Letters to the Editor


Calling for Sovereignty in Judea & Samaria!

Dear Editor:

The name Neriyah Zaroge is undoubtedly an unfamiliar one to most readers. He is a young resident of Yitzhar, a community in the Shomron which I and the AFSI Chizuk missions have visited many times. By command of the IDF Central Commander, Nadal Feden, Neriyah has been served with a military order banishing him from his home in the hilltop outpost, Komi Ori, his wife and two children, and his herd of sheep for a period of three months. There is no legal basis or evidence of any wrong doing on his part. It is part of what appears to be an ongoing program of favoring the land-grabbing Arabs over the Jews who simply want to hold onto Jewish land. As Neriyah wrote to the IDF Central Commander, “Instead of dealing with the non-stop, illegal building of the Arabs in the area, or the daily stone throwing and acts of terror on our highways, you chose to terrorize the Jews.” If Sovereignty was applied to Judea and Samaria, such anti-Jewish discriminatory acts could not occur. They must be ended.

Another example of the military favoring the Arabs over the Jews occurred recently at Amichai, another community in the Shomron, on the outskirts of Shilo, which AFSI has supported from its creation. Born from the need to provide homes for the expelled Jews from Amona, Amichai is a brand new settlement which the government promised and delivered and to which the displaced Jews were able to move. Now they have seen that the Arabs are planning to build a community adjacent to them with the apparent consent of the military. At a recent protest, which was entirely peaceful, the Jews were the ones restrained and threatened, not the Arabs who are violating Israel’s land. Again, we believe this could not happen if Sovereignty was applied to Judea and Samaria. This must be the answer to the many anti-Jewish positions taken by the military. There should be no IDF Central Commander giving orders. The idealistic Jews living in the hilltops, raising their families, and holding onto the land should not have to experience or endure discrimination from their own people.


Helen Freedman
Co-Executive Director
Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI

Should Cuomo become MTA Chairman?

Dear Editor:

Governor Cuomo continues attempting to portray himself as the second coming of the late President Franklin Roosevelt and master builder Robert Moses.

Cuomo is not an engineer, construction contractor, transportation expert or daily commuter. He does excel at photo-ops when walking New York City Transit, Long Island or Metro North Rail Road tracks continuously ignoring Federal Rail Road Administration safety requirements by not wearing mandated orange protective vests just like all other MTA employees when touring active track areas.

How many times do we see him holding a press conference on an active right of way not wearing either a protective vest or hard hat? NYC Transit, Long Island Railroad and Metro North track employees are required to wear a reflective vest when working or walking near active tracks. They also have to take a mandatory safety certification training course. Has he ever been safety certified to participate in such activities without wearing a safety vest or hardhat as required by the FRA?

If he is bored being Governor and believes he can do a better job managing NYC Transit or MTA, there is an easy solution. His last act as Governor before resigning could be appointing himself NYC Transit President or MTA Chairman.

In the interim, Cuomo still needs to come up with $5.8 billion balance of the original $8.3 he still owes to fund the $33 billion 2015–2019 MTA Five Year Capital Plan.


Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, LIRR & Metro North, MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit, NYC Department of Transportation and 30 other transit operators in NY & NJ)

Congratulating Mariano Rivera!!

Dear Editor:

Allow me to say that I was quite moved to watch President Trump giving baseball legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom award at the White House. Mariano Rivera was not only considered the best closer in baseball pitching history, but as the POTUS said, he may have been considered the best pitcher that the MLB has ever seen in its very long and storied history.

In addition, Mariano was the only MLB player to ever have been unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown by a cadre of prominent sportswriters.

So, the great number 42 in NY Yankee history not only graced the baseball mound with tremendous dignity and achieved innumerable records in the game’s history but the most important matter is that he is a man of G-d, a man who has dedicated himself to many charitable and religious causes. He is a man who has visited Israel and has fallen in love with its symbolism, its people, its culture and what it represents for all the major religions around the world.

Yes, Marino Rivera is a true hero!


Morris David Ruskoff

Infertility in the Jewish Community

Dear Editor:

I read with great interest the article on the donor-conceived family’s tri-generational Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Infertility is such a relevant issue within our community and I’m grateful your paper is progressive enough to have published it. I thought the author’s association with Rosh Hashana… a time for addressing our balance sheets, was most appropriate. As someone who has experienced the pain associated with infertility, I was overwhelmed by the content of the article. I loved the line she drew between the unconventional way of the heroism in Masada and the non conventional way in which she conceived her child. I could sense the love she feels for her daughter. I really can’t say enough about it. Her article referred to history and heritage—and most of all honesty, integrity, pride and family. I hope to see more articles like this one.

Thank you



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