Letters, the Week of March 24, 2016


Readers discuss Israel, bagels and refugees. 

Come to Terms With Israel, for Better and for Worse
Morton Klein appears to have a grasp of much of what is taking place in Israel today, as well he should as it is his full-time job (Op-Ed, March 17). But I cannot believe that all that he sees can be interpreted as he does. For instance, the Zionists, more than a century ago, saw a nearly deserted wasteland but failed to see the thousands of inhabitants in hundreds of villages. Next, thousands of settlers in Gaza protected by as many or more soldiers, left not as appeasement but of practicality. When would Sharon ever appease anyone? The two paragraphs on Zoabi make a valid point and are certainly part of the equation, but does their bad behavior warrant continued settlement beyond the Green Line, necessitating settler roads and thereby creating an apartheid circumstance. I believe President Carter’s assessment as such was responded to with such hate and anger because he challenged an Israeli action. In the current environment, there is no easy solution, and there is no solution in sight. The Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are an aggrieved people. Their behaviors are self-defeating and are encouraged by willful acts by their leaders. Until that changes — and that day is not in sight — Israel must continually defend itself from the lunacy within and without. Mr. Klein’s article does not consider any Israeli shortcomings and that cannot be.
Nathan Farbman | Philadelphia
Time to Cover Hard News, Not Bagels
Since it is the week before Purim, I initially thought that this week’s cover story regarding the best bagels in Philadelphia (“Seeds and Rounds: Bite into our Bagel Bracket,” March 17), was a joke. To my dismay, I found nothing further in the paper indicating this was a Purim shpiel. As a relative newcomer to Philadelphia, I have been boggled for the past five years as to your paper’s motto, “What it means to be Jewish in Philadelphia.” For this week, it means placing the human-interest topic of Jewish ethnic foods as a cover story rather than inside the paper — instead of covering newsworthy issues. Instead of pushing real topics under the rug, I would like to see stories covering topics such as the unfortunate demise of the Kaiserman JCC, the Jewish poor in Philadelphia, how our community is addressing sexual and domestic violence, to name a few. Is Jewish investigative journalism dead in Philadelphia?
Rachel Loonin Steinerman | Bala Cynwyd
Help Those Who Need It Most
I am saddened when I read about the children who fled from their homes in Central America and came north to cross the border into the United States. Their lives were in constant jeopardy from the drug gangs who wish to enlist them or shoot them because this is what they do. The immigration officials are in the process of sending them back. I would like the Jewish community in Philadelphia to do what we can on behalf of these children. What I am thinking of is appealing to our representatives to give them refuge and accumulating some money so that some organization might sponsor them in the interim. Let us open our hearts to these poor unfortunates. 
 Martin Gingold | Warwick


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