter of Opinion: "The Circus Comes to Town," March 13).

Unlike Iowans, who, as Tobin points out, have used their caucus to leverage votes for backing for ethanol projects and farm subsidies, Jewish voters have a less parochial mindset. While it is true that some groups perpetuate the image of Jews selling their votes to whichever candidate bids the most in terms of pandering on Israel, the majority want no part of such nonsense. They will vote for the best candidate.

More importantly, most Americans -- and that includes Jewish Americans -- want no part of the neocons' latest bright idea: war with Iran.

What we need is a president who will lower the temperature of international crises, not someone who will buy into the crackpot right's visions of military grandeur.

The political circus may well have come to town this month, but let's hope the Jewish community doesn't opt to be a freakish sideshow in it.

A. Kramer
Philadelphia



Neither Democrat Will Stop Iran's Bomb Threat

Jonathan Tobin urges Pennsylvania's Democrats to use their six weeks with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton to get them to do the right thing on Israel and Iran (A Matter of Opinion: "The Circus Comes to Town,"March 13).

He must be dreaming!

Unfortunately, the Jews will vote for Obama or Clinton, and if one of them wins, that means Iran will get the bomb. And that means goodbye Israel.

I am flabbergasted that such an intelligent group can't add two-plus-two when it comes to political issues.

Walter Pazik
San Francisco



Cheers for Killers Make Peace Simply Impossible

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach does well to lament "the sight of Gazans rejoicing at the murder of eight yeshiva students" (Opinions: "At All Costs, the Goal: Keep Humanity Alive," March 13).

The Jewish people have produced some inhuman killers, like Baruch Goldstein. But they are a despised, tiny minority.

Among Palestinians, murderers of Jews are not only not condemned, they are considered heroes and "martyrs" by both the so-called moderates of Fatah, as well as the extremists of Hamas.

Until that changes, peace will remain only a dream.

David Stone
Philadelphia



Leniency to Illegals Is an Insult to Our Forebears

I was very disillusioned after reading the Jewish Telegraphic Agency report, "Groups Voice Their Concern Over Fiery Immigration Rhetoric" (Nation & World, Feb. 28).

As an American of the Jewish faith, I fully support the Minuteman Project and its patriotic efforts to resolve this country's illegal-alien problem.

Illegal immigration and our permissive response to it are a slap in the face to my ancestors, who arrived on U.S. shores legally and became naturalized citizens. They came to this country to become Americans -- not to take advantage of government-provided benefits.

My parents and grandparents instilled in me a fierce patriotism and a passion for this country. As such, I am disappointed in groups that support law-breakers and denounce those brave citizens who try to uphold the rule of law.

They are showing contempt for the Jews who immigrated here legally.

Jill Gershen
Darnestown, Md.



The Arab League's Push for War Must Be Stopped!

All the earnest negotiations that have taken place for peace in the Mideast are an exercise in futility (Cover story: "Hamas Forces Standoff, Raising the Stakes," March 6).

They have brought to real life a duplicate of the old fable of "The Emperor's Robe." The naked truth is out there for everyone to see, but no one has the courage to state it.

The Palestinians are not making war on Israel; it is the Arab League, which is now engaged in a psychological war of attrition after failing in several actual fighting wars "to drive the Jews into the sea."

The Palestinians are merely puppets under their control, who must do the bidding of those financing them.

The Arab League simply does not want a successful, thriving democracy in their midst as a "bad" example to their subjects, particularly the younger, better educated ones, giving them the wrong ideas. They want to maintain the status quo -- and will stop at nothing to achieve their aim.

The only thing that can halt this endless farce is a reorganized, stronger, more effective, more powerful, more democratic United Nations, which can tell the Arab nations that they have to accept the fact that Israel is entitled to the little splinter of land it occupies, and that it's also entitled to live there in peace.

Milton Shapiro
Philadelphia



Kosovo Independence Was Muslim Aggression

The old adage that none are so blind as those who will not see is believed to date to the 1500s, but it is still painfully current when it comes to the Jewish Exponent and its coverage of the Albanian Muslim invasion of Kosovo.

For example, the article (Cover story: "In Kosovo, Freedom's 'Iffy' for Its Few Jews, Feb. 21) refers to the conflict in Kosovo as having been between the benignly designated "Kosovo Albanians seeking independence" and the malevolently characterized "Serbian troops controlled by strongman Slobodan Milosevic," as if all the guns were on the side of a Serbian military and used against a helpless, unarmed civilian populace.

If that were even close to the truth, it wouldn't have been much of a conflict.

The accompanying photo refers to the celebrants as "Kosovars" rather than as Albanians, even though the "Kosovars" are clearly waving the Albanian flag.

How long does the Jewish Exponent believe it will be before "independent" Kosovo becomes part of Albania?

Ed Rosenblum
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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