January 23, 2019

Letters to the editor: Garcetti’s gaffe, Sar-El, revenge and more

Existential Offensive

Excellent piece, David Suissa (“Revenge is Not Enough,” July 4). Shame and humiliation are indeed useful weapons in that region, and it must be part of the political arsenal, same as the appropriate military options. God and faith must be part of the conversation, the debate, the argument, the negotiation, the public response. The aim is not simply to punish, but to prevent further attacks. Clearly, the previous strategies have not succeeded.

Jonathan Freund via jewishjournal.com

Seems unlikely these killers can be shamed into nonviolence, but why not try? Peace will not come until all sides see more advantage to nonviolence than violence.

John Thomas via jewishjournal.com

Crude Critic

Dennis Prager is right in criticizing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s use of crudity in toasting the L.A. Kings (“L.A. Mayor and America’s Decline,” June 27). We don’t need a common Joe Doakes to relate to as a leader. I prefer an official who dresses the part, acts the part, talks the part, and conducts himself in a manner of respect. Using an analogy, a college professor should wear a jacket and tie and not try to look like one of the students.

Chuck Colton, Sherman Oaks

Common Ground

After years of disagreeing with virtually everything that he has written in the Journal, I was pleasantly surprised by Marty Kaplan’s article “How to Organize Your Books” (July 4). His comments resonated with me and were both informative and amusing.

Seeing him in a somewhat different light, I will make an effort to be more open to his extreme leftist views. But I am not overly optimistic in this regard.

Don Kaiserman, Santa Monica

One State, Two Experiences

David Bender’s piece “‘Baby Boomerangers’ Head Back to Israel” (July 4) brought back some fond memories of my own volunteer service in the Sar-El unit of the IDF in 1992 at Ashdod Naval Base, and in 1994 at Telnof Air Force Base. I wish to take exception, however, to interviewee Diane Horowitz’s comment that Sar-El is humanitarian rather than paramilitary in its focus. While she participated in humanitarian activities, at Ashdod, I helped to repair PBRs (River Patrol Boats). At Telnof, I was tasked with cleaning, locking and loading M-16s, Uzis and Galils in the Neshkiya (weapons arsenal). While I am as humanitarian as anyone, I did so in defense of the state of Israel. It is also worth noting that, a few years ago, the IDF approved the Sar-El unit as an acceptable alternative for Israelis living abroad who must fulfill their mandatory military service.

Marc Yablonka, Burbank

Do-Right Rabbis

I am so proud of the Reform rabbis, informed by Jewish values, who have taken action toward making our city workable and improving our quality of life by bringing our communities together under the banner of social justice (“California Reform Jews Succeed in Push to Fund Housing,” July 4). Through Reform CA, an initiative of the California Reform Movement and One LA, a community-based organizing initiative,

Rabbi Ken Chasen and Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Leo Baeck Temple, Rabbi Joel Simonds of University Synagogue and Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, co-director of the URJ’s Just Congregations, are providing the leadership to make this effort a reality.
Their vision: “By creating a greater quality of life for some, we are creating a greater quality of life for us all.”

Peachy Levy via email

Hey, Goodell!

In your column on the meaning of Hebrew words (June 27), you featured the word Adam, as meaning human skin, or redskin. It seems to me that a perfect solution to the controversy over using the name “Redskins” for the Washington football team would be to change the name from the Washington Redskins to the Washington Adams. That way the team would still have the redskins meaning, but it would now have a politically correct name of Adams. It is also not a coincidence that two U.S. President Adams (John and John Quincy) served in Washington, D.C., so the Washington Adams is doubly appropriate.

Paul Kovich, Los Angeles