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December 23, 2010 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-12-23

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Letters

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6 December 23 • 2010

EMBASSY SUITES

A Resonant Talk
On Dec. 8, about 180 of us were privileged
to hear Susan Tuchman, director of the
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)'s
Center for Law and Justice, speak at
Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township
on "Fighting Anti-Semitism and Israel-
Bashing" on college campuses.
I want to thank the ZOA, StandWithUs
and Temple Beth El for sponsoring the
event.
Ms. Tuchman's alarming video and
her documentation of theproblems that
Jewish students have faced around the
country —including threats, physical
assaults, virulent anti-Semitic rants by
campus speakers who demonize Jews
and Israel, and harassment and intimi-
dation in their classes by other students
and professors — alarmed even those of
us who have studied the issues.
Robert Sklar's Editor's Letter
"Redressing Campus Hate" (Dec. 2 page
5) was an excellent summary of the topic
and preview of the evening.
In addition to Ms. Tuchman's superb
talk, the organizers added a significant
panel of educators: Paulette Granberry
Russell, senior adviser to the president
for diversity, Michigan State University;
Mary Beth Snyder, vice president for
student affairs, Oakland University; Dr.
Sam Goodin, assistant dean of students,
University of Michigan; and Dr. David
Strauss, dean of students, Wayne State
University. These guests were very gener-
ous of their time, listened and responded
to questions from the audience and
promised to "get to bottom of these
issues" at their schools. They provided
their contact information for the audi-
ence as well for follow-up issues.
In September, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman,
D-Calif., and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter,
D-Penn., co-sponsored a bill, encouraged
by the ZOA, that would add protection
from religious discrimination to Title VI,
which currently prohibits discrimination
based on "race, color, or national origin"
in federally funded schools. Each of us
should contact our representatives in
Congress and urge them to support this
crucial legislation.
I congratulate the ZOA, Michigan chap-
ter president Eugene Greenstein, program
coordinator Esther Krystal and the com-
mittee for their dedication and outstanding
effort in presenting the Dec. 8 program.

Ed Kohl

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Misdirected Claim
The article "Violations: U.S. report high-
lights Israeli religious freedoms issues"
(Dec. 2, page 22) was fundamentally
flawed. The U.S. State Department has a

long history of bigotry against Jews since
well before the Holocaust.
A glaring example would be in
1939 when they sent the ship, St
Louis, loaded with Jewish refugees
from Nazi Germany back to Europe
where most of the passengers were
eventually killed. And their attitude
has still not changed.
Today, the excuse is that there are
many Arab and Muslim "desks" at the
State Department, but there is only one
Israeli "desk." So when they issue a con-
demnation of Israel, we should qualify it
with an explanation. The harsh criticism
of Israel's imperfections should be offset
by a description of the neighborhood
where they are living, especially when
the State Department is attacking Israel
for religious discrimination.

Douglas Miller

Franklin

He Gave His Life
Your cover story "They Remember" (Dec.
9, page 24) would have been more com-
plete if it had at least mentioned the first
Detroit Jewish casualty at Pearl Harbor:
Harold E.Shiffman, a Central High
School alumnus, killed while serving on
the USS Arizona.
Although part of my remote mish-
pachah, Harold has nieces and nephews
living in Metro Detroit.

Burt Shifman
Del Ray Beach, Fla.

What's Anti-Semitic
I am a 2010 graduate of the Frankel
Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield
now studying in Jerusalem for the
school year. I read Robert Sklar's
Editor's Letter titled "Helen Thomas'
Slander of Jews" (Dec. 9, page 5) and
thought it was great.
I especially appreciated this line: "In
neither case was Thomas criticizing the
Israeli government, which as part of
a democratic state demands scrutiny
and debate. She was attacking Jews as a
people'
More people need to know when
something is genuinely anti-Israel and
when something is anti-Semitic. If a
comment is made about Israel's policies
or government, then it is usually fair
and sincere and aims to help change
whatever is being commented on. If
somebody says something about Israel
and projects it onto all Jews, or just says
something about Jews in general (like
Helen Thomas did), then it is legitimate
anti-Semitism and must be condemned.

Corey Samuels Rosen
Farmington Hills

Letters on page 8

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