Bush’s peace efforts futile
While every effort to achieve peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians must be applauded, it is difficult to envisage a peaceful solution while Hamas in Gaza steadfastly refuses to recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist and continues to allow rockets from Gaza to bombard Israeli towns. If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cannot provide the security that Israel requires, there can be no peaceful solution.
What good are agreements with respect to the future of Jerusalem or secure borders between Israel and the West Bank if the Gaza Strip remains a war zone that owes no allegiance to the Palestinian Authority nor is subject to any military control. If it is thought that some agreement can be reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and then Israel will be left to eradicate the terrorists in Gaza, that would certainly never be accepted by the other Arab states and would provide for continuation of the isolation of Israel. Another factor that must be brought into play is the complete disarmament of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which to date the Lebanese government either has been unable or unwilling to do.
I am afraid that U.S. President George W. Bush’s efforts will be just as futile as those of then-U.S. president Bill Clinton eight years ago.
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Andrea Levin, the executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), attacks Ha’aretz’s editor, David Landau, for remarks he is alleged to have made at a private dinner with the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (“Below the journalistic standard,” CJN, Jan. 10). Landau has called CAMERA’s version of his words to Rice a complete distortion of what he said. The only thing we can be sure of is that he did encourage the United States to actively intervene in the peace process and force Israel to make a political settlement with the Palestinians.
However, most of Levin’s attack on Ha’aretz is based on the newspaper’s supposedly frequent condemnation of Israel as practising “apartheid.” Indeed, as a regular reader of the English edition, I can testify that the word has sometimes been used by Ha’aretz reporters and editorialists. However, Levin offers no quantitative study of the term’s use in the newspaper and so we are left with only anecdotal evidence and no evidence of the context in which the term was employed.
Levin claims that Ha’aretz is engaged in the continual defamation of Israel, when it voices criticism of not only the occupation but of Israel’s treatment of its own Arab and Bedouin minorities. She and others seem to believe that this somehow imperils Israel. As Zionists, we should rejoice that Israel has a free press in which the issues of the day are ardently debated.
Canadian Friends of Peace Now
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A number of projects in which the Kehilla Residential Programme acted as development consultant were incorrectly described as being our properties (“Kehilla program celebrates 25th anniversary,” CJN, Jan. 17). They include 2 Neptune Dr., the life lease seniors project (renamed the Ruben Cipin Healthy Living Community for Seniors), which was sponsored by Baycrest and is managed by a separate board; Habayait Shelanu, which was developed in partnership with Circle of Care and is managed independently by a non-profit board; and the planned 60-unit Reena Community Residence for the Lebovic Campus in Vaughan, which will be a Reena building, with other partner agencies having units in it and sharing in the delivery of support services. The early Elm Ridge project is no longer operated by Baycrest, but by Reena. The Marc and Avenel buildings were both developed and are managed by Kehilla.
Kehilla Residential Programme
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I am researching the tragic but heroic life of the chief nurse of the Warsaw ghetto, Ala Golomb-Greenberg (Golab-Grynbergowa), originally from Mlawa, Poland. She introduced many innovations into the Warsaw health system and worked with orphanages and pediatric clinics. During the war, she helped save hundreds of Jewish children’s lives by facilitating their escape to Polish convents and orphanages. She obstinately refused passage out of the ghetto and instead stayed with her young charges up to the bitter end. Her brother, Sam Golomb, a medical doctor, survived and came to Canada after the war, as did her daughter, Ramy. Anyone with information as to how to contact survivors saved by her, or any surviving family members, please contact me.
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Jan. 17 marked the 63th anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg.
A Protestant by faith and the son of a powerful Swedish family of industrialists and bankers, he was tenacious, courageous and had a persuasive personality. In 1944, a group of prominent countrymen suggested that he should be entrusted with the dangerous mission of saving the lives of the Hungarian Jews. He accepted this mission, risking not only a comfortable way of life, but also his own life. He was only 32 years old and saved tens of thousands of lives.
He was last seen on Jan. 17, 1945, when Soviet military men escorted him to the headquarters of the Red Army in Debrecen. Since then, Wallenberg’s whereabouts remain unknown.
We find that life comprises things that are more important than life itself. One of these things is truth. When we renounce truth, the fall is unavoidable and unlimited.
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The issue of agunah is a dastardly tactic where a husband will just not “let go” and will exercise undue control even though the marriage is altogether over (“Damages upheld for denied get,” CJN, Dec. 20). Not only is this an unfair tactic of keeping an ex-spouse unmarriageable, it is also a pathological manifestation of one’s need to exercise control over another. It is a form of abuse.
In Bruker vs. Marcovitz, the Supreme Court of Canada correctly found in favour of Ms. Brukner, as Mr. Marcovitz was clearly acting in contradiction to an agreement between them. Unfortunately, there will always be individuals who feel that they are above the law and above any agreement they sign. It is of utmost importance and urgency for our rabbis and community leaders to encourage and endorse the policy that calls for the completion of civil divorce proceedings before the religious get be granted.
The same communal and rabbinic pressures that are put upon a man who refuses to grant his wife a get are necessary to be applied upon the woman who refuses to complete the civil proceedings. Society has been conditioned to believe that the male is the one who is the sole practitioner of these abuses.
S. Jonah Pressman