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November 15, 2011
Letters Week of Nov. 15, 2011
Once Iran Goes Nuclear, Our Freedom Is Shot
Your Nov. 10 editorial, "Pull Out All the Stops," rightly notes the "potential dangers from Iran" if it obtains a nuclear weapon, but few consider the dangers this would pose for the United States specifically.
Whatever the political, economic and security fallout that might ensue from a last-resort military strike upon Iranian nuclear facilities, such an attack will be as nothing against the shadow of nuclear blackmail that America will be obliged to live under once Iran gets such weapons.
Even if Iran never fires upon the United States, who really believes Iran won't give such weapons to terrorists? And who believes that, once having such weapons, terrorists won't use them on the United States? And even if neither entity uses them, what unending series of concessions and retreats will America have to undertake to ensure that this continues?
In World War II, Japan was fanatically opposed to surrendering. It took two atomic bombs to change its mind. What would it take to destroy our will to resist?
Once Iran gets the bomb, our freedom and security may well be compromised beyond anything we can imagine.
Morton A. Klein
Zionist Organization of America
New Appointment Helps Enhance Gratz College
The appointment of Dr. Steven Brown to the faculty of Gratz College in the capacity of coordinator of the doctoral program in Jewish education is an occasion for celebration among all who revere the college (City & Suburb: "Gratz Hires Former Head of Barrack," Nov. 3).
Now in its 106th year, Gratz has a record enrollment in its Jewish studies programs and recently accepted the 21st student into its doctoral program.
The program is designed to prepare visionary leaders in the field of Jewish education. The beauty of the program is that it represents -- as does Gratz, in general -- a microcosm of the Jewish community, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and others among its diverse student body.
These students' areas of specialization include elementary and secondary, early childhood and special needs, day and supplementary education. Two students are preparing for roles as university teachers of Judaism. All are fine, disciplined and creative individuals.
It is an honor for me to direct the program, and with the addition of Dr. Brown to our team, bringing a distinguished background of service to the Jewish community, Gratz has every reason to believe that it will continue to enhance its more than a century's worth of academic Jewish leadership preparation.
Saul P. Wachs
Department of education
He Was Misunderstood; Justice Was the Point
The Nov. 10 letter that responded to mine about Rita Levine -- "What Would Rita Levine Have Done If She Lived?" -- misunderstood what I said.
The Arab cause that Rita Levine sympathized with was to live in dignity, equality and peace in Israel; and enemies of that cause, both among Jews and Arabs, must be opposed in a manner characteristic of a democracy as portrayed in Israel's Declaration of Independence.
As a lawyer who fought for equal justice under the law in Philadelphia for most of her legal career, Rita Levine wanted no less in Israel and was studying for the Israeli bar when she was killed by a terrorist. She wanted to respond to terror by doing good, which is characteristic of a civilized society.
Had Rita Levine lived, she would have joined the ranks of civil rights lawyers appearing before Israeli courts on behalf of those, including Arabs, seeking vindication of their rights. Such advocates can cite precedents going back to the Hebrew Bible.
Perhaps most relevant is the book of Numbers 15:16, which requires equal treatment before the law for citizens and strangers. It is one illustration of the broader principle: "Justice! Justice! You shall pursue!", which comes from Deuteronomy 16:20.
Professor of law
Temple School of Law