The World’s Silence


This week there was great rejoicing among Hamas. And who can blame them?

More than 1,000 Arabs freed in exchange for one Jew, Gilad Shalit.

But when you think about it, you can’t help but feel shame for the Arab world. What a formula. One Jew = One Thousand Arabs. How can they not be embarrassed?
“Shetikah KeHodaah” (Silence is Acquiescence). By the world's not saying anything, it’s saying a lot.

The Bronx

Bitter Exchange


Your editorial says of the Gilad Shalit exchange deal that “It was a noble, compassionate and tender act; only time will tell if it was the right one” (‘Impossible, Choice,’ Oct. 21). Sadly, experience tells us that we are not likely to have to wait very long to find out that the decision was a terrible mistake.

Favors Status Quo


In your Sept. 16 issue you published two different opinion pieces on “Israel and the Palestinian Statehood Bid.” Michael Weil took the leftist view that Israel should “support Palestinian statehood in the strongest manner.” Mervyn Danker took the current Israeli government stance that “only a return to the peace table and negotiations” with Israel can lead to a Palestinian state.

Favors Free Services


When I lived on the Upper West Side, I attended Manhattan Jewish Experience Shabbat services; Rabbi [Mark] Wildes does a stellar job with this program. However, I respectfully disagree with his views that “Judaism must be seen as something worth paying for,” and that “anything of true quality costs money,” in reference to Rabbi Wildes’ opposition to free religious services (Letters, Oct. 14).

Death Penalty For Terrorists


I would love to read the transcripts of the negotiations [in the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap], where it was determined that 1,027 prisoners would be freed, and not 1,028, 1,050, or 1,100 (“Arab Spring Seen Forcing Israel’s Hand In Shalit Deal,” Oct. 14). I would also love to see what criteria they used to determine who, if anyone, was too evil or dangerous to release, as opposed to those who were released.

Israel Education Down Under


I recently returned from Australia where I facilitated and presented at a national conference of Israel education, organized by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) in Melbourne. The conference was attended by almost every Zionist day school from across Australia, and from across the ideological and religious spectrum. Despite the differences of ideology, there was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and cooperation.

Obama Critic


In his Sept. 9 letter, “Supporting Obama,” Richard A. Schwartz lists a number of reasons to support President Barack Obama. Unfortunately, most do not hold up to scrutiny.

Perry Supporter


Much has been mentioned about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s lip-whipping of Texas Gov. Rich Perry in a recent televised debate, cleverly and repeatedly misunderstanding the slower, deliberate talking Perry, creating the perception of being up against a confused rival.

As a rabbi with a speech impediment, I caution those overly impressed by smooth words.

Memories Of A Rabbinic Wrestler


I had not known that Rafael Halpern passed away until reading Steve Lipman’s remembrance of him, “A Rabbi Who Wrestled With More Than Theology” (Sept. 9).

Comics For Class


After reading “Are Comics The Jewish Art Form?” (Oct. 7), I felt compelled to respond.

As an educator, I was struck by the possibility of using the article as a lesson plan for age-appropriate Jewish and regular classes. The history of comics, cartoons, immigration, politics and World War II could be subsections of the course. Students could be asked to create their own statements, in comic or cartoon form.

Thanks to the writer, Paul Buhle, for diverting our thoughts from the grim and grimy to a topic that informs with a smile.


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