Letters the Week of February 13, 2014


Olympics Stories Ignore Anti-Gay Laws

I am deeply saddened that the Jewish Exponent, which has been a part of my life since my earliest childhood memories, has chosen to ignore the plight of sexual minorities and instead, in its Olympics coverage on Feb. 6, has written celebrations of what can easily be compared to the 1936 Olympics, which Hitler used as a showcase for bigotry. Some have compared the Russian anti-gay laws to the Nuremberg Laws, but I have seen nothing from the Jewish community condemning those laws.

Will the Jews wait until we homosexuals are being herded into cattle cars and carted off to death camps before they speak up? Or will they take the same attitude as the librarian at Gratz College once took with me, when I asked for research material to support my comparison of anti-gay hate with anti-Jewish hate, that
“homosexuals deserve what they're getting”?

The Jewish Exponent should be ashamed to laud these games that are nothing better than the showcase of a Nazi!

Bert Wylen, Maple Shade, NJ

Kerry’s Munich Speech Cause for Concern

You published a recent JTA report noting that the Zionist Organization of America and others have criticized the Obama Administration’s approach to Israeli/Palestinian negotiations (Headlines, “Jewish Groups Lay Low Before Proposal,” Feb. 6).

Our chief concern with Secretary of State John Kerry’s Feb. 1 speech in Munich is that, when speaking of the prospect of international boycotts and isolation for Israel if talks fail, he conspicuously failed to oppose or condemn such possible responses. The Obama administration sent the damaging  message that the United States will do nothing to stop Israel’s potential isolation.

The George H. W. Bush Administration was very cool and often unfriendly toward Israel. But it resolutely fought anti-Israel boycotts. Moreover, when the Palestinians attempted to have the United Nations declare a Palestinian state, the Bush administration put a swift end to that quest by threatening withdrawal of U.S. funding from all relevant U.N. agencies if that occurred –– something the Obama administration never did when the Palestinian Authority got the United Nations to declare it a non-member state last year. Secretary Kerry also whitewashed and lavished praise on the P.A.’s Mahmoud Abbas –– someone who reiterated recently that he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.

Is it any wonder most Israelis are worried by the Obama administration’s policy?

Morton A. Klein,  National President, Zionist Organization of America

No Respect for Israel’s Non-Orthodox Rabbis?

Why is there no outrage on the rights of non-Orthodox rabbis in Israel? The answer to the question asked by Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, (Opinion, “On the Rights of Non-Orthodox Rabbis, Where’s the Outrage?” Jan. 30) is that the authorities in these other “streams” are not people you can go to for a ruling on Jewish law.

The title “rabbi” is the most overused and oversimplified of all professions. Today, anyone can be called a rabbi who adheres to popular trends and has the skills to comfort people. But that’s not a rabbi. That’s a nice person with some courses in some aspect
of Judaism who has people skills.

Zachary Margolies, Philadelphia



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