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Dear Editor,
Among the many informative and enlightening articles you usually include in the magazine I found the one “Uncovering UNRWA” by Uriel Heilman especially significant and important.
That UNRWA is and has been staffed by essentially all Palestinians is something most people and politicians worldwide do not know.
Several years ago when I was in Israel visiting family, they held a lunch for their friends to greet us. Among them was a member of UNRWA (not a Palestinian) who said that 98 percent of their employees were Palestinians and no one realizes it. It explains why no progress has been made in all these years to solve the problem.
Quite the contrary. Children have been taught to hate, as you know, and that clouds any future peace.
I suggest that the article be sent to everyone in the Trump administration (and why not to Obama’s as well), including the children, and to as many news outlets and social media as possible.
Thanks for doing such a great job with the magazine.

Manning Rubin
New York, N.Y.

Dear Editor,
Concerning the article, “Uncovering UNRWA: An Exception to the Rule,” the narrow focus of this article represents its tragedy.
While correctly focusing on how UNRWA perpetuates the misery of Arab refugees since 1948, the article concludes that UNRWA cannot be eliminated, while efforts to reform UNRWA are not even mentioned.
Donor nations, beginning with the U.S., the biggest donor to UNRWA, to the tune of $400 million a year, could make conditions for their contributions to UNRWA.
Donors could demand that teachers in UNRWA who are members of terror organizations be fired.
Donors could demand that UNRWA resettle these descendants of Arab refugees from the 1948 war into decent, permanent housing.
Donors could demand that Israel, a member of the U.N., not be wiped off of maps in the books used in UNRWA schools to indoctrinate 490,000 students.
The author’s quote from a former commissioner of UNRWA—when she asserts that if you did not have UNRWA schools, then terror groups would run UNRWA schools—is an insult to the intelligence of the reader­.
Does the author not know that the UNRWA teachers and workers associations in Gaza are run by Hamas, which won 90 percent of the vote to lead both associations?
The unkindest cut of all was the author’s insertion of a smiling picture of Muhamad Assaf, the UNRWA youth idol. The author forgets to mention that he sings to promote the murder of Jews.
A 2015 press release from B’nai B’rith states: “Assaf’s songs explicitly glorify violence … with gory scenes of bloodshed and footage of Palestinian rioters … Assaf’s standing among Palestinians highlights the ubiquity of vile anti-Israel incitement … and his ‘status’ within UNRWA demonstrates that agency’s complicity in ignoring and even sustaining violent hatred.”

David Bedein
Israel Resource News Agency
Center for Near East Policy


Dear Editor:
Daniel Mariaschin’s fall 2016 article “Democracy Depends on Your Vote” just goes part way in encouraging voter turnout, but overlooks the obvious way of obtaining a maximum voter turnout–enacting federal legislation making Presidential and mid-term Congressional election days national holidays.  In a 1996 survey of 31 nations, only three nations have a lower voter turnout than the United States.
Most voters would not have to take time off from work or wait in line up to 10 hours on Election Day.  I am not aware of any Jewish organization that has advocated this common sense step designed to encourage and make it easier to vote in our democracy.

The federal Election Day Holiday Law could be quickly enacted in time for the next election.  Congress in 2005 was almost instantly convened in connection with Terri Schiavo (the comatose woman the center of national debate over the removal of her feeding tube).
The Election Day holiday may appeal to those who believe that there should be maximum participation in a democracy but may be opposed by those who believe it is in our country’s best interest to limit voter participation.  I urge the B’nai B’rith and every other Jewish organization to support the enactment of an Election Day Holiday Law.
Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.
September 21, 2016

Dear Editor:
Thank you for your article on the long and rich history of the Jews of India. Your writer did well in portraying India’s diverse Jewish communities.

I would like to point out that the caption below the photograph of the Magen David synagogue is incorrect. It is not in Mumbai (which has a different Magen David Synagogue) but in Calcutta, where it was built in 1884 by philanthropist Elia Ezra, in memory of his father David. My family worshiped there for generations, and my father, Ezekiel N. Musleah, was rabbi of Maghen David from 1952-1964, until we left for the United States. On the Jewish heritage tours I now lead to India, we hold services with the Calcutta community in that very same synagogue—one of the rare occasions during the year that there are enough people for a minyan. The experience is heartfelt and unforgettable (

Rahel Musleah
Port Washington, N.Y.