Letters Feb. 22, 2018

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Deporting Africans from Israel

In last week’s issue, your editorial recommends that “it makes sense for the Israeli government to suspend its plan to deport Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers” (“Think again before deporting Africans,” Feb. 15). Recently, the Jewish Community Relations Council likewise issued a policy opposing the deportation of these refuges.


As a Jew, like many of my Jewish brothers and sisters, I am most aware and sensitive to the conflicts involved in making such a most difficult decision. To that end, I wish to make two points briefly.

First, and most importantly, I strongly believe that we in the Diaspora do not have the right to weigh in on what Israel should or should not do. We in the Diaspora do not have to live with the consequences of decisions made by Israel in conducting internal policy matters. I would not want the Israeli government or its citizens to suggest to the American government how to resolve the many internal issues we Americans have to deal with.

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

Second, if my opinion was requested, I would use a hierarchy of goals or purposes in guiding my thinking. Assuring that Israel remain a Jewish democratic state is one of the highest goals or principles. Acting compassionately and remembering our history in taking actions, though most important, does not trump the first principle.
TOBY GOTTESMAN
Bethesda

 

NoVa needs a good Jewish deli


I was shocked to learn that we Jews in Northern Virginia outnumber the Jews in the Washington area’s Maryland suburbs (“Northern Virginia overtakes suburban Md.,” Feb. 15). How could this be possible?

For more than 50 years, Jewish Marylanders have been asking me why I would ever live in a place where there are no Jews. When I tell them that my own synagogue is one of more than 20 in Northern Virginia and that our congregation (Temple Rodef Shalom) is pushing 1,800 families, I get an incredulous look implying that I must be hallucinating.

This new reality is just impossible for them to comprehend. Their world has been turned upside down.

It was long overdue to set the record straight. Now if we can just get a decent Jewish deli, here, I will be vindicated.
PAUL H. CHANDLER
Falls Church

 

What about Sephardim?

There is a remarkable omission in the study of the Greater Washington Jewish community (“Northern Virginia overtakes suburban Md.,” Feb. 15). The study took the trouble to ask about many different groups of Jews, including young adults, Russian speakers, Israelis, LGBTQ adults, Jews of color or Hispanic or Latino heritage, Holocaust survivors and the intermarried. The study informs us that “the community is diverse.” Except that the advisory committee of 17 Jewish professionals and the four academics who conducted the study chose to exclude any mention of the Sephardim.

What word do we have for those who conduct themselves in such a manner? While those who proclaim the “diverse” nature of the community search their dictionaries, they may consider an apology to the Sephardim of the Greater Washington area.
ANDREW APOSTOLOU
Washington

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