The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) appears to have reacted to the United Church resolution adopted at its 41st General Council in anger and desperation far beyond what common sense dictates (“Community ‘outraged’ at United Church,” Aug. 23; CIJA calls for input on United Church, Sept. 6). Most of those with whom I have discussed the “outrage in the Jewish community” at the church’s decision, reflect a substantially more subdued point of view, in some of the following terms:
• What the church decides is its business, and in any event, it will have such an insignificant effect on Israeli commerce as to warrant a more intelligent reaction.
• What exactly did CIJA think it would accomplish by cutting off relations/boycotting the United Church? Exacerbating differences between our two communities solves exactly nothing!
• Open dialogue with the United Church needs to be increased. Perhaps some are still antisemites, but it is doubtful all its members fall into that category. Better to broaden the lines of communication than cut them off completely.
Do we really want to return to the days of Rev. Al Forrest, who thought it important to advise me that some of his best friends were Jews? It was his editorial control of the United Church Observer that we questioned when he saw fit to publish antisemitic hate propaganda, and it was our intervention that led the United Church to remove that power from him. All that outrage enunciated by the CIJA is simply a waste of energy that could much better be utilized in creating better understanding and relations. What exactly will boycotting the United Church accomplish?
Morley S. Wolfe
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Need more singles events
Kudos to Linda Friedman, her committee and Toronto’s Shaar Shalom Synagogue for initiating and hosting single events in the Jewish community (“Shul’s singles committee serves the community,” Aug. 2). Regrettably, there are limited initiatives on the part of the Jewish community in assisting singles in the 40-plus age group. Given the high rate of intermarriage, one would think there would be more of an attempt by Jewish organizations and institutions to support more programming. Sadly, this is not the case. I encourage more individuals, groups and shuls to rise to the challenge.
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NDP bias on Mideast conflict
I supported the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation of Tommy Douglas and the subsequent New Democratic Party, of which I am a member. I am greatly troubled, however, that some prominent members of my party have marched with Hamas, an organization with these stated policies: Israel should be boycotted and regarded as illegitimate; Jews may not live in any territory controlled by Hamas; it is a capital offence to sell land to a Jew in Israel; Tel Aviv, Haifa and any other part of pre-1967 Israel is occupied territory and must be liberated, and Israel has no right to exist. As a 93-year-old World War II veteran with five years in the Canadian army, of which four were overseas, I would hope that my party would take a less biased position on the Mideast conflict. Such a statement on the part of the NDP would be most reassuring and surely expressive of a more balanced Canadian ethics
Cote Saint Luc, Que.
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Fiction is media’s reality
After World War II, while the western world was absorbing the shock of what had occurred under the regime of the Nazis, there was a lull, a time of reflection, and even an expression of regret that eyes had been turned away during the Holocaust. The world expressed a desire to right the wrong, even in some small measure, by acknowledging the right of the Jewish People to exist. Mirrored in this promise was the guarantee of a homeland, a refuge, a place to rest and to have some peace, for the Jewish People – Israel. Today, in the blink of a historical eye, the world has turned topsy-turvy under a barrage of doublespeak that should, in a sane world, be so easily recognized as falsehoods. In the world of media magic, the hunted appear to be the hunters and vice-versa. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels take on the veneer of reality on the world stage.