Letters to the Editor: Trump and Anti-Semitism, UCLA Professor and Gaza Border Clash
Trump and Anti-Semitism
The Anti-Defamation League reports that global anti-Semitism is increasing. I believe that President Donald Trump is the cause. I believe Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” indicates that Sheldon Adelson paid Trump a huge sum of money to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It was just another payoff to Trump’s financial contributors. They pay Trump for government jobs and influence to increase their wealth, regardless of how it harms the public. In my opinion, global anti-Semitism will be mitigated only when Israel unilaterally creates a Palestinian state.
Martin J. Weisman, Westlake Village
A Seat at Yamit’s Table
I love Yamit Behar Wood’s recipes and the stories about her family in Bulgaria.
Her fish (“The Sephardic Answer to Gefilte Fish,” Feb. 9) is very similar to the Friday night one my grandmother used to make, but we hardly knew about salmon in Morocco! She made it with white fish, “alosa” or seabream, a very delicate Mediterranean fish that goes particularly well with that sauce (sorry I don’t know the English name for “alosa,” which sadly has a lot of bones but is so tasty).
As for her leek and beef patties (“Passover Meal Prep: Leek and Beef Patties,” March 16), steaming would allow the vegetable to keep its taste better, rather than the boiling method.
Keep up the good work and happy Passover!
Danielle Abitbol via email
UCLA Professor Ousted
After punishment by a formal agreement with the UCLA administration, professor Gabriel Piterberg resumed his legitimate tenured position only to be hounded off the campus by a mob and a cowardly administration (“ULCA Ousts Professor Over Harrasment Claims,” March 23). I would think the Journal would be against mobs.
Wayne Johnson, Santa Monica
The Councilman and the Rothschilds
Bravo to Democrat Trayon White for his apology in blaming a recent snowstorm on the Jews (“D.C. Councilman Apologizes for Blaming Snowstorm on Jews,” March 23).
But who voted for this man who blamed the Rothschilds for creating “natural disasters”? We need to be discerning who we elect. While intellect does not necessarily make one a good person, it sure helps in making a good leader.
Judith N. Cohen, Valley Village
He Doesn’t Miss the ’60s
Having come of age in the ’60s and been a willing participant in the protests of the anti-war movement while at a university, I realize as a senior citizen today that the era should not be thought of as “romantic” in the least.
In her column “Why I Miss the ’60s” (March 30), Dahlia Scheindlin refers to the era as one of solidarity. That was hardly the case. The reality was it was a terribly divisive time in our nation’s history. I marvel at the fact that a “movement” comprising of the likes of pacifists like David Dellinger, loonies like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, those sworn to violence like the Black Panthers, and draft evader David Harris, who persuaded others to go to federal prisons for five years for burning their draft cards, could be termed a movement at all.
Rather, the leaders of said “movement” merely chewed up and spit out those of us who were naive enough to ride along so they could further their own egotistical adventures. In the end, they didn’t give a hoot about the rest of us. Better to have gone to Vietnam.
Marc Yablonka via email
Kudos to the high school student who wrote “Ethan and Me” (March 16). Her fresh perspective on volunteering for Friendship Circle was delightful and engaging. May other high school students read her column and may it resonate with them to do the same and contact Friendship Circle. This is coming from an adult who has cerebral palsy. Boy, I wish they had Friendship Circle during my youth. The impact must be tremendous for both recipients and givers.
May this fine organization go from strength to strength.
Susan Cohn, Redding
The Back Story of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
In her column “Our Better Angels” (March 30), Danielle Berrin blames both sides equally in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which ignores facts and history. This may make her feel open-minded and fair, but it’s not true and hurts Israel.
Both sides don’t teach their children to commit murder and pay successful terrorists; only the Palestinians do. When the world offered partition plans in 1937 and ’47, the Israelis accepted both; the Arabs rejected both. Israel has made a number of good-faith offers; the Palestinians have rejected them all. Finally, Israel made peace with Jordan and Egypt, painfully uprooting Sinai settlements, while the Palestinians have made peace with no one, not even one another.
Israel isn’t perfect, but failure to make peace is clearly more the Palestinians’ fault.
Rueben Gordon, Encino
The Value of Genetic Testing
In a story about Dr. Beth Karlan and her most recent efforts focused on hereditary cancer in the Ashkenazi-Jewish community, she emphasized that knowledge is power (“Genetic Testing Could Be Life-Saving for Ashkenazi Jews,” March 23). The BRCA Founder OutReach (BFOR) study shows us that knowledge can save lives and be a helpful tool in preventing BRCA-related cancers in our families and communities.
This is an exciting step forward that empowers us to own our health. Karlan reminded us of the importance of exploring our medical family history and participating in groundbreaking medical research, not only as individuals but also for our communities. It is through the awareness and education of building a family tree and interviewing older generations that we can obtain information to make important life decisions.
This is a cause that GeneTestNow has been focused on for years; as such, we fully support Karlan’s efforts. Determining your carrier status can prevent cancer and save lives. We endorse screening for recessive conditions in individuals of all ethnic backgrounds. Recessive conditions generally do not affect the health of an individual but give information about risk for disease in his or her children.
In that spirit, we also endorse testing for BRCA mutations as this information before marriage, pre-conception, or at any point in life can provide the gift of information and options to create a healthy family, for both parents and children.
Sharon Glaser, Jerry Factor Co-founders, GeneTestNow.com
Driving in Rainy Los Angeles
The Donald Trump-esque temper tantrum of a column by Ilana Angel was an unsightly blemish on an otherwise wonderful issue of the Journal (“Rainy Los Angeles,” March 30).
To equate yourself with a New York City cab driver implies that you are a rude and aggressive driver. To say you are “fearless and able to handle all kinds of weather” is another clue that contrary to what the writer believes, she is most likely not a good, courteous driver, either.
Most drivers in Los Angeles are not natives, anyway. Most of us come from different states and countries. Yes, many drivers here are bad, but we deal with it and soldier on. If that is too much for you, please do us a favor and move back to Canada.
Chris Reiff, Ventura
Gaza Border Clash
The U.N.’s uproar about Israeli forces killing at least 16 Gazan Arabs trying to violently force their way into Israel is disingenuous. Ten terrorists were identified so far among the dead. When combatants hide among civilians, it’s worse than using human shields; it amounts to using bait for the international news media to heap wrath on the Jews.
Action Group for Palestinians of Syria reports that 23 Palestinians were killed in that country’s civil war during March 2018 alone. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the body count for Arab Palestinians is 3,685. Nobody complains to the U.N. about these killings or the massacre by Syrian government forces and their allies, such as Hezbollah and Iran, of hundreds of thousands of Arabs.
It seems that the only time people care about dead Arabs is when they are killed while trying to murder Jews or overrun the Jewish state. Author Ayn Rand once said, “In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” She was right.
Desmond Tuck via email
and FROM FACEBOOK:
‘Parkland Students Share Their Stories,’ March 30:
Stop confusing regulation and removal … they are two different things. Also, be aware that no security officer has ever prevented a shooting at a school when a kid is driven to lash out against one or more peers. Also, instead of pouring money into arming staff at schools, return all the funding that has been slashed for preventive programs including counseling and psych services, community outreach, parenting supports, etc. Those reduce the number of shootings.
‘A Haggadah for Every Taste,’ March 30:
As a non-Jew, I just learned something quite new. I was aware of the Passover storytelling of the haggadah but always thought it was standard and unaltered or unalterable as in holy writ. I had no idea of the room available for telling the same story in differing ways. Very interesting!
‘Why I Miss the ’60s,’ March 30:
The real and present danger in school is from bullying. According to the CDC, 4,400 students commit suicide each year due to bullying.
March for Our Lives could perhaps better be looked at as a watershed moment, a catalytic event preceding the many changes we need, promoted by our future leaders.
‘In a Secular Passover, Jews Are Nothing Special,’ March 30:
Jews are here to accomplish big things and little everyday things to improve the world. I’m dismayed that you don’t know this.
Passover is about faith. No faith — no meaning.
Ben Shapiro’s opinion on how secular Jews should mark Passover is worth as much as mine on how religious Jews should do it. Nothing.
‘The Seder of Repairing Ourselves,” March 30:
Very akin to “Be the change you wish to see …” This is so very important because this feeds the collective consciousness of the world.
Barbara Jordan Wampler
I lead a schizophrenic professional life. When I work on the weekly paper, I’m a different person than when I work on our website. With...
I remember when I was as a child on Yom Kippur, holding my mother’s hand and squinting at her prayer book: Who shall perish by...
As I prepare for this Yom Kippur, when we stand before the Judge of Truth, open the ledger of our deeds and recite our confessions...
Doing Better in 5779 Ben Shapiro has an interesting assessment that I think applies to all of us in journalism, especially those who must also...
As my 9-year-old son recently prepared to return to school, we knew there would be a couple of boys in his fourth-grade class whom he...
Less than a year ago, I decided it was high time for me to visit Hebron. After all, Hebron is the world’s oldest Jewish city,...
Two years ago, I met Steven, 72, when he walked into the JFS Freda Mohr Center on Fairfax Boulevard asking for help from the Jewish...
I’ve never liked the word “sin.” I prefer the Hebrew translation “khet,” which more or less means a mistake. It’s time we acknowledged how much...
This is the sixth of six weekly columns by Rabbi Zimmerman leading up to Yom Kippur. When our children were little, my husband and I...
On the eve of Yom Kippur, Sept. 17, my friend Roseanne Barr and I will join in a public discussion on repentance and forgiveness at...
Most Israelis spend their post-military stint backpacking, partying, traveling, meeting new people and basically living life with hedonistic abandon. Not Matan Pertman. While vacationing in...
In a study on Israel-Diaspora relations not long ago, a pop quiz was included to test the participants’ knowledge about “the other side.” American Jews...
For many Jews, the Days of Awe are the one time of year to experience prayer services. An essential part of those services is the...
When I first learned how to recite The confessional prayers — Head bowed slightly, tight hand In a fist against my heart With each whispered word —...
Edited by Salvador Litvak, Accidental Talmudist One Question, Five Voices: How do we make an atonement that lasts? Miriam Yerushalmi Director of SANE (Soulful Advice for a New...
As an American chef in a foreign service post, I feel that part of my job description is to make fellow expats feel as if,...
The lunch rush is quieting down during a weekday afternoon at Mizlala in Sherman Oaks. The restaurant’s casual, intimate space contrasts with the steady thrum...
Standing in the middle of her Century City penthouse with sweeping views of Los Angeles, Dina Leeds told 40 assembled female community leaders, “We take...
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israeli Defense Forces tank commander Ron Weinreich was paralyzed from the waist down after a building collapsed on...
What happens when you merge a 2,000-year-old fortress in the Old City of Jerusalem with some of the hottest minds of the 21st-century Startup Nation? ...
You’re never too young to start changing the world. It’s this thinking that propelled a 27-year-old MIT graduate to co-found Founders Bootcamp for teenagers last...
The 38th annual Chabad “To Life” telethon on Labor Day weekend raised more than $3.6 million for Chabad West Coast, according to Rabbi Simcha Backman,...
Mandy Patinkin won his first Emmy Award 23 years ago for “Chicago Hope,” and has been nominated several times since, including nods in 2013, 2014,...
Beloved by critics and viewers since it premiered on Amazon in November 2017, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a show about a 1950s housewife-turned-standup comic, exceeded...
William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” gains extra emotional and historical resonance in director Shira Dubrovner’s staging at The Group Rep at the Lonny...
On our first trip to Israel, we traveled via Rome to Jerusalem. At the hotel in Rome, we needed to get a converter from the...
Find out what's happening in Los Angeles this week. Events include Paddleboarding Prayer, Hiking, charity, Tashlich and a talk with Roseanne Barr. Friday Sept. 14...
Steven Baum died Aug. 13 at 69. Survived by wife Frieda; daughter Jennie (Gregory) Sloan; sons Jeremy, Michael (Monique), Benjamin; 5 grandchildren; sisters Lorrie (David)...
While the story of Jonah and the Whale is read primarily on Yom Kippur, its lesson of mercy is timeless and applicable all year long....
Steve Greenberg’s cartoon of the week for the September 14, 2018 issue of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
The heart of rock ’n’ roll is still beating in San Diego, where Jonathan A. Abrams is part of the team supplying the pump. A...