December 10, 2010

Letters

Published December 01, 2010, issue of December 10, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Bribe for Which Both Parties Will Pay

Your December 3 editorial, “A Dangerous Link,” is right on target. The Obama administration’s offer of military assistance to Israel in return for an Israeli commitment for a three-month settlement construction freeze is “not beneficial to either nation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears bent on extracting as many concessions and offerings from the administration as he can. That the U.S. has to proffer so many extraordinary inducements merely to obtain Israel’s agreement to resume its settlement freeze for such a brief period reinforces the perception, especially in the Middle East, of a weakened America. A weakened or humiliated United States endangers Israel’s security, which, more than at any other time in its history, depends on a strong America as its ally.

In addition, this “unseemly odor of a bribe,” as you put it, may very well lessen support among Americans for their government’s backing Israel diplomatically, economically or militarily. This includes measures to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which is beneficial to both nations.

Seymour D. Reich
New York, N.Y.

The writer is a former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.


Exclusion of Critics Gives Fodder to Foes

There can be no more striking illustration of the myopia and self-delusion of the organized Jewish leadership regarding global efforts to delegitimize Israel than the fact that no less than five separate panels on this subject at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly contained not a single critic of Israel’s policies (“Federations Find Youth Outreach Tricky Terrain at Yearly Meeting,” November 19).

They would have us believe that the gathering strength of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign — which, while ominous, is both ineffectual and totally one-sided — is purely a manifestation of anti-Semitism or misplaced anti-colonialism and has nothing to do with Israel’s behavior, such as its relentless expansion of settlements in the West Bank and encroachment on Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Unless the new JFNA-sponsored Israel Action Network is prepared to acknowledge and confront Israelis and American Jews with this reality and work seriously, if quietly, to mitigate it, I fear that Israel will continue to provide fodder to those who seek to delegitimize and isolate her.

Gil Kulick
New York, N.Y.


Investigative Project’s Set-Up Is a Non-Issue

Your November 26 article, “Terror Expert Emerson Feels His Own Heat Over Finances,” does a disservice by focusing on the non-issues raised by The Tennessean newspaper in its report concerning the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation’s structure and finances.

The relationship between IPTF and its contractor, SAE, was vetted by experts in the field, including Edward Coleman, a former director of the Internal Revenue Service’s exempt organizations division. Coleman advised IPTF in its application for tax-exempt charitable status and said: “So far as IPTF is paying fair market value to the for-profit, SAE, and the for profit spends this money in furtherance of the exempt purpose of IPTF, and IPTF discloses on its 990 that it gives this money to SAE, if both organizations are headed by the same person, I don’t see the problem.”

IPTF’s publicly available Form 990 filing for 2008 shows how much the foundation spends to further its goal “to research and expose the activities of terrorist networks and supporters in the U.S. and abroad and to educate the public about this threat.” Money paid to IPTF’s contractor is used to provide a website, access to an unparalleled database of millions of documents, travel expenses to cover trials and events, and the expenses involved in producing books and documentary films.

Staff outsourcing arrangements are common in the nonprofit world, and there is nothing improper about this one. Our contractor spends all of the money it receives from IPTF to further the foundation’s tax-exempt purposes, and IPTF has been compliant in its IRS filings.

We provided the IRS with everything it needed to recognize our tax-exempt status. Nothing we have done since then changes our qualification for that status. Anyone who is interested in learning more can read our responses to The Tennessean at our website — www.investigativeproject.org.

Ray Locker
Managing Director
Investigative Project on Terrorism
Washington, D.C.

E-mail your letters to the editor to letters@forward.com or mail them to the Forward, Attn: Letters to the Editor, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, N.Y. 10038-5015.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.