JUNE 2006

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• Jews Finally Agree
• When Everything Is New
• Shoot The Messenger?

• Never Again?
• In Our Own Backyard
• Deafening Silence
• Letters to the Editor

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• Students In The South

In Their Own Words
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Raising A Mensch
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Letters to the Editor

Mixing Cause and Effect
In the study on Mitzvah Projects, were the kids randomly assigned to do community service, or was it voluntary? If the latter, I would humbly suggest that kids who have the good hearts and initiative to do so are already different from those who don't, and that may explain their greater tendency to do-gooder-ism down the road. But if 50 kids were told to do community service, and 50 were kept from it, and only the former grew up as you describe, then I'd be more persuaded.
-- Sharon Begley, Science Columnist, Wall Street Journal, New York, NY

Defending 400 Rabbis
Roberta Dzubow has distorted the letter from 400 rabbis. It is difficult to understand how Dzubow could mistake the opening sentences of the letter as support for Hamas or other enemies of Israel:

As leaders of the American Jewish community,we are deeply troubled by the recent victory of Hamas in the Palestinian legislative elections. Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel,and Hamas has repeatedly perpetrated horrific acts of terror and violence that target innocent civilians.

In addition, the letter calls for Hamas to recognize Israel, and to reject terrorism. This is hardly a thrust to support the annihilation of Israel.

Recent moves by the Bush Administration to isolate Hamas have made dialog with Israel completely impossible. It would be political suicide for an Israeli politician to act more openly to the Hamas government than the United States. This was precisely what the letter warned against. It also urged that (on a civilian level) the Palestinian people not be penalized for choosing the only alternative to a corrupt Arafat regime (which left a personal legacy for the Arafat family of five billion dollars as Dzubow points out). Now starved for funds, and given no opportunity to show their good faith, Hamas has been forced into a waterless world without investment or a market. Where nothing grows but guns, guns will sprout.
-- Ben Burrows, Elkins Park, PA

Once Again Never Again
The Exponent's coverage of the Darfur, Washington D.C. rally claimed only 15,000 were there. It failed to mention the event was initiated and organized by American World Service Organization, that transportation was mostly by buses charted by synagogues and that the vast majority of participants were Jewish. Besides the speech of Ruth Messenger, whose brainstorm this rally was, and statements of many others, that as Jews we understand genocide, much of the participants were wearing tee shirts containing their synagogue's name and a Darfur statement.
The reporter was either blind and hard of hearing or too frightened to give Jews credit even in a supposed Jewish newspaper. I would expect the Exponent to be partial - partial toward Jews not partial against Jews.
-- Harold Rosenthal, Philadelphia, PA

Jewish Exponent Lite
You claim to be an alternative to the Jewish Exponent. In reality your divergence is minimal. You are in lock step with the point of view of Israeli and American Zionist organizations. Your approach and ideas are not fresh. I expected honesty in your presentation of the Israeli/Palestinian issue. But you fail to read information coming from the other side: Haaretz, Jewish Voice for Peace, B'tzelem, The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Robert Rosenthal's daily reports on the political developments in Israel. Your publication is a mini Jewish Exponent. You lack either the heart or the courage to think outside the box. If you were passionate about justice then you would have the heart, and then the courage would follow.
-- Susan Miller, Israel

Publisher: The Philadelphia Jewish Voice represents the voice of the entire Philadelphia Jewish Community. The democratically elected governments of the Jewish state have always found intelligent critical voices on both the right and the left, and it is our desire to hear all of those voices.

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice welcomes the submission of articles and letters to the editor  editor @ pjvoice.com. Please include name, address and phone number for identification purposes.  We cannot publish every submission we receive. We also reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity, grammar, accuracy, and style, though we will never intentionally distort the author's intent.

Editor-in-chief Adena Potok editor @ pjvoice.com