A ballpark breakthrough

The “barrier” has been broken.

Kosher food (prepackaged by Oakland Kosher Foods) was available at the Giants Jewish heritage game on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the pregame rally in Seals Plaza.

Pastrami, hot dogs, knishes, kosher wine and beer were on the menu and were well received by the many fans in attendance.

Rabbi Yosef Langer (the rally rabbi of Giants fame) was present with several Chabad assistants blowing the shofar and laying tefillin.

Since my arrival in Berkeley two years ago, I have approached the sports stadiums about introducing a kosher food option. Progress has been “slow.”

This one-night event has proven that it can be done.

Readers of j. are encouraged to express themselves to our local teams in support of a kosher food option.

Rabbi Simcha A. Green   |   Berkeley


Outrage is misdirected


It is ironic that your editorial (“Support for Israel should not be built on bigoted bus ads,” Aug. 17) decrying “offensive text” introduces Pamela Geller as “the anti-Muslim bigot who led the fight against the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.”  How supportive would you be of a JCC in Hebron at the site where Baruch Goldstein murdered 27 Arabs praying, or a German cultural center at Auschwitz?

The bus advertisement simply states: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” Need I remind readers that Hamas’ charter explicitly calls for the murder of every Jew on Earth and the destruction of Israel, or that Hamas has perpetrated innumerable terrorist acts over the decades in support of this horrific goal?

Pamela Geller would not view as savage any Palestinian leader who acknowledged Israel’s right to exist in perpetuity as a Jewish state within secure borders. How Islamophobic of you to lump “all Muslims into one jihadist camp” based on Geller’s words!

Finally, your editorial outrage at the “sexist” word “man” would be better directed at real evils against women, such as female genital mutilation or so-called “honor killings.”

Larry Yelowitz   |   Sunnyvale


‘Savages’ redefined


Your politically correct editorial of Aug. 17 very indignantly condemns the posters placed on Muni buses that read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” The writer ridicules the use of “civilized man” because in his view, it’s outmoded and sexist, which is absurd and also because it “conjures up images of pith helmets, rajas and jewels in the crown.” Then he criticizes calling the jihadists savages.

I must have read the same books and seen the same movies when I was a kid. But as an adult, the words “jihadist” and “savage” remind me of Daniel Pearl being decapitated on TV, the lynching of the two Israelis in Ramallah in 2000 and one Palestinian gleefully waving his bloodied hands, the 2011 murder by Palestinians of five members of the Fogel family including a 3-month-old baby, the 2001 murders of Koby Mandel and Yosef Ishran, ages 13 and 14, beaten to death with rocks, and many other murders of Jews.

It’s true: Israel’s enemies are savages and the carnage would be much greater if they only could do what they want to do.

Pablo Libedinsky  |  San Francisco


Denying jihad is naive


Pam Geller’s bus ad correctly identifies the word “jihad” as holy war; it is a fact that jihad is promoted by radical Islam (“Jewish groups rip bus ad that calls Israel’s enemies ‘savage,’ ” Aug. 17).

Sanctimonious denial of this fact is naive and smacks of pandering, since that bus ad does not mention Islam.

Shame on the JCRC, the ADL and the AJC that imply jihad means all Islam. Kudos to the American Freedom Defense Initiative for highlighting the savage ideology that encourages intolerance and wanton murder, which sharply contrasts with Israel’s civilized respect for life.

Makes me wonder which community these Jewish groups really represent.

Or which they fear.

Lisa Cohen   |   Menlo Park


Navel gazing


Perhaps Sue Fishkoff considers that our “right to doubt” in regard to a Jewish state may be a helpful way to build connections (“Doubt can make faith stronger,” column Aug. 17). But it really would help if we Jews weren’t the only ones in the world looking so deeply into our navels. While we relish our “right to doubt” our Jewish state, our Arab neighbors have no such right to doubt their states. We are surrounded by enemies who daily question our existence, but not the nature of their own existence. Must we be so introspective that we forget to analyze that?

There are 56 Muslim states today. Depending on whom you ask, our conflict with the Arabs is either about carving their 57th Muslim-22nd Arab state out of the territory of the world’s only Jewish state, or replacing our one Jewish state (the size of New Jersey) entirely. Many of Israel’s neighbors are raising their children on hatred and lies and gathering terrible weapons as well. But perhaps this is just too scary a conversation for some of us to have.

Sheree Roth   |   Palo Alto


Democratic convention haiku

Dems invite Carter.

Smiles from Ahmadinejad.

Gift for GOP.

Mike Spinrad   |   Greenbrae