Letters, the Week of Jan. 21, 2016


Community members share their opinions on Jewish food and journalism.

Recipe for Disaster
Seriously???? A two-page spread devoted to a glaringly NON-kosher recipe (Food, Dec. 31)? Can someone please tell me which “pinch” of “flavors” are the Jewish part? Is it the Manischewitz the author mentions (which, by the way, is not even in this version of the recipe!)? Or is it that the chef is Jewish? I suppose these Jewish “pinches” make it irrelevant that the recipe shamelessly mixes milk and meat.
Between prominent photos of Magen David “holiday” ornaments (let’s not demean your readership by pretending that they were anything but!) and un-kosher recipes (not the first!), how can the Exponent claim to be the source of “what it means to be Jewish in Philadelphia”? It certainly doesn’t represent what it means to be Jewish to me. The editorial decisions of late are creeping seriously closer to making the paper completely irrelevant to our family. I am a lifelong reader of the Exponent, and so I am sick and disappointed to think that it has reached the end of its relevancy to my family’s life.
Shouldn’t Philadelphia’s premier Jewish news resource be setting its standards to represent ALL Jews in our community?
Elise McAfoos | Cheltenham
Sestak Article an Appalling Example of Journalism
We write in response to your profile of Joe Sestak, who is currently running for U.S. Senate. Although we come from opposite sides of the political spectrum, we share deeply our love for Israel and fiercely advocate for both Israel’s security and the sanctity of our political process. Simply stated, your profile was appalling both in its form and substance.
The Exponent has a longstanding and laudable policy of not taking sides in political campaigns. The profile of Joe Sestak was not portrayed as one of a series and therefore created an unfair advantage for him in his primary race and if he wins the primary in the general election against Senator Toomey. That is just plain wrong.
As for substance, your piece failed even basic journalistic principles. It presented a one-sided portrayal and ignored troubling facts regarding Joe Sestak’s record on Israel, including:
1. His support for the Iran deal and his statement that “For once we have an agreement — signed by both sides — that limits Iran’s ability to research and develop nuclear weapons.” Mr. Sestak ignored the State Department’s own letter that contradicts flatly that the deal is either a binding international agreement or that it was even signed.
2. His signing of the infamous Gaza 54 letter in which he opposed Israel’s security blockade of Gaza and expressly said that the blockade needed to end to provide “access to construction materials for repairs and rebuilding.” Those are the same construction materials Hamas used to build tunnels into Israel to commit mass terrorist activities.
3. And just after his election to Congress, Mr. Sestak agreed to speak at a CAIR fundraising event (although he claims his speech occurred in a separate room) with full knowledge that CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the conviction of individuals who funneled money to Hamas. Despite Mr. Sestak’s claims that he took CAIR to task in that speech, I suggest you read the entire text of that turgid oration and you will find he did no such thing.
The Exponent is a Jewish publication that is supposed to represent the views of the community and support Israel. It is also a newspaper. It failed on all counts by injecting itself on one side of the debate and doing so without checking the facts.
Gary Erlbaum, Robert Fox


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