Letters to the editor

Hamas’ coup

The democratically elected Palestinian government of choice, Hamas, the most monstrous social welfare organization on the planet, is busily staging a coup in Gaza. Among other things, Hamas kidnaps and assassinates Fatah leaders; ties up their captives and throws them off tall buildings; shoots innocent men, women and children in their assaults; storms hospitals and kills wounded Fatah fighters; and blows up whole buildings with people inside them. If this is what they do to their co-religionist Arabs, does any sane person doubt what they have in store for the inhabitants of the so-called Zionist entity next door? I speak, of course, of Israel, which unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in part to allow Palestinians to run their own affairs. This is a good dry run. It shows you what determined people can do if they’re evil enough. The United Nations gave a pistol-packing Yasser Arafat a forum in the 1970s. The current silence of both the General Assembly and the Security Council is deafening. Perhaps they’re too embarrassed to admit what a mistake it was to recognize Palestinian Arabs as a distinct national entity. Perhaps they’re thinking of a way to blame the Jews, and they need more time.

Desmond Tuck | Palo Alto


When I think of refugee camps, I envision the tent cities set up in Israel when Jews fled Arab countries in the 40s and 50s. When I hear that Palestinians bring fellow handcuffed Palestinians up to the 18th floor so they can be tossed over the side of the building, I wonder how on earth anyone can call a place with a building at least 18 stories high a refugee camp. It boggles the mind. But it’s a good thing that the Palestinians didn’t pull underwear over the heads of their prisoners, as we had done in Guantanamo, as that would create an international incident.

Howard Roth | South San Francisco

An opportunity

The recent closure by the JCC of its two restaurant facilities provides a great opportunity to include all Jews as part of the JCC family and to show a public face to visitors that is more welcoming and inclusive. I am referring, specifically, to the opportunity to open a full-service kosher restaurant on the JCC facilities. I understand that at least one if not more applicants to take over the former California Street Deli space has expressed an interest in opening such a restaurant. It is, frankly, an embarrassment to this Jewish community that the JCC cannot adequately accommodate Jews who care about the laws of kashrut. It took years to get the federation to accommodate this segment of our community -— one can only hope that it will not take yet more years for the JCC to do so. Eating is an extraordinarily social activity. Offering wrapped sandwiches is not the same as including all segments of the community in such an intimate communal setting.

Robert E. White | San Francisco

‘Not the aggressors’

A few days ago I graduated from San Francisco State University with a double major in English literature and creative writing. The university did learn its lesson. At commencement exercises, Cantor Roslyn Barak read a prayer, and a girl from Israel was a student of honor. Now, the Israeli flag can be seen on campus, and even Israeli music can be heard. The warmest congratulations I’ve received were from the police. They are always on campus, and know that those on Israeli side are not the aggressors and troublemakers.

Tatiana Menaker | San Francisco

Meals for elderly

My eyes teared up as I read the recent j. article about Rodef Sholom baking and delivering challahs.

I have felt for a long time that our Jewish elders in Alameda County, are grossly underserved. The modern social work talk about aging in place is only that — talk, as long as we don’t have enough services to facilitate aging in place healthily — as, for instance, a life-sustaining project carried to reality: a Jewish Meals on Wheels. How? By the cooperation of the five Jewish restaurants in Oakland-Berkeley, using the center’s vans for deliveries during the hours the children are in school.

Recipients of meals, possibly three times weekly, could pay for their meals, and restaurants would gain new customers. A real win-win situation.

Arnoldine Berlin | Oakland