Letters | Insights on Israel


This Kind of Opposition Expected From Israel’s Enemies

It is unfathomable that there can be such opposition to and acrimony directed at Israel’s new Nation-State Law (“American Jews Must Speak Out,” Aug. 16). The new law — which went through the democratic process, including revisions — makes official what has been obvious about the character and characteristics of the nation-state of the Jewish people for the past 70 years.

The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people; that Hebrew is the official language, that the Star of David is emblazoned on the flag, that the national anthem is “Hatikvah,” etc., not only are among the things that make Israel Israel, but each of these should make every Jewish person proud.

Sadly, in some respects, Israel’s War of Independence continues more than seven decades after it began. There are forces throughout the world that relentlessly and aggressively try to undo the modern-day miracle of Israel’s re-establishment. While some of these involve violence, many do not — such as those taken at the United Nations and by countless non-government organizations.

We expect enemies of the Jewish people to oppose these fundamental expressions of Jewish sovereignty. But it’s a tragedy when fellow Jews — be they in Israel or the Diaspora — make common cause with Jew-haters and their nefarious agenda.

The Jewish people must be unified in support of Israel, the only Jewish state. ZOA supports the Nation-State Law.

Lee Bender and Kevin Ross | Co-presidents,

Zionist Organization of America, Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Gene Shusman | Board chairman

Steve Feldman | Executive director

Fiscal Support Grants Right to Speak Up

Yasher koach to Rabbi Neil Cooper on his magnificent letter (“American Jews Must Speak Out,” Aug. 16).

Decision-making and responsibility go hand-in-hand. That includes fiscal responsibility. The United States helps foot Israel’s bills, in the form of generous foreign aid — thanks to American Jewry’s successful lobbying efforts. That gives us who are stateside a say.

Cooper also points out that “Israel is the only westernized country that sanctions by law discrimination against certain (non-Orthodox) Jews and their forms of religious expression.” That makes Israel the only country in the world that discriminates simultaneously against both non-Jews (via the Law of Return) and Jews (the haredi official monopoly on Judaism). Talk about uniqueness and exceptionalism. To think that it was once said about us, “What a wise and discerning people is this great nation” (Deuteronomy 4:6). l

Jesse H. Wohlberg | Philadelphia


  1. Perhaps the best evidence that Israel needs a constitutional affirmation of its status as the sovereign Jewish nation-state is the eagerness of so many to denounce as undemocratic measures that are considered mundane anywhere else.


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