Letters | Dec. 3, 2019

Letter writer’s argument ‘ludicrous’

The writer of “Socialist Jews? Israel was founded by them” (Letters, Nov. 28) alleges that because I freely admit to opposing the continued support of American Jews for the socialist-leaning Democratic Party, I might be anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. How ludicrous.

If the writer really believes that the policies espoused by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are sensible and affordable, the writer is welcome to make his case, instead of leveling unsubstantiated insults at someone with whom he disagrees politically.

History has repeatedly revealed the failures of such socialist policies, and those who disregard this evidence are destined to repeat the failures.

The writer even suggests that what is good policy for Israel should be considered as good for America. He somehow connects that odd assertion to the need for healthcare for everyone here, and the possibility of an American president being impeached.


I admit to being confused by the lack of logic in the offending letter and wonder what so concerns the writer about my criticism of the leftward drift of the Democratic Party that he felt it necessary to resort to personal insults.

Blame migrant parents and the ACLU

Regarding “The political battlefield of infections and migrant children’s bodies” (Voices, Nov. 28): Sadly, in keeping with the general theme of blaming the current administration and the U.S. Border Patrol for everything bad that occurs with regard to the asylum/human smuggling, Washington Jewish Week once again published a one-sided opinion piece without proper discourse.

The readers need to be reminded that the parents of these young children have dragged them through northern Mexico. The border stations where the individuals are received are located in some of the most remote parts of the United States where its own residents have very little access to medical treatment without extensive travel.

To expect medical personnel to be available at a moment’s notice, when local residents have trouble receiving medical care is quite unreasonable. Agents must not only process these people but in doing so expose themselves and their families to unvaccinated individuals with undiagnosed illnesses.

Do I blame the parents for the deaths? Yes, of course. Do I blame the ACLU and immigration advocates for encouraging this migration knowing that 95 percent of the individuals are economic refugees and ineligible for asylum? Yes.

A distinction with a difference

Regarding “Dwelling on legal positions doesn’t advance peace” (Voices, Nov. 21): I share Sarah Stern’s view that legal niceties rarely determine international outcomes, but I query her statement that “at the San Remo Conference on April 25, 1920, the boundaries of ‘Palestine,’ including all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, were given to the Jewish people”.

This is unsupported by the Conference minutes, which record British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon’s opening statement that “two years previously [the British Government had] promulgated a formal declaration which had been accepted by the Allied Powers, that Palestine was in future to be the National Home of the Jews throughout the world.” It is a reasonable inference that Curzon meant that the whole of Palestine should be the national home of the Jews. This would, indeed, have included Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

The French delegate, Bertlielot, disagreed, wanting to avoid difficulties with Muslim and Christian interests. The precise wording that then instructed the British Mandate, rather than stating that Palestine should be the national home of the Jews, spoke of “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people [my emphasis].”

The pivotal distinction here is between making Palestine (all of it) the national home for the Jews (inferred from Curzon’s statement) and creating a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

The latter wording was the text enshrined in the British Mandate. It’s not clear whether the distinction was consciously intended, eg. to bridge the differences between the British and French governments, or for any other purpose. But the distinction remains, and leaves the question of the extent of the Jewish territory envisaged at the San Remo Conference unanswered.
Reading, England

Don’t forget Palestinian intransigence

There has been much focus from both the right and left to the U.S. proclamation that the settlements are not illegal (“Voices of division, voices of unity” Editorial, Nov. 28). I believe that these discussions concerning settlements distract from the main obstacle to peace — that is, Palestinian intransigence and their tragic preference to the destruction of Israel rather than to a state of their own.

The world has fallen for the pernicious narrative that the settlements are the only issue. This has given the Palestinian leadership a free pass to avoid making hard decisions on behalf of their people. The Palestinians have propagandized themselves and the world to believe that that they are victims with no agency.

The far-outlying settlements are not helpful to peace and some compromising is required here, but we can only have a meaningful peace discourse if we also demand some Palestinian responsibility and courage.
Oakton, Va.

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  1. Contrary to what Mr. Orman claims, the writer did not engage in personal insults- he simply recounted the historical facts, and the obvious conclusion to be drawn therefrom. Notice, in particular, how, unlike the writer, Mr. Orman does not- for he cannot- cite one Jewish source for his position!


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