Letters July 20, 2017


Women of Wall not disruptive

I am disappointed and angered by the letter to the editor, “Kotel issue distorted” (July 13).

The writer, Robert Berman, terms the attempts to pray, on each Rosh Chodesh, by Women of the Wall “disruptive protests.” The only disruption is the violence instigated by the nearby Orthodox Jews who object to the presence of these women. Yelling, spitting at and throwing chairs at people — I thoroughly agree — are disruptive, not to mention despicable. Also disruptive is being arrested because, so the reasoning goes, you are fomenting this violence by your nonviolent activity of praying and reading from the Torah.

Berman also misleadingly states that the Orthodox — presumably he means in Israel — have accepted the Reform and Conservative movements. Hardly. The recently published “blacklist” of Reform and Conservative Rabbis regarding conversions is merely the latest proof.


I am dismayed that you published such a misleading characterization.



In time of war, reinstate draft

In “The danger of North Korea” (Editorial, July 13), you stated: “We are on the brink of a very scary times with government leadership severely lacking.” You are correct.

In my view, major powers such as Russia and China, as well as lesser nations such as North Korea and Iran neither fear us nor respect us for the following reason: the shortcomings of President Barack Obama and our current president, as well as our total reliance of our all-volunteer military.

I think it is time for us to re-evaluate our total reliance on our all-volunteer military in this era of constant conflicts and challenges. We must also examine whether it is morally and ethically acceptable that our brave and highly trained soldiers are the only individuals losing their lives, limbs, and shedding their blood for the defense of our country.

In my view, our all-volunteer military has serious weaknesses known to our friends and adversaries. Foremost is the limit of human endurance. You cannot send an individual on three or four 14-month assignments in a military conflict, as we have done during the 10-year war in Afghanistan an Iraq, resulting in a high rate of suicide and serious mental [health] problems.

Our adversaries will only respect and fear us again if all of us are prepared to defend our county. In a time of war, we must reinstate the draft.

I spent nine months on the Korean front line during the Korean conflict, and I was promoted to staff sergeant.


Silver Spring

Netanyahu’s D.C. post omitted

The lengthy review by Aaron Liebel of Ben Caspit’s book about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unfortunately contains no mention at all of “Bibi” serving as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy here in Washington from 1982-1984 (“Netanyahu’s Camelot,” July 13).

Along with his educational and professional background here in the United States, this has given an Israeli prime minister a profound and unique understanding of our political system, and how Washington actually works. This has been invaluable during his leadership of Israel.



The writer is a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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