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The editor would be pleased to receive your emails at [email protected]
Re: The Joel Weinstein Memorial Scholarship: Honouring The Essence of His Life

February 22, 2011

Thank you Rhonda! It really is a wonderful article and a great tribute to our Dad. I have forwarded it to people here in Toronto as well and I think it will be a great way to spread the word about the scholarship and help find the best candidates.

Many Thanks,

Sara Weinstein Kohn

Re: The Joel Weinstein Memorial Scholarship: Honouring The Essence of His Life

To the Editor,

February 22, 2011

Thanks so much for writing such a fantastic article. We've received
tons of really nice emails from people who have read it. You really
did us a huge service by telling the story in such a great way.

Thanks again,
Benji Weinstein

Israel's pluralistic character re: Sucharov article

To the Editor,

Feb. 21,2011

I am also not ashamed. Having a pluralistic character has never been a priority in Israel - having a Jewish character is what is important. Jewish halacha (law) is intrinsicly moral because it comes from Torah and G-d Himself. The problems come when "reformers" want to change the Torah laws to suit themselves. Those wishing to convert by Halachic standards can do so, and join the Jewish nation. Kindness to strangers is part of our tradition, but not at the expense of  endangering Jewish lives. Beware those Jews who expouse Western values over Torah values!

Leah Urso

Subject: Israel's pluralistic tolerant character is eroding by Mira Sucharov

To the Editor,
Israel's democracy is doing just fine thank you.  No help is required from J Street, the New Israel Fund, Peace Now or Ameinu.  All countries, even democracies have their criminals and extremists.  Israelis have the ability to recognize which is which by jailing the former and ignoring the latter. 
Egyptians have been demonstrating in the street for freedom.  What they are looking for, the Israelis have had for over 60 years.  The Israelis are not perfect.  No one ever said they were.  But let's give them credit where credit is due.  They are doing their best in a very bad neighbourhood.  Perhaps these well intentioned peace groups can  help the Arabs find the road to democracy and peace with Jews and Israel. 
Harold Pomerantz
Dundas, ON



To the Editor,

Feb, 20th

Rhonda, you bring out excellent points. The overall situation is very scary at present…….     

Thanks, Len Podheiser

Re: Upheaval in Arab/Muslim worlds:

To The Editor,

Feb 19, 2011
         Recent events in the Arab/Muslim world demonstrate that agreements Israel previously made with unelected Arab leaders can not be considered long term binding agreements, especially at a time where the suppressed people in this region are awakening and demanding their inalienable rights.

         The style of governance in much of the Arab/Muslim world over the last half century has been largely autocratic. The secret police in these countries act on behalf of the autocracy. The visible police force also acts on behalf of the autocracy and secondly as servants of the public. The army acts in a similar way, as a protector of the autocracy but also acts in defense of the nation’s borders as well.

         In Egypt there was a confluence between the protesters and the army and ultimately the uniformed police. This confluence was powerful enough to overwhelm the non uniformed secret police and other government agents who were attempting to keep the regime in place.

         In Egypt it is the generals who now call the shots. They control the heaviest weapons.

         When we look at Israel - Palestine, the situation is very different. There is no army to keep order if the leadership is deposed. The question arises as to who represents the will of the Palestinians? And what is the true will of the Palestinian people?

          I think part of the answer to that question was provided by your own research. The Palestinians of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem may have very different aspirations. They are not a united people and as such Israel really has to deal separately with each division until the time when there is a more united Palestinian populace, a populace that seeks a solution that both sides can live with.

         Clearly Gaza is isolated and is not under a leadership that holds intentions for peace with Israel. This is made clear in the Hamas Charter.  It is up to the people of Gaza, if they are indeed tired of what they have endured under their current leadership to choose a leadership that Israel could consider serious partners in negotiation, not simply negotiating a hudna. The people of Gaza have endured a lot of misery. This certainly has affected them and their opinion of Israel. Had I been born in Gaza, I would probably feel the same way.

         What is of interest with regards to the Gaza Palestinians are events in Iran. If the regime in Iran falls, then the Iranian support  for Hezbollah and to some extent Hamas falls with it,especially if the Syrian regime falls. This could work towards the undermining of the  extremist factions of Gaza and could help unite the Palestinians of Gaza under a more moderate leadership.

         As the editor stated in a previous article, many of the East Jerusalem Arabs do not want to forgo the benefits they have in Israel and do not want to be ruled by a regime in Ramallah they view as corrupt.

        Thirdly, we have the West Bank Palestinians who are now speaking out against their leadership, a leadership which may not have much time left and has lost credibility with its populace since the Al Jazeera leaks. But one must be cautious as there is criticism that the Palestinians were sold out by their leaders, this reflecting perhaps that the true will of the West Bank population is to not be as flexible as those that negotiated on their behalf.

       There are two more Palestinian groups to consider. One group lives in refugees camps, the other live in other countries. We also must consider the will of the Palestinian population that lives outside of Israel. If they are not incorporated into a solution there will never be peace.

       If there is to be a comprehensive,top down solution negotiated with the Arab league, then the Palestinian refugees who are living in camps and will not be returning to Israel will need to be economically integrated into those countries as part of the solution. They need to be compensated if they will not be returning, as do the Pals who live in other countries, as do the Jews of Arab lands who lost everything in the 50's when they were made refugees.

      So right now, Israel is not negotiating with the representatives of the majority of the Palestinian people some who live inside many who live outside of the region.

      First the Palestinians need to unite under one leadership (even the Palestinians who live in the refugee camps and in other countries need to be in agreement with this leadership )

     If they elect a moderate leadership, then there is room to move forward. If they elect Hamas as they did in the  past, then there will be no room to move forward as all that will be negotiated is another hudna and Israel will simply stall and entrench  herself more deeply. As it is, even Abbas was calling for a Jew free Palestinian state. That alone does not give  Israelis much confidence in what kind of neighbours they would have under his leadership. This kind of attitude will have to end.
     Israelis themselves should take peace with the Palestinians out of their leadership’s hands and begin doing the small things to encourage goodwill with the everyday Palestinian people. Just behaving decently is half the battle. The solution it seems will have to emerge as much from the grass roots level as the political level as it seems the politicians on both sides are more interested in something other than acomprehensive resolution to the problem.


Anonymous, Winnipeg           

Subject: Press Release: Ottawa Israel Awareness Committee Condemns Intimidation Tactics at CUSA Meeting

To the Editor,

OTTAWA – February 18, 2011 – The Ottawa Israel Awareness Committee strongly condemns the intimidation and bullying tactics used by members of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at last night’s CUSA meeting.  At the same time, the IAC commends members of the CUSA executive and council for their principled stance in upholding the democratic process at Carleton, and for not succumbing to these bullying tactics.
“There can be no place on our campus for the kind of blatant disregard for student safety and due process that was perpetrated last night by certain members of SAIA,” said Emile Scheffel, IAC member and student senator.  “We must not allow Carleton to be politicized to the point where students’ safety is in jeopardy. CUSA is to be applauded for standing up against such attacks on democracy, and for rejecting thuggish behaviour.” 
The events of Thursday night came in the context of SAIA’s campaign to pass a motion demonizing the state of Israel. This motion was rejected by the CUSA council. At the same time, a motion calling on the university to divest from truly unethical situations was passed. “We commend CUSA for passing a resolution on ethical investments,” said Mark Klibanov, IAC President and 4th year engineering student.”This shows that they take real human rights abuses seriously, and have not bought into the obsession of some to demonize Israel.”
“We want Canadian campuses to be peaceful,” said Aaron Vomberg, President of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students.  “We want any discussions to be open, inclusive and representative of the entire student body.  The dangerous and toxic environment that we witnessed last night at Carleton is unbecoming of a Canadian university and is in complete contradiction of our core Canadian values.”

 – 30 –
For more information, contact:
Emile Scheffel, IAC
[email protected] 

RE; Was A Pro-Moslem Brotherhood Speaker Bought to the U of M

Hi Rhonda,

I enjoyed reading this article.
It's a reminder to the do-gooders that sometimes it's better to leave well enough alone.
You can't kiss and make peace with someone who is devoted to wiping us off the face of the earth.


Rena Elbaze

Subject: “Using the Language of Shame”

Feb 17, 2011
Ms Sucharov 's article re: “Using the Language of Shame”, while meant to rally diaspora Jews to be vocally and unashamedly critical of what you view as Israel misdeeds, sadly does more to show your willful-naivety and self-righteousness.  I say sadly because I very much care about Israel, and have no doubt that you genuinely care as well.  I am quite proud of Israel’s accomplishments, especially so that it’s in the face of unparalleled opposition, even though neither I nor you had any hand in that.  The difference between us is, you believe that Israel operates in complete isolation as if it were Lichtenstein, whereas I know it is subject to enormous world pressures that are by far not in Israel’s best interests and in fact part of the never-ending attempts to de-legitimize the Jewish state.  Those pressures are there not because Israel is an imperfect democracy (btw, I challenge you to show me a perfect one), but because of the same intolerance that Jews have had to fight through the ages and in particular to re-establish a sovereign Jewish state.  To ignore those fundamental dynamics, is like a child asking its parents to buy something overly expensive for their means while believing that its as simple as prancing up to an ATM and it magically spitting out endless amounts of cash. 
You see, I too find it “wrong” that some rabbis are suggesting segregation, but to not appreciate that they’re call was most likely in reaction to and perhaps even to highlight that their neighbours and “peace partners” have instituted laws the prohibit the sale of land to JEWS, punishable by DEATH!!  (A question Ms Sucharov, have you written about that?)  

I trust we would both agree that any countries governments can and should be improved, but to ignore the heard of elephants in the china shop while waving fingers is irresponsible and naive.

INCIDENTALLY, worrying about J-Street's and New Israel Fund's "limited resources", would lead an unknowing reader to believe that they are not largely funded if not created by the multiBillionaire George Soros.

Steven Werner
Dundas, ON


February  17, 2011

Sorry, Ms. Sucharov, I will not join in your condemnation of Israel.
I am not distressed by Rabbis who do not want to live next to terrorists, nor saddened by limits placed on the NGOs to prevent them from smearing Israel with lies that are then used around the world to excuse anti-Israelism (now replacing the anti-Semitism of bygone eras) and I am not alarmed by what you have misnamed a lack of democracy because Israel lives in a neighbourhood where there is none and theirs by comparison is utopia.
It seems to me that what you are reflecting is a selfishness ingrained in some Dispora Jews who do not have to live under constant threat and do not have to send their young men and women into harms way against a determined enemy with 50 times more people and supplied with the most sophisticated materiel in the world, including huge shipments from the USA. Your only responsibility, living in a country of peace and prosperity, is to criticize and you do that in a very biased way.
You do not have the same magnitude of responsibility as our Israeli cousins to defend the entire Jewish nation from an Islam that has it written we must be punished and conquered.
Gary Gerofsky
Dundas, ON Canada

Reference: "Israel's pluralistic tolerant character is eroding", Mira Sucharov

Feb 17, 2011
What seemingly well-meaning liberals like Ms. Sucharov fail to grasp is that Israel is at war and has been fighting for its very survival for over six decades.  Current upheavals in the Arab world don't bode well for Israel as the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran posture for position and as the Suez Canal, the peace treaty with Egypt, the Egyptian/Gazan border and Israel's gas supplies are all being questioned.  Was Ms. Sucharov asleep when so-called democracy seeking demonstrators screamed into Western microphones that they will first deal with Mubarak and then they will deal with Israel?  I do not necessarily disagree with Ms. Sucharov over all of her concerns but for the sake of Israel's six-million Jews who are on the front lines, let us as Jews all get together to advocate for Israel’s security instead of worrying over housekeeping details.  What good is a democracy à la Sucharov if there is no country left to put it in?  Or have I incorrectly read Ms. Sucharov's true intentions?

Steven Scheffer
Burlington, ON  


To the Editor,

February 17, 2011
In "ISRAEL'S PLURALISTIC TOLERANT CHARACTER IS ERODING" Mira Sucharov talks as though she is strong supporter of Israel, yet tells the half-truths characteristic of those who wish to demonize Israel .

1.  She discusses the letter from 39 Israeli rabbis forbidding the renting of apartments to Arabs, yet never mentions that this letter was universally condemned in Israeli society, from the left-wing, right-wing, and even the majority of Israel's orthodox Jewry.  I'd expect such convenient dropping of such important details  not from a person calling herself an Israel-supporter.

2.  While the investigation of Left-wing NGOs by Israel is highly illiberal, it should be viewed from a survivalist standpoint.  Israel is surrounded by enemy nations that plot and pray for its destruction every second of the day, and, between Muslim fanatics and their Leftist cohorts, the Jewish state is under assault from every angle, from military, to economic, to political.

It is safe to assume that the Jewish homeland is the most hated country in the world; why would Sucharov downplay the ruthlessness of the anti-Israel movement by pretending as though it is beyond utilizing subversive tactics like hijacking, funding, or employing left-wing NGOs and human rights groups inside Israel to do its dirty work.  If she doubts this possibility, Sucharov should quickly research all of the organization and groups around the world that bare the mark of the Muslim Brotherhood, from Muslim Student Associations and the Council on American Islamic Relations, all the way up to Al-Qaida and Hamas.  

3.  The issue of conversion is a huge manifestation of the divide between Israel's orthodox and less-religious Jewish communities.  It is mistaken of Sucharov to exhibit such a schism as a sign that Israel is losing the Jewish ideals that is founded upon, as though implying that Israel is on its way to being a Jewish version of the Iranian theocracy.

4.  Sucharov cites Jewish groups like J Street and New Israel Fund as organizations to be admired for their stance in the Mid-East conflict.  However, greater skepticism of these left-of-centre groups should be put in place.  Granted, these organizations describe themselves as pro-Israel, but they never seem to miss an opportunity to side with Israel's enemies and fail to even remotely stand up for the land that they claim to support. 

I remember reading two years ago in an August issue of The Jerusalem Post about New Israel Fund relating to Jewish tourists a Palestinian-approved revisionist history of the holy land, a history in which Arabs were the innocent natives living on a land that had no Jewish character whatsoever before the evil Zionists invaded and stole their country.

It seems that these groups are more concerned with abiding by politically correct trends and avoiding anti-Israel slurs than defending the only Jewish country.

5.  Why does Sucharov discuss the criminal actions of former Israeli President Moshe Katzav as though it were the norm of Israeli life, especially Israeli political life?  He is a criminal and he should be punished to the fullest extent, but where is the collective guilt upon the entire state of Israel.

The prime minister of Italy is accused of soliciting sex from a 17-year old girl; does that mean that Italy and the Italian people should be held accountable for his wrongs, as if such activities were encouraged by them? No.  So why should Israel be held to account because of Katsav?

I would expect the Katsav case to be used by an Israel-hater as a broad generalization to depict all Israelis and Israel-supporters as inhuman monsters, but it's a mystery as to what message Sucharov was trying to get at by citing this case for herself.  


David Miadovnik,

Subject: Re: Israel's Pluralistic Tolerant Character is Eroding

Hello Mira,
I read your article and found it fairly balanced and interesting.What  especially caught my attention  was your bottom line:
               "The time is now to turn outward, toward the light of honest critique".
               As of my best understanding, honest critic can come from honest/straight forward/balanced people only.
             Please browse this or another e-book, upon your free choice.
               Enjoy a great day with the e-book of the "Point in The Heart' - see below.
            For more details - browse or join his public lecture in Toronto on the First Week of April 2011.
Best regards,
Ernest Itzkovich,

Feb 15, 2011
Hi Rhonda,
Just wanted to let you know that your article was very well received.  We posted it on our FB/Twitter pages and partner pages as well (total of over 350,000 Jews on FB and 300,000 on Twitter), and the article was read by 16,890 people as of this morning.  By all accounts, a very good reaction.

Stephen Arbib

Web :
Feb 14, 2011
Hi Rhonda.
Your article is live
It's a very interesting and important article which I look forward to distributing through our network.  I'll let you know the reaction shortly.

Stephen Arbib

Web :


To the Editor,

There's my present for you. Enjoy it!

Amy Dorsch

Subject: website film on Jacob/Jacques Presser

To the Editor,

I am happy to announce you the creation of a website for my film

told by Jacques/Jacob Presser (1970):

best regards,

Philo Bregstein


To the Editor,
February 11th, 2011

On February 11th, in response to developments in Egypt, the Canada-Israel Committee along with the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy issued the following statement:

“CIC and CIJA are encouraged that the aspirations of the people of Egypt are being heard today. We remain cautiously hopeful that these developments mark the first steps toward genuine democratic freedom in Egypt. This will require a stable transition, supported by key civil institutions, in order to safeguard Egypt from extremist influences."



To the Editor,Very interesting. Thanks.
Len Podheiser

Subject: review copy of Girl Unwrapped?

Dear Editor:
I'm Cynara, the marketing manager at Arsenal Pulp Press. We specialize in muticultural fiction and non-fiction, LGTBQ* titles, as well as cookbooks and guidebooks. I am writing to see if you're interested in receiving a review copy of one of our books.
This fall we published Gabriella Goliger's second work of fiction Girl Unwrapped. The novel, set in 1960s Montreal, is a powerful tale of the burdens and blessings of history, the divded self, and the quest to be whole. Toni Goldblatt's awakening to taboo desire conflicts with the expectations of her Holocaust-scarred parents and the conservative mores of her times. Her story is a raw and honest tale about coming-of-age, coming out, and finding your own path.
I am happy to forward you a review copy and press materials. The author, Gabriella Goliger, is also available for interview.
All the best,
Cynara Geissler, Marketing Manager
Arsenal Pulp Press

Re: Interview with Tortured Egyptian who escaped to Israel on Jet-ski

February 8, 2011

Excellent...  posted article on FB.
WJR is fast becoming my favourite Canadian publication...  Thank you!
Rochelle Michaels

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