Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s steps towards a renewed consensus on Israel are all based on a premise that few American Jews, and particularly younger American Jews, would agree to (“Appreciating, And Learning To Talk About Israel,” Opinion, May 6).
The premise that Israel is the most important project of the Jewish people, that it is the proving ground for our Jewish values and the wellspring of Jewish culture flies in the face of the American Jewish experience.
As president of Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah, a 420-family Orthodox shul in Potomac, Md., I read with interest the May 27 article about Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT).
The article discussed the Rabbinical Council of America’s current refusal to accept the semicha of YCT graduates and suggested that this might make it more difficult for YCT graduates to obtain pulpit positions.
The Jewish Week’s paired front-page articles, Gary Rosenblatt’s column and James Besser’s report on “’67 Border Flap” (May 27) were together a much-needed antidote to the hysteria sweeping the Jewish community about Obama and Israel.
It was a week in which President Barack Obama intentionally sandbagged and humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the most anti-Israel speech ever delivered by a sitting American president, delivered moments before the prime minister was set to leave for America. Yet, strangely, Gary Rosenblatt chooses to see Netanyahu as the confrontational one (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” Editor’s column, May 27).
A few days after President Barack Obama’s infamous May 19 statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” I sent letters to my representatives in Congress stating that “there are hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who live beyond the 1967 lines, and the 1967 lines are ‘indefensible.’”
The Jewish left, as personified by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Letters, May 20), views the popular pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist position as the only permissible view to hold. Anyone who dares challenge this politically correct and utterly conformist view becomes persona non grata. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld has not been addressed on the issues he raises but has, instead, been personally demonized, libeled and pressured to resign for exercising his right to free speech and academic freedom.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee, The City University of New York
Regarding the absolutely outrageous letter from Rabbi Arthur Waskow (May 20, Letters), let me be clear: Jim Dwyer’s piece in The New York Times was part of a concerted campaign to defame me [over this letter-writer’s role in the initial decision by the CUNY board to deny Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree]. I apologize for nothing. I never made the statement that Palestinians were not human.
I was incredulous that your front-page story (March 11) on the Jewish character of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire omitted the most relevant fact: The fire occurred on a Shabbos (Sephardic transliteration would be anachronistic in this context). I learned the day of the week on which the fire occurred several years ago, and was also told that the employees were forced to come to work on Shabbos because that was payday.
Although I don’t fully agree with Gary Rosenblatt’s view of the Palestinian Authority as more recalcitrant than Israel is at times, there’s much in his column, “Looking to Bibi, As The World Closes In” (Editor’s column, May 20), that I do agree with. I especially agree that the so-called “Nakba,” the catastrophe for the Arabs as a result of Israel’s victory in 1948, was brought about by their violent opposition to the United Nations partition plan and their military attempt to destroy Israel in its infancy.