Letters, the Week of June 1, 2017

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Treif Cooking Nothing to Write Home About

I was disturbed to see such a fuss made about Jewish cooks — who are not observant — bragging about their treif adaptations of matzo balls and gefilte fish (“Jewish Culinary Cuisines Continue to Evolve,” May 25).

You could have downplayed how they smirk at all that kosher food “nonsense.” Where is their reverence for our heritage?


Ruth K. Horwitz | Northeast Philadelphia

Palestinian Peace Far Off Indeed

Jonathan Tobin is correct to observe that an Israeli-Palestinian peace, such as President Trump is pursuing, is more than a matter of real estate, noting the vicious ideologies of Hamas and Fatah that impede peace (“Hubris and the ‘New’ Hamas,” May 18).

To expect that either Fatah or Hamas will simply alter their animating ideology and beliefs to secure an advantageous peace deal that would benefit Palestinian Arab society means ignoring the source of their ideologies in Arab and Muslim supremacism.

It is one thing to engage Sunni Arab allies, as Trump is trying to do, on the basis of common values and interests — and even that is ambitious, given the fact that some of the allies involved, like Saudi Arabia, are the biggest purveyors of the extremist Islamic radicalism that the president wants to drive out. It is another thing to think that the Palestinian Authority is going to abandon its deep religious-national conviction that Israel must disappear in return for their own armed forces, bureaucracy, police, legislature and flag.

An “ultimate deal” will have to await a fundamental change in the nature of Palestinian society, and probably much more widely across the Middle East.

Morton A. Klein | Merion Station

(Ed. Note: The writer is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America.)

Political Rabbis Should Heed Pirkei Avot

I liked what Joshua Runyan had to say (“Like Oil and Water, Politics and Religion Don’t Mix Well in United States,” May 11). Too many rabbis today are ignoring the advice of the Sages in Pirkei Avot, “Be cautious of the ruling authorities, for they befriend a man only for their own interest; they appear as friends when it is to their own advantage, but they do not stand by a man when he is in distress.”

The fact that some rabbis have put their trust in a man who is both a knave and a fool is alarming. When President Trump addressed his base at rallies during the campaign, he encouraged his followers to engage in activities that are characteristic of fascist movements, including beating up the opposition to silence any protest or opposing point of view. It was a mistake for the Orthodox Jewish community to hitch its wagon to this movement.

Though Trump espoused pro-Israel policies, he encouraged behaviors that provided outlets for domestic xenophobia. This, in the long run, cannot be good for Jews here in America.

Aryeh Wood | Overbrook Park

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