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Nazism within Mideast context


On The CJN’s Dec. 13 front page, there was a disturbing reminder of the continued effort to associate Israel or for that matter the Jewish People with racist regimes of the past. Since this continues to flourish unchallenged, it’s important that we draw attention to this tactic and to raise the consciousness of the world to become aware of what is going on and the intention behind this devious strategy.

In the picture, there is someone within a group of Palestinians clearly making a Nazi salute during a recent celebration. Unfortunately, this is one of many examples bringing Nazism within the context of the situation in the Middle East. With Israel depicted as a racist occupational force, there is an attempt to promote the idea that the State of Israel is just another regime of evil no different than the Nazis or white racist South Africans. We must raise our voices not only within the Jewish community, but throughout the civilized world and stand up for what is right and truthful. It’s time that the world open its eyes to what is actually going on and realize that this depiction of Israel is fictitious.

As long as this remains unchallenged, the State of Israel continues to become associated to one or more historic regimes of evil. My question is, how long will it be when this kind of thinking spreads to Jews in general? Will the vilification of Israel lead to everything Jewish being vilified? Although this statement is somewhat extreme, it is not far from a possibility. It is our task to speak out.

Howard Gontovnick

Laval, Que.

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Hamas leader calls for Israel’s destruction


Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, who has allegedly agreed with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in principle, to a two-state solution, has called for the destruction of the State of Israel (“Hamas leader urges Israel’s destruction,” Dec. 13). In a recent speech in Gaza, he indicated that the Palestinians are not giving up an inch of Palestine. It will remain Islamic and Arab for them and nobody else, and jihad, armed resistance, is the only way. Notwithstanding this provocative comment against a member state of the United Nations, the European Union chose not to condemn those remarks, but rather to criticize Israel for announcing the building of 3,000 more apartment units. There is a profound ignorance among European nations when they criticize Israel for building more housing units. They simply fail to recognize that once there is a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis that the construction being proposed will eventually be part of Israel. Accordingly, there is nothing provocative about expanding housing for its population within the area that will eventually be part of the Israeli homeland. Sadly, there are no words of condemnation against Hamas because European nations fear they will become targets of Hamas’ terrorist enterprise.

Bert Raphael


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Antisemitism on the ice


It was great to read about Andrew Goldberg’s exciting hockey career (“Mississauga power forward works hard in draft year,” cjnews.com, Dec. 20). I wish him all the luck in the world. However, I am disturbed by the statement, “He occasionally hears on-ice taunting about being Jewish, but he thinks the other players are only ‘trying to get me off my game. In hockey, it’s chirping.’” My suggestion is that whether the comments or chirps are about Jews, or Muslims, or blacks, or gays or the disabled, and whether they take place on Twitter, in the classroom, in the workplace or on the ice, that they are in fact a form of racism and bigotry, and in Goldberg’s case, antisemitism. He should let his opponents know that.

Mark Wise

Thornhill, Ont.

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Positive feelings about rabbi not reported


You have done a great disservice to my shul, my congregation and my rabbi, Steven Schonblum. The article “Rabbi’s contract not renewed at Beth Radom,” (Jan. 3), makes negative assertions against Rabbi Schonblum in a manner that led me to believe it continued an effort to hurt the rabbi and his future. I express my dismay in the strongest possible terms.

The story should have made a greater effort to broaden its background information about the rabbi. It did not properly investigate. It did not report the strong positive feelings that many within the congregation have for Rabbi Schonblum. The closing comment about the rabbi not answering requests for his response was insufficient. He may not, at this time, have been able to comment or respond.

Peoples’ views may differ, but to fail to give respect and honour to a man who has done his job and more than his job for the vast majority of the congregants is wrong. Rabbi Schonblum does not deserve this treatment. He has stood by me and my family in bad and good times. He has made my family’s shuI experiences very personal events that have stayed with each of us. He has acted and done everything I expected and would expect my rabbi to do.

Long ago, Rabbi Harold Lerner, of the Pride of Israel, said to my wife and I, “It is your job as parents to bring your children to shul, but it is my job as rabbi to keep them here.” This is what Rabbi Schonblum has done for me and my family, and for many others. He has shared his goodness, his caring and his support for each and every person with whom he has come into contact.

Elliot Berlin

Thornhill, Ont.

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Congregants value rabbi’s counsel


I was surprised and saddened by the biased article “Rabbi’s contract not renewed at Beth Radom,” (Jan. 3) about Rabbi Steven Schonblum. He is the reason we joined Beth Radom Congregation. He has been the spiritual leader of our family for 14 years, beginning from before he became spiritual leader of the shul. He has always been available for us, in difficult times and happy times. Your article should have enlisted the large number of members who value his counsel and are disgusted with the present board, in its vendetta against him.

Bernice Slotnick


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Con man on subway


Further to the letter titled “Con man on Toronto subway,” (Jan. 3), I had a very similar experience, but was fortunate not to have ultimately given the man money. I did contact the police and subway authorities. I also posted a warning on a local email list that goes out to many Orthodox women in the city. I was amazed/alarmed at the response. Many women wrote back saying that a similar story happened to them/their friend or loved one. In each case, the con artist targeted his Jewish audience well. I hope more exposure like this will discourage this opportunistic thief.

Andrea Skosowski