September 17, 2019

Letters to the editor: Yeshiva grad apologizes, Rohingya Muslims, BDS and more

Drop the Equivocation

Rob Eshman (“Sheldon: Improve Israel’s Odds,” June 12), Obama, J Street, New Israel Fund, Peace Now and other Israel critics who pretend to support Israel, would be listened to, and possibly believed more, if they would only at least once support Israel without the equivocating “but” or the false moral equivalency of “on the other hand.”

If they would only criticize our enemies in equal amounts as they find faults with Israel.

Betzalel “Bitzy” N. Eichenbaum via email

The Letter to Obama

What a pleasure to read Rob Eshman’s sane, balanced and insightful response to Obama’s speech and the Jewish responses. (Dear Obama: He Had a Hat, June 5) Bravo.

Rabbi Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, The Effie Wise Ochs Professor of Biblical Literature and History, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles

Thank you, Rob Eshman. Your perspective is ever more needed after the vicious behavior of the Jerusalem Post Conference audience toward Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.

Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, American Jewish University, Los Angeles

A Stand Against BDS

I would like to thank Gary Wexler for his column (“Making Ourselves Vulnerable to BDS — Again,” June  12) for articulating a message that seems to have eluded the Jewish community. Why are we sitting idly by while the BDS movement and those of their ilk are spinning their story so successfully? After all, don’t we control the media? Surely there are voices and minds out there that can counter this offensive.

Sherry Appleby via email

Insider’s Point of View

Regarding the recent cover story on the plight of the Rohingya (“The World’s ‘Least Wanted’ People,” June 5): My father was born in Rangoon, Burma, part of the Baghdadi-Jewish Diaspora that fled Islamic-Ottoman oppression from the same folks who brought us the Armenian genocide.

Adding much-needed context will do wonders in any discussion of the alleged persecution of the Rohingya. The great Samuel Huntington, in his masterwork “Clash of Civilizations,” noted in 1996 that a casual survey of intercivilizational conflicts, not to mention quantitative evidence from every disinterested source, conclusively demonstrates that “Islam has bloody borders.” Proof is daily found in the world news, where one is assailed with quotidian accounts of Islamic terrorism (aka jihad) against infidels in such far-flung places as Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Western Europe. Now one can add Myanmar to the doleful list of kafir polities under attack by Islamist supremacism. Just because some Buddhists wisely choose to cease being tolerant of the intolerant, they are the bad guys. Such is the inverted morality of our era.

George Aaron, Tarzana

Grad Apologizes to Yeshiva University

I am one of the featured Schreiber triplets in the article (“Family Legacy Continues at Yeshiva, Times Five,” May 29) and I want to apologize to Yeshiva University and President Richard M. Joel for calling the university “unethical” during my interview. After personally speaking with President Joel for more than 45 minutes, I realized that I was gravely mistaken in my assumptions of the policies carried out by the school and in branding the university “unethical.” At our meeting, the president outlined and clearly presented to me how ethical, legal and scrupulous this amazing institution is in both secular law and halachah. I am truly honored and proud to claim that my alma mater does everything out of care and compassion, with only the best of intentions for the students and greater Modern Orthodox community.

Daniel Schreiber via email

Words From the Wise

A hearty yiyasher kohakha (congratulations) to Dr. Yona Sabar on his “Hebrew Word of the Week” feature. From Arabic to Aramaic, from French to Turkish and beyond, the breadth and depth of Dr. Sabar’s knowledge are stunning, his linguistic and cultural insights always informative and entertaining.

Lewis Van Gelder, Los Angeles


A photo caption of Ruthie Shavit from the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center misspelled the name of Gily Hynes (“The ‘Heart and Soul’ of Silver Lake JCC Moves on,” June 12).