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January 05, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-01-05

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frontlines >> letters


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Jews Must Speak Strongly
To Defend Israel, Zionism
It was heartening to see the letter to the
Jewish News signed by 38 rabbis stand-
ing up for Israel, Zionism and the ZOA
(Dec. 15, page 5). We need more such
statements, in more forums.
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, often
falsely masked as political anti-Zionism.
Too many American college campuses
are experiencing anti-Semitism mas-
querading as anti-Zionism. Many public
school textbooks distort Middle East
history. Israel is demonized and de-legit-
imized. Lies supplant the truth. Nobel
laureate Elie Wiesel said a year ago:
"Since 1945,1 have not been as afraid as
I am now" for the Jewish people.
We need leaders who speak the truth,
even if doing so brings charges of inci-
vility and alarmism. Winston Churchill
was a voice in the wilderness, warning
of Nazi Germany. The establishment
chose Neville Chamberlain's appease-
ment. Detroit's Rabbi Leon Fram was
a lone voice in the 1930s, warning that
Europe's Jews were in danger. Too few
The Jewish community needs strong
voices for Israel and the Jewish people.
We need leaders who will courageously
confront the lies and the double stan-
dards, even if doing so causes discom-
If we are not for ourselves, who will
be for us?

Eugene Greenstein, Ph.D.

Farmington Hills

President, ZOA-Michigan Region

Charges About Imam
Remain Unanswered
I wish I had saved more back issues to
refresh my memory of the details of the
origins of this civility debate, but if the
latest batch of letters (Dec. 22, page 5)
is a fair representation of the two sides,
count me with the uncivil.
I see serious charges presented with-
out any hint of rudeness, but editorial
failings notwithstanding, the charges
remain unanswered to my satisfac-
tion. Regardless of what was said on
the Internet, I think what was printed
in the Jewish News meets reasonable
standards of civility and deserves a
direct response, which does not include
excuses for ignoring the charges.
Lacking that response, a call for civil-
ity is a polite but arrogant euphemism
implying that the accused party is
superior and, therefore, not obligated
to defend their actions. Civility is over-
rated. Like the famous Chinese curse,
"May you live in interesting times:' the
most effective insult is delivered sound-

ing like a compliment.
For those who think civility is nec-
essary for democracy, I suggest they
take a look at the political discourses
of the founding fathers that couldn't
meet today's slander standards. I think
civility is contrary to free speech; and
by their actions, the framers of this
democracy must have agreed.

Dennis L. Green
Farmington Hills

There Is Value In
Interfaith Events
I am in full solidarity with our local
rabbis in their plea for civility in our
Jewish dialogue. I was not aware of the
criticism both Cong. Shaarey Zedek,
its esteemed and beloved Rabbi Joseph
Krakoff and ZOA were subject to,
the former for allowing an imam in
an interfaith event which took place
in Shaarey Zedek and the latter for
bestowing Rabbi Krakoff and his wife,
Susan, with the great honor of the
Brandeis Award.
Reaching out to other faiths is very
important, and it should be com-
mended. For instance, I was present,
as I am every year, to a most gratifying
Thanksgiving interfaith service where
three representatives of the Abrahamic
faiths explained important facets of
their religion to the audience comprised
of Muslims, Christians and Jews.
After this very uplifting and enlight-
ened service, there was a reception that
allowed the members of these disparate
groups to mingle and get to know each
So again, we in the Metro Detroit
Jewish community should support this
kind of interfaith relations, the more the

Rachel Kapen

West Bloomfield

Don't Disregard Real
Threats To Jews, Israel
Those who do not learn from history
are condemned to repeat it.
It is unthinkable that Jewish clergy
and mainstream Jewish organizations
have learned nothing from the Shoah
and are leading us to danger once again.
Just as Conservative and Reform
rabbis and much of American establish-
ment Jewry during the Holocaust were
more concerned about appearances of
"civility" than preventing the slaughter
of European Jews (as documented by
the Simon Wiesenthal Center and oth-
ers), so it seems that in our own com-
munity, misguided individuals are too
willing to forsake the very security and
welfare of our children to outreach with

those seeking our demise.
Recent letters to the Jewish News
about 'civility' are a disarming distrac-
tion from serious threats our local
leadership refuses to confront. It is dis-
ingenuous for anyone to conflate Jewish
participation in 9-11 commemorations
and the compulsion to host at such the
head of a radical anti-Semitic Islamist
organization, which, the national ADL
reports, blamed the Jews for 9-11.
Who could imagine the NAACP host-
ing David Duke at a Martin Luther
King memorial! It is beyond "chutzpah"
for these letter-writers to attempt to
twist the issue and to use "Zionism"
as a shield to justify reckless, feckless
engagement with Islamists. This doesn't
concern Israel. This concerns Jewry in
Detroit. Besides, what dedicated Zionist
would sell out the safety of Jewish chil-
dren in Israel, America or anywhere?
It is a gross dereliction of duty that
local clergy, communal institutions
like the Jewish Community Relations
Council and chapters of Jewish orga-
nizations — including the local Anti-
Defamation League, American Jewish
Committee and Zionist Organization
of America — are willfully deaf,
dumb and blind to the warnings of
the national ADL and other sources
about the organization represented by
this "certain imam" who should never
have been given a platform to speak at
Shaarey Zedek.
They either need to refute the
research of the national ADL or repudi-
ate their associations with individuals
and groups antithetic to our welfare.
In ignorance or in zeal to prove their
ecumenical bonafides, Detroit rabbis
and organizations have compromised
our security by lending their imprima-
turs to the heirs of Nazi Jew-hatred.

Linda Stulberg

Farmington Hills

Two Synagogues' Story
Involved Many People
The cover story "One Year And Growing"
by Contributing Writer Shelli Liebman
Dorfman (Dec. 22), about Temple
Kol Ami and B'nai Israel Synagogue
was informative, fair and an excellent
portrayal of what is going on at the
most exciting Jewish collaboration in
Thanks for sharing our story with
the world. I particularly liked the fact
that you reported that this was a story
of many people — not one or two. Very
well done. Thank you.

Frank Ellias
Farmington Hills

Vice president, B'nai Israel Synagogue

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January 5 . 2012


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