Monthly Archives: May 2014

Help the Veterans Now

The problems plaguing the VA are a national disgrace.  Our treatment of returning wounded veterans is nothing less than shameful.

 It is incumbent upon the President of the United States to implement a disaster response to alleviate the backlogs and treat our veterans in need immediately.  We are able to provide emergency aid to victims of natural disasters so must we be able to provide for our veterans. Mr. President, it is past time to make a public statement and direct bold swift action.

There is an urgent need to understand what happened and how the system designed to provide support for our wounded went so horribly off the rails.  So investigate and correct the system.  But the pressing need is to get help our vets who are struggling now.  This is not the efficient way to manage the problem, but there are lives at stake.  Investigating and managing the problem are secondary to the task of saving veteran’s lives.

This catastrophe is compounded both by the lies and the cover-ups, and also by the anguish and pain endured by our veterans.  Certainly the system is horribly broken and we must demand accountability on all levels that permits such corruption to exist.  Force resignations, fire others, prosecute criminal activity, conduct investigations and fix this horrible mess.  But first,  help those desperately in need.

 Right now we must focus on getting help to our vets.  Get caregivers into the field.  If our military with all of it’s extraordinary capabilities or our other disaster response groups such as FEMA cannot do it, then get the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders in to do the job we are unwilling to do.  This is a national disgrace and must be addressed now.

Responding to the Rejection of JStreet

Like so many others I am deeply troubled and saddened that the Council of Presidents rejected the application for membership by JStreet.  Let me reiterate the premise for inclusion:  the voices of all legitimate groups deserve a seat at the table so they may be heard in the collective that is supposed to be this council.  This is not an endorsement of any particular view but rather a respect for the right to express ideas and hopefully add to meaningful discussion within Klal Yisrael. The Council’s rejection of JStreet runs contrary to this foundational principle and I support the URJ’s position that the Council’s vote reflects that the Council “no longer serves its vital purpose of providing a collective voice for the entire American Pro-Jewish community.”

 At this juncture, we can either walk away or fight to amend the corrupt system now in place.  As tempting as the former may be, we should seriously try to change the system before throwing in the proverbial towel.  Because we believe in the need for a collective voice, we are obligated to do our best to maintain it.  So it would seem that the first course of action would be to change the already existing community to return it to the basic premise that drove creation of the Council.

 I urge all those who are disappointed by this sad turn of events to join together in an attempt to salvage the Council.  To walk away without first doing this is an admission that there is no chance for everyone to sit at the table together.  I would rather we tried and have those who won’t abide such an enlightened viewpoint opt to leave instead.  First we fight for that in which we believe.  Only if we find the fight is futile can we in good conscience walk away from the table.