Letters to the Editor: June 9, 2010

Fleeting loyalties

Your recent editorial, “Trade Winds Blowing” (June 2) was remarkable. On the one hand, you espouse support for Israel. On the other, you indicate support for the Obama Administration’s trade of erstwhile friends for the “if-come” support of China and Russia.

Like the snubs of longtime but erstwhile allies Britain, Poland, Czech Republic and so many others, the Obama Administration is quite willing to sacrifice friends to kiss up to enemies. That will only bring contempt from the enemies and mistrust of allies. Who wants to be friends with a country that has no more loyalty to its allies than a baseball team does for a player? Maybe we should stand tall with our friends and for the defeat of our enemies, oh, say, like we did to defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

And if you believe like Obama that China and Russia will now impose meaningful sanctions on Iran, that U.S. diplomacy has disemboweled Hamas and Hizbullah, and that the Middle East peace process will move forward as a result of all of this dump-the- friends-embrace-the-enemies policy, please call me. I have this great bridge in Brooklyn, and for you, I can let it go at a real cheap price…


Norman S. Newmark


Laughter in The Wool

The New Jewish Theatre was inaugurated with a hilarious production of “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” recently. I don’t know what impressed me more: the beautiful new theater or the highly-skilled production of this Neil Simon show. I’m not a theater critic – there were plenty in attendance the night I attended – but I believe “Laughter” brought together some of the finest comedic acting talent in the St. Louis area, under the superb direction of Edward Coffield. The walls of the “writers’ room” set – and the theater – rocked with laughter for two hours, from an ensemble cast that included hilarious performances, especially by Alan Knoll, Bobby Miller and Gary Wayne Barker. Humor is a mainstay of Jewish culture, and the infusion of such a healthy dose of it into this magnificent new theater was as appropriate as it gets.

Gerry Mandel


Supporting BDS movement

It saddens me to read your editorial “DLI, not BDS” (May 26) and realize that even now, as Israel increasingly displays brutality and racism to the world, the St. Louis Jewish Light still defends its behavior.

The editorial’s arguments are weak. It dismisses the discrimination that Palestinian Israelis face in Israel, or the fact that much of Israel is built on land confiscated from Palestinian refugees. Nor does it address the humanitarian crisis caused by the present siege of Gaza.

More importantly, the editorial doesn’t even attempt to make an argument for why the situation in the West Bank should not be referred to as apartheid. It doesn’t address the still-expanding settlements, the ubiquitous checkpoints for Palestinians, the two-tiered justice system, the theft of Palestinian waters or a thousand other humiliations Palestinians face daily in the West Bank.

Instead it makes the non-argument that it can’t be apartheid because the tactics of the PLO have been different than the tactics of the ANC.

The Jewish Light should stop engaging in blind ethnic solidarity and work with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements in its non-violent struggle for justice in Israel/Palestine.

Michael Berg

St. Louis