To those who claim that Israel’s new anti-boycott law goes too far in limiting freedom of expression (“Boycott Bill Generates Controversy,” July 15), the following question should be asked: “Do you also oppose Israel’s anti-incitement law?”
In your article about Israel’s new anti-boycott law, you state that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) opposed its passage (“Boycott Law Generates Controversy,” July 15).
ZOA initially stated that before making a final determination, we must carefully “examine the law.” Now, after careful examination, the ZOA strongly sympathizes with its passage, as it helps protect Israel’s security and economic interests.
In Response to Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Of Balaam And Birthright: When A Curse Is A Blessing” (July 15), in which he masterfully uses Kiera Feldman’s own words to show that the Birthright experience is indeed, “far-reaching, effective and successful.” I would like to add my own observations fresh from “the field.”
The July 15 column by Gary Rosenblatt, "Of Balaam And Birthright: When A Curse Is A Blessing," brings up the recent Nation article by Kiera Feldman, which attacked Birthright Israel. He accurately mentions the author's anti-Israel bias and argues that the vehemence of her critique underscores Birthright's success as a pro-Israel program. (I've communicated with several people at The Nation on my displeasure with her article.)
We were very pleased that Gary Rosenblatt, in his column, “Baby Steps Toward Arab-Jewish Cooperation” (July 8), recognized that “dialogue is not enough” and that the new focus should be on wise and slow grassroots cooperation between communities and leaders on quality of life concerns. This is the methodology developed by JCRC-NY’s CAUSE-NY Intergroup and Community Building division.
If the Israeli Knesset wants to win the important, global battle against those who want to delegitimize the Jewish state, the last thing it should do is provide rhetorical weapons to Israel’s most vicious critics. (“Boycott Bill Generates Controversy,” July 15)
Yet, in voting to outlaw calls for a boycott against Israel and its West Bank settlements, the Knesset has aided and abetted those outside of Israel who are demonizing the Jewish state and turning it into an international pariah.
I came to the Jewish world five years ago, when JDub was the big cultural kid on the block and the Six Points Fellowship was starting with close to a million dollars in support for emerging artists.
The Foundation (then NFJC) was struggling for its existence and the Jewish world seemed a place that was all about embracing the innovations of the young. It saddens me that in this short time, when countless studies have shown the power of Jewish culture to engage young people, that JDub is closing its doors. This is a failure of the Jewish philanthropic system.
Re “Chewing on Jewish Declines” (July 8), it is now with near regularity that I read articles in your newspaper bemoaning the disappearance of non-observant Jews and/or Jewish institutions, while noting the growth of the observant Modern Orthodox and haredi communities.