Letters February 23, 2017


Attacks on Jews go beyond Holocaust statement omission
I very much liked Leon Weintraub’s Voices piece (“They even want to take away our history,” Feb. 16) as a cogent historical review of the multifaceted assault on Jews to the present day (I am a friend of the author and very much admire his writings on and contributions to Jewish causes).

I am upset by the Trump administration’s omission of the specificity and magnitude of the World War II genocide against the Jews which provided the most horrific basis of the Holocaust, never to be forgotten or subsumed within any homogenized framework.  But I believe singling out an egregious misstep by a seemingly blundering administration ties the trend only to one form of denial and does not draw the full canvas of current attacks on Jews and our history.

The nuclear deal with Iran abets and gives comfort to the murderous regime and its intention to destroy Israel and the heart of the Jewish people, an action far greater than President Donald Trump’s omission. As an opponent of the Iran deal, I cringed as the then-White House and its allies raised the millennial-old canard that Jews of my ilk were fifth columnists.

Our children at institutions of higher learning are being assaulted and made ashamed for their support of Israel or simply for being “privileged” Jews, left defenseless by administrations and fellow students, and at times recoiling and fleeing from their identity.


I hope Weintraub’s article and others like it along with letters to the administration will lead to the direct referencing of the Jewish genocide when the administration’s International Holocaust Day proclamation comes out next year.  I also hope our fight against the obliteration of our history and the resurgent expressions of anti-Semitism is engaged across the whole spectrum of the malignancy.

Cyber synagogue provides daily online minyan
Your article on the Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute failed to mention its most important service (“Cyber synagogue challenges conventions,” Feb. 9). When my father died 18 months ago, I would have had to drive a minimum of 90 minutes, assuming no traffic, to find a minyan to say Kaddish. The JSLI provided an online minyan each day. There are several synagogues closer than 90 minutes, but none has a daily minyan. For Jews in the Virginia Piedmont, and other thinly populated areas, the Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute provides an important virtual community that supplements services no longer provided by many local synagogues.
Syria, Va.

Raskin comments add to divisiveness
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Distict 8) illustrated why this country is in such serious trouble (“Nothing diplomatic an Ambassador Friedman,” Voices, Feb. 16).

His hate rhetoric for the president and for nominee David Friedman as ambassador to Israel is unparalleled for a sitting member of Congress. He engaged in misleading statements regarding President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on immigration and on his financial holdings, and insinuated that Trump might collect payments from foreign governments.

Raskin accused Friedman of not being a diplomat, a statesman and a conciliator. One does have to wonder how a lawyer could be successful if he lacks such qualities. He cites statements made by former Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer to buttress his contention that Friedman is unfit to be ambassador. Yet Kurtzer has a long record of hostility to Israel and failed diplomacy. Raskin blasted Friedman’s negative remarks about ADL, ignoring ADL’s acceptance of an apology and statement that ADL will work with Friedman to advance their shared interests. He attacked Friedman for making deserved derogatory statements against former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry over the Iran nuclear deal and their failure to block the anti-Israel U.N. resolution last fall.

Raskin praised George Soros as a Jewish refugee from Nazism and ignored that in 1944, Soros delighted in working with the Nazis to confiscate property of Jews taken to concentration camps. Raskin whitewashed Soros’ record of financing organizations considered anti-Israel by many in the Jewish community.

Raskin disagrees with Friedman on the question of a two-state solution and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Raskin closes by citing political extremism and the need for solidarity and civility in the American Jewish community. Yet he fails to understand that his own rhetoric contributes to even greater divisiveness between Jews here and in Israel.

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  1. Has the WJW fact-checked Manison’s claim- derived from Ann Coulter- that
    ” Soros delighted in working with the Nazis to confiscate property of Jews taken to concentration camps”?

    From SNOPES.com (60 MINUTES interview):

    Steve Kroft: When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, George Soros’ father was a successful lawyer. He lived on an island in the Danube and liked to commute to work in a rowboat. But knowing there were problems ahead for the Jews, he decided to split his family up. He bought them forged papers and he bribed a government official to take 14-year-old George Soros in and swear that he was his Christian godson. But survival carried a heavy price tag. While hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being shipped off to the death camps, George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.

    Soros: ” I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the — I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.”

    Was Soros involved? Tragically, yes, but he was 14 yrs old at the time. Did he- as Manison insists- “DELIGHT in working with the Nazis”?
    Absolutely false. The WJW owes Soros & the WJE readership an apology for disseminating this lie.

  2. To Shlomo:

    Sorry that you take such huge umbrage at what I wrote. It beats the hell out of me why anyone , especially a Jew, would want to defend Soros. This is a man who became rich by manipulating money and bankds , and yes, I do not know the entire story. He also is using his wealth to create lots of chaos, like funding demonstations, supporting candidates who many of us believe are not in the best interest of America and of Israel. Aside from this, it escapes my sense of what is right or is wrong, and at age 14, most all young men do know the difference, plus as he said, “I had no sense of guilt”. And to this day, he has never expressed any sorrow for helping the nazis. As for SNOPES, you are referring to a false story about Soros in a nazi uniform. Yes, in this case, SNOPES is right.

    You thinking I derived my my “slaim” from Ann Coulter is revealing.

    Instead, check a large number of sites about Soros. Here are a few.


    Interview with Steve Croft, etc.:

  3. The links Mr. Manison cites are from right-wing websites. Ann Coulter – of the notorious “f–king Jews” comment is a prima anti-Soros attack dog. Interestingly enough, because of his pro-democracy Open Society initiatives in Eastern Europe, Soros is also is a bete-noire of Putin.

  4. For the record, from a yiddishkeit perspective, here is the emes, as published in the Feb. 22 issue of the WJW’s sister publication, the Baltimore Jewish Times.

    According to Baba Metziah 58b (and its amplification in Maimonides, Laws of Repentance 3:14), any individual who engages in one of the following three behaviors abides in Gehenna (hell) forever: one who commits adultery with a married woman; one who pins a derogatory (nick)name upon another; and one who publicly shames another. Donald J. Trump has engaged — multiple times — in all three. Call it the Trump trifecta of Torah transgression.

    Character counts.

    Putting aside Trump’s support for torture, religious discrimination and abusive sexual behavior, let alone his disparagement of the disabled and his campaign’s embrace of frog avatar white supremacists, as the master of the personal insult and defamation of character, The Donald, in his contempt for any semblance of tzeniyus (modesty) and egregious lack of midos (qualities of character), automatically forfeits the support of any authentic and knowledgeable, let alone observant, Jew. In spectacular contrast to the founder of Chasidism, Trump is the BAAL SHEM RA’.

    One more thing. Regarding his (six) business bankruptcies: Halachah does not recognize bankruptcy and thus considers it to be theft.

    …. As a role model for what it means to be a good American, from a rabbinic perspective, one is forced to conclude, bigly, about the 45th president: “Very Dishonest, Sad” (source: @realDonald J. Trump).


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