Letters Jan. 25, 2018


Here’s what’s missing from evangelical survey

What about support for U.S. Jews (“Support for Israel among young evangelicals is solid but slipping, says new survey,” Jan. 18)?

I understand the obvious interest among many regular readers of Washington Jewish Week about how key non-Jewish groups regard the state of Israel and Jews there. I too am a regular reader, and what concerns me are various stories that document increasing signs of anti-Semitism and lesser forms of antipathy toward the free practice of religion and identity by the young adults in our community.

I am disturbed that this issue was seemingly ignored in the description of the survey undertaken by the Chosen People Ministries. How are we to make sense of the finding that 58 percent of millennials view the Jewish state positively in the 2,000 respondent survey when, for all we know, their interest in Jews is only for conversion’s sake?


How informed were these respondents about salient issues in the Middle East?

Why give Christians United for Israel a platform for disseminating thoughts about how to promote pro-Israel sentiment among evangelicals without evidence of how they regard Jewish millennials and institutions? Am I missing something?

Other Holocaust survivors authored works in Polish

In the obituary tribute to Aharon Appelfeld, Thane Rosenbaum emphasized this: “Along with Elie Wiesel and Imre Kertesz, Appelfeld was among the few writers who survived the Holocaust, wrote about the experience and didn’t end his life by suicide [while] each of the others — [Paul] Celan, Primo Levi, Jerzy Kosinski, Piotr Rawicz, Jean Amery,
Tadeusz Borowski and even Bruno Bettelheim — did.” He added: “The only one to live and write in Israel, however, was Appelfeld” (“Novelist Appelfeld’s feverish reimagination,” Jan. 11).

I find it necessary to include among the outstanding writers who survived the Holocaust but not the post-traumatic stress syndrome Bogdan Wojdowski, the author of a masterpiece-novel on the Warsaw Ghetto “Bread for the Departed” (Warsaw 1971, Northwestern University Press 1997), who killed himself in 1994 at the age of 64.

I would also like to make clear that Appelfeld was not “the only [Holocaust survivor] to live and write in Israel.” Miriam Akavia, Irit Amiel, Ida Fink, Natan Gross and Stanisław Wygodzki were some of the others. As in the case of Wojdowski, they wrote their prose and poetry in Polish, the language spoken by the largest group of the victims. That part of Jewish writing is too often ignored in this country.

Iran pact in precarious spot

President Donald Trump declared this month that he will uphold the Iran deal only in the (unlikely) event that it gets renegotiated precisely to his liking by May. Confronted with this thinly veiled motion towards a United States confrontation with Iran, Sen. Ben Cardin should continue to use his position as the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to defend the current version of the deal.

The nuclear agreement materialized in 2015 after more than a decade of missed opportunities between Washington and Tehran. The Bush administration rejected a grand bargain in 2003 that would have opened Iran’s nuclear facilities to foreign inspectors, just as the Obama administration ultimately rejected an Iranian offer to export 1200 kg LEU (low enriched uranium) in exchange for fuel to create medical isotopes in 2010. Against the resulting backdrop of mutual suspicion, the agreement is in a precarious spot, making Cardin’s efforts to promote diplomacy absolutely critical.
Takoma Park

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