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March 15, 2007 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-03-15

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On The Mark
Kudos to Reality Check Columnist George
Cantor for expressing my thoughts. i.e.,
crime and punishment stories that are
turned into national carnivals ("Shape Up,
Celebrities:' March 8, page 29).
In the movie Freedom Writers, the
kids complain that inner-city residents
are killed almost every day, and they get
a couple of lines in the newspaper. And
tragic as it was, Tara Grant's disappear-
ance and murder in Macomb County got
2-3 pages every day for a few days and was
featured on cable TV by Bill O'Reilly and
Fox Cable News.

Marty Diskin

Farmington Hills

In Search Of Dialogue
If the Muslim community were truly
interested in interfaith dialogue as
Special Commentary writer Victor Begg
claims they are ("Building Constructive
Dialogue March 1, page 24), they would
not be so quick to label Rabbi Joseph
Klein's preconditions to dialogue as "unre-
alistic." Neither would Mr. Begg throw
around terms like "islamophobic," a word
used to stifle debate.
Rabbi Klein merely demanded the same
respect for Judaism that Muslims demand
for Islam. Had that respect been forthcom-
ing, there would have been no need for
any preconditions.
Had there not been demonstrations by
members of the Muslim community in
Dearborn last summer condemning Israel,
comparing Jews to Nazis and hailing
Hezbollah's Nasrallah as their leader, there
would be no need for preconditions.
Mr. Begg also says, "Scriptures should
be studied as a whole — not taking indi-
vidual passages out of context!' He then
proceeds to take individual passages out
of context in order to make his argument.
In his attempt to blame members of the
Jewish community for the lack of interfaith
dialogue, Mr. Begg would do well to remem-
ber that people may doubt what you say, but
they will always believe what you do.

Harry Onickel


Examining CAIR
As current and former members of Jewish
Community Relations Council (JCRC) and
concerned members of the Detroit Jewish
community, we were stunned to read
Council's statement regarding the Council
on American Islamic Relations ("Interfaith
Harmony;' Feb. 15, page 6).
We cannot understand why the official
voice of our community would publicly
confer respectability upon a widely repu-
diated organization whose ties to ter-
rorism are well documented and whose
objectives are not at all consonant with the
mission of our Jewish Federation and the
interests of Jews.
Proper due diligence is warranted before
the welfare of our community is jeopar-
dized by misguided outreach without a
quid pro quo of mutual respect and recog-
nition of the international sovereignty of
the Jewish State of Israel.
CAIR has been denounced by the
likes of Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson,
Abe Foxman and politicians on both
sides of the political aisle. Sen. Chuck
Shumer, D-NY, stated that CAIR "has ties
to terrorism" and that prominent mem-
bers of CAIR have "intimate links with
Hamas." Former FBI counterterrorism
chief Steven Pomerantz averred, "CAIR, its
leaders and its activities effectively give
aid to international terrorist groups."
In Michigan, Bassem Khafagi, former
CAIR community affairs director, pled
guilty to immigration and bank fraud. He
was indicted and deported after federal
agents raided the Ypsilanti offices of the
Islamic Assembly of North America of
which he was a founding official. Federal
prosecutors described IANA's objective as
the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideol-
ogy, the purpose of which was indoctrina-
tion, recruitment of members and the insti-
gation of acts of violence and terrorism!'
Local CAIR figure Rabih Haddad, an
assistant imam of the Islamic Center/
Muslim Community Association in
Ann Arbor, was deported to Lebanon
after being arrested and held by federal
agents during a raid on the Global Relief
Foundation. According to the Treasury

Department, the organization "has con-
nections to, has provided support for, and
has provided assistance to Osama bin
Laden, the Al Qaeda network and other
known terrorist groups."
JCRC Executive Director Robert Cohen
and President Wendy Wagenheim praised
local CAIR Director Dawud Walid for
acknowledging the Holocaust. Yet after
llamas won the Palestinian Authority
elections, Walid urged recognition, coop-
eration with and conciliation toward
Hamas, sworn to the destruction of the
State of Israel and designated by the
State Department as a Foreign Terrorist
The ADrs Foxman noted: "CAIR
was founded by leaders of the Islamic
Association for Palestine, an anti-Semitic
organization that, according to several gov-
ernment agencies, was a llamas front ...
However, its failure to unequivocally disas-
sociate itself from support for terrorism and
the hatred that breeds it impedes CAIR's
ability to achieve the legitimacy it craves!'
We couldn't agree more. The JCRC
should not use its good name to condone
organizations like CAIR unless and until
they unequivocally disassociate them-
selves from terrorism and recognize the
Jewish State of Israel.

Mike Kahan, Marc Weinbaum, Alan Olender,

Rae Sharfman, Yehuda Tatelbaum, Barbara

Moretsky, Shira Drissman, Isaac Barr, M.D.

Oakland County

and 15 other co-signers

Davidson's Reach
It was wonderful to see our friend Bill
Davidson recognized in your pages as a
generous supporter of the Jewish commu-
nity ("Continuing The Legacy:' March 8,
page 15). His substantial gift to Hadassah
Hospital will change the face of healthcare
in Israel. It is also, as mentioned in the
article, "a show of support for Israel and
To your list of Mr. Davidson's significant
"imprints" on the Jewish community, we
should add his $20 million gift to the
Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot,
Israel — a gift that created the Davidson

While blood is avoided in most Jewish ritual, for instance meat is drained
and salted prior to cooking, there are two prominent ceremonies which
involve blood. Can you name them?


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Daphna Ruby

national vice president

Michigan executive director

American Committee for the

Weizmann Institute of Science

Bloomfield Township

Don't Sacrifice Israel
Thank you so much for the succinct and
informative editorial "Essence Of The
Absurd" (March 8, page 29), which reveals
the nonsense underpinning much of cur-
rent thinking about peace in the Middle
Given that Israel is a very small part
of the problems afflicting the countries
of the Middle East, we are left to wonder
once again why "highly intelligent people"
believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
is an obstacle to peace.
Could it be that there are influential
people who believe that Israel's interests
must be sacrificed in order to get Israel
out of the picture and force her enemies
to get around to settling the regions's real
problems — numerous other border dis-
putes that have nothing to do with Israel?

Margot Gardner

Bloomfield Hills


In "Continuing The Legacy" (page 15,
March 8), the story should have read that
the Sarah and Ralph Davidson Hadassah
House was donated by Dorothy and Byron
Gerson, sister and brother-in-law of Bill

How to Send Letters
We prefer letters relating to JN articles. We reserve the right to edit or

REPO 'cha Don't Know

luapue aql sluasaidai own) aleid Japes

Institute for Science Education.
Since the article documenting this
gift appeared in the JN on Sept. 5, 1999,
the Davidson Institute has come to life,
advancing science, mathematics and
technology education in Israel, bringing
science closer to the general public and
promoting international science education
activities that engage Jewish communities
in the diaspora.
The American Committee for the
Weizmann Institute is honored to have
partnered with Mr. Davidson, and heartily
hail his newest philanthropic endeavors.

•(a3poes pique s,agiwal
uo auoqueys papeoi ay} pue uo!spwriau Lamsuy

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