Letters to the Editor | Sept. 13, 2023

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Antisemitism and the Melting Pot

In his opinion piece, “Tossing Out the Melting Pot Gave Us Antisemitism” (Aug 24), Gerard Leval takes two giant leaps of logic to arrive at his explanation for why antisemitism is on the rise. The first is that the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” movement encourages groups to grow more, rather than less, self-centered and this has led to abandonment of the melting pot concept and assimilation in the U.S. The second is that the resulting glorification of identity politics has led to increased attention to Jews as quintessential outsiders, hence the rise of antisemitism.

Neither inference seems evident. The focus of DEI is sensitivity to cultures other than one’s own within the context of a broader, more inclusive society. As for the second assertion, the rise of antisemitism has been attributed to the rise of white supremacy associated with the backlash to the increasing prominence of people other than non-white men in society and government. Laying the blame on DEI for all this is pretty far-fetched.
Bernard Zeugker, Potomac

Find Unity in the Declaration of Independence

WJW discussed strategies to overcome the “Continuing Disunity in Israel” (Editorial, Aug. 24). With all the calls to allegiance by members of the current Israeli government, perhaps adherence to the words in Israel’s Declaration of Independence may be helpful. After detailing the spiritual, religious, historic and traditional attachment of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, the document details the values that the state is based on. A translation found in Times of Israel of the Declaration includes: “it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, some incorrigible ministers and the rest of Knesset can pledge allegiance to these foundational principles as a start to any resolution to their impasse.
Mark Czarnolewski, Silver Spring

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1 COMMENT

  1. Mr. Zeugker has not factored the motto of the U.S.— E Pluribus Unum (which means “From Many, One”)— into his remarks. That motto emphasizes that we, as a nation, aspire to be a “melting pot” where each group or faction, while maintaining its particular flavor, becomes an integral part of the whole.
    The goal of DEI, CRT, and other group-focused ideologies — to increase “sensitivity to cultures other than one’s own” — while laudable, in reality inverts the national motto and has caused more, not less, divisiveness and mistrust among ethnic groups in our nation. I would submit that mistrust and divisiveness in a society is a catalyst for antisemitism.
    All you have to do is look around you to see how these “woke ideologies” — the myopic focus on group identity rather than on an individual’s character and merit — are reversing all the progress we have made in the past 70 years toward a race, creed, and color-blind society.

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