The Jewish Chronicle in the Nov. 19 issue has an editorial that states, “Rubashkin conviction means new beginning.” I find the editorial title to be misleading and a few of the statements wrong. To be candid, I have been to Postville, Iowa, and I know members of the Rubashkin family and have seen their generosity. I am not writing to defend or make excuses for them or what happened in Postville. It is a sad and tragic story.
Your title is very misleading, as many of the changes you highlight would have happened without the conviction of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, and in fact, predate the Agriprocessors immigration raid. There were problems in Postville and many organizations were jumping in to advance their agendas and causes. Social justice and ethics are important and I applaud the new emphasis in these areas. I hope the organizations like Heksher Tzedack apply the same principals to the employees of their organizations and that we see ethics and fairness in employment across the spectrum of Jewish organizations and businesses.
Your statement in one sensationalized area of the Postville event is misleading and incomplete. Perhaps no one at the Chronicle read the ICE affidavit for the raid. In it the allegations of drug manufacturing were solely observed and stated by one government informant. The informant identified by number only also stated that they destroyed the drug manufacturing equipment. There was no collaboration of these observations and no state or federal charges were filed in regard to drug manufacturing at the plant. The same informant also reported pipe bombs in the plant that were in reality metal tubes used to protect mezuzas in the doorways of the plant and an abundance of knives. In a kosher slaughterhouse there would be lots of knives! The Chronicle’s statement that “these were hardly unsubstantiated revelations” is wrong. As the kosher meat industry is developing new awareness of social responsibility so too should the Jewish press. Perhaps the media needs a new beginning too.
Many worthy candidates
It was gratifying to read Lee Chottiners Nov. 19 article, “Onorato makes first trip to Israel,” which detailed the obvious appreciation County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato has developed for Israel and for Jews.
In closely following the long, diverse, and distinguished career of Mr. Onorato, I conclude that he is one of several fine people seeking to be governor in 2010. He has consistently fought for the little guy, the homeowner/taxpayer who is buried by an onerous property tax burden, and to stave off costly reassessments that magnify the inequity of this cruel tax.
Experienced Democratic State Auditor General and former Marine Jack Wagner is appropriately known as a dignified man of high integrity and impeccable character who has followed the trail of fraud wherever it has led.
Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett has demonstrated himself to be a crime fighter on numerous fronts and has delivered indictments of members of both parties, exposing the ugly and corrupt nature of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Darkhorse candidate, taxpayer friend, and recent entrant to the race Republican State Representative Sam Rohrer is a man who has for years focused like a laser beam on the elimination of the property tax by substituting a mix of other, more equitable levies.
I believe that any of these fine candidates would quickly set themselves apart from Edward Rendell, who has demonstrated a tin ear for ethics and consistently failed to acknowledge the appearance of impropriety. The dilemma about who to vote for in the 2010 gubernatorial election is one that I am pleased to have.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair