Letters | Jan. 27, 2021


Epic fail

Regarding “Capitol Under Siege” (Jan. 14):  Washington Jewish Week failed. There should have been an outright condemnation. One should not have had to search for the word “insurrection” buried within copy or see the events on Jan. 6 referred to as the “Stop the Steal” rally. If ever was a time to unequivocally condemn the action that, yes, even some Jews participated in, it is now.

As Rabbi Ezra Schwartz wrote in the Jan. 8 Yeshiva University Observer: “What happened on Wednesday should force our community to recalibrate our moral compass and take careful stock of whether we are being true to hashkafas ha’Torah (the outlook of the Torah). I believe that the event needs to be reacted to with the strongest possible condemnation.”

Washington Jewish Week must go beyond reporting — it is time for advocacy, and this paper must condemn actions, speak truth and support the healing that is necessary, honoring the words of Hillel: “If not now, when?”



But what about BLM and Antifa?

Regarding “Rep. Jamie Raskin on the coup attempt, the Constitution and QAnon” (Jan. 21): Sanctimonious, hypocritical and misleading sum up pretty much all that this article has to say. Yes, a proportion of individuals who attended the Trump rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 marched to the Capitol Building after being urged to do so peacefully by President Trump. A minority of the marchers subsequently broke into the Capitol building. The majority of the folks who illegally entered the Capitol, importantly, did little more than wander about making noise and waving banners.

Some of those who entered the Capitol did trash offices and destroy property. Some members of the mob entering the Capitol, admittedly, did engage in serious criminal acts, including menacing members of Congress and their staffers. A few went even further, assaulting and seriously injuring several police officers and killing one.

One unarmed female protestor was shot to death; why remains undetermined. All in all, however, the intrusion cannot be reasonably or responsibly described as either a coup or an insurrection, the inflammatory and hyperbolic claims of the Democratic leadership and their allies in the mainstream media notwithstanding.

Those who impeached Trump are the very same politicians and apologists who stood idly by as major American cities were set ablaze by rioters who looted stores, broke windows and assaulted police, describing the mayhem and terror as largely peaceful protests by BLM, Antifa and against the systemic racism that pervades American society.


Editor’s note: Five people died in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Cardin a radical leftist?

Regarding “Angry at Sen. Cardin” (Letters, Jan. 21): Enough branding people with labels like “radical left” that could hardly apply to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Enough being appalled by “innuendo, hypocrisy and hate” that appropriately falls on the shoulders of the disgraced ex-president [Trump] — and those who enabled him, not Cardin. Enough about not understanding the impact of inflammatory and factless harangues coming from the far-right media. The impact of Facebook, Twitter et al., and their ability to filter out what is presented on their platforms is worthy of dialogue and a legislative response for defining parameters that allow forums for thought. But freedom of speech has limits. Conservatives and conservative media are not limited in getting out their message via the availability of other parallel outlets.

Maybe enough pointing the finger at “others” and finally, finally accepting that Mr. Trump and his cronies have done grievous harm to this nation — and didn’t help secure Israel’s future as much as you may think — and voting for him was a tradeoff where one could ignore the litany of outrages he foisted upon us all — and for which there is responsibility to bear. Healing a nation “riven” first requires accountability.

The sun shone down on the West steps of the Capitol on Jan. 20, followed by the beginning of the uphill climb for all of us, led by — dare I say — a competent, dignified and decent set of leaders. Let’s give them a chance to heal by relying on truth, science, conviction and conscience.


Cardin stated the obvious about Trump

I respectfully disagree with my old friend Marc Caroff’s characterization that Sen. Ben Cardin joined the “radical” left based upon his recent op-ed (“We can no longer be a haven of hate,” Jan. 14). Cardin merely stated the obvious when he indicated Trump’s many misstatements, half-truths and outright lies fanned the flames of disbelief that the outcome of that election was legitimate. Trump’s incendiary comments on Jan. 6 lit the fuse, resulting in a marauding mob storming the Capitol.

I have always been a staunch proponent of the First Amendment. However, the rights embodied therein are not absolute. Inflammatory statements that consistently and inappropriately foment civil unrest should be banned on social media, regardless whether they come from the right or the left. In this instance, social media acted correctly.

Finally, I applaud the opinions enunciated in Cardin`s op-ed. As a constituent, I am proud that he represents me in the United States Senate.


ISO Cardin’s ‘innuendo’ and ‘hypocrisy’

Angry at Sen. Cardin” claims Cardin joined the radical left by denouncing a sitting president with innuendo, hypocrisy and hate. The writer also notes Big Tech monopolies censoring conservative voices and views.

I reread Cardin’s op-ed for examples of the writer’s claims of innuendo and hypocrisy. I failed. Does the writer really believe there are not many “lies that have been spewed by Donald Trump”? An enormous list has been documented. That Trump did not “open up to the public doors to bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and misogyny”? Hate groups loved what he said (check their comments) and Trump exploited that.

Is censoring voices and views that are based on false “facts” and incite others to violence wrong, whether conservatives or liberals? Republican state government officials, many who preferred that Trump win, have checked, audited and confirmed the election results. Biden won. Trump and some of his conservative minions continue to sow discord. You might be angry at me for stating this but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Because Cardin denounced Trump, the writer claims Cardin joined the radical left. Is this the way to “calm a nation riven with division and strife”?


Insightful about victimhood

Thank you Rabbi Evan J. Krame for your timely, cogent and critically important op-ed “Jews Have Learned How to Transcend Victimhood” (Jan. 21). We tend to treat our problems at the surface with slogans and superficial solutions. Krame’s thesis places much-needed focus on victimhood as a core contributory factor that segments our national identity and will into multiple partitions of self-interest vying for special status and primacy. Thus, we are prone to circumvent dialogue, multilateral conflicts and political exploitation.

Krame is also insightful in pointing to the Jewish experience of eschewing the mire of victimhood and attendant paralysis. As he points out, true “liberation” is attained through escape from and rising above victimhood to create productive life and meaning despite the most horrendous circumstances (slavery, homeland destruction, exile, ghetto, pogrom, exclusion, Holocaust). In this way, the Jewish experience has been and remains one of the many lights to all nations.


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