Letters, Nov. 18, 2015


Ignoring reality
Dennis Ross’ recommendations are seriously flawed (“Dennis Ross and Thomas Friedman address lack of two-state solution,” WJW, Nov. 12). As we all are, he is concerned about the current level of violence, but the level of violence is more likely to increase after separation.

Ross is pinning his hope on the Arab world, which doesn’t give a damn about the Palestinians and about whom the Palestinians reciprocally don’t give a damn. Contrary to Ross’s view, the conflict is not about trust. It is about hate and intolerance — the same hate that drove ISIS to Paris on Nov. 13 and that drove al Qaeda to America on 9/11.

When reality doesn’t fit their views and agendas, Ross and Friedman ignore reality. They spread fear about today and promise hope for tomorrow if only Israel would take action. Actions haven’t brought peace or reconciliation. Yitzhak Rabin gave Yasser Arafat land and guns.  Israel got terror and the second Intifada.  Ariel Sharon gave Gaza to Hamas. Israel got rockets and war.

In the protests by the extreme left and the statements by Ross and Friedman we hear solutions: Give up land and there will be peace. Trust the Palestinians and the Arab world and there will be peace.  These solutions have failed in the past, and there is no reason to believe they will succeed now.


This is the theater of the absurd.
Silver Spring

Young candidate a breath of fresh air
How refreshing it was to read your wonderful article about a young candidate for Congress, Aryeh Shudofsky, who just might break the dreary candidate mold to which we have become accustomed (“Independent-minded Republican enters Maryland congressional race,” WJW, Nov. 5).

He sounds like an independent-minded young man who stands on principle, who understands how the economy runs and who knows that Israel’s defense is in our nation’s interest. Contrast his message with the usual pablum delivered by Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards in your separate piece (“Van Hollen, Edwards talk Middle East,” WJW, Nov. 5). They promise more of the same: economic stagnation, lost opportunity for the poor and middle class, a spineless foreign policy.

Aryeh Shudofsky’s candidacy promises to be a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your report.
Silver Spring

An expansive view of war
In his letter (“Grand mufti’s falsehoods are revealing,” Letters, WJW, Nov. 5), Edward Stern accuses the grand mufti of apostasy from Islam by lying about the Temple (the mufti stated that the Jewish temple never existed on the Temple Mount).

There are two major problems with this accusation. The first is that the grand mufti may simply believe that his statements are true regardless of ethnographic and archaeological findings. The second problem is that Islam permits deceit in a number of circumstances, for example war (e.g., the Koran speaks of dissolving treaties, followed a bit later by the “slay them wherever you find them” verse, and the Islamic exegesis on these verses). Although many followers of Islam take a narrow view of war and the permission to deceive, many others take an expansive view.

This latter group includes those who consider what we would call civilians engaged in ordinary activities to be legitimate targets of war, those who posit war between Islam and the non-Islamic world as a continuing condition until the triumph of Islam and those who consider the extermination of the Jewish nation to be a priority matter of the continuing war.

Arab-Nazi alliance backed genocide of Jews
It is truly shocking that anyone could find it offensive that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attempting to “prove a linkage between current Arab hostility and previous European genocide” and then assert that Netanyahu was “willing to invent or distort history” to do so (“Exploiting the Holocaust,” Voices, WJW, Nov. 5).

Whether Mufti Husseini gave Adolph Hitler the idea to commit genocide or not is irrelevant. What is important is that both Hitler and Husseini supported genocide of the Jews.
In the 1920’s through the 1940s, Husseini incited violence against the Jews which resulted in multiple pogroms including the 1929 Hebron massacre. Husseini used all too familiar tactics to encourage violence including spreading rumors that Jews were taking over the al-Aqsa mosque.

Husseini allied with Hitler during World War II and received Hitler’s backing for dealing with the Jewish question in the Middle East. There is no doubt that if the Nazis and Arabs were able the remove the British from the Middle East, the Jews living there would have suffered the same fate of the European Jews during the holocaust. After the war, Husseini mentored a young Yasser Arafat to continue his war against the Jews. There is an undeniable link between the hatred and hostility directed against Jews by Arabs prior to and during World War II with what is taking place today. Their goal was the same then as it is now which is the ethnic cleansing of all Jews living in “Arab” (including all of Israel) lands by any means necessary, including genocide.

This goal has been passed on from Husseini to Arafat to Abbas and countless others. Netanyahu had it right all along and should be applauded for exposing the truth regarding the Arab-Nazi alliance which continues to play a role in today’s Arab hostility to Israel and Jews.
Silver Spring

Make space for women in spiritual roles
I am angered and disappointed by the news that the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) officially banned women ordained in a rabbinical position from teaching in Orthodox institutions (“With resolution against hiring women rabbis, RCA votes for confrontation,” WJW, Nov.12).

I would like to use this timely opportunity to urge the modern Orthodox leadership to take the RCA’s ban as a call to take action towards inclusivity. Some modern Orthodox institutions in the greater Washington area have been contemplating hiring a female spiritual leader, while others, like Ohev Sholom, have already integrated a maharat into their clergy.

I implore the modern Orthodox leadership to make a space for a female spiritual leader at their congregation or institution — be she a maharat, a yoetzet halachah, or a rabbah — both so that young men can see a woman inhabiting a spiritual leadership role, and to ensure that the next generation of young women can have a teacher and role model.

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