Letters the week of Aug. 20, 2015


One reader writes that you only learn new ideas when you speak with people who have other viewpoints. Another disagrees with the Exponent's selection of articles which reflects the side of Israel only. And  a third asks to spare her the continual lament about insufficient funding available to support Jewish causes.

A Learned Opinion

I write concerning the Torah portion by Rabbi Yonah Gross from July 23, 2015, page 19.  I agree completely with his desire to involve his audience but I could not disagree more with several of his points.

He said, “You can react to the deal by reading op-eds and learning about its gaping flaws.”  By all means, read op-eds, and read as many and varied as possible. And in your reading, try to find those news writers who, one may reasonably expect, have actually read the entire text of the original agreement. Has Rabbi Gross read the agreement himself? I expect not.

He said, “You can speak with your like-minded friends.” But understand that you don’t learn anything new when you stand in an echo chamber. You only learn new ideas when you speak with people who have other viewpoints, difficult and painful though that sometimes is.

He said, “We can contact our elected representatives and let them know how we feel.” Yes, but better not to call your representative unless you yourself have read the original agreement start to finish. You are much more likely to have a receptive audience with your representative if you come to the meeting well-informed and well-armed with the facts. Conversely, you are more likely to be ignored if you present to your representative an emotional rant. 

Come to think of it, my last point applies well to many of the items on your Editorial page, especially the “Letters” section.     


Benjamin H. Bloom, M.D. | Wynnewood



Where Is The Other Side of the Story?

Sen. Toomey wouldn't vote for the treaty with Iran if it were encrusted with gold (“Toomey Pledges Full Support to Defeat Iran Deal,” Aug. 6). He has not voted for anything sponsored by President Obama, including food stamps, extension of unemployment insurance, Affordable Care Act, etc., etc. This is purely political — not for any other reason.

The nation voted for President Obama, not Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu does not make U.S. policy and many Americans are furious with Israel for meddling in our international affairs. Republicans are solely seeking Jewish money. As a Jew and a Democrat, I disagree with your selection of articles which reflects the side of Israel only and not that of the U.S. We are now involved in three wars in the Middle East. We have to try for peace when it is possible. I am a new subscriber and ask that you stop sending your one-sided publication.


Martin H. Gingold | Warwick, Pa. 


A Better Allocation of Donations

According to Melissa Apter’s fine recent piece (“Obama invokes Iraq War…”), AIPAC has raised between $20 and $40 million, and J Street $5 million, for media buys to influence the upcoming Congressional vote on the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.

Also: according to the Forward (June 9), $20 million has already been raised, with $50 million the overall goal, for a campus anti-BDS campaign headed up by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

So spare me the continual agonizing lament about there being insufficient funding available in the community to support Jewish education and to help poverty-stricken Jews. Can you imagine the humanitarian benefit that an additional $95 million dedicated to medical research might yield?

Where there is a strategic will, a fiscal way will be found.

Let an undemocratic — and, in the case of Adelson, anti-democratic-elite of superannuated machers continue to dictate the agenda in the collective name of American Jewry, and watch the best and brightest of our millennials decamp elsewhere, turned off by recklessly politicized financial priorities.  


Mara D. Atrash | College Park, Md.



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