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Friday, September 5, 2003 | return to: letters


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Letters to the Editor

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Bumper stickers

While walking in Fairfax the other day, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, "End Israeli Apartheid." It made me wonder. Why aren't there bumper stickers that say, "End Palestinian suicide murders and other acts of terror against Israelis, Jews and other human beings"?

CINDY ROSS

Fairfax

Terrorism redux

Weren't we just here about a year ago?

Israel killed Saleh Shahideh, a senior Hamas terrorist in Gaza in response to a homicidal attack on a Jerusalem bus that claimed among its victims, many children.

Terrorists bray that there will be revenge, and Israel enters the Palestinian territories in search of wanted terrorists while an impotent Palestinian Authority clucks its disapproval, citing fears of a civil war.

A year ago I was in our business partner's office in Tel Aviv when I heard of the tragic deaths of scores at the Hebrew University just as I was about to board a plane for home. Today I fear what will be next, much the same way that Israelis sat anxiously by waiting for the other shoe to drop last summer.

Bus 32? Bus 2? Bus 19? Machaneh Yehudah, Sbarro, Cafe Moment, Dolphinarium, the names run together after a while.

So what are we to do? How about understanding that Israel has no choice now but to go after the terrorists that perpetrate mayhem against its citizens, apparently because the Palestinians refuse to do so, or worse yet, are unable to do so?

How about praying for the peace of Israel?

STEVE LIPMAN

Foster City

'Listen to God'

Another Jerusalem bus bombing. Where is our human soul? Where is our Jewish soul? Enough of this insane, Jewish "liberalism" disease. The rampant lack of Jewish faith in God and Torah. And "secularism," in Israel and the United States, among many Jews is allowing Jews in Israel to be murdered and mutilated by our enemies.

God gave all the land of Israel to the Jewish people. Peace can never come to Israel as long as any foreigners (Palestinian Arabs) are occupying and squatting in a single inch of Jewish land.

Any Arab (Palestinian) wishing to live in Israel should be lovingly welcomed with open arms as a "law-abiding guest" of the Jewish land; otherwise, they must leave immediately. It's the only practical, realistic and effective solution -- plus it's what God instructs us in the Torah. Nothing else will work.

Thousands are being silenced by the Israeli government for even speaking out these ideas -- as they silenced Rabbi Meir Kahane, Kach, Kahane Chai, etc.

It's time to listen to God for a change. Enough Jewish blood. Enough "political correctness." Enough "what will the world say?" They'll say it anyway.

AARON SERUYA

San Francisco

Depressing news

In the Aug. 29 edition of the Jewish Bulletin, you headlined the lead article "Israel's bleak economy spurs reverse aliyah -- to U.S." Of course, bad news must also be reported. However, with all the horrifying events, why should such depressing material be presented on the front page?

A good replacement would have been that finally there was a remarkable increase in tourism to report for this year.

Also as a Jewish publication it would be educational if you used the Hebrew word to describe the opposite of aliyah -- yerida.

My second comment is aimed at letter writer Alan Ferrara. He makes a very wrong statement when he says Jonathan Pollard committed treason.

He spied for Israel and for that should have been punished. The problem really is that instead of 2 to 4 years imprisonment, normally the served time for more than 10 others who spied for friendly countries, he has already served 18. That is so excessive it hinges on complete illegality.

The feelings Ferrara expressed in his letter go way beyond patriotism. Jews do not deserve to be rewarded or punished differently from others.

MARTY DASH

Walnut Creek

Old phenomenon

I read with interest your Aug. 22 description of "Shabbat Rock" services at many Bay Area Conservative temples. While this may be a recent innovation for Northern California, it is hardly a new phenomenon in the movement as a whole. As a teenager attending Congregation Beth El Zedeck in Indianapolis 30 years ago, I participated in many of these "creative" services as we styled them. I'm sure there are other Bulletin readers with similar childhood experiences.

DAVID L. BLATT

Chicago

Concerns remain

I read with concern your July 18 story about my experiences with anti-Semitism on the Berkeley campus. Readers could mistakenly assume that Cal is a generally inhospitable place for Jewish students, that the university administration does little to improve the situation, and that Hillel is not supporting Jewish students. None of this is true.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism do exist at Cal. However, the university has shown commitment to improving the situation, particularly Karen Kenney, the dean of students.

Berkeley Hillel has also taken the lead in fostering a Jewish renaissance on campus and has been extremely active in its role addressing issues of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

I and many other Jewish students remain concerned about anti-Semitism and committed to addressing it. We are working to make Cal a more welcoming and accepting campus for all students.

My concern about these issues and many others led me to run for student government in the spring. I am not disgruntled, and I do not have sour grapes about my electoral shortcoming. I now have a renewed dedication to making sure that Cal is a tolerant place for Jewish students, and remaining engaged in the process.

DANIEL FRANKENSTEIN

Berkeley

No repudiation

The Bulletin is, as always, consistent -- left propaganda no matter what first, good of community at large and Jewish people a distant second.

Your eagerness to publish article about Arnold Schwarzenegger's father is commendable -- let's brew totally baseless accusations, let's smear, let's cast doubt about the Republican candidate with a real chance to take over gubernatorial office.

At the same time, the Bulletin did not mention the membership of the leading Democratic contender, Cruz Bustamante, in MEcHA, a Latino group known for virulent anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli and anti-Zionism positions, and an even stronger voice, Aztlan.

Bustamante has refused to repudiate the group and to denounce his membership in MEcHA.

IGOR NARODITSKY

San Bruno

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jonathan Bernstein, the director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) office in San Francisco, told us that the ADL does not consider MEcHA to be anti-Semitic. As far as Aztlan is concerned, the group has absolutely no relationship to MEcHA or to Bustamante.

Undeserving?

I was delighted to find a review of Achi Ben Shalom's sweet new CD in the Aug. 1 Bulletin. When I read it however, I was just appalled at the scathing, insensitive and obnoxious language used, let alone the opinion that seems undeserving for this absolutely sweet Yiddishe soul. (I happen to like his voice a lot.)

I have been in this area for seven years and during this time have not found a Jewish/Israeli musician who does more than Ben Shalom to promote the music of our nation. Where shall I begin with his amazing contributions to Jewish music in this area?

He sings to cheering crowds at events such as Israel in the Park, Purim at Ashkenaz, and Israel rallies. He is a song leader for Beth El Choir, performs at Beit Tikkun and Kol Shofar, is a music teacher at Tehiyah Day School, guides the Bureau of Jewish Education songleaders group, and leads Adama and the Shtetl Blasters. The list goes on and on.

DR. ORNA ARIEL LENCHNER


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