Letters to the editor June 4

Letters to the editor June 4

A plan for peace

My husband and I were so pleased to interview the Rev. Liddy Barlow at Rodef Shalom on Yom Kippur afternoon in the sanctuary. (“Clergy’s trip to Israel brings renewed focus on hope,” May 21). We and Rabbi Bisno sat on the bima in comfortable chairs. She is a woman in her 30s, with two young children, who is personable, interesting and courageous.

Imagine being the first woman to head a coalition of more than two dozen Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations. This certainly is breaking the glass ceiling. Being a partner of Rabbi Jamie Gibson gave her a good chance to see Israel in a different perspective. Interfaith Partners for Peace has a worthwhile objective. Let’s hope this plan is successful and leads to peace.

Shirley Shratter

Squirrel Hill

Sympathy for Obama

I agree with the thoughts expressed by Zvi Doron in the May 21 Chronicle (“An Unholy Alliance”) that the invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress earlier this year was a bid to expand Jewish loyalty to the GOP and to boost Netanyahu’s chances of retaining his position on the eve of Israeli elections. But there was much more to it than that.

The violation of protocol perpetrated through the Netanyahu speech without consulting with nor notifying the president was the product of a dysfunctional government, in this case a means for House Speaker John Boehner to stick his finger in the eye of President Obama.  He calculated that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain, that those who would be offended were not Republican voters in the first place.

I wonder if the Founding Fathers ever decreed the following: “… and the Congress that we create shall be one of hyper-partisanship in which cooperation and comity are rare, in which the members insult and denigrate in coarse and crude fashion those on the opposite side of the aisle and in which loyalty to one’s ideology and an unwillingness to give the opponent credit for anything trumps serving the public.”

I am not one who voted for Obama nor endorses his costly big government agenda, particularly at a time that our nation is awash and drowning in more than $18 trillion in red ink, but as an objective individual, I find him a sympathetic figure when stacked up against the likes of Boehner, a man who would have been better suited to continuing to work at the family bar in Ohio.

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair