Letters Week of Dec. 20, 2007

Trust Evangelicals When It Comes to Israel?

Your report on a recent conference (City & Suburb: "Jews and Evangelicals: Is It Really a Marriage Made in Heaven?" Dec. 6) glossed over a key consideration affecting Jewish-evangelical relations.

As the article noted, "Evangelicals accept the Bible as literal truth." This means that — no if's, and's or but's about it — across the board, they subscribe to the Gospel view that "the Jews" were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus and are deicides.

These are the folks Jews are being called upon to trust and to stand up for the State of Israel? How can we trust anyone who, by definition, holds us in the utmost religious contempt? This is not to mention their financial and moral support for the treacherous activity of the Jews for Jesus group?

Why didn't the conference invite as a speaker Mikey Weinstein, a former attorney in the Reagan White House and the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation?

Weinstein is leading ecumenical efforts to thwart fundamentalist attempts to transform the U.S. military (starting with the Air Force Academy) into an evangelical Christian domain. The foundation has received more than 6,000 complaints from soldiers who claim to have been harassed or intimidated by evangelicals.

Given evangelicals' anti-Judaism stance, why would they have any qualms, should it suit their purposes, about double-crossing Israel today?

Stas Cohen
Newark, Del.

Despite Report, No Doubt About Iran's Intentions

Thanks for Jonathan Tobin's column on the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (A Matter of Opinion: "Iran Plan: Don't Worry, Be Happy?" Dec. 6).

The saddest part of this whole NIE affair is that most reasonable people believe that Iran has every intention of developing an atomic weapon and using an atomic weapon.

The same people who will deny Iran's intentions and goals will be the loudest ones complaining about the failure of Bush's foreign policy once the Iranians use the weapon. And they will be the ones holding a "bipartisan" hearing bashing the neocons, and questioning the Republicans about "what did they know and when did they know it."

History has a funny way of repeating itself. Let's pray there isn't another Holocaust.

Robert Scharfman
East Brunswick, N.J.

Dreaming of 1947 Won't Lead to Real Peace

Sorry, Naomi Chazan, the "way back" machine does not exist. You cannot set the Middle East back to Nov. 29, 1947, nor can you rewrite history (Opinions: "60 Years Later, Partition Still Seems the Best of All Solutions," Dec. 6).

First, Chazan neglects to inform her readers that the reason that the U.N. plan never took hold was because the Arabs resoundingly rejected it, through rhetoric and violence, while the Jews were glad to have any place of our own, no matter how meager.

Further, she shows her true colors by repeating the Arab lie that the partition plan was a "catastrophe of destruction and dispersion" for the Arabs of the region.

As time has shown, those who have truly suffered the ensuing "destruction" have been the Jewish victims of countless, continuing Arab terror attacks and wars, and the "dispersion" that Jews who had lived in Arab lands for generations suffered in the face of persecution and pogroms.

Nevertheless, it has been the Jews who have consistently been willing to part with more of our land if it were to result in real peace.

Yet, even today, the Arabs refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish State of Israel.

I would like to hope that in the not-too-distant future, Chazan, and other dreamers like her, will recognize this.
Steve Feldman
Executive director
Greater Philadelphia District Zionist Organization of America

Elitism, Not Tuition Costs, Keeps Enrollment Down

Leonard Barrack writes that we have allowed Philadelphia to have the lowest rate of day-school enrollment of any major city in the United States (Focus on Community: "State of the Federation Address," Nov. 29).

It is implied that the main reason for not having a larger enrollment is due to the fact that tuition is simply out of reach for most parents.

I take issue with the assertion that this is the main issue. My concern is that Barrack Hebrew Academy (formerly Akiba) has not addressed the fact that it has become an academically high-achiever school.

The new head of Barrack has stated that he would like to increase the selection of foreign-language courses, as well as create more science courses.

There is no doubt that this might bring in more qualified young people. However, many children are average students, and simply not able to succeed in this type of environment.

Edward S. Snyder

Thanks for Helping Build Community Connections

Thank you for sharing our LEGO menorah-building experience (Cover photo: "They're Gonna Need a Big Match" Dec. 6).

We were thrilled with the excitement of the congregants and people from the community who joined us for this event, as well as the cooperative effort that created the menorah in the first place.

Congregation Brothers of Israel thanks the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Bucks County Region, which provided the support that made this community event possible.

It is with the help of Federation that we are able to offer programs that build lasting Jewish connections for the members of our community.

Joan Hersch
Education director
Congregation Brothers of Israel



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