One of these days, with the way things are going, you will look out your window and not be happy with what you see.
The Language Of Anti-Semitism
I am once again wading into the debate about Israel in the letters column of Woodstock Times. Fred Nagel may or may not be aware of his choice of phraseology when he writes about Israel, but I feel compelled to point out his classic anti-Semitic rhetoric to your readers. On November 24 he wrote:
And there is nothing our elected leaders won’t do to please their foreign masters. The spectacle of our representatives pledging allegiance to Israel at meetings of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee is enough to turn one’s stomach.
Then on January 3, the following:
Then there is Israel, our perpetual leech.
So which is it, Mr. Nagel? Is Israel our “foreign master” or our “perpetual leech”? These labels have been the standard jargon of anti-Semitism for a very long time. I find it humorous in that it has never been clear to me how someone can both be a master and a parasite at the same time. The stereotypes of oppression are always bizarre. But I cannot let it pass, because the strategy of painting the Jews, and now Israel, as both a bloodsucking parasite and as a force of global domination led to unspeakable dehumanization and then destruction in the past, and I feel the obligation to point out this kind of public rhetoric when I encounter it.
I must be clear that I am not addressing Mr. Nagel’s political positions, nor am I expressing my own. That is not my purpose in writing this letter. I fully support the free expression of political positions. And Mr. Nagel might be surprised by the number of political arenas in which he and I might find ourselves in agreement. But Mr. Nagel should be aware that when I read the type of rhetoric in which he engages, I lose any interest in seriously considering his analyses or his policy proposals. I cannot support what amounts in my eyes to hate speech, and I am publicly refuting it with my comments today.
Rabbi Jonathan Kligler
Woodstock Jewish Congregation
Michael Perkins and I thank everyone who joined our village history walks or simply purchased our book for making The Pocket Guide to Woodstock the Golden Notebook’s No. 1 paperback bestseller of 2012.
A year ago, I’ll now confess, I thought that producing this short book would be a cinch. How wrong I was. At least a dozen people (make that two dozen) come to mind for their invaluable help in producing and promoting this guidebook, a tribute not to Michael or myself, but to their affection for our town. Now hundreds of readers have gone forth with book in hand to explore Woodstock for themselves. So far as we know, none have gotten lost, save for a few last seen on their way to Saugerties.
Thanks for giving credence to the slogan: Buy Local, Read Local.
Status Of Fracking
What is the status of horizontal High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) in New York State? Recent past: Wednesday 1500 of us from every corner of the state came to Albany to rally during the State of the State address asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban this toxic form of drilling for shale gas. Friday environmental groups delivered 204,000 comments (not including online and snail mail entries) to the Dept. of Environmental Conservation on why these current draft regulations to govern HVHF are inadequate and will not protect us.
Present: (1) As the sole decision maker Gov. Cuomo still needs to hear from every New Yorker (even once a week) at 518-474-8390. Post on his Facebook page. Tell him that the risks of HVHF (also called fracking) to air, water, public health, the environment and future generations far outweigh the benefits. And that the only safe drilling is no drilling; he must ban fracking now as he leads the state into a 21st century green energy future and away from a 20th century fossil fuel hazard. (2) It is of key importance to find out if your friends, family and colleagues across the state are un-informed or mis-informed and recommend this 150 second overview at www.tinyurl.com/batakx3.
Future: The Governor will most likely decide by the end of February. If he gives the go ahead to frack, nyagainstfracking.org will have our next steps. This action will be either fulfilling the pledge thousands of us New Yorkers have signed for nonviolent civil disobedience or a march and rally in Albany in the tens of thousands. I prefer the later as the first step so please stay informed and be prepared to drop everything and show up in Albany. I am very inspired by a May 2011 march of over 30,000 citizens in Puerto Rico who (because of their numbers) saw the cancellation of the 92 mile Vía Verde Natural Gas Pipeline across their country. We can do the same and stop this potential destruction (think BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf) from moving one step forward, should the need arise.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
The Christmas Eve Program wants to thank everyone for their help with the festivities on the Village Green December 24. It takes time to compile the enormous list of all those “special people and organizations” that helped make Santa’s arrival another spectacular event. Let’s see — where to begin — Andre Neher, Paul Delisio, Ann Washington, and Renee Englander (the actual Committee). Next, all the Elves, Musicians, the Carolers, the stocking stuffers, the cheer basket and food basket delivery people, the Woodstock Police Department, the Woodstock Fire Police, Woodstock Fire Department, the Town of Woodstock Maintenance Department who decorated and maintained the tree, the Woodstock merchants who contribute so generously and of course to all of the Woodstock residents who annually help make this program so wonderful. We do not want to forget the one person who makes this occasion unforgettable — Santa Claus! — and all his helpers who are involved in his arrival preparation. What a great entrance and a wonderful way to start the new year.
We understand preparations are underway, as we are writing this, for next year’s extravaganza. P.S. We hope we did not forget anyone, because everyone is so special to this event, but if we did, we sincerely apologize for the omission.
See you next year!
Lynn Sehwerert, Secretary
Christmas Eve Program Committee