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Apology is ‘meaningless’

Regarding the apology by the French National Railroad (SNCF) reported in j. on Nov. 19 (“French rail company sorry for Nazi collaboration”): The SNCF transported my parents, Martha and Max Kalker from Paris (Drancy) to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Among the 76,000 people transported to the death camps by the SNCF were children so small that no one knew their names. I find the apology, made after 65 years under pressure to obtain business contracts, to be meaningless, insincere and offensive.

Jeannette Kalker Ringold   |   Menlo Park


Cover peace, not just war

The last issue of j. dedicated a full page to the scuffle between Jewish Voice for Peace and S.F. Voice for Israel.

   At the same time I was among around 120 people gathered at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, in a spirit of cooperation, to participate in a worldwide virtual rally called “With Earth and Each Other.” We joined thousands of people gathered simultaneously around the world, in the Bay Area, Washington, New York, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, England, South Africa, Cyprus and many more places to celebrate the cooperative efforts being made among Israeli Jews, Arabs, Palestinians and Jordanians through the work of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

   It seems to me that the j. seriously missed the mark by choosing not to cover the virtual rally, which received support from a broad cross section of the Bay Area Jewish community. The event was co-sponsored by Tehiyah Day School, the Middle East Peace and Greening committees from Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont and Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond.

Hillel Salomon   |   Berkeley


Not-so-civil discourse

Regarding Dan Pine’s report on the StandWithUs (SWU) disruption of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) community meeting at the South Berkeley Senior Center last week (“Pro-Israel activists disrupt Jewish Voice for Peace meeting,” Nov. 19):

   Only two months ago, Mr. Pine committed himself in a column “to attend more SWU rallies this year.” While I respectfully differ with Mr. Pine’s editorial, it is noteworthy that his public support for SWU did not stop him from talking to both sides and writing an honest article that reported the undisputed facts. These are:

   A group of SWU members came to the JVP community meeting admittedly to disrupt it. They came with numerous video cameras and armed with at least one canister of pepper spray. They did disrupt the meeting. One of the SWU members pepper-sprayed two of the participants, including me.

   Both Meretz USA and Americans for Peace Now have issued statements of concern (http://peacenow.org/ entries/post_25). Other organizations are considering doing the same.

   The Jewish Community Relations Council and the federation are campaigning for civil discourse. At the same time, they are promoting and supporting SWU. Isn’t it time for them to reconsider their relationship with this group?

Glen Hauer   |   Berkeley