Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e., public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.
So Helen Thomas let the cat out of the bag. (“Helen Thomas’ Sad Legacy,” Editorial, June 11).
It’s not the bogus issues of settlements, checkpoints, etcetera, that are the problem. Rather it’s the existence of a Jewish state of any size. This in the eyes of Helen Thomas, the Palestinians and their sympathizers is what “occupation” is all about. Give her credit -- at least she doesn’t pull her punches -- she says what the other side really thinks.
I’m afraid Eric Herschthal misunderstood, and consequently misrepresented, some of what he quotes me as saying in his “Changing Images Muddy Picture of Zionism, Israel”. One point in particular is worthy of clarification:
In “A New Act For The Old Bar Mitzvah” (June 4), Julie Wiener articulates how the traditional bar mitzvah ceremony has evolved into a dynamic new-age ceremony replete with actors, music, family and communal participation.
While traditions and personal sentiment certainly differ regarding the significance of a bar mitzvah ceremony, most would agree that any basic definition of a “bar mitzvah” would include one’s coming of age, whereby a “boy” morphs into a “man.”
The Jewish Week deserves our approbation for bringing readers a broad spectrum of opinion. Rabbi Shai Held’s Opinion piece, “Halacha and Innovation Not Mutually Exclusive” (May 28), caught my eye. I found it risible that Rabbi Held cited the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, to buttress his opinion against Rabbi Hershel Schachter. Rabbi Schachter is one of the Rav’s most distinguished disciples in addition to being a world-class posek (decisor) in his own right.
Your editorial, “Israel Parade: Missing In Action” (May 28), was right on target.
I’ve noticed for a very long time that the vast majority of those who go to the Salute to Israel Parade are Modern Orthodox. This parade is not a “religious” event; it is simply a tribute to and celebration of Israel, and therefore should attract Jews from across the religious spectrum. This is true not only of this parade but of many Jewishly oriented events.