Julian Schnabel’s movie “Miral,” which “definitely presents the Israeli presence in Gaza and the West Bank as an occupation and an illegal one at that,” was filmed in Israel and the West Bank, with many Israelis working on the production (“Schnabel’s ‘Miral’ Falls Flat,” March 25). Israel, the most hated country on earth, is free enough to produce filmmakers who create works expressing negative views of their country. Israel is democratic enough to provide a safe environment for such artists.
I was moved by the cartoon strip, “Everything’s Relative,” and the writings of Jonathan Mark and Gary Rosenblatt regarding the horrible murder of the Fogel family. Sadly, the answer to Rosenblatt’s question — What if the Fogels lived in Tel Aviv? —is that it would have mattered little to what is, in essence, a reflexive anti-Israel lobby and media.
The Palestinian Authority’s crocodile tears over the Fogels should not have been accepted at face value.
The Jewish community would be well advised to heed Gary Rosenblatt’s call for restraint in criticizing our own (“Advocacy Gone Awry,” March 18). Upon my return from a recent trip to Israel, a friend asked me if I had been to the “settlements.” I replied: “Sure! I visited a place called Dizengoff Square.”
“Dizengoff Square?” he said, astonished. “That’s in the center of Tel Aviv!”
Your editorial on “Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation” (April 1) asks some of the right questions. Some years back, I recall the then-leader of Meretz, Yossi Beilin, pointing out that the Bush administration had blown it at the time because without endorsing the principle of peace with Israel, Hamas had not qualified under the Oslo Accords to run in the elections of 2006. The requirements of Oslo could have been used as leverage to try to moderate Hamas.
I was deeply moved by Jonathan Mark’s story about the Fogel family (“A Long-Distance Shiva For The Fogels,” March 25). Especially the way in which he imagined the last Shabbat night that the Fogel family spent together before the horror engulfed them.
His stories are written with such sensitivity and earnestness that they remain with me even months after I read them. He is somehow able to penetrate to the heart of the matter in the most remarkable way. I look forward to future articles.
I strongly praise the new head of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Rabbi Richard Jacobs’ work to help victims of war, famine and massacres in places like Chad, Darfur and Haiti (‘The Scarsdale Dynamo,’ Mar. 29). I am also heartened to have read elsewhere Rabbi Jacobs’ statement that “the connection to Israel is a vital part of Jewish life.”
Aside from the issue of the current tendency in Israel’s government to reject pro-Israel groups who are critical of some of Israel’s policies (“For the Love of Israel,” March 25), an additional important point is made in this report, namely, that Israel “remains a vital connection point to Jewish life for many younger Jews” in the U.S.
As a college student, I am genuinely surprised that the editor and publisher of The Jewish Week could seem so out of touch with my generation’s reality. At Dartmouth, a campus with fewer Jewish students than most, Chabad exists as an unparalleled place of spirituality, education, tradition and community.