Letters December 29, 2016


Pro-Israel ‘coalition’ doesn’t speak for all
We are concerned about the actions and communications coming from the Coalition of Pro-Israel Advocates (COPIA) following the Chanukah observance described in the Dec. 22 issue of the Washington Jewish Week (“Obama lights the menorah one last time”). My wife and have I received two e-mail messages from COPIA targeting Jewish community organizations and we are concerned about the tone of these messages for the following reasons.

COPIA portrays itself as the legitimate pro-Israel advocacy group, largely supporting the position of David Friedman, President-elect Donald Trump’s selection as the new U.S. ambassador to Israel.

COPIA has also offered criticism of Jewish organizations with perceived differences to its views.

We are loyal supporters of Israel, but we disagree with elements of the position of COPIA towards Israel, particularly regarding Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. More important, however, is the impact that COPIA is having on the Jewish community. In the atmosphere of general divisiveness and animosity that exists in America following the recent presidential election, we are saddened and deeply concerned to see this negativity spread among Jews. We have lived with respect and appreciation of our diversity, and any influence for changing this situation should be resisted.


Responsibility for Syria lies at the top
The defining act of Barack Obama’s presidency is his responsibility for the murder of 500,000 Syrians (“Congregation Etz Hayim in Arlington is donating enough Arabic-English dictionaries for 200 Syrian refugee families,” Dec. 15).

Nobel Peace Prize winner Yasser Arafat was responsible for thousands of deaths, mostly Israelis and Americans. But Obama, also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is responsible for many, many more, and still counting.

Op-ed has solution for complex issue
In the article endorsing shared parenting, the author indicates that public policy should dictate what is in the best interests of children (“In landslide, Maryland voters endorse shared parenting,” Dec. 22).

Logically, parenting, custody and visitation should never be determined by a generic rule or by legislation. If a parent, male or female, is violent or abusive — physically or emotionally — or an abuser of alcohol or drugs, that parent should not be co-parenting and in many cases should have supervised visitation.

Common sense says custody for children in each case should be determined based on the facts of that individual case.

Too many children have been killed by a parent who should have been assigned supervised visitation and was not. From 2000 to 2015, 15 children between the ages of 1 and 12 have been killed in Montgomery County by a parent after separation or divorce. Is this “best for the kids”?
Silver Spring

Challenge bigotry
Regarding your article (“Holocaust Museum reacts to the in the neighborhood,” Dec. 1):
This bigotry is of the same ilk as that of Dylann Roof’s murderous attack on the African-American “Mother Church” in Charleston, S.C., Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans, and Breitbart news.

My answer is to support the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, and always directly challenge bigoted statements made in my presence.

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