Today I received an amusing letter from Sara Ehrman of Americans for Peace Now, promoting a “What Would Liebel Do?” awards dinner in Boston in honor of the late great Leonard “Leibel” Fein. Ehrman is a battler for the holy grail, the two-state solution, a friend of Hillary Clinton’s, and an owner of a SodaStream seltzermaker from the occupied West Bank; and she is obviously very charming, but the letter reads like a plea for irrelevance. There is zero political messaging in it, along with a reference to retirement. Not a word about the coming crisis in Israel, the wicked Netanyahu and the virtuous Herzog, or the unending settlements, let alone the Gaza slaughter; and I sense from this that the old center is collapsing, and Peace Now is doing like Reform Jewish congregations and avoiding all talk of the issue lest liberal Zionists and non-Zionists begin to tear out one another’s hair. When the truth is, as liberal Zionists Shaul Magid and Peter Beinart (who is speaking at the Boston dinner) have both stated, the Jewish state faces a huge crisis, and now is the time for liberal Jews to be discussing these subjects, and maybe even hearing from anti-Zionists? The letter:
Back around Purim time, earlier this year, APN asked me to write a letter trying – rather brazenly I might add – to raise funds around my turning 95. Now that Sid Topol is turning 90, they’re throwing him a dinner and APN still asked me to write another letter. Chutzpah!
But after all, it is APN and Sid the Kid – and I love them both.
I’m not quite sure what Sid has done. Something along the lines of inventing cable TV. At least he thinks he did. And there’s nothing good to watch either. Thanks Sid. And they’re throwing you a dinner?
Sid, who sits on the APN Board, is actually an innovator. Whether inventing advances in microwave technology or promoting peace, Sid’s done it all. From Raytheon to APN, from Scientific Atlanta to Israel, he’s seen it all and probably donated money to it too. Unrelenting in his pursuit of peace and justice, Sid is truly someone who deserves our respect and support.
But I have to say, what was APN thinking having this dinner in Boston in the middle of winter? Feeling okay, Sid? What’s the rush? I hear Miami is nice in January.
In spite of this mishegoss (look it up), I hope everyone can come. Jim Klutznick, chair of APN’s Board, is on the program and he’s a hoot. You know, he develops retirement homes, so there are more of these dinners in APN’s future. Peter Beinart is on the program too– I guess Tom Friedman was booked.
But I have to say, if you can’t make it, please for crying-out-loud, let’s ALL say Happy Birthday to Sid and let’s donate at least $90 to the cause. APN, being the sports that they are, will put your name in the tribute book they are handing out at the rubber-salmon dinner in the middle of winter in Boston.
Send $90 (or more)—put “Topol” in the comments box and it is tax-deductible. You can pay now or when I turn 100 when they better give me a dinner.
P.S. Here’s the invitation. Just in case. And if Sid isn’t enough to make you go, there’s Rabbi Toba Spitzer who is also being honored. Okay, she didn’t invent cable TV, but she’s a mensch. That’s enough.