Reading Israel correspondent Joshua Mitnick’s “Turning Their Backs On The Israeli Army” (Sept. 19), as an Israeli who served in the army, I can’t help but think: Who else is supposed to speak up about the danger to Israel from the perpetual occupation of the West Bank but those who work within it? Who else will raise the red flags about what is done in the name of Israeli citizens under the military occupation if not the men and women we trust with security?
Executive Vice President and CEO, Jewish Communal Fund
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In “Questions Over Outpouring of Gaza War Philanthropy” (Sept. 12), staff writer Hannah Dreyfus wonders whether the surge in giving to Israel during Operation Protective Edge came at the cost of giving to other causes. Here at Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), the largest and most active Jewish donor-advised fund in the country, we have not found that to be the case. In fact, giving to other causes increased 24 percent as compared to the same period the previous year. We imagine that as our donors went online to make their grants to Israel-focused campaigns, it was easy enough to make additional grants to their favorite charities.
In explaining anti-Semitism, Maurice Samuel once wrote, “No one likes his alarm clock.” He believed that the fate of the Jews provided an early warning signal to humanity, which resented the awakening, however necessary.
Gauging global threats, from climate change to the enemies of Israel and the West.
Editor and Publisher
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I imagine that it was far easier for progressive Jewish organizations and synagogues to attract young Jews to participate in Sunday’s People’s Climate March than, say, attend a rally in support of Israel or come to synagogue on the High Holy Days.
It’s just an observation, not a value judgment, and I can’t prove it, but that’s the sense I have, based on conversations with people across the generations. And I think it bears exploring why that is and what it portends for our Jewish future.
Two months of bloody war have ended in a fragile remission, and it is hard to say what it was all for. It took 50 days of fighting that killed 73 Israelis and over 2,000 Palestinians --including hundreds of children -- just to go back to the starting point with no real change in Gaza. And so, even as life begins to return to normal, we have no illusions that this quiet will hold for long. The next war is just a question of (short) time.
“Israel today,” Jeremy Ben-Ami tells us in “Liberal Zionism and Its Discontents” (Opinion, Sept. 12), “falls far short of fulfilling the dreams of its founders in all respects.” In a one-sentence tour de force Mr. Ben-Ami thus writes off Israel’s 66 years of astonishing accomplishment.