Letters week of Aug. 2, 2007



No Basis to Allegations Against Nefesh B'Nefesh

Regarding the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's article, published by the Jewish Exponent (Israel & Mideast: "Aliyah Groups Split and Get Ready to Battle," July 19), Nefesh B'Nefesh feels that it must clarify some confusion that has been created by the statements contained in the article regarding our nonprofit status.

Nefesh B'Nefesh was determined by the Internal Revenue Service to have 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable status from its inception. That status has never been questioned by the IRS, nor has there ever been any abuse of that status. All contributions to Nefesh B'Nefesh by any individual or organization are fully deductible as charitable contributions in accordance with IRS regulations.

Nefesh B'Nefesh is disappointed by allegations made by a Jewish Agency executive regarding the supposed risks to Jewish federations in making contributions to our group.

These allegations are baseless. The two letters cited in the article are specific to the United Israel Appeal, which receives grants from the U.S. government for resettlement in Israel of immigrants coming from countries of distress.

These grants have specific conditions, which have no bearing on activities of the United Jewish Communities and individual Jewish federations, all of whom are separate and distinct legal organizations.

The stated purposes of UJC in all public reports, including reports to the IRS, align perfectly with the goals of Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Nefesh B'Nefesh will continue its efforts to increase aliyah to Israel and looks forward to working with any organization that similarly promotes aliyah.

We believe that all organizations working toward the common goal of strengthening the State of Israel should be supported and encouraged.
Yael Katsman
Director of communications
Nefesh B'Nefesh
New York, N.Y.

Where Is the Balance? Clinton's the Hypocrite!

I find it interesting that Jonathan Tobin would point out questions about former Sen. Fred Thompson's sincerity in supporting Israel, but not one word about Sen. Hillary Clinton (A Matter of Opinion: "Pandering Won't Be Enough," July 5).

No one is more of a hypocrite than Mrs. Clinton in regard to her support of Israel or American Jews.

Where is the balance? Or was this little piece of yours just an effort to sway Jews from considering Thompson while trying to sound like a sincere review of the candidates?

Older Jews, like my mother in suburban Philadelphia, may be yellow-dog Dems, but the younger generations are leaving that affiliation with each new tax and each new pandering to other minority groups.
Sam Zuckerman
San Antonio

Bush Speaks Just Fine, Thank You Very Much!

Jonathan Tobin usually writes a good column, but in his piece about President Bush's recent speech on the Middle East, he wrote one of the stupidest things I have seen from him (A Matter of Opinion: "Just Another Fool's Errand," July 19).

Tobin writes: "In spite of the fact that he [Bush] may well be the most inarticulate man to be president of the United States since the invention of sound recordings … "

I have seen the president on television, fielding questions and delivering speeches, and he is very articulate.

Maybe Tobin just picked up this ridiculous idea by listening to Bush detractors. It's not clever, and it's not correct.
Ted Kavanau
Secaucus, N.J.

Who's Really Leading the Bush Administration?

I wholeheartedly agree with Jonathan Tobin's assessment of the United States' embrace of Mahmoud Abbas (A Matter of Opinion: "Just Another Fool's Errand," July 19).

It seems as if the Bush administration is being led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Israel is again being forced to make concessions for no good reason, and our tax dollars are again going to terrorists, as are Israel's.

I do not understand why Israel doesn't state the facts, instead of pretending that Abbas is the answer.
Rhonda Laikin

Bush's America: Morally Equivalent to Terrorists

Jonathan Tobin complains about "treating terrorists as morally equivalent to their foes" in his review of the film "A Mighty Heart" (A Matter of Opinion: "At the 'Heart' of the Problem," July 12).

But even if the connections in that work are incorrect, thank goodness some in the media are questioning the conduct of President George W. Bush and America.

As a combat veteran, I am ashamed of what my country has been doing. Torture, ill-conceived wars, disregarding civil liberties, ignoring Geneva Convention guidelines and more are what we have done.

Yes, terrorists are barbaric, but we've behaved badly under Bush, abandoning our ideals.
D. Schwartz

The West Needs to Face Reality of Islamo-Fascism

Because we are too blind and too cowardly to see Islamo-fascist terrorism for what it is, the Western world is self-doomed to suffer from many more attacks by this demented and diseased movement (A Matter of Opinion: "At the 'Heart' of the Problem," July 12).

We will find the strength to face this disease and to eradicate it, but not before Western civilization has been dragged to the gates of hell.
Alan Kohn

Remember the Hostages — Then Do Something!

In addition to trips to the shore, watching the Phillies pursue a pennant and cutting the lawn, local Jews can spend their summer writing the Bush administration and Congress to encourage our government to make every possible effort to free Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev — Israeli soldiers kidnapped last summer by Hamas and Hezbollah (Israel & Mideast: "Rally Takes Aim at U.N. Inaction," July 19). With our relatively easy lives, it's all too common to forgot about these captives.

David Broida



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