August 20, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Pot, ‘occupation,’ Donald Trump

Going to Pot

The marijuana/Judaism article you published (“A Guide for the Perplexed Stoner,” Sept. 9) ignored Bereshit 1:29 when God said, “Every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth … shall be yours for food.” What about pot brownies?

Ellery Sorkin via email

It’s Not ‘Occupation’

I appreciated reading Shmuel Rosner’s article “50 Years After the Six-Day War” (Sept. 9), where he looked at the war diversely, including a realistic perspective of how Israel cannot today leave the lands gained in that war.

However, in the article, there is a word that is improperly used. I and many others believe it is wrong to use the terms “occupation” or “occupied territories” in suggesting that the 1967 lands are Palestinian and are illegally occupied by the Israelis.

Israel’s current borders were controlled by the Ottomans for 400 years and they signed away their claims in 1923 when they signed the Mandate for Palestine. The British walked away from the Mandate in 1948 when the Jews legally took over and established sovereignty.  The Jordanians illegally occupied the land of Judea and Samaria for 19 years and signed away their claim in 1988. The Partition Plan of 1947 was never signed by the Arabs, so it cannot legally delineate borders. Therefore, the Mandate boundaries still stand.

I know I am just a 15-year-old high school student, but every time I hear the word “occupied,” I don’t understand why that word is used. Hasn’t it been factually established that all legitimate and legal claimants to the land gave up their ownership claims? If the Jewish Journal claims to care about facts, why don’t the facts matter?

Liora Bentolila, Los Angeles

Must-See TV

I’m excited that “Speechless” will be on network TV and hope that the character with cerebral palsy won’t be tokenized or pitied (“When Your Life Becomes a Sitcom,” Sept. 9). I’m very pleased that the actor playing the person with cerebral palsy himself has the same disability (though not as severely.) It seems as though the show will depict the upsides and downsides of being a family with a non-neurotypical family member.

Merril Simon via

Trump Trending Up

Is Rob Eshman predicting a trend of Jews toward Trump? 

In his column in the July 29 edition (“All Together Now”), he stated almost all Jews are against Trump, which would put the percentage of Jews in favor Trump at slightly above zero. In his column in the Sept. 2 edition (“Donald Trump, the Jewish Savior”), he quoted a survey taken in Florida by GBA Strategies, a progressive-leaning polling group (translate: pro-Hillary group), which stated that 23 percent of Jews would go for Trump. If this trend continues, does that mean that we can expect to see 46 percent of Jews for Trump next month?

Does Mr. Eshman have any polling data from one of the more well-known reputable polling groups? I think he might find out that the percentage of Jews for Trump is higher than 23 percent.

Marshall Lerner, Beverly Hills

National Anthem’s Sour Note

David Suissa’s critique of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s position on the national anthem (“The Right to Protest Works Both Ways,” Sept. 9) omits a key point. Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” celebrates not only slavery but also efforts to capture slaves in order to return them to bondage. 

Verse No. 3 reads: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave …”

Even if this seems arcane to most Americans, can you imagine warplanes flying over our sporting events if, say, our national anthem was Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” or even “America the Beautiful”? In America, militarism trumps honoring the common man or even environmental beauty every time.

Gene Rothman, Culver City