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Letters week of April 1, 2010
Do You Choose Obama, or Israel and Survival?
Passover has always been a time for making choices. So it is time for Jews, even those Jews who voted for our president, to choose sides.
Do you choose Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- with their attacks on Jews, attacks on Israel's right to build homes for Jews in Israel and to live in all of Jerusalem -- or do you choose Torah, Israel and survival? Do you choose Judaism or extreme leftism as your religion?
We are told that only 20 percent of Jews chose to believe the call to escape Pharaoh's Egypt. Those who did not heed it -- the remaining 80 percent -- perished.
The time for Jews to choose is now.
The March 18 front page of the Jewish Exponent carried a picture of rioting Palestinians with a caption that read, in part: "[Palestinians burned tires and clashed with security forcesin reaction to Israel's latest actions in Jerusalem."
Careful examination of recent events demonstrates approval of additional housing in an existing Jewish community in Jerusalem, one of multiple steps in a previously announced project that is several years from beginning construction. There were no Israeli "actions" and nothing new was announced by Israel.
What was new was the sharp rebuke of Israel by the Obama administration, as well as a new demand that Israel agree to cease construction in existing Jerusalem communities, even before any negotiations have established "final borders."
Virtually every realistic peace proposal recognizes that there will be border adjustments between Israel and the proposed Palestine. Ramat Shlomo, just over the 1948 armistice line, is certain to be on the Israeli side of any permanent border.
A far more compelling case can be made that the Palestinians were responding not to Israeli bureaucracy's latest pronouncement, but rather to America's harsh rebuke of its ally -- and its simultaneous insistence that, while final boundaries will be determined through negotiation, Israel must stop building even in existing neighborhoods.
But most puzzling is why the Philadelphia Jewish community's newspaper ran a caption that showed the news about Palestinian riots in an unflattering way for Israel --and inaccurately at that.
There is no shortage of news sources unfairly critical of Israel. Our community paper should not be one of them.
John R. Cohn
Small Organization Seeks to Meet a Large Goal
Thank you for the cover story, "Why Isn't P.A. Funding Holocaust Education," in the Spring-Summer issue of Inside magazine. We want to share some more information about a small local organization with international impact.
The Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation -- a public, nonprofit group based in Narberth -- was created to teach tolerance, lessen prejudice and discrimination in all its forms, and encourage community service. Our award-winning teaching materials, geared for middle-, high school- and college-age students are based on a Holocaust survivor and her liberator husband's story.
These kits provide the background of the horrors of that time, yet transcend that hatred to teach our children to care for one another.
The Klein Foundation's materials have been requested and distributed to more than 120,000 teachers, free of charge, in the last five years. We provide kits to the United Nations and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as to teachers in every state and 25 countries (including Asia, Africa, Europe and Russia).
Beth G. Reisboard