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Letters Week of Oct. 25, 2007

October 25, 2007
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Taking Pride in Jews Who Serve in the Military
Finally, we have something in print about Jewish people who serve the nation that we can be proud of (Cover story: "Philadelphia Native Sails Navy's 'Truman' Into Action," Oct. 18) and (A Matter of Opinion: "America's Silver Platter," Oct. 18). Jonathan Tobin hit two home runs.
The country needs reminding that we do serve in our military -- and proudly!
As for the war in Iraq, the greatest error our statesmen made was to commit the United States to a high-stakes conflict without mobilizing popular passions -- as was the case with World War II -- to a level commensurate with the hazards and dangers of this conflict. God willing, the United States will prevail.
Bernard Bass
Philadelphia

We're No Longer 'Eating Ham for Uncle Sam'!
The article on the captain of the USS Harry S. Truman was wonderful (Cover story: "Philadelphia Native Sails Navy's 'Truman' Into Action," Oct. 18).
It reminded me of my days in the U.S. Air Force during World War II as the only Jewish officer on a base with more than 2,000 other men.
I searched the base directory for Jewish names and found a Sgt. Goldberg, but when I looked him up, he denied that he was Jewish.
While I didn't hold a rank comparable to the Truman's captain, I was the navigator on a B-29 crew, and I felt the continuous digs of anti-Semitism until the day I saved the plane and crew from a forced ditching in the South Atlantic. From then on, I commanded their full respect.
It was tough being a Jew in the air force during World War II. Like "Many a son of Abraham, I was eating ham for Uncle Sam," never having tasted it before.
After returning home safely, I wrote to ex-president Truman to thank him for two things -- the establishment of the State of Israel, and ending the war with Japan by dropping the A-Bomb. The president graciously replied; that reply is framed, and his picture hangs on my office wall.
My son Jeffrey currently serves at an air base in Kuwait, and he recently told me of finding another Jew with whom to have a Shabbat service.
That other person -- a female air-force enlistee -- and he lit Shabbat candles on the tailgate of a 12-ton army truck as they recited the service.
Arthur Hill
Philadelphia

Camp David 2000 Story Distorted by Revisionists
I appreciated Jonathan Tobin's column about the upcoming peace summit (A Matter of Opinion: "It's Not a Parlor Game," Oct. 11). It's important that someone is writing about the real events that took place at Camp David in 2000.
I'm sure that as time goes by, there are many accounts that will be altered by the revisionists keeping our children from learning the truth.
I wonder what makes U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice so confused as to think that she will be able to be an instrument of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Bea Cannon
Lafayette, N.J.

Rudy Who? Bring Clintons Back to the White House!
Lawrence Mayer's letter was so biased against Hillary Clinton and so in favor of Rudy Giuliani (Letters: "What Has Abortion Got to Do With the Presidency?" Oct. 18). But what can you expect from someone writing from Texas?
Contrary to Mayer -- who fears that religious conservatives will allow Clinton to win -- I would relish a Hillary victory, and with all the wonderful baggage she brings. Perhaps Bill Clinton can even go to the United Nations.
Much worse is the possibility of a Rudy victory. Here is a man with no morality, no scruples, and whose only claim to fame is the American flag that he wears on his lapel.
He did nothing for New York City, and just happened to be there on Sept. 11. Since then, he has capitalized on his past and distorted it many times over.
And, yes, I'm afraid that he would bring more conservatives to the Supreme Court.
David M. Levy
Elkins Park

ADL's Wrong to Support Tutu Invitation to Speak
I am surprised and disappointed to see Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League giving a platform to South Africa's Desmond Tutu to speak at a Minnesota university (Nation & World: "ADL: Despite Israel Stands, Don't Ban Tutu," Oct. 11).
Tutu is one of the most virulent critics of Israel and the Jewish people.
Foxman, in his letter to the president of the university, acknowledged that Tutu's "words have often stung the Jewish community," and "at times have crossed the line."
Does that mean crossed into anti-Semitism or venal hatred?
Why does the ADL betray its mission to fight those who defame Israel and Jews by supporting a defamer like Tutu to potentially spew his venom?
Morton A. Klein
National president
Zionist Organization of America Philadelphia


Drug-Abuse Ad Crosses the Line of Bad Taste
I am writing in response to the advertisement that has appeared in your paper over the past several weeks about the Caron Foundation.
While I appreciate the desire to promote treatment for adolescent substance abuse, the shock-value approach is inappropriate for this venue.
The Jewish Exponent is read by the entire community, including by children and older adults. It is inappropriate to portray an adolescent girl snorting cocaine; it unnecessarily exposes young people to an idea they have limited knowledge about -- namely, substance-abusers.
Although I am not ignorant of the fact that the Jewish community is affected by substance abuse, it is a parent's decision on how to discuss such material with their children.
I do not disagree with the need to advertise this issue; however, a more tactful and sensitive approach to share this information would be more appropriate.
As a professional in the mental-health field, as well as a parent, I urge you to consider modifying this advertisement.
Dr. Janet R. Belitsky
Malvern

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