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Week of April 28, 2016

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

Support Jewish radio

The article “Radio Shalom goes off the air,” quotes Stanley Asher who said, “If [New York], a city with a Jewish population of three million, can’t support Jewish radio, it’s hard to imagine Montreal could.”

The Haitian population of Montreal is approximately 86,000. The Haitians have a 24-hour radio station supported by their community. We have a population of about 89,000. Where is our support?

Chaim Tzvi Tanny

Montreal


In defence of B’Tselem

The serious question that should be raised is the slander against groups like B’Tselem (“Hebron shooting raises serious questions”).

B’Tselem is an organization with huge regard among those for whom human rights provide a nation’s moral legitimacy.

While the occupation continues like a Leviathan that keeps dispossessing, growing and crushing the rights of the occupied, does one expect Palestinians to fall to their knees in acquiescence?

Being an occupation army is a dirty business. This does not absolve the occupier from the application of the values that are inherent in both democracy and Judaism.  B’Tselem is part of the conscience which may provide Israel with a moral legitimacy that many of its current political and military activities lack.

There is absolutely no case for stating “that while the motivation and reporting of B’Tselem may be questionable” unless one wishes to further diminish Israel’s claim to adherence to laws of morality and justice.

The stellar commitment of groups like B’Tselem, the New Israel Fund and Breaking the Silence are the slender threads through which many claim to be Zionists.  In the absence of civil and human rights, can a nation be clothed with the cloak of legitimacy?

Brian Rothberg

Perth, Ont.


The courage of Rabbi Cardozo

As a former student of Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, who took a weekly class with him for a year and who was a guest at his Shabbat table, I can assure you that he is certainly not timid, neither intellectually nor religiously (“A timid hero”).

He may have his differences with the Orthodox establishment, but that does not conflict with his identity as a proud and devout Orthodox Jew. He is strong enough to stand tall without the need to bend to others with whom he has theological disagreements. And he is respected by, and an influence on, many people.

Therefore what you term timidity is in fact, the very opposite. It is the determination to stand by what he believes in. He doesn’t need the approval, or fellowship, of the Reform or Conservative establishment.

Tamar Wisemon

Submitted to cjnews.com


Debate can be too wide

Thanks Mira Sucharov for hosting the debate between Peter Larson and myself. While I believe that dialogue is better than the alternative, I want to make sure that everyone understands that I don’t endorse the central point of your article, “It’s time to widen the debate on Israel and Palestine.”

For me, the advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) must be confronted, as they seem to be gaining traction in the broader non-Jewish community, but I am not persuaded that the Jewish community itself will benefit from such discussions.

The Jewish community needs hasbarah education to ensure that we know how to refute the kind of arguments that are being put out by so-called anti-Zionists. It doesn’t need to host debates in which these ideas are treated as respectable.

Comparison of Israeli governance to apartheid is libellous and fundamentally hateful. People who claim Israel is an apartheid state are violating a fundamental tenet of community. They are working actively to harm their fellow Jews, namely the people of Israel and the captured territories. I personally believe that we should hold that line firmly and support the current restrictions on who can appear at events sponsored by federations and by Hillel.

David Roytenberg

Ottawa