Letters week of June 20, 2013


One letter writer is crticized for his castigation of the Zionist Organization of America while another cautions young Jews about their plans once they enter college.

Letter Writer Was All Wrong About ZOA
Stephan Arkan’s June 13 letter, “So ZOA Isn’t Hawkish? Look Who Funds Them,” claims that most American Jews support a Palestinian state, and since ZOA currently opposes such a state, we can’t claim to be “rational centrist.”
Wrong. Although some polls show only a significant minority opposing a Palestinian state, other polls, including an American Jewish Committee one in 2011, showed that only 38 percent of American Jews supported such a state.
Arkan said ZOA wouldn’t accept compromises. Wrong again. If the Palestinian Authority would end hate education against Jews and Israel in their media, schools and speeches; accept Israel as a Jewish state; show Israel on their maps; arrest terrorists; stop demanding that Israel release terrorists and that millions of Arab “refugees” must move into Israel; end relations with Hamas; and allow Jews to live in any future Palestinian territory, we would be open to compromises — if it led to a real and lasting peace.
Finally, you stated that ZOA donor and philanthropy giant Sheldon Adelson “funds right-wing groups exclusively.” Wrong yet again. He’s given $200 million to Birthright, sending thousands of Jewish students to Israel, mega-millions to Israeli hospitals and to Jewish federations, built a centrist Jewish day school in Las Vegas and gives hundreds of millions to medical research. You can’t get more mainstream than that.
Morton A. Klein | National president
Zionist Organization of America
ZOA Has Done So Much Good for Israel
I’m proud to be a Zionist Organization of America member under the leadership of Mort Klein. Look at the record (Letters: “So ZOA Isn’t Hawkish? Look Who Funds Them,” June 13).
Mr. Klein and the ZOA have brought the legal arm of the federal government on the side of Jewish students on college campuses to protect them from physical and verbal intimidation. It is the only Jewish organization with the courage to continually expose Arab duplicity. The ZOA also exposes and lobbies against presidential appointees with anti-Israel records. This is only a small sample of the good that ZOA and Mr. Klein have done on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.
Zachary Margolies | Philadelphia
It’s Risky to Put Judaism Above Academics
In response to Andrea Cantor’s “Seeing Israel’s Importance Through College-Bound Eyes” (Opinion, June 13), I believe that it’s difficult to incorporate both Jewish life and a secular academic background without forfeiting academic achievements.
An inconvenient truth has been lurking around private Jewish high schools all over the country. Excellent students are lowering themselves to attend lesser schools in order to further their Judaic knowledge. Though they are praised by their parents and community for their risky decision, it could prove detrimental to them, given the economic climate.
Ideally, the college a Jew chooses should provide a well-rounded academic background as well as a solid Jewish education. Jewish education is important — but just don’t let it hinder your intellectual growth at college.
Jacob Scharf | Bala Cynwyd


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