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 had the privilege of being one of 120 participants at a unique conference that took place in mid-May. Siach (conversation) was a gathering of Jewish social justice and environment professionals from Israel, Europe and the United States.
Funded by the Commission of the Jewish People of the UJA-Federation of New York, the gathering was coordinated by three organizations: Bema’aglei Tzedek (Israel), Jewish Social Action Forum (U.K.) and Hazon (U.S.).
Summer is upon us and that means camp season will be here again. As I have for each of the past five years, I’ll be going to Jewish overnight camp. Not as a camper — I’m 81 — but as a visitor. I’ve made it a practice to visit Jewish overnight camp because I believe in the transformative influence that Jewish camps have on our children and I think every child could benefit from a camp experience. So, although I never went to summer camp as a child, the support of these institutions has become my hobby and my passion.
Since Israel was founded, and especially during the Intifada of 2000-2004, Hadassah's Jerusalem hospitals have been known as bridges of peace, where the staff provides its medical expertise equally to people of every religion, nationality and political persuasion.
It's been a crazy week in the ongoing soap opera, "Bibi and 'Bama," and given the reception Prime Minister Netanyahu got in Congress, I think the GOP wishes Netanyahu could be their standard bearer in 2012. There are so many fascinating dynamics at work here that it would make for a top notch TV comedy if the situation weren't deathly serious.
Too many Conservative Jewish synagogues and institutions – the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism included – have forgotten the passion, the joy, and even the accessibility of Shavuot.
Rabbi Steven Wernick
Special to the Jewish Week
One of Judaism’s most profound ideas is the notion that each year at Shavuot each of us stands at Mount Sinai, poised to receive the Torah as if for the first time. The holiday, in other words, is an annual renewal of the relationship we Jews as a people experience with God through Torah.