A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

ter├ža-feira, julho 02, 2002

A couple of responses to my Jewish Journal piece. So far, only one person has disagreed with it; you know who you are. This following response was relayed to me by JN...

good stuff. i think the only place where he falters is when he demands that jews teach latinos about the "real" israel. it's certainly also about the latino community teaching its kids better......and young, educated, politically active latinos recognizing the reality of israelis living in a state of terror--along the lines of what you were saying about the parallels between Mexico and Israel.

My response...

Thank you for your response. I agree with you wholeheartedly that Latinos should take the initiative and learn about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than just rely on the Palestinian side of things. However, I am a bit frustrated with the Jewish community (especially Hillel) because I have not seen any outreach on their part towards Latinos. They rely on their moral conviction and feel that others should follow suit. But the reality of the propaganda war is not as simple so Jews should take it upon themselves to reach out to Latinos--and Latinos should be receptive to the message. Thank you once again for your comments.
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I read your article in the Jewish Journal with interest.

I was unable to attend Fiesta Shalom 2002 as me and my family are out of town. I agree that we need to open the dialogue between our communities and I would like to become involved in that effort.

Is there an organization which currently serves both of these communities? Where is there an opportunity for the dialogue you suggest? Thank you for your time.

My response...

Thank you for your response. I would suggest that you contact the Jewish Federation or the Anti-Defamation League as they would have better information than myself. I live in Orange County and here, we have a quarterly Jewish-Latino roundtable sponsored by the ADL and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) that has drawn our communities together for seven years. I am glad to see that people like you and me exist that want to both better our respective communities and strengthen the ties between both. Thank you once again for your response.
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I read your article "Selling Israel to Progressive Latinos" that appeared in the June 28 issue of The Jewish Journal. I agree with your observations. The overwhelming number of Hispanics whose opinions we received align their sympathy with the Palestinians. Not because they discriminate against Jews (with some notable exceptions such as you outlined) but, rather, because they see Israel as a 'heavy' terrorizing and exploiting the underdog, with our help. They fail to understand that the majority of Israelis, in fact, are against the policies of the Sharon government, albeit, like the rest of the world, they are opposed to acts of terrorism.

At your convenience you may want to look up www.hispanicvista.com and review
the extensive coverage we dedicated to this issue. Incidentally, would you like HVC to publish your article? If so please contact my brother Pat who is the Editor of HVC.

My response...

Thank you for your response. I also think that one of the reasons Latinos side with the Palestinians is the racial aspect; i.e., somehow, Jews have turned "white" while the Palestinians are the colored oppressed. As you would no doubt agree, this isn't anti-Semitism but does speak volumes about our state of education that would allow such a distortion of historical legacy.

I would be honored if Hispanic Vista would reprint my article. I will email your brother and let him know that you suggested that your fine publication reprint my article. Thank you for the opportunity.
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This one's a continuation of the response I received asking if I would like to volunteer in improving Jewish-Latino relations in the San Fernando Valley...

Thank you for your immediate and honest response. I believe that your qualifications, insights, field of study and more, make you a uniquely qualified person for what I am looking for (this without having met you, I guess you're a good writer). The Orange County part is a little tricky. I was wondering if maybe, through your various endeavors, if you were aware of anyone else (classmate, friend) who might be interested in working with us. I am looking for someone bright and articulate who cares about our communities and can really "get into it". If you can think of someone, please let me know, I would love to meet them.

My response...

Thank you once again for your kind words. I do not know anyone personally that would fit your requirements. I would suggest that you get in contact with local Latino rights groups such as MALDEF or LULAC. The ADL or Jewish Federation should also be able to help you in your efforts. Thank you once again for your consideration and wish you the best of luck.
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I'm still mad at God for that Simpsons tease. But then again, I'm always mad at something. This is what makes me great; this is what will kill be before I'm 30.