Letters to the Editor: Week of October 9, 2013

Insensitive headline 

Dear Editors,

I would like to register my strong objection to the breathtakingly offensive headline to the Editorial (Oct. 2) about the bombing in Kenya. No serious publication should lower its standards or demean its response to human suffering for the sake of an eye-catching lede. The glib phrase”Kenya Believe It?” is worse than insensitive; it insults both your readers and those devastated by the tragedy. A publication which covers Jewish life (including commemorations and responses to the Holocaust) should be especially sensitive to remarks which appear to diminish the dignity of the victims of tragedy. 

Henry I. Schvey, St. Louis


Peace talks a  ‘waste of time’ how?

The author of a letter in the September 25 edition of the Jewish Light described the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks brokered by John Kerry as a “waste of time.” Really?

The letter writer cites past, bitter experience as a reason not to embark on peace negotiations. Hmm. A few years ago, I met a man who had been recently divorced from a “wonderful woman.” Lucky guy. If Israel had a parallel experience and could sit down to negotiate peace with people where no leap of faith was required to advance a vision of a better future and with whom she had no prior grievances, that would be nice!

When Alick Isaacs, the author of “A Prophetic Peace,” was a guest in a recent year at the Jewish Book Festival, he talked about being ordered during his army service to club Arab men and boys as they were being herded, as some kind of counter-measure, into a stadium. So, even though our hearts are with Israel, can we pretend that in the throes of conflict, the IDF has done nothing which also the other side has to overlook on their way to the peace table?

When a woman puts her career on hold and takes time to be at home with her children, what is the “opportunity cost?” Loss of income and career advancement. If Israel refused to negotiate, there would be a significant loss of world opinion. But what is the opportunity cost of peace negotiations? A “waste of time,” because otherwise Israel could be doing what?

Elaine K. Alexander, Creve Coeur