Readers sound off on pro-Palestine activists, released hostages and patient portals

Readers sound off on pro-Palestine activists, released hostages and patient portals

Progressive Jews, stand up to anti-Israel bias

Manhattan: In his op-ed “An open letter to all of my progressive friends” (Nov. 24), Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin bemoans the fact that the vast majority of his so-called progressive friends are either completely indifferent to, or actively support, the savagery of Hamas and other Palestinian gangs on Oct. 7 against unarmed civilians in Israel, in which 1,200 Israelis and citizens of the U.S., Great Britain, Thailand and other nations, including the elderly, young mothers and their children and infants, were massacred. What took you and many of your fellow “shocked” progressive Jews so long to wake up?

The terrorist-fueled intimidation of Jewish students on campuses across America has been a fact of life for my children and their Jewish friends for many years before the Oct. 7 pogrom. The BLM movement, which Salkin and other Jewish progressives eagerly joined and marched with against police brutality, was founded nearly a decade ago on a blatantly anti-Israel platform, and the Jew hatred spewed by the movement’s founders, which dishonors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was broadcast publicly years before the brutal, racist execution of George Floyd. It has only intensified since then.

Wake up, my progressive co-religionists, and condemn virulent antisemitism from both extremes of the political landscape. It is about time that you speak out loudly against Jew hatred and calls for genocide against Israelis, whether emanating from our traditional enemies on the extreme right or from your fair-weather friends on the extreme left. We can’t allow ourselves to be intimidated by either the educated bigots that have infested our academia or the mindless, shrieking automatons calling for the elimination of the Jewish state. Ephraim Savitt


Bronx: We’ve seen pictures of the freed Hamas hostages, but where are the pictures of the Palestinians freed by Israel? Rose Mary Lancaster

Get them out

Bronx: I am sorry, but as much as I want this war to end, I am not happy that the American hostages have not been released. President Biden needs to be more vocal and demanding about this. Free all the American citizens, no matter their ethnicity. Personally, I have no use for Hamas and could care less what happens to them. They can burn in hell. I feel for the Palestinians, but it is time for them to shake off Hamas, even if it means a call to arms. Do not remain slaves to Hamas. Its leaders are billionaires while you starve and your children die. Rise up and control your own lives. Anna Maria McCorry

Strategic misstep

Utica, N.Y.: To Voicer Robert Adams, who is blind to the facts of the Gaza war: The Palestinians are not the enemy of Israel. It is their leaders, Hamas, who attacked Israelis. Unfortunately, Hamas is a bunch of cowards who hide their military operations under their own people’s homes, hospitals and schools. And because of this, it makes it appear that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians by trying to defend itself. This is not true. However, Israel should have sent out military surgical strike teams to take out the Hamas leaders, not attacked all of Gaza. They made a mistake. But you can’t possibly equate this with what happened in World War II. Not even close. Francisco Matos

Street mentality

Lackawaxen, Pa.: The ordinary Israeli, who just wants to be left alone to raise a family, must be a little nervous about the country’s leadership, whose strategy for the duration of Israel’s existence has been to act crazier than its hostile neighbors, as evidenced by their roughly 10-fold retaliatory casualty rate against the Palestinians. It is reminiscent of the ‘40s and ‘50s, when bigger and stronger kids controlled the neighborhood, except for some smaller guy who had a reputation for violence that no one else would even consider. Israel appears to want to be that crazy guy. I lost track of the toughs and the crazies I grew up with, so I don’t know the outcome of their earlier behavior. But the pathological stance does not seem like the ideal projection in international relations. If Hamas were as crazy as the Israel-supporting media have portrayed them, it is clear in what condition any hostages would be returned. John A. MacKinnon

External solution

Manhattan: Voicer Jagjit Singh expresses the hope that every reasonable person wishes for. But for 75 years, the parties haven’t found any area of agreement. For most of the time since the Philistines governed at least part of the region, it has been occupied by some other power. It seems questionable whether the League of Nations, or the UN, had the authority to partition Mandatory Palestine, and the declarations of statehood by Israel in 1948 and Palestine 40 years later are of doubtful legitimacy. The violence disproportionately has favored Israel; Palestinian casualties have been roughly 10 times greater, which would seem to incentivize them to seek peace. Israel has in the past rejected a one-state solution with shared power because it wishes to retain its Zionist identity. Some Palestinians do not like the two-state solution because it destroys the geopolitical integrity of the region. A solution may have to be imposed upon the parties. Michele P. Brown

Simpler times

Huntington, L.I.: Remember when the biggest thing you had to worry about when going to the parade and the mall was a pickpocket? Leonard Stevenson


Camden, N.J.: The history of the Rockettes is quite astounding. Yes, the dance line troupe had become better in its efforts to recruit minority women to its eye-high kicking line. But this year, their kickline super-exceeded itself by inviting and including the Dancin’ Divas of the HBCU Alabama A&M University marching band that participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to perform along with them at Radio City Music Hall. Wayne E. Williams

Inexpert analysis

Manhattan: My pet peeve is the patient portals and charts that doctors post for patients to see before getting a chance to speak to them. What does a layman know about those terms and numbers? They can be scary, especially when the letters “H” or “L” appear beside the numbers. Usually, these are small variations on normal, but how are we to know that? Someone I knew had a report from a skin biopsy that said “MEL” beside it. He was frantic. Melanoma? It turned out that MEL meant something entirely different, and the doctor said many patients called in upset when seeing that. I think patient portals should be abolished and patients should receive personal calls from their doctors, as it used to be done. End this scary and unnecessary practice of posting results. It just adds to the stress of doctor visits. Marcia Epstein

Case for creationism

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Many believe that a Big Bang created the universe and after billions of years, the first life form arose. It multiplied and began the process of evolution. The Bible says that God Himself spoke the universe into existence (Psalms 33:6,9) and created all life forms, which multiplied according to kinds. So what’s easier to believe? Big Bang and evolution, or creation? Most of us will admit that we sin. How did we become sinful? Our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned against God by partaking fruit of the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:16). Because we are all descended from them, their nature to sin is imputed to humanity at birth (Psalms 51:5). Therefore, we are divinely created beings, born sinful and in great need of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Jim Black

Missing half

Flushing: Voicer Richard A. French states that almost 50% of the hate groups in America are white supremacist organizations. I wonder if he can enlighten us as to the composition of the other 50% of hate groups in our country. According to the latest census, 60% of Americans are white, non-Hispanic, so according to his numbers, a disproportionate number of hate groups are non-white. All hate groups deserve condemnation and have no place in our society, but his rant is specifically pointed at white males that he sees as “the problem.” Conveniently omitting half of the data to make a flawed racial argument seems like a bigger problem. Craig Louttit

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