Letters to the Editor: Anti-circucision, Sarah Palin, Bin Laden

Anti-Circumcision Advocates Draw Ire

It appears that the male genital mutilation organization (MGMbill.org), Matthew Hess and Jena Troutman (“In Foreskin Fight, Even Terminology Is Being Disputed,” June 3 ) are following in the footsteps of such notorious leaders as Hitler, Stalin, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and Roman emperor Constantine in their quest to make circumcision illegal for males under 18 … and punishable by jail time.

The banning of circumcision was the first step used by these tyrants to eliminate and expel their Jewish population.

So, if they are so worried about “traumatizing” unborn males regarding their sexual pleasure, why not little infants who have total immersion baptisms and infants ripped from their mother’s womb with a C-section?

Then, there is the First Amendment, which promises religious freedom. Perhaps they do not understand that this means the right to practice your religion in your own way as long as it does not violate anybody’s rights and is legal.

Let’s hear how the Jewish and Muslim men who have had circumcisions feel about this.

As a Jewish woman who has had three Jewish husbands, I can assure that they were not lacking in sexual pleasure, nor was I.

Sandra Reid Stackler

Pretty Women: How Much Do Looks Matter?

You are absolutely correct! I’ve thought for some time now, not only if they weren’t pretty, but how about if they were men? Would anyone have given either a second look? They are attractive women with little intellectual power or curiosity and are an embarrassment to this country (and should be an embarrassment to the GOP.) And it is an insult to most Americans that they are narcissistic enough to think they are remotely qualified to be president.

Barbara Justice-Kamp
via e-mail

As a former fairly attractive woman, now 65, I don’t think what you are saying is out of line.  It is simply the truth.  I think the fact that Sarah Palin is pretty is one of the reasons she was chosen to run with John McCain. After all, he’s so far from being handsome, having someone who could balance the old-man-scary look up on the stage was a big boost. People in his campaign knew that. It must be hard when formerly handsome guys like McCain can no longer get by on their looks, same as it is for pretty women who age.

No doubt plenty of women will take issue with your story, but deep down they know it helps to be pretty. It helps to be handsome. Facts. Thank you for a good essay.

Lou Anne Honderich
via e-mail

Just wanted you to know that I agree with Marty Kaplan’s column on pretty women and current politics. I figure you may have gotten some flak on this column, so I wanted to let you know there is at least one feminist who agrees with it.
Bonnie Pastor
via e-mail

How dare you allow a sexual attack on Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin in your otherwise better-than-usual issue of The Jewish Journal (“If Bachman and Palin Weren’t Pretty,” June 3)? Apparently having nothing intelligent to add to the national discourse, Marty Kaplan attacks their appearance and adds personal insults for good measure. Disgusting.

Warren Scheinin
Redondo Beach

In Need of Increased Jewish Outreach

I applaud Rabbi Daniel Mehlman’s wonderful story on performing a conversion ceremony in Mexico (“Amigos in San Miguel de Allende,” June 3). Unfortunately, some synagogues had previously turned away the people he so generously welcomed into our civilization. His example of Jewish outreach raises larger questions of why the worldwide Jewish community, in demographic and disaffiliation crisis, is not doing more to seek out potential converts and to combat continuing efforts to evangelize us. We could take a more proactive approach by dramatically increasing funding for and promotion of Jews-by-Choice programs. We could also boycott media such as the Salem Radio Network, owner of KRLA-AM 870 and host of a “messianic rabbi” who argues weekly on the show “Shalom Talk” that we should become Christians. Why not ask KRLA commentators Glenn Beck, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager (this last a regular Journal contributor) why they affiliate with a station that is so welcoming to Jews for Jesus?  For a community so engaged in so many issues, we are strangely silent when faced with our own decline.

Peter L. Reich
Professor of Law, Whittier Law School
Costa Mesa

Don’t Compare Rwanda and Palestine

Jewish director Gilles Paquet-Brenner in an interview cited in “Nazis, Newspapers and Nuremberg” (Summer Sneaks issue,  June 2011) indicates that anyone can connect with his story, not only Jews, but other victims:  “Such a character could easily be from Rwanda or Palestine.” Linking Nazi atrocities and the killings in Rwanda with Palestine is downright sickening. This is some kind of upside-down world where the treatment of Palestinians is seen by some as being in the same league with the worst genocidal episodes. Comparing the situation in Israel to the Nazis would not lead to Paquet-Brenner’s conclusion. Were the Palestinians the victims or the perpetrators of the bombing of family pizza restaurants and cafes? Were Palestinians the slaughtered or the slaughterers at a teenage nightclub in Tel Aviv? Rwanda and Palestine — please!!!

Robert Rome


A Muslim Insider’s Views on Death of Bin Laden

I want to applaud The Jewish Journal for inviting Salam Al-Mayarati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, to present a position of the Muslim-American community regarding the death of Osama bin Laden (“Death of an Ideology,” May 20). I also wish to thank Mr. Al-Mayarati for having the courage to publicly explain to his fellow Americans how Muslims feel about despots.

Having said that, I would have been even more comforted during the months immediately following the Twin Towers attack of 9/11 had Mr. Al-Mayarati exhibited the same courage by publicly denouncing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda by specifically naming them rather than offering concern regarding terrorism in general. Some of my Muslim-American friends who, along with all of us, regarded Osama bin Laden as a treacherous and murdering terrorist, were not hesitant to state their views in a timely fashion.

One thing I know: true leaders and others in the Jewish community are not hesitant to have the courage to immediately and publicly condemn their acts by their fellow Jews that they believe to be wrong, and when they do, it is reported in The Jewish Journal.

Stu Bernstein
Santa Monica