Letters

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A matter of race?
The analysis (“Hogan in upset,” WJW, Nov. 5) of the recent Maryland gubernatorial race attributed the Republican victory to voter discontent with O’Malley administration tax hikes.

But the real elephant in the room of this unexpected GOP triumph lies elsewhere (humor intended).
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.-La.) put her finger on it in her comment about “the South not always being the friendliest toward blacks.”  And Maryland is, indeed, a Southern state.

Nationally, besides President Obama’s failure to publicize and defend his achievements, I really believe the underlying issue was race.  Since whites couldn’t vote against Obama directly, they went after candidates in his party.  That trumped even threats to Social Security and Medicare: Joni Ernst, in Iowa, and others said they favored privatization, or at least considered it an option. Would the “birther” controversy ever have arisen for a Caucasian born in Hawaii? Race, however unspoken, seems to trump everything.

Even, it seems, in blue Maryland. True: There was an element of complacency in the Brown-Ulman camp, and poor minority turnout was an issue, but how else to explain Hogan’s whopping 5-point margin of victory, other than that the rednecks on the Eastern Shore, western Maryland and Baltimore County (especially Judenrein Dundalk) and Anne Arundel County were highly motivated to come out and make sure that Anthony Brown did not become Maryland’s first African-American governor.  Conclusive proof:  League of the South affiliate Michael Peroutka won a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council.  (Coincidentally, Hogan owns a real-estate firm in Anne Arundel County.)

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

The fact that Boyd Rutherford, Hogan’s running mate, is African-American is beside the point. After all, there were African-Americans who fought on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War (or, as it is known in numerous rural parts of Maryland, the “War of Northern Aggression”).
ROY AMADEUS
Annapolis

Egregious error
Sarah Stern’s op-ed “On the Temple Mount … Assure freedom of access” (WJW, Nov. 13) contained an egregious error – one which, in fact, calls into question the integrity of her overall argument.

She writes: “Nearly 100 percent of Palestinians consider themselves to be religious Muslims.”
Absolutely not so. According to Wikipedia, “93% of Palestinians are Muslim, the vast majority of whom are followers of the Sunni branch of Islam, with a small minority of Ahmadiyya.  Palestinian Christians represent a significant minority of 6%.” Indeed, Christians have been quite prominent in the PLO, from spokesperson and legislator Hanan Ashrawi, an Anglican, to factional heads Nayef Hawatima and George Habbash, both Greek Orthodox Christians.

An American equivalent to the Stern comment would be the assertion that “nearly 100 percent of Americans consider themselves to be religious Christians.”  An obvious absurdity.  And Jews comprise a much smaller percentage of the U.S. population than Christians do among the Palestinians.
BRAD SHAW
Clarksville

Why not a state religion?
Insofar as the editorial, “A bad bill for the Jewish State” (WJW, Nov. 27), where is the problem here?

Countries such as Greece, or, better, the Scandinavian countries are democracies, as we understand the term, with state religions which recognize the rights of minorities.

What is the problem with Israel, a democracy by any sane person’s definition, having a state religion – in this case Judaism – and guaranteeing minority rights?

Isn’t Islam the official religion of most of Israel’s neighbors? Getting down to it, which of any of these other countries guarantees the right of their Christian minorities to practice their religion peacefully? Israel has been doing this for years. No other nation or people ties themselves up in knots like this except Jews. With issues like this I truly believe that we are our own worst enemy. To paraphrase Karl Marx, “Give us enough rope and stay out of the way and the Jews [in this case] will hang themselves!”
MARTIN L. LIPSON

Making Shabbat fun
This sounds like fun! Kol hakavod to Alan Gersch (“The science of a Shabbat meal,” WJW, Nov 20) and his family for making the Shabbat experience intriguing and inspiring.
HANA-BASHE HIMELSTEIN
From Facebook

Stopping Tehran
It will now be seven years of intense “negotiations” and still every day the mullahs get closer to building nuclear weapons!  (“No Iran deal,” WJW, Nov. 27)

Baruch Hashem that the Republicans now control Congress and will pass sanctions to try and stop Tehran before it is too late.
JARED A. FISHMAN
From Facebook

Tread softly
I take exception to the article written by Nathan Lewin about Marion Barry (“Marion Barry was no friend of the Jews,” WJW, Dec. 4).

Marion Barry was an intriguing and sometimes misunderstood individual. There were and still are individuals who feel he did well for the District of Columbia and those who would contradict the comment.

Unfortunately, Marion Barry has passed away. In Judaism we are taught the Golden Rule: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

During these days of uncertainty and unrest both nationally and internationally, we as Jews must tread very softly.

I must also state that your headline was irresponsible. Especially at a time when a community is mourning their leader, we should be reaching out and comforting the bereaved, not trashing their memories.
HARLEY FELSTEIN
Rockville

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