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Contributions to Humanity

As a longtime Jewish News subscriber, I want to compliment you on the Jewish Contributions to Humanity series, which I read and enjoy weekly. Its world scope is deeply educational and enjoyable, and I compliment the Field family on its decision to create the series in such a learning form. I look forward to reading it each week and hope that it will continue for many more.

Les Goldstein
West Bloomfield

Let’s Not Take Israel for Granted

I want to applaud Peter M. Alter for his commentary “Do We Take Israel for Granted?” (Dec. 27, 2018, page 6). I share the same concerns and I was so happy to see Mr. Alter articulate it the way he did. It should alarm everyone when we read the amount our Federation dollars contributed to Israel went from $13.5 million to $8.7 million — without taking inflation into account.

In addition, Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the UJA-Federation of New York, “is reported as stating that ‘people who, up to three years ago, were the biggest supporters of Israel now say to us they want to throw up their hands — that all of their love and labor on behalf of Israel went down the drain.”

Goldstein went on to note, “… On top of the list of concerns affecting American Jewry are the support that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows U. S. President Donald Trump, who is generally loathed by American Jews and their communal leadership, as well as Israel’s inability to reach a two-state settlement with the Palestinian Authority.”

Perhaps, I am more sensitive to this as a child of Holocaust survivors, but regardless of your feelings toward our current president, we all must realize that Netanyahu has to work with President Trump, given the amount of aid Israel needs to continue receiving from the United States. To take out one’s hatred felt toward any president on Israel is simply shortsighted, in my opinion. Of course, I am fully aware of the division caused by Trump, but please let’s not allow feelings toward any president to dictate where we ask Federation to give dollars.

In the last survey I filled out, I selected Israel as a top priority. If Federation is now changing its tune, then maybe I need to give only to organizations that truly support Israel. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed with the drop in support Federation is giving Israel.

Alter said it best: “Do we take Israel for granted?” If so, heaven help us.

Let’s make this a bipartisan issue and let’s all continue to support Israel.

Linda Cohen