Whither Democratic support for BDS bill?
Although the raison d’etre for the Democrats not supporting S.B. 1 is that the first priority is reopening the government, it is clear that the real reason for not supporting the bill is that the Democratic Party at all costs wishes to avoid a clear head count of the drop in Israel supporters in its ranks (“Murphy calls Rubio’s bluff on BDS charge,” Jan. 10).
Blaming the refusal to act on the bill on the shutdown is absurd, as the Senate at all times, other than when it is not in session, takes votes and deals with multiple issues. Given that 75 percent of Jews throw their votes to members of the Democratic Party and with the new stars of the Democrats, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, firmly anti-Israel, it would benefit the Jewish community to know which members of the Senate would support action taken against the BDS movement as well as ensure the flow of appropriations to the state of Israel.
With such Israel stalwarts such as Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Dick Durbin of Illinois AWOL on the issue and with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont advocating against the bill, we as a community have the right to know where Senate Democrats stand. The Republican Party, not usually positively associated with Jewish issues, is firmly in favor of the bill. Perhaps it is time, probably past time, for the Jewish community to at least consider that ideological liberalism at the polls may not coincide with the interests of Israel.
Figures are hard to believe
I enjoyed reading about the payments to Holocaust survivors of the Kindertransport (“Transport survivors recognized, 80 years on,” Dec. 27). The article stated that former Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat said that Germany has paid out more than $80 billion to roughly 60,000 survivors of the Holocaust in more than 75 countries. That works out to more than $1 million per survivor. I find that hard to believe.
The Holocaust survivors I know only received a few thousand dollars from Germany after the war. Someone should recheck those numbers.
Beware anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Israel rhetoric
I agree with the warnings about the problem of anti-Semitic groups at universities (“Keep an eye on college campuses,” Dec. 27). However, this is only one facet of the problem. Another, in my opinion, greater problem is the number of professors who indoctrinate students with anti-Semitic propaganda tendentiously disguised as anti-Israel rhetoric.
A few years ago, 11 professors at Columbia University and 13 at Georgetown University signed petitions calling for academic boycott of Israel, for instance. An organization named AMCHA keeps an online database on the whole range of anti-Semitism on campus, including actions such as these.