Bill Pascrell reminds us to remember Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel’s contributions to our society and to the human race are almost unparalleled. He taught us that we must never be silent in the face of injustice; that our silence only encourages the tormentor, but never the tormented. As a recent wave of anti-Semitism plagues our nation, Elie Wiesel’s words and experiences remain a guiding light in these tumultuous times.

When I saw an opportunity to honor Elie, I made it a top priority in the Congress. I proudly co-sponsored the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, which will establish the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes as a central national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States. Additionally, it will request that the President instruct the State Department to establish a Mass Atrocities Task Force to strengthen our nation’s efforts and assist other agency efforts at atrocity prevention and response.

Unfortunately, the fight against genocide is not over. This legislation will put genocide prevention at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy initiatives. I am proud to lead this effort in Congress in honor of the life and teachings of Elie Wiesel, one of the most important and inspiring figures of the last century. May we never forget his teachings.

Bill Pascrell Jr.
Member of Congress (D-9th Dist.)

More on religious overreach

In addition to Rabbi David Bockman’s response (“Jewish law applies nuance to question of abortion,” July 13) to Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin and Howard Slugh’s July 6 op-ed (“Justice Kennedy and a kosher court”), I found other troublesome issues. It seems that their view of religious freedom means one can use his or her religious views to infringe on the rights of another person.

For example, they write “these opponents of religious liberty [the AJC and the ADL (sic)] tried to coerce…evangelical pharmacists into providing abortion-inducing drugs.” This is not a question of coercion. Prescribed abortion-inducing drugs are safe, legal, and medically appropriate. A woman has a right to have her prescription filled. No one is forcing the pharmacist to have an abortion. If he or she has a problem dispensing the medication, they should not work in a retail pharmacy, the same way you would not expect a Jehovah’s Witness to work in a blood bank. In small rural towns where there is only one pharmacy, refusal to dispense would mean the medication would not be available, despite what the authors say. This is not an example of “crush[ing]” someone with the law, but making sure that a person has a right to obtain a safe legal medication.
Further, to pass a law banning abortion based on a religious interpretation infringes on the right of a woman to make her own moral decision about a safe medical procedure. 

Roger Rosenstein, M.D.

When will PETA denounce Hamas for its use of ‘terror’ falcons?

Obviously, use of violence against, helpless, innocent non combatants (civilians) in war for political goals (terror) must be condemned. The perpetrators must be specifically identified by name.

Similarly, when the terrorist entity known as Hamas uses God’s innocent, helpless creatures (falcons) in their murderous activities, they should be forcefully condemned.

PETA has the moral responsibility to do so in light of the fact that they are champions against cruelty to animals.

Their reluctance to specifically and emphatically denounce Hamas is very disturbing.

Jerrold Terdiman M.D.
Woodcliff Lake

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