Letters week of Aug. 9, 2007

Israel Owes It to Soldiers to Come to Their Rescue

Bernie Dishler's impassioned letter, "Captured Soldiers Require Help From the Public," (Letters, July 26) was yet another reminder that three Israeli men have yet to be released — or heard from.

Dishler compares their fate to that of the Soviet refuseniks who we picketed for en masse in the 1970s. However, this situation is entirely different.

The refuseniks were being held by their own government, and it was the Soviet Union — and its intransigence in letting Jews emigrate — that we were protesting.

We, world Jewry, were the only hope these people had, and it was incumbent upon us to secure their release.

Goldwasser, Shalit and Regev are citizens of the State of Israel, and as such, it is incumbent first and foremost upon the Israeli government to secure the release of its citizens, something until now they have been woefully inadequate at accomplishing.

The shandah here is not that more Jews didn't show up at the United Nations to protest the three men's continuing captivity, it's that even while releasing 250 terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails and talking about further withdrawals and concessions to the enemy, the fate of these boys has not been Israel's first priority.
Marsha Greenberg
Stamford, Conn.

ADL Dragged Its Feet in Response to Ellison

Once again, Jonathan Tobin got it right. His column concerning the duel between the Anti-Defamation League and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) was both sad and informative (" 'Flying Imams' and Reichstags," July 26).

In the decades that Abraham Foxman has been in charge of the ADL, he's managed to take a prestigious and important organization and turn it into a bureaucracy and a paper tiger.

At one time, the ADL was known as a fighter for rights, in particular Jewish rights. Today, it can only find Christian whites as the threat.

Rep. Ellison was very precise on what he said about 9/11 being the moral equivalent of the Reichstag fire, and that is what he meant.

The ADL should have immediately created an uproar. But it dragged its feet, just as when some fellow Democrats used anti-Semitic remarks against Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

Who is there for the Jews?

Right now, apparently, the Conservative Christians are — those demons that Foxman fears. Those are the ones we should be protecting, along with our interests.
Morris A. Schwalb



'Flying Imams' Law: Just Plain Common Sense

Thanks to Jonathan Tobin for a column that finally tells the truth. Rep Ellison is a sham and an anti-Semite (A Matter of Opinion: " 'Flying Imams' and Reichstags," July 26).

All the apologies in the world will not hide his agenda. The bill by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to give legal immunity to those who report suspicious behavior is just common sense.

In this case, the Congressional Democrats played the role of the feel-good, multicultural, nondiscriminating party of the weak and helpless. It looks like the bill is going to pass, but the hurdles it had to go through to get to this point are telling of where we are in the war on terror.

Jews should be on the side of President George W. Bush and his pro-Israel, anti-terror, anti-Islamist policies.

It is the Jews, in the final analysis, who will be annihilated first by these Islamo-fascists and anti-Semites. It is very fashionable to call Bush names and to characterize him as an idiot, but nothing could be further from the truth.

We must show strength, stamina and the will to fight and conquer our foes. If the past 4,000 years has taught us anything, it's that there are people out there trying to kill us.
Jeffrey R. Epstein
Bryn Mawr

It's a Group That Wants to Support New Olim

It was with great disappointment that we read the article "Aliyah Groups Split and Get Ready to Battle" ("Israel & Mideast," July 19).

What a shame that the Jewish Agency for Israel does not appreciate the amazing, five-year-old organization Nefesh B' Nefesh, which understands and responds to the needs of all Jews who want to make aliyah, and has already helped settle more than 11,000 Jews in Israel since it's inception.

We were fortunate to hear about Nefesh B' Nefesh when it was in the planning stages from our nephew, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. He felt that many Jews who wanted to make aliyah didn't succeed for the lack of a little more financial help and logistical support.

His organization is staffed by idealists, like himself, who are totally dedicated to helping any Jew, regardless of religious level or affiliation, to fulfill the dream of living in Israel.

Nefesh B'Nefesh is successful because it has not only captured the imagination of immigrants, but addresses their needs for training, jobs and community in Israel.

It is shameful that the Jewish Agency feels threatened, and is trying to manipulate American federations to withdraw support by casting aspersion on Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Jewish federations should know that it's a most worthy entity dedicated to the building and strengthening of Jewish lives and the Jewish nation, and can proudly be supported by all groups and individuals.
Sue and Nachum Fass

The Name's Shomron — Not the 'West Bank'

Thank you for covering the talk by Raphaella Segal (City & Suburb: "Mayor: 'Settlements Will Bring Security," July 26).

In addition to being sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America, Congregation Mikveh Israel in Center City was both sponsor and host.

It is sad, however, that in its article, the Jewish Exponent improperly referred to the location of her town of Kedumim.

This community, Ms. Segal stressed, is in the Shomron or Samaria. She did not use the term the "West Bank."

The "West Bank" is a term created by Jordanians, and meant to erase the millennia-old Jewish attachment to these territories. It's a term Jews should refrain from using.
Steve Feldman
Executive director
Zionist Organization of America
Greater Philadelphia District


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