Letters to the editor March 3

Letters to the editor March 3

Headline criticized

Please explain why The Jewish Chronicle runs a front-page photo saying “Jews join protest,” in Wisconsin when overwhelmingly Jews have not? (Jewish Chronicle, Feb. 24)

Kudos to the Jewish federations of both Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., for not taking sides in Gov. Scott Walker’s sensible decision to end collective bargaining for public employees.

Not one Jewish organization has “joined the protest.” The fact that someone from the “Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin” can affix the word “rabbi” to her name shows nothing more than that a communist organization, geared to destroying the United States, has a few Jews in it.

The quote from Rabbi Bonnie Margulis is beyond belief, “Judaism has long stood for the rights of workers,” she says. “Do not take advantage of the hired worker who is poor and needy.”

Is she kidding? We’re talking about the coddled, political juggernaut that is America’s recalcitrant public-sector employee unions who have benefits and work conditions that are the envy and scourge of taxpayers everywhere.

Government employees should never, ever be allowed to organize as it is in many states.

Government unions don’t have hostile management on the other side of the bargaining table. To the contrary, the “bosses” of government employees are co-conspirators with them in bilking the taxpayers.

Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans are engaged in the right battle at the right time. This Citizen Jew stands against President Obama and the Democrats’ reckless spending and his effort to crash the reasonable reforms in Wisconsin, specifically Scott Walker’s desire to balance the state budget.

Let’s face facts: there is no right to collective bargaining for public sector employees and the unholy alliance between them and their unions and government must be ended.

Daniel Wiseman

Squirrel Hill

(The author is the vice chairman of the City of Pittsburgh 5th Council District of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.)

Farrakhan, Clyburn appearances rapped

As one who is familiar with nationally syndicated radio show host Bev Smith, it is distressing, but not surprising for me to learn that she has invited virulent bigot and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan to a town hall forum at Pittsburgh’s August Wilson Center as if he is a legitimate participant in a national dialogue.

Ironically, one of the participants in this forum will be South Carolina U. S. Rep. James Clyburn. Clyburn is a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus and has been a strong advocate for minority causes. He was one of the most vocal and passionate elected officials to call for civility in political discourse following the Tucson, Ariz., gun massacre, which apparently targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Obviously, Clyburn’s outrage over the tone of debate in our country is selective, and he does not have a problem in appearing next to a man who, within a long history of attempting to spread hatred and to further polarize our nation, has referred to “satanic Jews,” “white devils” and to Judaism as a “gutter religion.”

It is inexplicable to me that the esteemed August Wilson Center would offer itself as a conduit for this ill-advised event, as it serves to confer stature and legitimacy to the unworthy Farrakhan even if he should leave his anti-Semitism and hatred for Caucasians at home. Hypocrisy is on parade as a wound being inflicted on our community, which is likely to have long-lasting effects.

How many of us would now relish a visit to the August Wilson Center, given the bitter taste the Farrakhan visit leaves in our mouths?

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper St. Clair

Blood libel charge fades

The “blood libel” anti-Semitic murder accusation is not one with which many people, including Jews, is acquainted today.

In the Jan. 28 issue of The Jewish Forward newspaper, in the Forum section was an article titled “The True Meaning of Blood Libel” by Ronald Florence, an authority on the subject. Perhaps the Chronicle could run this explanatory article.

Bernard Malamud wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning historical fiction novel, “The Fixer,” about a blood libel case near the beginning of the 20th century. A Jewish handyman, a “fixer,” in Russia, is falsely accused of the murder of a 12-year-old boy and is incarcerated in a horrible Russian prison for years without trial. Malamud wrote “The Fixer” in 1966. The book is available in stores.

A movie, “The Fixer,” was made and ran in first-run theaters. Sometime in the late ’80s this well-done movie (which I saw the first time around, in a Pittsburgh theater) was shown as one of a series of films at Congregation Beth Shalom. This film, “The Fixer,” could be a timely addition to the Jewish-Israeli film series upcoming.

Bonnie P. Theiner

Squirrel Hill