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Editorial & Opinion | Letters

12/23/2015 - 09:24 | | Letters

The issue over the Israeli flag at the HaaretzQ Conference is a manufactured controversy (“The Snub Club,” Editorial, Dec. 18). Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s office requested that there be an Israeli flag behind him when he spoke, as his government’s protocol requires. 
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat’s staff requested that there not be an Israeli flag behind him when he spoke, as his government’s protocol requires. We honored both requests. Beyond that, there was no intentional placement of flags on the plenary stage during the conference. We did have both an American and an Israeli flag at the entrance to the conference.

12/16/2015 (All day) | | Letters

This letter is in response to the front-page headline, “Lower East, 5 Towns Now Weighing Fortunes” (Dec. 11). The subhead states: “With Silver
convicted and Skelos’ trial ending, the two iconic Jewish areas could take a
funding hit.”

12/16/2015 (All day) | | Letters

Israeli Chief Rabbi David Lau’s condemnation this week of Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett’s visit
to the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan was shortsighted and inaccurate
in many ways (“A Ministerial Endorsement,” Dec. 11).

12/16/2015 (All day) | | Letters

Steven M. Cohen properly refers to Charles Liebman as “the esteemed social
scientist of contemporary Jewry” (“Lessons Learned From Orthodoxy’s Dramatic Growth,” Dec. 11). He also writes that American Orthodoxy
“has largely shed those who may be considered ‘nominally Orthodox,’ as Samuel
C. Heilman and I termed such Jews back in the 1980s.” In fact, exactly a
half century ago, in 1965, Liebman specifically wrote about the
nominally Orthodox — he used the term — in the long, masterly essay titled
“Orthodoxy in American Jewish Life” that was published in the American Jewish
Yearbook.

12/16/2015 (All day) | | Letters

Re: “Strategy Emerging On Adelson BDS Effort” (Editor’s column, Dec. 11): The Maccabee Task Force is a good idea. However, a better use of these funds
would be to gather a team of lawyers and other legal experts and start
researching a legal avenue to fight organizational BDS.

12/16/2015 (All day) | | Letters

In his reasoning as to why the newly created Maccabee Task Force won’t give
funding for anti-BDS initiatives to J Street U, David Brog states that, while
he thinks J Street is pro-Israel “in the abstract,” he questions how we
spend our time day-to-day and wonders whether we spend more time making the
case for Israel or being critical of it (“Strategy Emerging On Adelson BDS
Effort,” Editor’s column, Dec. 11). However, it is this very dichotomy that will prove his
efforts futile.
What Sheldon Adelson, Brog, and others fail to understand is that, without being
critical of Israeli policies, it is virtually impossible to muster support
for Israel as a whole. We criticize Israel’s policies because we love Israel,
and because we know that Israel can do better than it is doing right now. A
voice that refuses to criticize Israeli actions by definition insists that
Israel is perfect as is, and that sentiment only serves to give fodder to the
BDS movement, because it ignores the legitimate concerns that students have
about the dangers that Israel faces in the absence of a two-state solution.