July 18, 2019

Protecting Israel, Physically and Spiritually, Perhaps the Wrong Path to Peace

Make More Dressing, Just in Case
What an honor to be part of such a wonderful Rosh Hashanah food issue (Aug. 31). I loved it, and most importantly, so did my mom. Regarding the Roasted Beet Salad dressing: You might want to double or even triple the amount of dressing that you make. Use it on the Roasted Beet Salad to taste, and try it on other salads, too. Ashkephardic cooking is an adventure: Enjoy the journey!

Also, my dear and talented friend Jyl Riendeau is responsible for the beautiful photos that ran with my story.
Debby Segura, Los Angeles

Ronald Lauder: Hurt or Help?
David Suissa unfortunately misses the point of Ronald Lauder’s dramatic criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government policies (“Did Ronald Lauder Help or Hurt Israel?” Aug. 24). The fundamental issue is whether the Diaspora should be relegated to be a mere rubber stamp or whether its commitment and investment in Israel, both of money and soul, entitles it to a voice in protecting its investment.

Ronald Lauder spoke for many of us who love and support Israel, and who are deeply concerned about the course the Netanyahu government is taking our beloved Israel. If Lauder’s message motivates the Knesset to alter its course, it will have served its purpose and will “help Israel,” not hurt it.
Louis Lipofsky, Beverly Hills

Protecting Israel, Physically and Spiritually
I’m proud of my nephew, the Chai Center’s Rabbi Mendel Schwartz, and of his son Ari’s choice to enroll in a preparatory program leading to a stint in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), because “the IDF needs strong and brave men and women” (Table for Five, Aug. 17). 

At the same time, a yeshiva student must take his studies as seriously as the IDF solder takes his duties. Discipline is required in both fields, which are equally challenging and equally significant.

The Jewish people are unique in that their raison d’être is their spiritual connection to God by a segment of its people being totally committed to Torah study and its promulgation; it is not for the fainthearted. The body politic is weakened without that spiritual backbone. It is not only the IDF that protects the nation physically but those devoted to Torah study protect the nation spiritually; they go arm in arm. One atrophied arm, whether the right or the left, leaves the body handicapped.
Gershon Schusterman, Los Angeles

Ben Shapiro and Social Justice
Ben Shapiro defines social justice as “a panoply of left-leaning policy priorities” (“Where ‘Social Justice’ and #MeToo Fall Short,” Aug. 24).

I think most others would think of social justice as defined by Wikipedia: “Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges.”

There is nothing left-leaning about a fair society, offering opportunity to all.

In fact, that’s what the United States is supposed to be all about. And going back to the prophet Amos and others, that’s what the Jewish religion is supposed to be all about.
Daniel Fink, Beverly Hills

Perhaps the Wrong Path to Peace
Shmuel Rosner, in his Aug. 31 column “Reality Train’s Next Stop: Right of Return,” writes about President Donald Trump administration’s three-part intrusion into the Palestinian conflict: Move the embassy to Jerusalem, cut $200 million in aid to the Palestinians and freeze $300 million in UNRWA aid to refugees. He realizes that the effect of all this is to destabilize the Palestinian situation, but thinks that this is not a bad thing because it will bring Palestinians to recognize reality.

I have no doubt that their leadership already knows that Israel will not give up Jerusalem or allow millions to “return” to Israel. What is needed is genuine desire by the Israeli government and Washington to resolve this impasse. As with any negotiation, a pass must be found to allow the Palestinians to say, “yes” with dignity. Prior Israeli governments already came very close and demonstrated that peace is possible. Washington held the position of honest broker, which it must bring back.
Michael Telerant, Los Angeles

Fiery Kites in Israel and Wildfires in California
Now California and Israel have something more in common: fires.

Authorities say some of California’s devastating wildfires were set by an arsonist. Comparably, Israel’s more than 1,500 devastating fires were set by imaginative Palestinian arsonists — children, teens and Hamas terrorists — using balloons, kites and inflated condoms laden with explosives, Molotov cocktails, burning embers and flaming, oil-soaked rags.

Such incendiary devices created ecological disasters, setting ablaze some 8,000 acres of Israeli farms, forests, nature reserves, animals, agricultural land and major highways.

Gaza’s failed “Great March of Return” (the “kite” war) was exposed as a Hamas fantasy-lie. The march was not peaceful, there was no possibility of “return”; most protesters were not innocent; women and children were forced to be human shields; and armed Hamas terrorists, disguised as civilians, were paid to die as martyrs while attempting to infiltrate Israel’s sovereign border.
June S. Brott, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Kindertransport and Illegal Immigration: Not the Same
Instead of just a heroic story of the Kindertransport artifacts (“Kindertransport Exhibit Displays ‘Childhood Left at the Station,” Aug. 24), there is a political aside by the curator Jordanna Gessler equating the Kindertransport with the present-day separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents on the United States’ southern border. This is totally distorted.

Legal migration is not equivalent to illegal immigration. Fleeing impending death is not the same as fleeing to better economic opportunities.
Enriqué Gascon, Westside Village

The Differences Between Men and Women
I truly enjoy reading the Journal every week. While I’ve never written a letter to the Journal before, I was moved to by the story on Jewish male-female relationships by Laura Lifshitz (“Hard Truths for Men About Jewish Women,” Aug. 24).

As a psychologist and author on relationships, had I written that column, I  probably would have been labelled a self-hating Jewish male. What Lifshitz articulates with humor helps explain —  better than I’ve seen before — why some Jewish men shy away from committed relationships with female members of their tribe.
Herb Goldberg, Via email

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