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Letters Week of Nov. 1, 2007

November 1, 2007
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Coulter and Evangelicals Need to Study Their Bible
Ann Coulter's point -- that Jews need to be perfected by accepting Jesus -- simply articulated what evangelical Christians believe in their hearts, but avoid stating in order to make their message more palatable (Editorial: "Coulter Culture Shock," Oct. 18).

By saying Jews need to be perfected, she is replacing the word "perfected" for the classic missionary term "completed." This insinuates that Jews are incomplete and imperfect.

Coulter quotes Jerry Falwell in saying that Jews can serve God with the law, but Christians have the improved fast-track through the blood of Jesus. In fact, Pat Robertson said the same thing. Robertson admitted that his Christian beliefs also teach that it's impossible for Jews to keep the entire law since we all "fall short," and can only get to heaven through Jesus.

Evangelicals may claim that they love Jews and Israel, but until they respect Judaism as a valid path to God, they will continue to seek our conversion.

We need to educate Christians about what the Bible really teaches in context and in the original Hebrew. Until then, they will continue to repeat the same inaccurate teachings that Christianity has been preaching for centuries.
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
Director
Jews for Judaism
Los Angeles

Don't Join the Pack Attacking Ann Coulter!
How predictable that a liberal editorial column like that of the Jewish Exponent would join the pack of hounds baying at Ann Coulter (Editorial: "Coulter Culture Shock," Oct. 18).

What Coulter said was nothing different from what most people believe about their religious faith: We're right and the other guys are wrong.

Why is that an insult for her to just say that she thinks that Christianity is the true faith? We Jews think the same about our own religion.

Insults about being a "symbol of the degradation of contemporary culture," as was written in your editorial, miss her position on the issue.

The important thing about Coulter is that she supports the right of Israel and the Jewish people to defend themselves against Muslim terrorists.

As long as she sticks to that particular belief, she can think what she likes about the name of the Messiah.
M. Schwartz
Philadelphia

U.S. Soldiers and Sailors: They're Not Mercenaries!
While I generally believe Jonathan Tobin's columns are "dead on," I take issue with one of his comments about sailors serving in the U.S. Navy (A Matter of Opinion: "America's 'Silver Platter,' " Oct. 18).

Tobin claims that most of the sailors come from the lower end of the economic ladder. It implies that they are mercenaries, mostly from the ghetto. That is simply not true -- and it's even less true since 9/11.

I am a retired Navy Aviation Supply Officer, and my two sons are proudly serving the U.S. Army on the ground in Iraq.

I would invite Tobin to visit any of the large graduations at the Army or Navy training commands. Looking at the crowd, the percentages of "people of color" reflect the general population. And when you get to know these folks, you find that most are from the solid middle class.

What really bothers me is that all the fathers and mothers reading Tobin's column may, again, be negatively reinforced as to the nature of the military.

It is truly a level playing field for those wanting to learn a skill. In fact, many of these young men and women are second- and third-generation military. Most of their parents used the military to work their way to middle-class status.
Brian Chandler
Retired commander, U.S. Navy Chester

Story Instills Pride to Be a Jew and an American
The Jewish Exponent's story about the USS Harry Truman and its captain was a terrific piece (Cover story: "Philadelphia Native Sails Navy's 'Truman' Into Action," Oct. 18).

What a proud feeling it is, as a Jew and an American, to read about such terrific people.
Benjamin Klapper
Philadelphia

Protesters, Not the Navy, Deserve Nation's Thanks
While I'm sure all of the Jewish Exponent's readers are proud of the achievements of members of our community who achieve prominence, such as the captain of the USS Harry Truman, I do question the need to fill the paper with stories that glorify the military while it is being used to conduct an illegal and oppressive war in Iraq (Cover story: "Philadelphia Native Sails Navy's 'Truman' Into Action," Oct. 18).

Contrary to Jonathan Tobin, who wrote this story and an accompanying column that continued the unvarnished praise of the Navy (A Matter of Opinion: "America's 'Silver Platter,' " Oct. 18), the people who are doing the most to preserve our freedoms are not the ones being sent to the Persian Gulf to bomb Iraq, and perhaps eventually Iran.

Rather, it is those brave citizens who take to the streets to protest this war who deserve the loudest applause.
Jacob Miller
Philadelphia

Rice Deserves the Blame for Misguided Summit
Former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas doesn't think Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should be blamed for the probable failure of the upcoming Middle East Summit in Annapolis, Md. (Opinion: "Don't Blame the Secretary of State If the Summit Fails," Oct. 18).

Instead, he blames Israel and the Palestinians.

While he will get no argument from me about the Palestinians, putting the Israelis in the dock with them isn't merely wrong, but dangerous.

As long as "progress" toward peace is measured solely in more Israeli concessions -- and not by Palestinians making good on past promises to give up terror and recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state -- such summits will mean just one thing: pressure on Israel.

The only failure here is Rice's failure to grasp that such meetings have no value in the absence of a sea change in Palestinian thinking.

And that is a mistake for which she deserves to be held accountable.
R. Cohen
Philadelphia

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