Letters week of June 22, 2006

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Left-Right Battle in D.C. By No Means a Fair Fight

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency's coverage of the advocacy by different Jewish groups – both for and against HR 4861 – made it appear that peace advocates (Americans for Peace Now, and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom) were lobbying Congress, not because of their own policy, but just to oppose the well-funded professional AIPAC (Nation & World: "Left-Wing Groups Go Toe-to-Toe With AIPAC Over Aid to Palestinians," June 8).

The story took one quote – that APN would not shy away from AIPAC's opposing position – as if this were a boxing match that pitted two equally experienced fighters.

The piece characterized the efforts of virtually unfunded peace organizations with no K-Street connections as an embarrassing failure. The important thing for the peace movement was to show that the AIPAC position was not the unilateral position of the Jewish community. In this, they succeeded. That they made little headway in a Republican Washington was hardly a loss.


By omitting AIPAC's moral compromises – by refusing to acknowledge AIPAC's lack of consistent commitment to Israel – the article presented neither a fair nor balanced view of this week's news.
Ben Burrows
Elkins Park

 

New Israel Fund Is About Poking Israel in the Eye

It was interesting to read the interview with the New Israel Fund's Eliezer Yaari. Yaari spent much time pointing out that "We're not about poking Israel in the eye," and that he's not a traitor, since he served in the Israeli air force (City & Suburb: " 'We're Not About Poking Israel in the Eye,' " June 1).

He claims NIF's work on behalf of Israel's Arab citizens is about fulfilling the ideals set forth in the nation's declaration of independence but one wonders if he "doth protest too much." In fact, as your article rightly informs your readers, Yaari explicitly argues that the questionable loyalty of some Israeli Arabs to the state should not be an impediment to NIF supporting them.

NIF has funded groups that promote anti-Israel divestment campaigns. Worse, it gave a stipend to a member of the International Solidarity Movement, which not only promotes divestment, as reported, but justifies Palestinian "armed struggle" and participates in efforts to impede legitimate counter-terrorist measures.

Another recipient of NIF's support was its 2004 Fellow, Shamai Leibowitz, who, according to the organization NGO Monitor, "has devoted great efforts to advancing the cause of economic and diplomatic war against the existence of the Jewish state."

The late Yitzhak Rabin once described another beneficiary of NIF's largesse, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, as the "Organization for the Rights of Hamas Terrorists."

Yaari states that NIF's goal is to make Israel "become a better place." How awarding funds to those who support extremism and violence against Israel will accomplish that goal remains a mystery.
Michael Goldblatt
Chairman, Board of Directors
Greater Philadelphia District
Zionist Organization of America

 

Better to Lose in Europe Than to Triumph in Asia

Jonathan Tobin's column on Israel's status in the World Cup as a basis for not following the event is off the mark (A Matter of Opinion: "I Don't Care About the World Cup!", June 8).

It's true that Israel has been put into the European bracket and that it might very well have succeeded in reaching the tournament additional times in the Asian group. However, Turkey has chosen to participate in Europe rather than Asia, and I suspect Israel would do the same.

It's far more prestigious to play France or England than Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Smaller countries, such as Denmark and Greece, have won the European Cup, and if Israel had the strength, it could as well, just as it has won European titles in basketball.
Jay M. Donner
Philadelphia

 

Soccer Unifies the World, and That Includes Jews

I must comment on the moronic piece by Jonathan Tobin on the World Cup (A Matter of Opinion: "I Don't Care About the World Cup!", June 8).

The article contains only one true sentence: Most Americans do not know anything about football – or what they call soccer. It then goes on to prove it. Though I usually enjoy his other pieces, Tobin, like any other ignorant person, should not venture an opinion.

The World Cup – a multinational jamboree – is about anything but xenophobia. Have you seen the fan groups dancing together in the streets? The American lack of appreciation for football is the only xenophobia here. Not that I care. But don't tell me I'm a bad Jew for joining the rest of humanity, including 95 percent of Israelis (men, at least), in this great celebration of peoples joining hands in a peaceful contest.
Allan A. Guldberg
Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Let's Agree on One Thing: Down With Cup Soccer!

While I find myself most often disagreeing with Jonathan Tobin, I always enjoy reading his opinion pieces, as they are always well thought out and well expressed.

His column on the World Cup was excellent (A Matter of Opinion: "I Don't Care About the World Cup!", June 8), and I agree 100 percent with every point he made.

Thanks for bringing this issue to the table, one that many people probably don't take seriously enough.
Glen Loev
Haverford

 

World Cup Rosters Boast at Least One True Mensch

Concerning the World Cup (A Matter of Opinion: "I Don't Care About the World Cup!", June 8), our 8-year-old grandson is an active soccer fan whose favorite player is Ronaldinho of Brazil.

Ronaldinho donated signed footballs and shirts to Israeli children who had survived suicide bomb attacks, saying he hoped his gifts would "warm the hearts of the children who have suffered so much." At least one player recognizes the tragedies that Israelis have faced and has done something to raise awareness.

You can rest assured that at least my family will watch with great interest, cheering him on – a true mensch.
Ed Kochman
King of Prussia

– See more at: http://je.pliner.com/article/3687/Letters_to_the_Editor/#sthash.fJLfaGYj.dpuf

 

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