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Letters week of Sept. 14, 2006
Nobody Wins With War, but Don't Say Israel Lost
Let me remind those who have turned so viciously on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who say that Israel lost the war and that there are no victors in war, only losers.
That said, let us review the results of the war.
Olmert made the same mistake that President Bush made in Iraq. He declared war without adequate reason.
Nevertheless, Israel's army fought with so much courage.
Can anyone imagine how those soldiers feel when they read in their newspapers that their own people turned against them? Can American Jews be proud of themselves when they are so unfeeling as to believe Hezbollah's unreasonable boasts of victory?
The story in the Jewish Exponent (Cover story: "War Ends, but Not the Criticism of Olmert," Aug. 17) disgusted me because it gave Israel's enemies ammunition to prove that Israel lost the war.
I was impressed with the solidarity of the people when I visited Israel. They have defied fierce enemies, and nature's cruelest punishments and survived. This war was just another obstacle on their road to peace.
When I saw the Exponent's reports on the war, I was so indignant that I couldn't sleep.
There must be others who feel as I do. Maybe Israel didn't win the war, but they didn't lose it either.
To Have a Conscience or Not: That Is the Question!
David Perelman of Elkins Park writes that "American Jews have a strong sense of social conscience" (Letters: "Bush: Good for Israel, Bad for America," Aug. 17).
Perhaps Perelman can tell your readers, where was that "strong sense of social conscience" during the Holocaust, when the established Jewish leadership found it more convenient to ignore the ongoing slaughter of the suffering Jews of Europe while currying favor with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president who, with his anti-Semitic secretary of state, Cordell Hull, opposed granting the Jews a refuge in America.
It was only following the war that the establishment created the empty slogan -- "Never again!" -- for credit they did not deserve.
This absence of a "Jewish conscience" was not a temporary aberration. The Jewish social conscience was again missing when Israeli premier Ariel Sharon threw 8,500 Jews out of Gaza with only pitiful resources to sustain them.
In Politics, Truth Speaks Louder Than Fiction
Concerning the letter from Ira Forman of the National Jewish Democratic Council calling for censorship in the Jewish Exponent, it's nice to see Jewish Democrats believe in free speech as long as they control who speaks (Letters: "Republican Ad Politicizes U.S.-Israel Alliance," Aug. 31).
Addressing the main points, Cindy Sheehan isn't a Democratic activist. Really? This is a woman who has traveled all over the country supporting Democratic candidates. What is one supposed to call such a person?
No one said she spoke for the Democratic Party, just that she is a "leading Democratic activist," and that she is anti-Israel. And she is.
Forman also claims that former President Jimmy Carter and Rev. Al Sharpton -- two outspoken opponents of Israel cited in the ad -- are "on the outside looking in" at the Democrats.
Really? Both these men -- a former Democratic president and a would-be one -- were honored at the Democratic National Convention.
Finally, Forman says that "the RJC ad implied that the Connecticut primary results pose a threat to American support for Israel." That's true.
Ned Lamont is a creature of the blogosphere, created almost entirely by the ultra-left-wing crazies of the Democratic party, as typified by the "Daily Kos" blog.
If he wins, Israel will definitely not have a friend in the Senate from Connecticut.
The Democratic activists posted racist and anti-Semitic pictures and comments, and were supported by the majority of comments posted in response. That is also fact.
Forman knows all this, which is why he wants papers to ban the RJC ads.
If the facts are against you, make every attempt to make sure that no one learns them.
Out Front and Vocal: Republicans Rise to Top
Ira Forman, the executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council complains that the Jewish Exponent ran an ad produced by the Republican Jewish Coalition talking about how the Democratic Party is not strong on issues relating to Israel (Letters: "Republican Ad Politicizes U.S.-Israel Alliance," Aug. 31).
He claimed the ad was misleading. I say he's in denial.
While leaders of the Republican Party -- such as Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Jim Gerlach and Rep. Curt Weldon -- have made speeches and publicized positions that unequivocally back Israel, the Democratic Party and its leaders have been largely mum.
Yes, they will come out with a rare statement supporting Israel, but that statement is always accompanied by a "but" -- as in, "I support Israel's right to defend itself, but it is using disproportionate force." Or how about: "Suicide bombers are wrong, but Israel is occupying Arab territory."
The bottom line is that while the Democrats pay lip service to supporting Israel, the Republican Party and its leaders are out front and vocal.
If It's That Juicy, Then Wrap It in a Towel!
I only just read Robert Leiter's review of Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination by Mark Krupnick (Books & Writers: "Testament of a Dying Man," July 6).
While it was a fine article about the late Professor Krupnick and his final book, I would think that if Leiter truly meant that readers would "literally feel Krupnick's juices flowing," he might have at least prefaced the review with a warning to wrap the book in a towel before opening it!
Rachel A. Bernhardt
Silver Spring, Md.