Letters to the editor October 8

Letters to the editor October 8

Women at risk
Thank you for publishing an article on the Siegel family and the ovarian cancer risk for Ashkenazi women, (“Gene mutation is clue about cancer risks among Ashkenazi women,” Sept. 24). It means so much to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the women who volunteer for the organization to have your assistance in educating women about this disease. Toby Tabachnick’s article was very well written and I am sure it will promote many discussions about family health histories with family members and with physicians.
Many of the women who volunteer for NOCC are survivors who knew little if anything about the disease before they were diagnosed. Unfortunately, there continues to be an appalling lack of information available to women about this disease that takes so many women’s lives each year. Many physicians never discuss the risk factors or the symptoms with their patients. That is why we are so committed to do whatever we can to educate women and health care professionals about the disease.
NOCC is mostly a grassroots volunteer run organization, so your support is extremely valuable to us. Thank you for allowing the Siegels to tell their story and for promoting the Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer.
Let’s hope many women’s lives are positively impacted by reading this story.

Barbara J. Smith
(The author is president of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Pittsburgh Chapter.)

Keep Israel safe
I read, with interest, the column by Joel Rubin entitled “What happened to the ZOA?” in the Sept. 24 Jewish Chronicle. It criticizes ZOA for “attacking my former organization — J Street.” J Street has invited Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council to speak at its first annual convention this month and ZOA has stated, that as a pro-Israel organization, J Street should rescind the invitation. Al-Marayati has made a number of anti-Israel remarks over the years and they can be found by surfing the Internet.
While criticizing ZOA, Mr. Rubin extols the virtues of J Street. Frankly, the message J Street and Mr. Rubin are sending is reminiscent of the euphoria after the handshake on the While House lawn in the mid-1990s, which we all had high hopes would lead to real peace. But times have changed. Recently, Fatah claimed with great pride, it had killed more Jews than Hamas.
The reality of today is there simply isn’t anyone with whom to make peace. The Palestinians would probably be happier with a three-state solution; one for Fatah, one for Hamas and one for Hezbollah — and no Israel. With Israel’s future, and possibly its survival at stake, ZOA would rather err on the side of caution. ZOA is for a healthy, vibrant and safe Israel.

Stuart V. Pavilack,
Wheeling, W.Va.

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