Week of June 23, 2016

Week of June 23, 2016

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Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO
Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO

Diaspora Jews and Israel

Should Diaspora Jews have a voice in the workings of Israeli politics?

Israel’s politics are probably one of the most complex of all existing democratic governments. Even its most sophisticated citizens cannot agree on which party best serves the country and its people, so how then can Diaspora Jews believe they know better?

A two-state solution works well in theory, but how can one expect it to work when it would mean that Israel’s longest border would be with a state occupied by terrorists and a population that is supported by  a government that publicly continues to denounce the existence of Israel.

Diaspora Jews must continue to be proud supporters of Israel. Despite having to be on guard every minute of every day and in every place throughout, Israel’s accomplishments, both for its people and for people around the world, are astonishing.

The voice of Diaspora Jews, wherever they may be, should be aimed at their governments to ensure that these governments continue to support Israel and to fight the growing threat of anti-Semitism.

Fred Eckhaus 

Toronto 


A real and vital question about Diaspora Jews and Israeli politics should have been this: when will Israeli politics and its politicians stop accepting “voices” in the form of questionable contributions and money from special Diaspora Jews like Sheldon Adelson, Arnaud Mimran, etc. who influence and twist the Israeli reality?

Akiva Schreier

Toronto 


The hidden Jews of Africa

As so much has been written about the Jews of Africa, I was truly disappointed to read Rebecca Shapiro’s article and see no mention of the Lemba, a tribe in Zimbabwe and South Africa that is proudly Jewish and has been recognized as such through both DNA studies and their cultural and religious beliefs and practices (“Finding Judaism in surprising places”).

These are the first Jews to the area, not the colonists of the 1800s or the refugees from pogroms, and today they are reaching out to mainstream Jews.

With the assistance of Kulanu, based in New York, and the newly registered charity, Canadian Friends of Kulanu, and others in Israel and the United States, these people, potentially 150,000 Lemba, will return to our Jewish family. Many already have.

Sadly, the Lemba have historically experienced racial discrimination and been ignored, even denied access to Jewish institutions in Zimbabwe and South Africa by white Jews. This is just beginning to change.

Andria Spindel

Toronto


Segal’s wrong on Iran

Try as I might, I cannot make sense of Hugh Segal’s argument for wanting to restore ties with Iran (“Two freedoms should shape our foreign policy”).

On the one hand, Segal wants Canada to pursue business opportunities there.

On the other hand, however, he
acknowledges that there’s an enormous stumbling block, the fact that Iran sponsors such terrorist entities as Hamas and Hezbollah, that its Revolutionary Guard is engaged in deadly activities aimed at keeping the Grand Ayatollah’s fanatical theocrats in power, that anti-Semitism is woven into its revolutionary doctrine, and, most perturbing of all, that Iran wants to put the finishing touches on its nuclear weapons, one of which could obliterate Israel.

And yet, Segal claims that his “instinct” tells him that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can somehow get “the balance” right, that it is somehow possible, and even desirable, to surmount the stumbling block and do business with a country that pursues such evil goals.

Sorry, Mr. Segal. Something tells me that your “instinct” is out to lunch.

Mindy Alter

Toronto

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