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On Gloomy Predictions

On Gloomy Predictions

Regarding Richard Cohen’s new book, “Israel: Is It Good For The Jews?” (Editor’s column, Oct. 3), it should be noted that gloom and doom predictions have been made about Israel, going back to before the state was created. In 1948, George Marshall, then Secretary of State and wartime Army Chief of Staff, warned President Truman that the Jews in Palestine would need two American divisions, some 40,000 men, to keep from being overrun [by Arab armies]. The prophets of Israel's doom have been wrong ever since.

The American Jewish population is stagnant at the moment. What is needed is a vigorous outreach program arguing the advantages of affiliating with the Jewish community rather than other options. Jewish success in this country has been unmatched by any other group in virtually every sphere of endeavor. No group has contributed more to the success of this country than we have and no group's members have achieved a higher standard of living than we Jews have. We might learn something from the Mormons. From a few thousand people fleeing persecution less than 200 years ago they have grown to 6 million today. They are not shy in speaking of Mormon success.

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