Letters week of April 30, 2009

Why Give Space to This Particular Letter-Writer?


I participate actively in a local Jewish/Christian interfaith dialogue group. While members often express diverse — even irreconcilable — theological beliefs on difficult issues, we exist to find common ground when possible and to promote mutual respect.

I question the judgment of the Jewish Exponent, therefore, in offering a forum to someone calling himself a "rabbi" when he is a minister who preaches the gospel (Letters: "Piece on Gays Not Worthy of the 'Jewish Exponent,' " April 23).

I won't comment on the letter's content. But I will question whether the paper's disclaimer that "We are a diverse community … [and] … the views expressed … do not necessarily reflect the views [of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia]" justifies allowing a church to represent itself as a synagogue. This type of deception has had — and continues to have — destructive consequences.

We are a diverse community; however, we are a diverse Jewish community.

Mr. Fuller, the self-identified "messianic rabbi," ought not to have been given a forum to proselytize under the guise of a letter to the editor.

David M. Seltzer
Huntingdon Valley

Paper Offers Updated Definition of Chutzpah

The Jewish Exponent is to be congratulated for its championing of the new, definitive example of outrageous effrontery (better known as chutzpah).

I am referring, of course, to the April 23 letter in which a Jew for Jesus — i.e., a cross-worshipping faith-traitor — proceeds to dictate to authentic Jews what it is that the Torah says and means.

What next? Zionist Organization of America president-for-life Morton A. Klein lecturing Third World leaders on the need for term limits in office? Bernie Madoff upbraiding the Obama administration for its absence of fiscal restraint and insufficient safeguards to insure fiduciary responsibility?

Rachmiel Gottlieb
Pikesville, Md.

Let's Not Fund BBC's 'Scurrilous Attacks'!

On April 30, the BBC portion of WHYY's morning program consisted almost entirely of a speech given by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the conference on racism then being held in Geneva.

His diatribe was directed against Israel and the United States (read: the Jewish people).

The BBC presenter ignored the fact that the conference stipulated that attacks on any people or state were forbidden.

The presenter aired only two responses to the president, both positive. In the end, the BBC gave the Iranian a propaganda gift without one word of criticism being voiced by either the BBC or WHYY.

When the station was called concerning this fact, WHYY said it was not responsible for BBC programming. Such broadcasts are contracted for by NPR; WHYY and other stations then choose whether to carry them. The money for such programs is made possible by donations from corporate sponsors and from member contributions.

It should be pointed out to WHYY that it cannot deny responsibility for what it broadcasts, and that we are under no obligation to support a station that doesn't assume the responsibility to conform to fair and objective broadcasting.

Morton H. Leibman

Obama Keeps Flipping on the Gravest of Matters

President Obama demonstrates his lack of consistent core values by flipping and reflipping on important issues.

For examples, would he speak with fascistic dictators without preconditions? Yes, said candidate Obama. But his advisers later explained that there would be preliminary discussions before such a meeting.

Obama then re-reflipped in the greeting he gave last week to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

To AIPAC listeners, he called Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel. The next day, to a different audience, he said he meant it had to be discussed.

The shallowness reflected in the president's penchant for "speaking from the hip" makes me anxious about how deep his commitment to Israel may be.

Will his view depend upon the audience at the moment?

Doris Yarczower


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