Letters week of March 19, 2015


This week's letters defend Benjamin Netanyahu, wonder why philanthropists don't step in to save institutions like Gratz's high school and question  Jewish ties with a Muslim group  with a questionable history.


Blame Obama, Not Netanyahu
Right or wrong, win or lose, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not “alienated the country’s strongest ally, the United States”— as your March 12 editorial (“What’s at Stake?”) says that his detractors contend.
What has happened is that America’s president has allowed the Middle East to become a more dangerous place through a combination of foreign policy inaction (such as in Syria) and action (withdrawing troops from Iraq, which has created a vacuum filled by Iran and ISIS) while not clamping down on Palestinian-Arab violence and intransigence, nor compelling Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and thwarting its attempt to establish regional hegemony through its state-sponsored terrorism.
These have led Israel’s prime minister to say and do what he must for his nation’s sake — in defiance of President Barack Obama’s will.
Poll after poll, survey after survey, rally after rally demonstrate that the American people understand these circumstances and continue their strong support for Israel, with our shared Judeo-Christian values, as a beleaguered ally on the front lines fighting the barbarism of radical Islam.
Lee Bender and Kevin Ross, Co-Presidents
Steve Feldman, Executive Director
Zionist Organization of America, Greater Philadelphia District
Misdirected Priorities Slight Education
Every time I read about cutbacks in programs for those in need, or the closure of schools and other centers of learning or the arts — be they public or private — I become more frustrated and bewildered. (Opinion, “Changes at Gratz High School Mean Looking to the Future,” March 5)
We all know we live in a very wealthy country. Yet we seem to spend our wealth on war, politics and building of our own capital, rather than sustaining the world as we know it should be. The Jewish people, including, I am sure, the wealthy Jews in America, have always been famously philanthropic.
One can only speculate how many Gratz High Schools and other such worthy causes could be not only saved but enhanced were these wealthy folks to take just half of what they spend on buying political favor and using it instead to help make the world a better place for all of us instead of just a few of us.
Frank Friedman | Delanco, N.J.
Can’t We All Get Along? Sometimes Not
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer’s depiction of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as just another organization helping a religious minority to find “its place in the American story” (Opinion, “Standing with American Muslims, Upholding American Values,” March 12), is delusional and dangerous.
The U.S. Justice Department named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land terror financing cases. Azhar Azeez, who is current president of ISNA, has signed a letter endorsing Sharia Islamic governance in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
ISNA is incompatible with Western-style democracy, and all the rabbi’s wishful thinking can’t change that fact.
Claude Schoenberg | Bala Cynwyd


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