Letters to the editor July 18

Letters to the editor July 18

Get the facts

The Chronicle ran a column by Alan Eisner on June 27 entitled, “The Palestinian economy: Why should we care.”  While there are divergent views about the conflict, this article had several factual mistakes.

It alludes that Israel is partly or mostly responsible for the poor economy, while in fact, when Israel turned large areas of Judea and Samaria over to the P.A., it had one of the fastest growing economies in the world.  

The article continues, if the Kerry peace initiative fails, “some international donors, whose aid is the only thing currently keeping the Palestinian economy afloat, may decide to disengage.”  The fact is, international donors may pull out because they feel their donations are being used inappropriately and some of the funds are furthering terrorism.

The most outrageous statement is “… Abbas … must be given credit for one key attribute: He has constantly stated his support for a strategy of nonviolence and he has stuck to it. In 2005, Abbas told an American TV interviewer: ‘We stopped the culture of violence and the Palestinian people have started looking at it as something that should be condemned and it should stop.’ ”

There are volumes of evidence that counter these statements including the 2010 quote “If all of you [Arab states] will fight Israel, we are in favor.  Palestinians will not fight alone because they don’t have the ability.”

In the last couple of months he has constantly honored suicide bombers and terrorists.

Let’s get the facts straight.

Stuart V. Pavilack

Wheeling, W.Va.

(The author is executive director of the Zionist Organization of America-Pittsburgh District.)

Pantry helps the hungry

At the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP) and Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS), we were saddened to read Mary Russell’s story in last week’s issue of the Chronicle (“Homewood woman’s story symptomatic of food issues here”).

Through our work at SHCFP, a division of JF&CS, we see firsthand the challenges of those who face the hardship of food insecurity, and we are committed to offering help, support and hope to the hundreds of families and individuals in our community who rely on the food assistance and social services we provide. Every day, we provide nutritious supplemental food assistance to those who qualify in the 15217 ZIP code, as well as those who keep kosher households outside of Squirrel Hill.

For individuals like Ms. Russell, who are unable to access resources in their own communities, the Pantry offers temporary emergency food assistance to those who reside in Homewood and surrounding neighborhoods. Unlike many other food pantries in Allegheny County, SHCFP is open daily, as well as some Sunday and evening hours, to ensure those who need food assistance or emergency supplemental food are able to conveniently access our services.

As a result of the growing numbers of food-insecure individuals and families in our communities and the scarcity of resources in Homewood and surrounding communities, SHCFP Director Matthew Bolton participates in the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and other forums, working together with community organizations like Just Harvest and Temple Sinai to end hunger and poverty in Pittsburgh. JF&CS and SHCFP are committed to exploring options for providing a safety net for those who fall outside of the 15217 ZIP code, but are still in need of continuous food assistance.

We encourage those who need help to contact us today by calling 412-421-2708 or visiting sqfoodpantry.org.                 

Aryeh Sherman

Squirrel Hill

(The author is president & CEO, Jewish Family & Children’s Service.)