Letters | April 7, 2021

1

Voter ID laws are suppressing the vote

Although I sympathize with Mr. Orman’s take on proper voter identification (“Like getting carded at the liquor store,” Letters, March 25), the reality is that government-generated photo IDs are not held by upwards of 11 percent of otherwise eligible voters, with a disproportionate skewing toward those of lower income and racial and ethnic minorities (and particularly seniors and people with disabilities). Cost and access — transportation, long drives — are factors that make the obtaining of these documents out of reach for many of these citizens.

So, in reality, voter ID laws are suppressing the vote, and are a solution in search of a problem since significant voting fraud (including those alluded to) is not a consequential issue — but plays well with those who may embrace Trumpian falsehoods and hyperbole.


The constitutional precept that all citizens shall be able to cast their votes is among the most sacred of our democratically derived rights. We should make this process easier. I hope we can all agree on that.

RAYMOND COLEMAN
Potomac

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

Diluting the vote in Montgomery County

The recent letters expressing outrage at voting rights violations in Georgia are more than justified. If you want to see another example of such a violation, you need look no farther than Montgomery County. Here we have four council members elected at-large.

At-large voting has been recognized as voter dilution since the first congressional elections in 1788, because a small group of voters elects all of the winners. Supreme Court justices from the left and right have denounced it. Nevertheless, during the November 2020 referendum on Question D to abolish the county’s at-large voting, the boards of two prominent local Jewish organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and Jews United for Justice, came out in favor or retaining it.


I was treasurer of Nine Districts for Moco, which sponsored and worked for passage of Question D. The JCRC did not approach us to provide justification for our position; and a leader of the JUFJ refused my request to address either their board or the organization’s membership.

This is a perfect example of the Hebrew expression “stimat piyot” (forcibly silencing the opposition). When it comes to voter dilution, Georgia really isn’t all that far away from us.

MARK LAUTMAN
Rockville

Hey kids, lions are not vegetarians

So some people were upset to observe a lion eating rabbits at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo (The Seen, March 25). All cats are obligate carnivores who must eat meat to remain healthy. Humans are not. We can maintain our physical health (and possibly improve it) by choosing to be vegetarian/vegan.

I do not enjoy watching any animal (humans included) ingest other sentient beings. But I wonder how many of the offended observers consume meat (i.e., animals) themselves. I also wonder if they are aware of the apparent hypocrisy of their distress in light of their own food choices. Many Jews, including a number of rabbis and the Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, have endorsed a vegetarian/vegan diet out of concern for animals, the planet and their own health.

SHIRLEY FELDMAN
Silver Spring

Jordanian was the aggressor

Your March 25 editorial “Don’t Forget Jordan” called on the Israeli and American governments to do something to make up for the alleged insults that Jordan has suffered in recent years.

Among the examples, you wrote that “Jordan is still smarting from a 2017 incident in which an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanians while responding to a terrorist attack at the Israeli Embassy in Amman.” That made it sound as if the Israeli acted with negligence or recklessness and killed two innocent Jordanian bystanders. But that’s not what happened at all.

On July 23, 2017, a young Jordanian man, Mohammed Jawawdeh, was admitted to an Israeli embassy apartment in Amman for carpentry work, along with the Jordanian landlord. Jawawdeh stabbed an Israeli security guard in the back, twice, with a screwdriver. As the Israeli guard fell forward, his gun discharged, striking the Jordanian landlord. Jawawdeh then stabbed the guard again, this time in the chest. The guard shot him dead.

Jordan is smarting from the incident? The Jordanians should have been apologizing to Israel for the terrorist attack and paying compensation to the guard for his injuries. Israel does not owe Jordan any apologies or concessions. The Jordanian Jawawdeh was the aggressor; it is he — and anyone who helped him in any way — who bore full responsibility for what happened.

MOSHE PHILLIPS
National Director
Herut North America (U.S. Division) —
The Jabotinsky Movement

Pollard does it again

We are appalled that you published “Pollard: Jews ‘will always have dual loyalty,’” (April 2), giving credence to Jonathan Pollard’s lack of remorse and bad advice to Jews who want to work in U.S. security. He claims he spied for Israel as a loyal Jew, but before he succeeded in selling secrets to Israel, he peddled his stolen documents to several other countries.

He had a trial and was convicted. He pleaded guilty to spying for and providing top-secret classified information to Israel. Why keep his lies alive? His words and your publication make every Jew who is trusted with vital secrets a suspected double agent who can’t be trusted. It’s a Shanda for the Goyim.

MARGE AND LARRY KRAVITZ
Rockville

1 COMMENT

  1. To clarify my ” letter to the editor ” response: perhaps I should have clarified that the types of voter ID laws presently being introduced in multiple states are excessive intrusions, not that identifying and enrolling eligible citizens isn’t the standard. However, again, voter fraud is not the predominant issue: it is that in a participatory democracy voter turnout tends to be at an embarrassingly low level, in part fueled by attempts to disenfranchise citizens, particularly minorities and the disadvantaged.

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