Don’t Despair Against Terror

As we celebrate Chanukah, we can take strength from our long, courageous history of overcoming seemingly insurmountable forces of darkness.

Unfortunately, the civilized world is increasingly vulnerable to the violence and terror still being experienced by Israel. The question is whether the world will learn from us how to deal with barbarism and senseless destruction. Or will the Europeans and others continue to press Israel into making unwise and unsafe concessions to the Palestinians in a futile quest for an elusive peace?

A more productive paradigm for Israel and the Jewish people at this time is to survive and thrive. If our adversaries realize we will not be intimidated or cowered but will continue to innovate and prosper and go on with our lives, they might eventually come to terms with Israel as the Jewish homeland.

Leadership from the United States is desperately needed to join with Israel and our other allies to defeat and destroy radical Islamists, be they Sunni or Shia. Unfortunately, there are no Maccabees to lead the struggle, so each of us must do whatever we can to carry on and not succumb to fear or despair. We hold the winning hand, as our history has demonstrated.

Happy Chanukah.

— Gail Ripans, Sandy Springs

 

Kenny Blank’s Genius

Thank you, David Ryback, for the great interview with Kenny Blank (“Film Festival Evolves Through Independence,” Nov. 27). As chair of the Opening Night Gala for 2016 (my fourth year in a row), I can truthfully say that the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is such a pleasure to be a part of and have in our community. Kenny, without a doubt, is a genius at the execution, and his team and many volunteers work so hard to bring it all to fruition.

I feel so fortunate to be involved, to have this incredible film festival in our city, and to have watched it grow into being No. 1 in the world. It is not only entertaining, but also educational, inspiring and emotional, and it brings our community together in a way that bonds us all.

My gratitude to Kenny and his team for this