September 18, 2019

Letters to the editor: No Iran Deal; NIF and Torossian battle; David Stern

What About Considering Both Sides?

First, let me commend Rob Eshman for his courageous stand (“What If There’s No Deal?” Aug. 7) and for being willing to open himself to all kinds of vicious attacks. 

I wish I were as optimistic about the future. After reading “How Would You Vote If Your Children’s Lives Were at Stake?” by Michael Oren (Sept. 4, Times of  Israel); “Iran’s ‘Frozen’ Assets: Exaggeration on Both Sides of the Debate” by Patrick Clawson (Sept. 1, Washington Institute for Near East Policy); Secretary Jacob Lew’s op-ed in The New York Times (“The High Price of rejecting the Iran Deal,” Aug. 13); “Did AIPAC Just Waste Tens of Millions Fighting the Iran Deal? Not Really. Here’s What  It Got,” by Lee Drutman and Heather Hurlburt (Sept. 4, at; and a whole slew of other such visions of bias and immovable preconceived positions, I can only anticipate continued bitterness and the pursuit of payback.

One thing puzzles me greatly. I picture a key fact being that the day after the agreement was announced, the furious opposition erupted. I deem that to mean that no matter what the agreement was to be like, it had already been fully decided by the antis to fight it — at any cost. Thus, why didn’t you make full use of the material various nuclear experts have presented at sites like that of the Arms Control Association and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and articles by people like Tariq Rauf (such as on why the Associated Press report on Iranian self- inspection is based on a forged document)?

The Jewish people are impossibly ignorant in this present case, and it is as if they got all their information from Fox News. Briefly put, the talmudic model we use involves examining fully both sides and then tearing them apart to find their weaknesses. Here, that model was not just ignored but totally trampled upon. Worse yet, the resulting misrepresentations and perversions of the truth introduce the principle that when such is imposed upon the people, not even repentance or forgiveness is applicable.

Ben Lebovits, via email 

Quoting Emails

Regarding the story “NIF, Torossian Battle of Words Over Israel Escalates to Legal Threats — Against Jerusalem Post” (Sept. 4), I find it highly objectionable that the reporter used quotes made by me in confidential emails with the parties. Let me say for the record that this is unprofessional and unethical. I do not think Mr. Ronn Torossian is “nuts,” and we never said we wouldn’t run another op-ed by him. On the contrary, The Jerusalem Post is open to hearing both sides of the story, just as I’m sure you are.

Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief, the Jerusalem Post

The editors respond:

We stand by Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s reporting. Using emails to report stories in the public interest is established journalistic practice supported by case law and engaged in by all responsible media, including The Jerusalem Post. That said, in an email dated Aug. 20, 2015, Mr. Linde wrote to Naomi Paiss of the New Israel Fund regarding Mr. Torossian, “Will you help me when they sue us? (Which you know they’re going to do, because they’re nuts).” In an email dated April 21, 2015, to Naomi Paiss and cc’d to a Jerusalem Post editor, Mr. Linde wrote, “We have already taken a decision never to run a Ronn Torossian op-ed in the paper again. My apologies.”

A Question of Morality

Why do we treat animals more humanely than we do people? David Stern is being forced to suffer in an intolerable state of nonbeing because his family adheres to Jewish law (“Legal Dispute Pits Jewish Law Against Medical Director,” Aug. 21). Because he can raise his eyebrows and blink means that he is not suffering? He signed an advance directive because he didn’t want to end up in this state. He signed an advance directive, and now his family is contesting it. Jewish law supposedly disputes that he’s not suffering enough to “pull the plug.”

Does Mr. Stein’s daughter want her father to prolong his nonlife because she loves him, or because her God demands that he suffer?

Bettina Gantsweg, via email


A credit was not included with the photos illustrating recipes from Amelia Saltsman’s new book, “The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A New Take on Tradition” (“Falling for the Flavors of Autumn,” Sept. 4). The photographer is Staci Valentine.

The byline included on the opinion piece “In Defense of Portman” (Sept. 4) was incorrect. The writer is Gregory J. Wallance.

An article about a vegan perspective on honey (“Cruelty-Free Rosh Hashanah,” Sept. 4) misstated the name of an advocacy group. It is the Jewish Vegetarians of North America.