Letter Week of Sept. 30, 2010

Vigorous Debate: It's a Hallmark of Democracy

I read with interest Barry Morrison's piece "When Hate Takes Over, the Results Never Turn Out Well" (Editorial & Opinions, Sept. 23).

Sensible people agree that our political dialogue should be civilized and, even if spirited, nonviolent. But Mr. Morrison's article, perhaps unintentionally, suggests that in this particular election season, violent "speech" is on the rise.

He provides no evidence for this assertion; in fact, in light of the enormous (perhaps unprecedented) stakes in 2010 and the (perhaps unprecedented) motivation of many disappointed Americans to vote out the liberal establishment, the peacefulness of our politics is actually quite commendable.

In fact, many of Mr. Morrison's examples are off-point –e.g., a two-year-old ADL report about supposedly "growing" hostility; a 2008 isolated violent act "allegedly" caused by xenophobia; and a summary of the activities of certain ever-present crazies who (just like the Unabomber decades ago) believe that the government has no authority over them.

None of these examples is representative of the 2010 "election campaign season" and its energized conservative electorate.

Vociferous debate is a hallmark of healthy democracy. I do not believe — and Mr. Morrison's article does not convince me otherwise — that 2010's campaigns are unique. For that, we should be grateful.

Judd Serotta
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Use Their Correct Names: Judea and Samaria

I was extremely disappointed by the Sept. 23 cover story, "Can Tourism Help Rebrand Settlements?" The theme is that Jews will become more supportive of West Bank settlements if we advertise and "rebrand" the region as a tourist attraction. Coverage is given to "West Bank" wineries as an attraction — wineries similar to those that could be toured in California wine country.

This is insanity.

The term West Bank (West Bank of the Jordan River) was created by enemies of Israel to refer to the section of land stolen from the Jewish people and annexed by Jordan. The proper term is "Judea and Samaria," found in the Torah.

This is our land — all of it, as it has been for thousands of years. Until the enemy spin-meisters created the term "Palestinian people," Palestinians were Jews and others living in the Palestinian Mandate area. Any Jew born or living in pre-1948 Israel was a "Palestinian."

Jews and righteous Christians do not value Judea, Samaria or other parts of Israel because of the tourism value. This is not Monaco. These areas, and all of Israel, are the homeland of the Jewish people.

Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria are not "settlements"; they are homes of Jews in our Holy Land. There is no media-created "Arab East Jerusalem." It is simply Jerusalem, the location of Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount.

Intentionally or accidentally, misconceptions in the Jewish Exponent feed into the hands of the enemies of Israel. The editors must revise their stylebook to avoid these terms, which only strengthen the goals of our enemies — the delegitimization and destruction of Israel.

Howard Hyman

This May Be Nitpicking, but Article's Inaccurate

I have some concerns about your article, "Meet the Nitpickers" (Health & Science, Sept. 16), namely because I am a pediatrician in South Jersey who helps successfully treat most children who have lice with advice given over the phone by nurses.

Several statements in the story are inaccurate and serve only to increase the high level of anxiety of parents of school-age children with lice. Lice transmit no diseases. They can cause scalp itchiness and parental angst.

Neither of the over-the-counter medicines used to treat lice (Nix and Rid) produce cancer. Some lice are resistant, but in our practice, 90 percent of the patients are cured with one treatment and with nit removal by competent parents with steady hands, who then follow-up with sensible house-cleaning advice.

Those individuals who prove to be resistant are treated successfully with a prescription drug.

David B. Rosenberg
Vineland, N.J.


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