Letters December 1, 2016


Article inflames post-election tensions
Washington Jewish Week demonstrated irresponsible and inflammatory journalism by replacing facts with speculation in the article, “Post-election rallies reinforce solidarity of minorities,” Nov. 24).

The article refers to recent rallies held “in response to a rash of hate crimes and fear caused by President-elect Donald Trump’s threats against minorities.” In this hard news article, WJW is stating as fact that Trump is the direct cause of the hate crimes.

There is no supporting evidence in the article to substantiate what is stated as fact. What makes this statement even more troubling and misleading is the fact that at least one recent local hate crime was a swastika painted on a Trump supporter’s house in Silver Spring.

By speculating and inserting opinion into the news instead of reporting it, WJW does nothing but further inflame already high post-election tensions. It is imperative that WJW maintain the highest standards of journalism and keep personal views out of news stories.
Silver Spring


Support for anti-Semitic causes is nothing short of suicidal
The rabid left-wing Jewish organizational support given to Muslims to the point of aligning themselves with radical anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic Islamic groups (“Interfaith clergy show solidarity with Muslims,” online, Nov. 16; parts incorporated into “Post-election rallies reinforce solidarity of minorities,” Nov. 24) is nothing short of suicidal.

Has the professional Jewish community, the left-wing rabbis and ADL not seen what is going on in the world? Jews are being attacked, raped and killed by immigrant Muslims throughout Europe. Anti-Semitism on college campuses is growing exponentially, spurred on by Palestinians and their fellow Muslims. Jews do not feel safe in many parts of South America, as the Islamic re-emergence encourages gratuitous hatred of Jews, yet there are the usual suspects in the Jewish community, giving aid and comfort to the people looking to destroy us.

If these same Jewish organizations put as much effort into caring for the Jewish poor, the unemployed and the single adults in the Jewish community, maybe Jewish youth in the Reform world would not be abandoning Judaism to intermarry at a rate of 80 percent.

Further support given to the Muslim community (among other left-wing causes) in the form of shiva services held in Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues around the country upon the election of Donald Trump was an absolute disgrace. Not only were the services a mockery of one of the most solemn rituals of Judaism, but they showed a lack of loyalty to the United States. Trump was elected president of the United States under our Constitution. If certain alt-left Jewish cannot or will not recognize the will of the people as enumerated by our Constitution because they are so concerned about the rights of [a] religion seeking to destroy us, then I suggest these Jews return to the towns and shtetls of Europe from whence their ancestors left. They certain have the shtetl mentality.
Silver Spring

Israel is not homeland of American Jews
Regarding “American Jews dismayed with Trump should come home to Israel.” (Voices, Nov. 17), the author, David Benkof, apparently believes that Israel is home for American Jews. If so, he should certainly feel free to emigrate there. Does WJW share this view? If not, why carry such a headline on its op-ed page?

Judaism is a religion of universal values, not a nationality. American Jews are Americans by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are Protestant, Catholic or Muslim. Israel, a sovereign state, is the homeland of its own citizens, not of American Jews.

American Jews have felt at home from the very beginning of our country. In 1841, Rabbi Gustav Poznanski of Charleston, S.C., declared, in dedicating a new synagogue, “This country is our Palestine, this city our Jerusalem, this house of God our temple.”
For 75 years, the American Council for Judaism has rejected the politicization of Judaism and the manner in which, for some, Israel has become a virtual objectof worship.

One of the leading Jewish theologians and philosophers of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights for all people, said, “Judaism is not a religion of space and does not worship the soil. So, too, the State of Israel is not the climax of Jewish history, but a test of the integrity of the Jewish people and the competence of Israel.”

We wish Israel well and hope that a just peace will be achieved with the Palestinians. If Mr. Benkof believes it is his real home, he should surely act upon this belief. Does WJW share this idea? If so, it should make its position clear. If not, why promote the view that American Jews are in exile in their own country?
Publications editor,
American Council for Judaism

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