Attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting hold up signs while waiting to see President Donald Trump speak, April 6, 2019. (Photo/JTA-Ethan Miller-Getty Images)
Attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting hold up signs while waiting to see President Donald Trump speak, April 6, 2019. (Photo/JTA-Ethan Miller-Getty Images)

Unfair pay in Jewish orgs; Homelessness is not ‘unsolvable’; GOP Jews and Trump; etc.


Unfair pay practices

I was very interested to read about the pay equity survey conducted in Bay Area Jewish nonprofits (”Local Jewish orgs don’t include salaries on job listings, survey shows. That can result in women earning less,” Nov. 1), and the clear ramifications of the policies found.

In addition to not posting salary ranges for open positions, some Jewish organizations compound the damage by insisting that the job-seeker fill in their salary history before they will be considered for a position.

Honey Meir-Levi
Palo Alto


An ‘unsolvable’ problem?

Some of what Sha’ar Zahav’s president refers to as “homeless neighbors” (“A homeless encampment crowded an S.F. synagogue. Its removal came with remorse,” Nov. 16 online) are described by him as urinating on the synagogue and leaving trash and hypodermic needles. This sounds distinctly unneighborly, as do occurrences of belligerence.

Some of these homeless are mentally ill and should be cared for by the state, because local entities cannot cope with the ramifications and costs of this problem.

This will surely be more compassionate than leaving the mentally ill to “camp” in all weathers on filthy, dangerous streets, and to possibly endanger congregants or passers-by.

Outside the SOMA Chabad, Oct. 25 2021. (Photo/Rabbi Moshe Langer)
Outside the SOMA Chabad, Oct. 25 2021. (Photo/Rabbi Moshe Langer)

Some but not all of the drug-addicted can be helped.

Some who are down on their luck might be directed to groups who can help them find work. There are lots of “Help Wanted” signs on business windows these days.

Homelessness is a growing problem, and there will inevitably be objections to any efforts to address the situation. Perhaps this problem is unsolvable, but it can certainly be ameliorated, if the state government steps up to its fundamental responsibility to provide a decent, safe environment for all Californians.

Julia Lutch
Davis


GOP Jews and Trump

Let us not forget that when neo-Nazis chanted “Jews will not replace us” in Charlotte, Donald Trump said there were good people on that side (“Report from Las Vegas: Some Jewish Republicans have Trump fatigue, but they just can’t quit him,” Nov. 8).

Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence said nothing.

When Jews were gunned down in a Pittsburgh synagogue, Trump et al. said nothing, nor do they say anything about the rise of antisemitism or the movement to teach alternatives to the Holocaust.

Any American Jew who continues to support Trump because he is “good” for Israel has forgotten what he and people like him have done to our people throughout history. Shame on you and shame on them.

Joe Gurkoff
Hillsborough


Peace is not Palestinian goal

Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ recent opinion piece (“Loving Israel or opposing the occupation? It’s a false dichotomy,” Nov. 18) talked about the “occupation” as if it was deliberately imposed by Israel to discomfort the Palestinian people. That there is some innate evil need that can only be satisfied with oppressing others.

This may be the Palestinian victimhood narrative, but it is not reality. Israel has made many peace offers, including one by PM Ehud Olmert that would return every inch of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs, only to have every single offer rejected.

If anti-“occupation” spokespeople examined why these offers were rejected, they would discover that the Palestinian Arabs do not want peace, they want Israel gone. If Rabbi Jacobs empathizes with the victims of the so-called “occupation” without making an effort to understand the entire dynamic, then she does no service to either side.

Larry Shapiro
Calgary, Canada


Going deeper into ‘nakba’

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is mistaken about “nakba” (“Loving Israel or opposing the occupation? It’s a false dichotomy,” Nov. 18).

The term “nakba” originates with Syrian professor and intellectual Constantin Zureiq. In August 1948, he first used the term nakba as “a self-inflicted and humiliating wound caused by the Arabs themselves.” (Editor’s note: The quoted words are those of Noa Tishby in her 2021 book “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth”).

Zureiq’s own words [as quoted by Tishbi] make clear that “the Nakba” has nothing to with Israel or the Jews: “When the battle broke out, our public diplomacy began to speak of our imaginary victories, to put the Arab public to sleep and talk of the ability to overcome and win easily — until the Nakba happened … We must admit our mistakes … and recognize the extent of our responsibility for the disaster that is our lot.”

Only after 1968 did the antisemites of the PLO and their allies on the left pervert Zureiq’s clear meaning and make the Jews the villain.

Ms. Tishby makes clear that the derivation of “nakba” has nothing to do with the Jews or Israel, and therefore notwithstanding Rabbi Jacob’s entreaty, there is nothing for Jews to “acknowledge.”

Richard Sherman
Margate, Florida


‘Pro-Palestinian’ foolishness

Rabbi Jill Jacobs was correct in her opinion piece (“Loving Israel or opposing the occupation? It’s a false dichotomy,” Nov. 18).

There is nothing anti-Israel about supporting human rights for Palestinians. Unfortunately, many people proclaiming themselves “pro-Palestinian” couldn’t care less about improving the lives of the Palestinian people. Too often, the term is applied to people who, in fact, are supporting the true oppressors of the Palestinian people, their own leaders. And the leaders’ goal is the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state, not building a better future for the Palestinian people.

Consider the disparity in refugee policy. Arabs began to flee Palestine as soon as Arab leaders began threatening violence if the U.N. Partition Plan was passed by the General Assembly. Although Arab-initiated fighting failed to prevent the emergence of the modern State of Israel in the Jews’ ancestral homeland, two refugee groups emerged from Arab violence preceding and following 1948.

Between 400,000 and 700,000 Arabs fled Palestine and approximately 1 million Mizrahi Jews were thrust from their homes in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the Jews immigrated to France or the U.S., but Israel absorbed 800,000 of them, while rehabilitating Holocaust survivors, recovering from damages inflicted by Arab armies, and dealing with terrorist incursions from areas illegally occupied by Egypt and Jordan from 1948 until 1967.

In contrast, the Arab League told its member nations to deny citizenship to the Arabs who’d fled Palestine and to their descendants.

Of the people who fled in the 1940s, only about 30,000 are still alive. Yet there are nearly 6 million Palestine refugees on UNRWA’s rolls. They are the only refugee group allowed to insist that the only solution to their plight is being allowed to return to the homes they claim that their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, et al. lost in what became Israel.

Israeli security forces clash with demonstrators during a protest against Israel's plan to evict Palestinians from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021.  (Photo/JTA-Olivier Fitoussi-Flash90)
Israeli security forces clash with demonstrators during a protest against Israel’s plan to evict Palestinians from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021. (Photo/JTA-Olivier Fitoussi-Flash90)

This will never happen. Israel cannot take in so many people who have been raised in societies which highly honor and richly reward people who murder Jews.

Anyone who wants to see improvement in the lives of the Palestinians needs to urge their leaders to start working on building a state instead of prioritizing the destruction of another people’s state. The first step is accepting reality. The Palestinian state must be one that will co-exist peacefully with the nation-state of the Jews.

Toby F. Block
Atlanta

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