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The editor would be pleased to receive your emails at [email protected]
Re: Elliot Leven’s article “Let Em build it-mosque on Ground Zero

To the  Editor,
September 13, 2010
Your readership may be interested in a  statement  on the Proposed “Cordoba House” Mosque near Ground Zero
made by Newt Gingrich,July 21, 2010 which is nicely expressed. Gingrich said:

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia . The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over. 

The proposed "Cordoba House" overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks - is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba , Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque

Today, some of the Mosque’s backers insist this term is being used to "symbolize interfaith cooperation" when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way. Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for "religious toleration" are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City . Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia . In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca .  And they lecture us about tolerance.
If the people behind the Cordoba House were serious about religious toleration, they would be imploring the Saudis, as fellow Muslims, to immediately open up Mecca to all and immediately announce their intention to allow non-Muslim houses of worship in the Kingdom. They should be asked by the news media if they would be willing to lead such a campaign.
We have not been able to rebuild the World Trade Center in nine years. Now we are being told a 13 story, $100 million mega mosque will be built within a year overlooking the site of the most devastating surprise attack in American history.

Finally where is the money coming from? The people behind the Cordoba House refuse to reveal all their funding sources. America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.

No mosque.
No self deception.
No surrender.
The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue.

Sincerely, Orli Avior, Israel

Re: Embroidered Jewish Bags Made From Velvet (Jewish Bible bags),

To  The Editor,

Sep 8, 2010

Subject: Re: Embroidered Jewish Bags Made From Velvet (Jewish Bible bags),

We have received  the name of  the Winnipeg Jewish Review  from the Embassy of India and would like to tell your readership about our company as; ALS EXPORTS's established since 1994. We are based in a busy Textile city COIMBATORE (Manchester of  South India).  We export Embroidered Jewish Bible bags made from Velvet. You can learn about us on
With best regards,

Re: Winnipeg Jewish Review

To the Editor,
September 8, 2010
Re: Winnipeg Jewish Review

You have done an amazing job as Editor, Rhonda.Mazel Tov.All best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year. Shana Tova, Laila Dubinsky

Subject: RE: Josh Dolgin Movie-September 19

To the Editor,
September 8,2010

Subject: RE: Josh Dolgin Movie-September 19

My sister AC Dolgin thinks you have the info about the "SOCALLED MOVIE" about Josh dolgin. It is delightful as I have seen it a few times through my computer but only in the US

Shana Tova,
Ivan Berkowitz, MBA, Heart Health Scholar

Rosh Hashana greetings

September 7, 2010

To the Editor,

Wishing you and those in Winnipeg year of love,  tolerance, and heath and happiness. Please click on this for Rosh Hashana greetings:

Hodiel Ben-Anat
Teacher, Ramat Korazim School, near Rosh Pina, Israel [Paretnership school-P2K-Brock Corydon]


September 1, 2010

To the Editor,

Matthew Ostrove’s article on Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s comments in favor of building the Mosque on the sacred area close to the 911 atrocity is wisdom personified. It is comforting that even though Matthew  wants to become the  liberal candidate for a seat in Tuxedo , differences of opinion can be voiced freely.
I too think his suggestion of a Global Centre for Peace which includes all races and religions is the appropriate way to proceed. In a way it is likened to the Canadian Human Rights Museum not only a gift to Winnipeg or Canada but a creation benefiting the entire world. Three cheers for the Aspers and in particular Gail Asper whose amazing commitment and awesome energy saw to it this dream of her late dads happened.

Hart Peikoff


August 25, 2010

To the Editor,

The rabbi who co-conducted the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding was Rabbi James Ponet a Reform rabbi with deep connections to some of the most radical elements of the American Jewish community and that fact went completely unreported in both the American Jewish and general media. Of interest here too is that Hillary Clinton also has a long history with these radicals and brought them to the Clinton White House when Yasir Arafat was hailed as a peacemaker by her husband when the Oslo Accords were signed on September 13, 1993.
Ponet is the longtime campus rabbi for the Hillel at Yale University. Ponet Here is a survey of Rabbi Ponet’s long record as part of a cadre of radical rabbis that have a penchant for criticizing Israeli government policies, advocating for Palestinian statehood, participating in domestic progressive politics and creating a new age, hippie brand of Judaism.
A good place to start Ponet’s story is with a November 17, 2002 article in The New York Times with the unsettling title “On Issue of Israel, Campuses Can’t Tell Left From Right.” The Times described Ponet as a “campus rabbi and sometime critic of Israel.”
Why did The Times label Ponet in such a way?
In February, 2000 Ponet signed the so-called "Rabbinic Call for a Shared Jerusalem" statement with 314 other U.S. Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis critical of Israel.  By signing the Jerusalem statement Ponet joined with the key leaders of the most radical wing of the American Jewish Community including Michael Lerner and Arthur Green. Many of these signing rabbis were among the leadership of the Brit Tzedek v’Shalom group that J Street absorbed in 2009. These rabbis were among the founders and key activists of New Jewish Agenda and Breira including Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Everett Gendler and others. Serotta, Waskow and Gendler are all involved in the Jewish Fast For Gaza group. It should be noted that the leadership of the Rabbis for Human Rights - North America group is made up of the signers of this 2000 letter too.
In 2001 Ponet signed a pubic letter that appeared as a full page ad in the Forward newspaper from the Rabbis for Human Rights - North America. The letter was addressed to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and protested against the arrest of a fellow radical rabbi and the demolition of Arab homes. They candidly shared that their support for Israel was conditional: “We fear that the decision to prosecute (the radical rabbi) is an attempt to silence his voice. To silence it is to push us away from the Israel…”
Ponet, though, was among the most radical of the rabbis to sign the ad and has been a longtime member of the editorial board of Tikkun magazine [edityed by Rabbi Michael Lerner]and has written for it as well.
Did Lerner recommend Ponet to the Clintons? Was Hillary Clinton familiar with Ponet from reading Tikkun?
More about Ponet can be revealed from an article he wrote about Chanukah in 2005 and was published by in 2009. Here Ponet attacks Jews for misunderstanding the holiday. He writes: “…it turns out that Hanukkah is a festival built upon a mound of suppressed memories and censored texts…” Ponet goes so far he even questions the basics of the holiday asking “Was the bloody Maccabean civil war and revolt necessary to the survival of Jewish identity?”
Ponet conveniently leaves out the fact that the word very word Chanukah is derived from the Hebrew word for dedication and refers to the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees. He mentions the Temple just once in his nearly 1,200 word attack on the holiday.
Ponet writes “I propose that on Hanukkah, we ought to consider whether an ethnic group that wishes to survive must turn itself into a nation-state…” From here we can possibly derive why the Clinton-Mezvinsky’s found Ponet to be such a good fit for their ceremony. 

sincerely, Moshe Phillips 
Moshe Phillips, member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter's website is at: Moshe's blog can be found at and Moshe tweets at

Re: Morantz article on selinger's use of the word Palestine

August 22,2010
To the Editor,

Mr. Morantz’s recent article about the Negev Gala has received a strong response, some positive, and some negative. In a free and open society this is to be expected, and even encouraged, because a reasonable debate and discussion is a key to our growth and advancement. It is interesting however to take note of the criticism directed towards Mr. Morantz, and to think about the broader implications. Self described NDP Voter Elliot Leven claimed that Mr. Morantz was simply making a political statement. One individual claimed that Mr. Morantz’s article was “picking up the propaganda language of the “Palestinian narrative”. But it is perhaps the comments of Alan Levy that are the most disappointing, as he used his time to personally attack the character of Mr. Morantz. As with Mr. Leven’s comments, it is indeed ironic, that while Mr. Levy claims that Mr. Morantz’s piece is pure politics, he then proceeds to question the compassion of Mr. Morantz and the Progressive Conservative Party. Mr. Levy cannot credibly complain of partisanship on one hand, while he makes partisan attacks on the other. Anyone who knows Marty Morantz knows that he is a man with a generous spirit and a compassionate heart, and Mr. Levy’s comments can do nothing to change that.

As is often the case when an article elicits an emotional response, the truth lies in between the rhetoric. An objective look at Mr. Morantz’s article reveals it to be balanced and fair-minded. Mr. Morantz even took the step of clarifying the Federal NDP’s position on Israel. These are not the actions of someone out to make a partisan point. These are the actions of someone who is sharing their opinion about an event that happened to have political implications. Had Mr. Morantz wanted to write a political piece, he could have criticized Libby Davies for her unacceptable past comments about Israel, or he could have attacked Mr. Layton for refusing to remove her as Deputy Leader of the NDP. Mr. Morantz choose neither of those options, instead he chose to be balanced and forthright.

In regards to the NDP provincially, it is quite true that Christine Melnick has been a strong supporter of Israel, and she is to be commended for that. At the same time, it is impossible to overlook the fact that the NDP failed to pass a motion to denounce Israel Apartheid Week, and that under the current NDP Government we have seen the first (but likely not the last) occurrence of IAW at the University of Manitoba.

Though public life and politics can be a rough business, it is also essential that certain standards of fairness and decency are maintained. Personal attacks can be easy to make when emotions run high, and can often lead to a coarsening of the discourse of our society. Despite the emotions this issue has brought up, Mr. Morantz wrote an article that was moderate in tone, balanced in content, and fair in its treatment of the topic. If we can learn something from this, and learn to disagree in a respectful way as Mr. Morantz has, then we will take a step further towards peace in our own lives and peace in the world.

Spencer Fernando, Winnipeg

Re: Marty Morantz criticism of the use of the word Palestine by Premier Selinger

August 20, 2010

To the Editor,
It seems on surface this controversy is like what Shakespeare would say, Much ado about Nothing. Was it politically motivated, well it would seem that way. However, Mr. Morantz states the Premier mentioned the word Palestine 3 times; it would very helpful to see what  exactly was said in each of those comments in order to make a well informed opinion on the matter.
The use of the word Palestine can be inflammatory to the exclusion of mentioning Israel. This is a narrative that has been adopted by those that don't accept Israel's existence. Case in point. Ahmedinejad refers to the zionist regime in Palestine. Recently Helen Thomas, with her anti-Semtic slurs used the word Palestine in place of Israel. In these cases, the narrative is that all of Israel, and the Palestinian Territories belong to the Palestinian people. They refuse to accept Israel as the Jewish and  legitimate State. Unfortunately even UNRWA school texts with maps have excluded the word Israel and replaced it with Palestine.
Most Palestinians already refer to West Bank and Gaza, as Palestine. This is primarily done for political reasons to criticize Israels policy's in the area's. Of course we know the Palestininas and Arab League did not accept the U.N. partiton plan of '47 and Israel unilaterallery declared its Independence shortly after in 1948, while the Arab States decided to initiate a War of Genocide  upon the nascent state of Israel. So technically Mr. Morantz is correct in saying Palestine does not exist.
The only example given in the article, is that Premier Selinger said something about wanting there to be peace between Israel and Palestine. It's a goodwill gesture, at worst a political oversight. I can't speak for Premier Selinger, but i highly doubt he would argue that Palestine is already an existing Soverign State. 
Mark Kittner, Winnipeg

Re: Mr. Morantz, there is no "west bank" either

August 16, 2010

To the Editor,

Proving that the pen is mightier than the sword, the Arabs have turned the Middle-East conflict into a war of semantics and narratives. After the defeat of Bar Kokhba (123-135 CE) the Roman emperor, Hadrian, determined to eradicate the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea, renamed Yehudah after the long extinct Philistines, Philistina. Until the end of the 1967 "six day war", all maps showed it as Judea-Samaria which in Hebrew is Yehudah and Shomron, shorted to Yesha by those who live there. Let's be very careful in picking up the propaganda language of the "Palestinian narrative". It is a fiction from start to finish aimed at wiping out the Jewish reality of Israel. "West Bank" is antisemitic code as is "Palestinian" and "two state solution". We should not be using them.

Marshall Shapiro,
(Hebcom News Service, Hebron)
Vineland, ON

Re: Marty Morantz article regarding Negev gala

August 16, 2010

To The Editor,

I am responding to the August article that references Premier Greg Selinger’s speech at the Jewish National Fund’s Negev gala.

As president of JNF for the Prairie region for the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the current Provincial Government.

I can say first hand that Premier Selinger shares the same strong and outspoken support of Israel as did his predecessor, Ambassador Gary Doer.

Premier Selinger’s enthusiastic participation at the Negev gala is only one example of that support. I was witness to the Premier’s speech and did not hear anything it in that offended me.

Mr. Morantz appears to have been offended, and I respect him and his opinion. However, I am confident the Premier meant no disrespect to Israel, to Mr. Morantz or anyone else.

I also think actions speak louder than words.

In addition to the Premier, a number of senior members of his government have worked closely with us on several initiatives including Ministers Christine Melnick and David Chomiak.

Thanks to Minister Melnick’s leadership, Israel and Manitoba held two international water conferences. The first was held in Manitoba in August, 2008, the second was held in Israel in January, 2010.

As previously announced, Premier Selinger will be visiting the State of Israel as part of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg’s Mission to Israel, and to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet who will be performing in Israel during our visit.

I hope this response is seen as intended and is not viewed as a political comment. I would step forward if Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen’s views or record on Israel had been similarly questioned.

Our organization strives to work closely with respected Manitoba individuals and organizations that have a strong commitment to Israel.

I wish Mr. Morantz well in his career.

However, I do believe it is appropriate to ensure your readers have a clear picture of the strong relationship we have with Premier Selinger and the Manitoba government.

Mel Lazareck
President, Prairie Region
Jewish National Fund


August 14, 2010

To The Editor,

Marty Morantz 's  piece is pure politics. His pieces are to  do his best to convince your reads that he is the guy to vote for. Its an advertisement not an informed piece of News. The Jewish community is not one monolithic voice.  He represents the self abused materialistic view of everything wrong with being Jewish in Winnipeg today. Our grandparents were generous in thought and spirit concerned about the various communities that made up a stronger Winnipeg. We need to recapture that spirit of open generosity. We have become wealthier has a community and yet more self centered and less philanthropic. Why has our politics and perspective toward others  in need become so heart harden? How have we allowed ourselves to become so indifferent to those in need in our City.

Poverty and violent crime  has grown rapidly in our province and particularly Winnipeg . There is not a need for less social welfare in our city as Mr Mornatz's PC party expounds.There is a need for more community involvement,provincial involvement and  generosity of volunteerism and donations.

My advise to Mr Morantz is the old Jewish proverb:
"The good fellow to everyone is a good friend to no one.”
Stop pointing to the ills of others  before looking at your own!

Associate Professor Alan Levy


August 12, 2010
To The Editor,

I wanted to inform your readers that Jonah Targownik is also in the Children's Chorus at Rainbow Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 
Jonah has been singing with the Winnipeg Boys' Choir for the past few years, taking part in Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra productions as well as performing at Winnipeg Moose Hockey Games, just to name a few.  He had a lead role in Brock Corydon School's "Bugsy Malone" production this year.  He participated in the the Winnipeg Music Festival this spring and won first place in his age category.  He has sung in the junior choir at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue under the direction of Cantor Maas and has been taking voice lessons as well. 
Rochelle Litman, Winnipeg

Re: Valuable Publication

August 5, 2010

To The Editor,

I just wanted you to know how much I value this and look forward to reading your review.
Phyllis D'Aguiar
Fund Development Manager
Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary


August 5, 2010

To the Editor,

I thought the Morantz piece was excellently written.
Simone Scott, Winnipeg


August 5, 2010

To The  Editor,

Just a note: Winnipegs's Temple Shalom counts women all the time and has for the last 35 years that I have been a member.

Faye Mount, Winnipeg


August 5, 2010

To The Editor,

I will peruse your paper often as I am interested in this part of the world. Thanks again for the article on the Commandos.
Bob Chaloux , Richmond, B.C.


August 5, 2010

To the Editor,

Re: Orli Avior, who has witnessed war in Afghanistan first hand, came up to one of them, held out her hand and said to the Israeli soldiers, "Thank you for defending our country."


Amir  Ravon, Encino, California


August 4, 2010

Dear Ms. Spivak,

It is nice that you met the commandos, and generally, I admire that you will seek various opinions on the Middle East conflict, but it would have been more ethical as a journalist if you had asked the commandos and their commanders why they seized and destroyed (or at least not released) the photographic and video evidence from the Mavi Marmara and other flotilla activists of the raid. Until their photographs and video are shown, it will be impossible to believe the Israeli version. If the Israeli version is the truth, then the seized photos and video of the  flotilla activists will vindicate them.

As it is, some of their photos and video did escape seizure, and are being presented  in Canada and around the world, and what they show, is Israeli commandos firing non-lethal and then lethal rounds at the activists before they even landed. They also show that activists protected and treated the injured commandos from those who held an "eye for an eye" sense of justice.

Scott Weinstein, Montreal

Editor's response:  The commandos made it clear to me that they were unable as per IDF policy to discuss any of the aspects of the flotilla raid itself. Therefore , it was not at all unethical for me to have failed to ask them anything relating to the incident--be it  the questions you have raised nor  any  others. 
Additonally, let me add that I do no think you ought to  worry about  whether the facts surrounding the flotilla event will be thoroughly investigated.  Israel has set up the Turkel Commission  to investigate the matter which is already proceeding and there will also be a UN probe.


July 25, 2010

To the Editor,

Great article. It reflects what I've experienced living here in Jerusalem. By the way, almost half the Haredim protesting the father's being put in jail were themselves Sephardim. The secular court embarrassed itself accusing the Hasidim of racism. The school's standards were based only on religious criteria, and Sephardim girls also attended.

Leah Urso

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.