AIPAC, Persian tragedy, Christian support for Israel


Do You think it is fair and balanced news to print only Sen. John McCain’s comments to AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee]?

I listened to Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hilary Clinton’s comments and feel they deserve the same coverage in The Jewish Journal (“McCain Raps Obama on Iran and Iraq at AIPAC“).

How do you justify not printing their comments? Not everyone has access to a Web site.

Charlotte Novatt
Los Angeles

Editor's Note: The Journal went to press before Clinton and Obama gave their speeches at the AIPAC conference. Sen. Obama's prepared remarks are online here, and Sen. Clinton's speech is online here.

Persian Tragedy

I think I speak for the entire Jewish community when I say that we are all saddened and in disbelief at the tragedy surrounding the death of Bianca Khalili (“Persian Tragedy,” June 13).

However, the horror is further exacerbated by the fact that we have not been able to stop the labeling of Jews. There are Russian, Moroccan, Mexican, Israeli, Sephardic, Ashkenazi and, yes, Persian Jews in our midst. Some of us are more or less observant; and, some of us are more or less accepted. Why? Persian Jews have been here since the late 1970s ,and I think that they have earned the right to be part of the entire community. Not Persian Jews, not separated from the rest of the Jewish community, but an integral, accepted and loved part of the Jewish community. Isn’t it time for all Jews to finally unite and stop putting up a mechitzah between us? This was not a Persian tragedy.

This was a Jewish tragedy.

Tamar Andrews
Los Angeles

I learned many huge lessons from the tragic events that recently occurred:
I will not allow myself the audacity to stand in judgment of another: will never “assume” anything about a person’s state of mind. No one knows who a person really is, what they are feeling or thinking at any given moment, what goes on in their homes, their hearts, their wallets…. I will not assign meanings to anyone’s behavior, or judge them to be anything, other than “an imperfect human being” just like me.

People talk, and that’s all it is: “talk.” You want facts? Good luck. I hear of lashon hara, I hear of police reports, of the “Jewish Way,” and you are one of the first to mention the human way.

I do not hear about “judgment,” or the law where you are innocent until proven guilty. I used to go to Beverly Hills High School; I have two teenagers, and I see what goes on … it can be brutal. However, I believe the real tragedy here is living within us, today.

There were two people there that night. One cannot ever talk again, and the other talks but no one wants to listen. The bottom line is none of us were there. None of us know what really happened, so for anyone to pass such cruel and dignified judgments is an utter tragedy of epic proportions, and a disgrace to logic and common sense.

I have spent three weeks at parties and gatherings listening to such ugly, baseless gossip, all of which was hearsay, illogical nonsense and just pure fantasy. People talked and talked, spewing words from their mouths so easily, as if they were reciting a poem, or reading street signs, without a moment’s hesitation to consider what they were saying, where it all came from, whether it was fact or hearsay … living their “C.S.I.” fantasy moment … well, because they just know everything and that makes it automatically a fact, of course; right?

The deceased is gone. Yet the living is left sinning, hurting, reeling, and lost. I only hope and pray that our people can find ourselves again, and learn from this.

It is time to stop, and put an end to this vicious cycle. Let the police and the courts take care of their business. Let us allow some breathing room for the families involved to grieve in peace and, God willing, someday heal.

Tannaz Rahbar
via e-mail

AIDS/HIV Supplement

I seldom miss an issue of The Jewish Journal, and I’m so glad I found the June 6 issue. Thanks so much for the supplement “AIDS and HIV” — it is fantastic and so important.

I have donated to AIDS Project Los Angeles and Project Angel Food but just learned of Project Chicken Soup.

GLSEN [Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network] is a fine group helping students and schools become inclusive for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students. They all need the same safe environments to study, learn and become productive, useful citizens, unharmed.

For me to realize (thru this supplement) that the Jewish community is open to helping is so rewarding and welcome. Please accept my sincere appreciation.

Dorothy L. Linder
Culver City

Christian Support for Israel

Thank you for finally publishing a positive article about Christian support for Israel in the May 30 article, “Interfaith Pep Rally For Israel Rocks the Forum.”

Instead of constantly looking for fault in Christian support for Israel we need to embrace their support, which is genuine and based on a shared belief in a common Bible and common God not just on a “common enemy in Islamic extremism.”

I have personally witnessed Christian pilgrimages to Israel on the Jewish holidays and seen their genuine love and devotion to the State of Israel and the Jewish people and we must never forget to appreciate their support.

Amanda Gelman
Los Angeles


Due to editing errors in "Orthodox Schools Share Concern For Greener World" (June 6), Master Solar and Madam Geothermal were erroneously attributed to David Chameides. Chameides is not associated with those characters or with the Big Mountain program at Camp Max Strauss. Chameides has not spoken at Yavneh, nor did he speak with Shalhevet parents, though he was invited to attend Shalhevet's trip to the landfill.