Don’t follow the leader
Regarding Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s column, “Cory Booker would never vote for Iran over Israel” (August 21): It’s not a matter of voting for Iran over Israel.
Voting for the proposed agreement may well be a vote for both Iran and Israel. For Iran it is more likely than no agreement at all to keep it from a nuclear weapon, while strengthening Iranians who are striving to bring their county into the modern democratic world.
For Israel, it promises to protect it from an Iranian nuclear weapon, while maybe serving as a starting point for international creativity leading to a Middle East safer for Israel and all of its neighbors. (See August 21 letters by Kaplan, Tencer, and me to this effect.)
Regarding “Leaders lead: Why we should follow Jewish organizations’ lead on the Iran deal,” (August 21): Daniel Shlufman argues that we should “follow those who already are leaders,” given their superior “knowledge and insights…involvement and…access to information…maturity [and] understanding.”
Before we do so, though, I suggest reading Barbara Tuchman’s “The March of Folly.” She shows how leaders’ “superior knowledge, insights, involvement, information, maturity, and understanding” have led to disaster after disaster, from the Trojan War though Vietnam. And the book was written in 1984, too early for a chapter on the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a leadership folly from which we and the Iraqis continue to suffer.
Arthur J. Lerman
JCCs lose to megadonors
No JCC ever existed without a healthy subvention from its local Jewish federation (“What happened?” August 14). JCCs close when federations tighten the spigot of traditional funding. As major donors became more Israel-centered and less likely to ever grace the doorways of a JCC health facility, their interest lagged, and that’s the big shift.
The same people who find it sexier to ride on tanks, helicopters, ambulances, and fire trucks and hobnob with Israeli politicians and defense personnel on expensive missions increasingly don’t even have the JCCs in their consciousness, nor the Jews in their community who are priced out of their lifestyle.
Not only is the closure of JCCs a symptom of the time, but the misrepresentation of the majority of American Jews’ positive view of the Iran nuclear deal by the Jewish federations and other bodies run by the megadonors. The lack of support is mutual and the concept of We Are One has been cheapened.
Thug in chief
Chris Christie would have been a great punch line for Johnny Carson and Jay Leno with their frequent negative comments and jokes about New Jersey.
Christie is constantly mouthing off about being “a Jersey guy,” or indicating that he is tough because he comes from New Jersey. The picture of the Garden State that this buffoon presents to the rest of the country is the antithesis of what we are.
On frequent trips around the country and abroad I’ve run into any number of people who view him and New Jersey as a state populated by people ready to “punch out” anyone who disagrees with Chris Christie. The picture of violence that he constantly presents is not at all the New Jersey that I know.
He’s suggested “taking a bat” to State Senator Loretta Weinberg and his personal attack on Senator Bob Gordon, coupled with his frequent threat of “I’m a Jersey guy,” indicating he should not be attacked or questioned, is a slap in the face to every New Jerseyan, Democrat or Republican.
Instead of Commander-in-Chief, he has earned the sobriquet of “Thug-in-Chief.” He is not representative of us, and, heaven forbid he should end up as president, we’d probably be in a war within a month of his mouth taking office.