Letters | Dec. 12, 2019


Dismaying opinions

I’m dismayed by some of the opinions articulated in previous letters to WJW. Regarding “Blame migrant parents and the ACLU” (Letters, Dec. 5), I find it
unconscionable to defend Trump administration policy. Regardless of how parents and children show up at the southern border, they deserve humane treatment. Period. How can members of a community that has been “othered” for centuries be fearful of these people?

Regarding the “hijacking” of the Reform movement by leftward politics (“Reform Judaism spreads the gospel of wokeness,” Voices, Nov. 7, and subsequent letters): The thinking that study and adherence to our liturgy and sacred texts has been co-opted to serve a particular political agenda is specious. Hillel and Maimonides addressed the issues of their day and laid out a path forward for us; Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with other civil rights leaders in Selma, Ala. Rabbi Joachim Prinz spoke before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did at the 1963 March on Washington.

Applying the tenets we study in synagogue and seeking social justice should be an inherent component of who we are. It is not either/or.



Republican game plan

Stanley Orman (“Letter writer’s argument ‘ludicrous,’” Letters, Dec. 3) misses the point, instead resorting to the standard Republican game plan: kvetch about being a victim, demean the opposition and present a narrative rooted in ideology rather than facts.

Contrary to what Orman claims, the Nov. 28 letter documenting the ideological
fons et origo of the State of Israel (“Socialist Jews? Israel was founded by them.”) did not engage in personal insults. It simply recounted the historical facts and the obvious conclusion to be drawn therefrom. Talk about ludicrous.

Parkville, Md.

Democratic game plan

In his Dec. 5 article, “Why Israel isn’t a top consideration for US Jewish voters,” Ron Kampeas provided excellent insight into an issue that plagues American Jews — namely, to what extent should Jews support Israel? However, he should have gone further in discussing how and why Jews vote.

Would Israel be more important if there was more religiosity among American Jews, or if the assimilation rate were lower? Or if Judaism had not been replaced by the religion of secularism/liberalism? To paraphrase the conservative commentator Norman Podhoretz: Jews worship on the altar of liberalism rather than the altar of Judaism.

The fact is that a huge majority of Jews vote Democratic. They do not praise the U.S. government for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, for defunding
organizations supporting terrorism or its strong support for Israel at the United Nations. They ignore the critical role Judaism played in being a blueprint for Western civilization.

At a time when anti-Semitism is increasing world-wide, American Jews need to come together and support the only Jewish state. They need to rise above their ideological and party loyalty and take pride in their religion and the State of Israel.


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  1. I think we can all agree with Warren Manison’s last statement about embracing our Judaism and supporting the State of Israel. I have more difficulty, however, with labeling —“liberal,’ “progressive,” “socialist,” “secular”….and making assumptions about what those words connote re: policy. I suppose I would define myself by some of the categories he has selected: that does NOT mean I can’t appreciate the symbolism and import of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, or don’t support strategies to deter international terrorism or push back on the roots of anti-semitism.
    I do worry about White House efforts that seem more symbolic than substantive per enhancing Israel’s security, and it’s stirring the cauldron of white supremacy and intolerance.
    I also understand that people don’t necessarily want to be confronted by a “newsreel of daily events” when they go to synagogue for spiritual renewal and connecting with their community; it’s just that the events swirling around us demand a response in the context of our Jewish values and tenets—from our leaders and organizations.
    This is a dialogue we must continue to have, regardless of political persuasion: we’re all in the same boat.

    WJW has printed most, if not all, of my letters; you do not have to print this response; I am certain other people have opinions worthy of the “letters to the editor” section.


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