Week of January 23
Gaza tarnishes Sharon legacy
The editorial about former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon (“Sharon’s final lesson,” The CJN, Jan. 16) is shockingly false and disingenuous.
How can you applaud and equate Sharon’s “fighting spirit” with the 2005 war of expulsion he waged on the Israelis of Gush Katif, which, contrary to your view, did nothing to advance the cause of peace and did not “force peace,” but in fact did the opposite, with all of Gaza becoming a new forward launch-pad to terrorist rocket attacks?
And how thoughtless is it to suggest that Israel survived the disengagement when 1,800 families were left without a viable plan for the rebuilding of their jobs, businesses and housing, most of whom suffered for years and some of whom still feel the effect?
Contrary to what you say were the lessons learned from Sharon’s strength in his “bulldozer” approach, the lessons learned from the Gush Katif/Gaza expulsion are the exact opposite of what you claim – that we cannot again risk it all for no expectation of success.
Mandela was no friend to Israel
A recent editorial, (“Netanyahu’s lame excuse,” The CJN, Dec. 19) lambasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his no-show at the memorial service of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. The writer maintains Mandela was a friend to Israel. The facts show otherwise.
On Oct. 20, 1999, nine years after his release from prison, Mandela travelled to Gaza and spoke before PLO leader Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Legislative Council. To applause, Mandela said: “If the only alternative is violence, we will use violence!” Notice he used the word “we,” associating himself with the Palestinians in their use of violence and terrorism against Israel.
Unfortunately, Mandela maintained a fondness for those who used violence to achieve their aims. In November 2004, when Arafat died, Mandela mourned his old friend saying that “Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation.”
The editorial said that Mandela preached reconciliation for all of his post-presidential years. Is advocating violence part of this effort? When it came to the Jewish State of Israel, Mandela obviously had a change of heart.
Rabbi Mordechai Bulua
Jewish learning is not affordable
Thank you Rabbi Jay Kelman, (“Pushing the door on tuition wide open,” The CJN, Dec. 19) for your article on tuition fees.
As immigrant families in the 1970s, we made sure to send our children to Jewish schools. Now these children, although they are hard-working adults, cannot afford to send their own children to Jewish day schools.
We cannot afford to limit the study of the Torah to the part of the community who can afford it.
We as a community should come together to ask retired teachers to volunteer their time and ask our high school and yeshiva students to earn credits by volunteering two hours a week to teach children of middle-income families.
There have never been better times for the Jewish community than now, when we are free to study the Torah and practise our Jewishness. The only obstacle is that many young families cannot afford it.
Our community is rich enough to help Jewish day schools absorb more students. There is no value to money without Jewish education.
Jewish RCAF veterans sought
I am writing a book about my father, Abe Ferstman, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a bomber navigator during World War II. He died prematurely in 1977. I would like to interview other Jewish RCAF veterans about their experiences as Jews in uniform during the war, for example about Jewish chaplains and religious services, relations with non-Jews, any discrimination encountered, etc.
I would also be pleased to hear from anyone who knew my father at any stage of his life. I can be reached at 416-922-0305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.