March 26, 2019

The Annexation Issue, Where to Direct Anger, Democrats and Anti-Semitism

The Annexation Issue
The exercise of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is the correct and logical continuation of Zionism (“Annexation Is a Pernicious Issue for Israel,” Feb. 8). The authors present the same stale arguments that have been made against the Zionist enterprise since the days of Theodor Herzl. Many of their ilk urged David Ben-Gurion not to declare a state in 1948, predicting calamities similar to those the authors present as absolutely coming to fruition if Israel exercises its legal, moral, ethical and religious rights in the Jewish heartland.

Not exercising sovereignty over this land shows retreat and weakness in the eyes of the Arabs. Weakness and concessions don’t help the situation; they just lead to more terror.

The authors would do well to internalize this lesson. The Jew haters of boycott, divestment and sanctions, and the European Union don’t need any further excuse to do harm to Israel. These are the same people who ignore the thousands of rockets sent from Gaza and fault Israel for defending itself.

Haven’t we learned that the Arab nations, Russia and China will all do what’s best for themselves irrespective of the Palestinians? They will not retreat from cooperation with Israel as long as it benefits them.

The prediction that the exercise of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria will somehow cause the Israeli economy to collapse is patently ridiculous. They should have a bit more faith in what Israeli society can do. Perhaps they haven’t heard that Israel is now energy and water independent and that Israel has the third most companies registered on NASDAQ, after the United States and China.

There are several proposals for exercising Israeli sovereignty over all or parts of Judea and Samaria that will, in conjunction with a rational view of the demographic situation, enable Israel to remain a Jewish and democratic state after the annexation.

Perhaps the authors should ponder Ben-Gurion’s quote that if you live in Israel and don’t believe in miracles, you’re not a realist. Not that it will require a miracle to allow the successful annexation of the Jewish heartland.
Alan Jacobs, Beverly Hills

Where to Direct Anger
Rabbi Robin Podolsky is angry about President Donald Trump’s State of the Union
address and Trump in general (“Angry About Trump’s Speech,” Feb. 15). She cites all the outrages to the Jewish people by the president. She refers to an organization called Bend the Arc, whose lead story on its website was “Trump should resign, not Ilhan Omar.” So Jews should support someone who tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, May Allah awaken the people and help see the evil doings of Israel” over someone who has moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, cut
funding to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays terrorists, cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, took the U.S. out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has as a permanent agenda item condemning Israel. And let’s not forget the disastrous Iran deal.  We definitely live in an upside-down world.
Bill Azerrad, Los Angeles

I am the child of Holocaust survivors. I was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war.

My parents decided to come to the United States and were able to do so. They had to be vetted and came here legally. President Donald Trump isn’t against allowing in people from other countries; he just wants them vetted and to come in legally. He has said before that we need these people because it would help them and help our economy. By bringing them in legally, we can distinguish between criminals, drug cartels, human trafficking and other such problems. If you feel that having these kinds of neighbors in your communities is OK for you, then Trump is wrong.

Rabbi Robin Podolsky says that Trump should keep our people out of his mouth. Please don’t speak for Jews like me and for so many other Jews who are grateful to him for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, where it belongs. No other president in our country kept that promise. As for honoring a Holocaust survivor and the American World War II veteran at his speech, I feel it put a face on the horrors that a section of humanity perpetrated upon a nation of innocent souls for being Jewish. I personally know the survivor, Joshua Kaufman, and he indeed suffered immensely and was very proud to be so recognized by the president.
Miriam Fiber, Los Angeles

Stop the ‘Conversation’
David Suissa suggests that the controversy surrounding reputed anti-Semite Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) lead to an honest conversation about the Middle East (“A ‘Difficult Conversation’ About Israel,” Feb. 15). That war, unfortunately, is unwinnable because Israel’s enemies on the left and its militant Muslim allies are not swayed by facts. I would suggest the conversation swivel in a westerly direction — to  Omar’s country of origin: Somalia. The Arab-Muslim genocide of African Christians in Darfur, Sudan — the habitual burning down of Christian churches in Nigeria and West Africa by Muslims, including Somali Islamic terror group al-Shabab, Boko Haram, et al., is a disturbing example of today’s real religious apartheid; the southern Sudanese survivors of the Darfur massacres took perilous journeys to Israel for protection, obviously  discounting  baseless Islamic propaganda leveled against Israel. Omar professes to be “Americanized and a respected member of her new country,” but her consultative status for the Council on Arab Islamic Relations, a known front-group for Hamas, renders her unfit, if not a danger, for participation in a post-9/11 American government.
Richard Friedman, Culver City

Democrats and Anti-Semitism
For those Jews who have been sleeping under some rock these past few years, the embarrassing fact is that the Democrats have been in a blind, spiraling, continuous free fall against Israel — and, sadly, against the Jews — for some time now (“Have the Dems Abandoned the Jews?” Roundtable).

I honestly think Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was as surprised as the rest of us when she was so resoundingly chastised by her fellow Democrats. After all, wasn’t there a clear OK to cozy up to anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan? (The Clintons did; why couldn’t she?) Didn’t former President Barack Obama vilify Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu every chance he got?

Didn’t the Democratic Convention vote down support of Israel when L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked for its support as early as a decade ago?

Please spare the feigned surprised looks; the raised eyebrows concerning Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Keith Ellison.

And thank you for finally waking up. Those who wrote in to the Journal that you are being deluded by some GOP plot to think poorly of the party long-distanced from that of your parents and grandparents are trying to insult your intelligence.

Shrug your shoulders to time lost and move on. It certainly is never too late to dust off what was an overly long, intellectually lazy stupor.
Steve Klein, Encino

A Caregiver’s Advice
Thank you for Rabbi Eva Robbins’ story on “Taking Care of the Caregiver,” Feb. 15. I am a caregiver. I also co-facilitate a group for caregivers whose loved ones have multiple myeloma. I would like to add additional pieces to the discussion:

1. There are moments of great warmth, discovery, love and humor that pervade many caregiving relationships.

2. We do live in a “new normal” but the “new” doesn’t automatically erase all of the old. Not everything changes, and it’s crucial to remain conscious of the things in your relationship that remain constant and valued.

3. In terms of “relinquish all expectations as nothing will ever be the same,” I believe one should be realistic about expectations but not relinquish hope. All we know for certain is the past and the moment, not what tomorrow may bring.

4. I agree that a caregiver must take care of himself/herself or he/she will be useless in trying to care of anyone else. It’s the old “put on your own oxygen mask first” theory of survival, whether your oxygen mask is psychological, spiritual or intellectual.
Sally Weber, Encino

Canter’s Deli
I find it ridiculous that your story on Canter’s says, “the place is packed, as usual … ,” but the large photo reveals a mostly empty restaurant.
Ina Miller, Playa Vista

CORRECTION
In a story on a reality TV talent show (“Israeli Dancer Brings Expertise to ‘World’s Best,’ ” Feb. 15), dancer and choreographer Kobi Rozenfeld’s age was incorrect. He is 36.