The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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Bring back the Kirshner File

Tags: Letters

Please bring back Sheldon Kirshner. His columns were always so informative.

Ruth Fainstat



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Allow all perspectives


I was distressed to read the letter to the editor “Columnist too jingoistic” (The CJN, Aug. 29) requesting that you stop publishing Paul Michaels. Obviously the writer “favour[s] coverage of a broad spectrum of opinion” only so long as the spectrum excludes opinions that he doesn’t like. One of the strengths of The CJN is that it covers a broad range of opinions in the community. I don’t always agree with the opinions expressed, but I would never suggest that they be suppressed. And to characterize readers who agree with the thoughts expressed in Michaels’ columns as being “nasty” is sinat chinam. (Also, some “Cubans in Miami” have legitimate complaints against the Cuban government.

Stephen Weintraubs


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’67 borders aren’t a solution


Many well-meaning people have decided that if Israel were to return to her borders prior to the 1967 war, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would end. 

When I ask advocates of this concept how they arrived at this conclusion, I receive answers such as that the Palestinians only want the area that was allocated to them in the 1947 UN vote. These people are either unaware of the Palestinian documents and speeches that call for the destruction of Israel, or they don’t want to believe these very revealing facts. Neither the PLO’s charter, created in 1964, nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party’s constitution have ever been modified to eliminate clauses calling for the destruction of Israel.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and Middle East Media Research Institute MEMRI monitor PA media and TV. These two wonderful organizations have come forth with a continuous flow of fully documented translations of Palestinian leaders glorifying and praising Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israeli and American civilians. PMW and MEMRI have presented us with evidence of Palestinian leaders comparing peace agreements with Israel to Muhammad’s 10-year peace treaty with the Quraish tribe, which he destroyed two years after he signed the treaty. They also have presented evidence of Palestinian leaders’ statements that a successful frontal attack against Israel is not possible. Therefore, they will destroy Israel in phases. 

How can any objective person conclude that 1967 borders is the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, when made aware of these salient facts?

William Langfan

Palm Beach, Fla.

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Play should be tossed away


I attended the play The Merchant of Venice at the Stratford Festival, directed by Antoni Cimolino and starring Scott Wentworth as Shylock. To begin with, let’s call a spade a spade. William Shakespeare was a bigoted, viral anti-Semite. Many defenders of Shakespeare have commented that when the play was written much of Europe, as well as England, was anti-Semitic. Therefore, he was no exception.

This theory is difficult to digest. How can a man of letters and intellect, a man who has written about justice, tolerance and freedom for all, write such a toxic play?

The director, Cimolino, decided to set this play in modern times, in 1930s Italy, at a time when Mussolini and fascism ruled the country. Bringing this play into an era of the greatest prejudice and intolerance the world has ever known is a bad mistake. It just perpetuates anti-Semitism to a new generation of bigots.

Shylock was played by a very distinguished actor, a true artist who has been with the Stratford company for many years and has done excellent work in other plays. Unfortunately, Wentworth did not capture the essence of the role of Shylock.

The lines of the play cannot be changed. But an actor of his stature should be able to interpret this role not as a beaten dog or a whimpering degraded character that accepts the curses, intolerance and hate without much protest.

I do not share the view of the defenders of this horrible play that it is presented today in order that the modern spectator, so repulsed and disgusted by it, will say “Never again.”

On the contrary, this play will encourage a lot more people to anti-Semitism.

Let’s just throw this bigoted piece of trash in the dustbin where it belongs.

Philip Goldig




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