Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Summer Lee will be better influence on Israel
I’m concerned by the extreme right-wing voices that are overwhelming the Chronicle’s editorial board with alarmist headlines like “Pittsburgh Jewish community reacts to District 12 primary results” (May 27).

Steve Irwin should have repudiated AIPAC’s lurid accusations against Summer Lee, but he has endorsed her victory.
The right’s invention of “The Squad” as an antisemitic cabal, like their invention of “Antifa,” is a crude attempt to isolate progressive voices.

Summer Lee will be a better and more helpful influence on Israel than those who ignore the land grabs, the murder of journalists and the disproportionate violence in an attempt to ally themselves with the most extreme elements represented by AIPAC.

Eric Marchbein

Whose interest should be prioritized in elections?
Voters in national elections are often faced with choosing among candidates whose policies favor the best interest of the United States, the best interest of the local community or the best interest of the voter. Jewish voters may also consider whether a candidate is supportive of the security of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Rabbi Amy Bardack (“Voting as a Jew is not only about Israel,” May 27) is to be commended for looking to the Torah for guidance on this challenging issue. In support of her position that Jewish tradition is clear that when resources are limited, we are to prioritize the needs of those in closest proximity to us over those far away, she cites the Talmud in Bava Metzia where Rav Yosef says: “If the choice is between the poor of your city and the poor of another town, the poor of your own town have prior rights.”

Perhaps your readers will come to a different conclusion when Rav Yosef’s teaching is quoted in the full context of his earlier statement: “If the choice is between the poor of your family and the poor of your city, the poor of your family have prior rights. If the choice is between the poor of your city and the poor of another town, the poor of your own town have prior rights.” Bava Metzia 71a.

Joel Pfeffer
Squirrel Hill

Term ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ is overly simplistic
I am surely not alone in being upset about the Chronicle’s recent opinion piece by Rabbi Amy Bardack which described parts of the land of Israel as “occupied Palestinian territories.” (“Voting as a Jew is not only about Israel,” May 27.)

Most of the Jewish community is hopefully aware that the territory in question was captured from Jordan after Israel was attacked by the Jordanian army as part of the Six Day war of 1967. A review of the basic history of this territory will show clearly that the state of Israel — under Begin, Peres, Rabin, Barak, Sharon and Netanyahu — has attempted to return these lands to the Palestinians numerous times, with each attempt ultimately being refused.

Viewing these areas as “occupied Palestinian territories” is overly simplistic and erroneous. We should never forget that now, more than ever, the Jewish people continue to need a haven and a homeland in Eretz Yisrael. And please bear in mind that when Palestinian spokesmen refer to “occupied territory,” they are referring to the entire pre- and post-1967 state of Israel: Tel Aviv, Haifa and all of Jerusalem.

Marc Pomerantz
Squirrel Hil

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