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Letters week of July 22, 2010
If It's All True, There's a Dilemma in November
If the allegations in recent television ads and in an advertisement in the July 1 Jewish Exponent about Joe Sestak from the group Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin are true, I will be faced with a significant dilemma this November.
I could not in good conscience vote for such an anti- Israel candidate. Nor could I vote for a candidate as conservative as Pat Toomey. I disagree with his positions, stated on his Web site, concerning health care, immigration, abortion, marriage and the Second Amendment.
He also espouses increased spending on the military while cutting taxes, which will surely increase the deficit, even if he cuts other government programs.
While these views may appeal to those on the right, they do not sit well with me. The Jewish right, time after time, fails to understand that liberal-moderate Jews are not going to automatically vote for a conservative candidate if the Democratic candidate is not strong on Israel.
I, for one, would prefer to not vote for that office than vote for a conservative. I have voted for moderate Republicans in the past, but they seem to only exist in Maine.
Orthodox Should Look for Funding Elsewhere
In his opinion piece, Nathan Diament ("You Could Actually Exclude Some in the Name of Inclusion," July 1) suggested that there is a risk associated with Jewish philanthropic organizations funding only groups that have nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity. The risk, he states, would be with the Orthodox or those of "other 'traditional' views [who] cannot embrace homosexual activity as legitimate."
If adopting nondiscrimination employment policies is so offensive to the Orthodox and "traditional" communities, I'd suggest they stop looking to the secular and the pluralistic Jewish philanthropists and organizations for funding. They could seek funding within their own ranks, rather than trying to suppress the progress spearheaded by communal leaders like Lynn Schusterman.
Mr. Diament also stated that "sexual orientation" isn't the same as race or gender where discrimination is concerned.
This attitude repulsed me; it profoundly saddened me that this statement was made publicly by a leader in the Jewish community. We, of all people, should understand that any loophole, with regard to discrimination, is a slippery slope.
We Jews have a responsibility -- yes, more than most -- to advocate for the basic inalienable rights for all, which include equal opportunity to get and keep a job.
Opinion Piece on Israel Riddled With Errors
The opinion piece by Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street and Debra Delee of Peace Now is riddled with breathtaking anti-Israel errors ("Denial When It Comes to Israel Action," July 8). They claim "facts don't support the charge that Palestinian leadership isn't a partner for peace."
But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently told the Arab states, "If all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor"; he honored the mastermind of the Olympic Munich massacre in which 11 Israelis were murdered, while P.A. Prime Minister Salam Fayaad visits the homes of murderers of Jews, calling them "martyrs."
The authors condemn "expanding settlements," yet there has been no building beyond the borders of existing settlements. They belittle the charge that there's no chance for a Palestinian state now.
But while Hamas controls Gaza and Fatah controls the West Bank, how is a peaceful state possible when there isn't one ruling party to run the state, and both parties continue to promote violence and hatred against Israel in their schools, media and speeches?
The opinion writers claim Israel is "blockading Gaza," yet all foods, medicines and clothing are permitted to enter. Only weapons are excluded.
Morton A. Klein
Zionist Organization of America
New York, N.Y.
She's for Sarah Palin -- and Knows Exactly Why
Letter writer Phyllis Abrams ("Got a Good Chuckle From an Unlikely Source: An Ad," July 8) indicated she was amused/surprised/disdainful when she read a Jewish Exponent advertisement paid for by the group Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.
That ad endorsed Palin, and said that Joe Sestak was anti-Israel. Abrams wondered what kind of Jews would belong to a pro-Palin group and support the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party.
So, allow me to introduce myself.
I am a Jewish Zionist, a news junkie, a registered Democrat, a former teacher, a supervisor, a member of ZOA, Hadassah, Na'amat, Ort, CAMERA and StandWithUS. I could not and did not vote for Barack Obama. He has proven himself to be everything I feared -- and worse.
My list includes his strong anti-Israel bias, his circumventing the Constitution by appointing unsavory/incompetent czars, taking over the insurance, banking, auto, health industries, refusing 17 countries' help since day three of the oil spill, and appointing Donald Berwick to oversee Medicare/Medicaid, affecting 100 million people, without allowing congressional vettings or hearings.
I have attended several TEA Party meetings and have felt joyously patriotic, seeing flags -- not guns -- everywhere.
Bankrupting the United States, abandoning Israel, winking at Iran, whitewashing terrorism -- these are the president's achievements.
Now, millions of Americans are rejecting Obama's policies, and instead feel admiration for Palin's honesty. I am one of them.
Roberta E. Dzubow
Religious Extremists Block Path to Peace
I was astounded when I read the July 1 ad placed by Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin and its director, Benyamin (Bertram) Korn. Unfortunately, the fundamentalists in all religions have tunnel vision.
Palin is not qualified for anything but drawing crowds to "see" her, for which she gets paid lots of money. She is certainly not qualified to hold any office in our government; she proved that when she resigned her job as Alaska's governor.
America's voters have learned that "incompetent" leaders in the White House have brought our country to the brink of disaster. If America loses its standing as a world leader, Israel will not have a friend in the world.
I do not believe that Rep. Joe Sestak would be responsible for Israel's downfall, but Palin could be responsible for the downfall of our country.
The religious extremists here and abroad stand in the way of ever achieving peace between Israel and its enemies. I believe it was Yitzak Rabin, who was murdered by an Orthodox Jew, who said that "you have to talk to your enemies, because your friends are already your friends."