Letters to the editor: Week of Oct 24, 2012

Don’t back away from interfaith dialogue

(Regarding “Protestant churches’ letter on Israel straining ties with Jews” in the Oct. 17 edition).  The Anti-Defamation League canceled its participation in the Oct. 22 annual Christian-Jewish roundtable over a letter sent to Congress last week calling for an investigation and possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel. I strongly disagree with this position taken by Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.  

During my tenure as Area Director of the American Jewish Committee  St. Louis chapter, inter-religious dialogue was a hallmark of our program and contributed in a positive way to improving relations between Christians and Jews in St. Louis, as well as on the national scene. Often there were contentious issues; at times there was tension and disagreement regarding the State of Israel.  But, we never walked out; we didn’t stop talking to each other or seeking common ground.

To quote Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, in response to his critics for inviting President Obama to the October 18, Al Smith dinner, “If I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them…I’d be taking all my meals alone.”  The American Jewish community does not make allies for Israel if we refuse to talk to and educate those who disagree with us.  When 15 prominent American Protestant leaders from the most liberal denominations speak out against Israel, and not for the first time, that tells me that we in the Jewish community must remain at the table and keep the dialogue going.

Rosalyn Borg, University City

Perspectives on the election

A staunch Democrat for 80 years, former chairperson of Democrats Abroad Israel and official delegate to the 1992 National Democratic Convention, for the first time, this year I cast my vote for the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Why? We are four trillion dollars deeper in debt; more than 40 cents of each dollar spent has been borrowed from China; there are tens of thousand more Americans without work; half of recent college graduates are unable to find jobs; most of the jobs created have been in the public sector; there has been a major loss in property value with foreclosures at unprecedented levels.

Regarding Israel, President Obama’s open hostility to the Prime Minister and his ‘off the cuff’ comments when the microphone catches his true feelings, indicate as well his antipathy towards the citizens of Israel, the only democratic country in the Middle East. Other countries perceive this attitude which causes immense harm for Israel.

Thus, I had no choice but to switch sides, and proudly cast my vote for the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Bryna Franklin, Former St. Louisan now in Jerusalem  

During President Obama’s  acceptance speech at the Democratic National Conven-tion he said he deserved a grade of “incomplete.” Now I ask you, does such a grade inspire confidence? The president has presided over an egregious economy for the past four years — an economy for which he certainly didn’t cause, but made worse.

Consider that we have had an unemployment rate that until September had been above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months; our economic growth rate is stagnating at less than 2 percent, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product; more people are living in poverty today since the Great Depression; and our national debt is exceeding $16 trillion — $6 trillion of which has been added since Obama took office.

It’s no secret that the president has not been able to run on his record. That’s because he has none to run on, but rather one to run away from. He has based his re-election campaign on a plethora of promises that he will complete his agenda in the next four years.

I say enough is enough. It’s time to turn the reins over to someone else to lead our country onward and upward,  both economically and regarding foreign policy.

President Obama has said that Washington can only be changed from the “outside.” I couldn’t agree more, and hopefully, on November 6, the nation’s voters will too, by electing Mitt Romney to be our next president.

Gene Carton, Olivette