Letters to the Editor: Union of Lonely Zionists

April 2014 Home Column List 2

Letters to the Editor: Union of Lonely Zionists

Lonely Zionists, Unite!
In her excellent commentary in the June/July issue (“The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Zionist”), Gloria Goldreich expressed frustration with the “resistance of well-meaning, peace-loving Jews to any association...with Israel’s military.” This is not surprising. Often these Jews were raised in the very liberal tradition of pre-World War II socialism. There is much to be proud of in Jewish recognition and support of the powerless. But antimilitarism is also incredibly naïve.

Without a powerful and highly competent Israeli military, there would be no Jews to retain a liberal bent. Often Jews of the diaspora misjudge the constant threat of annihilation that Jews of Israel face. Liberal Jews might wish to reevaluate their philosophy, which can still retain many of the features of liberalism, yet balanced with recognizing the necessity of Jewish (military) survival.
Michael M. Rosenblatt
San Jose, CA
Via e-mail

I would like to applaud Gloria Goldreich. It is sad to hear of those who turn on Israel when it chooses to defend its citizens. I wonder how those who “don’t want to support an army” will react when, God forbid, the enemies of Israel inflict grievous injuries on Israeli citizens and the only army that actively defends these individuals is unable to do so. American Jews have a history of being a strong ally of Israel, too bad the described individuals are so shallow or disaffected or misinformed or assimilated. I hope Ms. Goldreich is never silent!
Janice Berger
Quechee, VT
Via e-mail

I read Gloria Goldreich’s cri du coeur with much interest. Like her, one of my children lives in Israel and a portion of my mother’s family who survived the Holocaust make their home in the Jewish state.

But I think Goldreich could have handled her friend’s comments differently and without despair. In my experience, in dealing with such Jewish people and gentiles as well, you must answer them decisively and clearly. I would also urge you to say to your friends that it is not O.K. to be on the side of intellectual anti-Semitism. Moral equivalency between Israel and its enemies who seek destruction is never acceptable.
Clifford A. Rieders
Via e-mail


FDR and the Facts
Regarding Jack Fischel’s review of the book FDR and the Jews in the June/July issue: My mother, brother and I were passengers on the St. Louis. The number of passengers was 937—not 620. Also, fewer than 365 survived. Britain, France, Belgium and Holland took the passengers. We landed in France and spent all those years in various parts of France. Those interested in the real facts should check with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington for the correct information. My picture hangs at the museum as part of a permanent exhibition on the St. Louis.
Lisa Mendel Loshin
Loveland, OH

The Bard on Jews
Andrée Aelion Brooks, in her interesting article “A Jewish Hand Behind Shylock” (June/July issue), either omits or ignores an obvious alternative Jewish source for Shylock, that being Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. As both pieces were extant and performed by the companies of both playwrights, we must consider the great likelihood that Shakespeare knew of Marlowe’s play.
Judy B. Jacobs
Via e-mail

Corrections:New Feet for Old Steps” (June/July issue) incorrectly identified Eran Tobi. Tobi, a dance instructor, was the director of the Holy Lindy Land School of Vintage Dance with Shirley Osher until 2012. In 2012, Ron Dobrovinsky took over as director of the school. In the same article, Carol Emold’s name was incorrectly spelled.

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