Letters, July 1, 2015


Support for Israel not rooted
in love for Jewish people
Regarding the editorial of May 28 (“A birthright for evangelicals?” WJW): For those who view Christianity as the authentic inheritor of the promises and legacy of the Hebrew Bible, a “birthright for evangelicals” is a natural development.  For such individuals, in New Testament language, while the original, old Jewish Birthright may be directed toward the Israel after the flesh, the new Covenant Journey is intended for Israel after the spirit.

Make no mistake about it: The beleaguered state of Israel needs all the friends and supporters it can muster. But, a la rabbinic expression, “not out of love for Mordecai but hatred of Haman,” much evangelical support for the modern Jewish state is generated not so much out of any love for Jews, but from hatred of the Arabs and Islam.

Credit for Hillel
Regarding the article “J Street U ‘disappointed’ after Hillel meeting,” (WJW, June 18) one can only guess that J Street U wants to dilute the strength of Hillel, a true pro-Israel organization, and encourage Hillel to denounce “settlements,” oppose the Israeli government on the two-state solution and work with “U” on college campuses.   To do so would make common cause with detractors of Israel such as the Muslim Student Association and various self-proclaimed justice organizations currently responsible for increasing anti-Israel/anti-Semitic activities on many campuses and advocating BDS.  To its credit, Hillel, has not succumbed to “U”s pressure.

Birthday greetings
Happy 85th birthday and congrats for the recent awards (“WJW takes three awards for Jewish journalism excellence,” WJW, June 4) ─ and appreciation for
all the news you bring to the Jewish


Spreading a hoax
Your editorial in the June 18 edition, “Diane Rehm’s loyalty oath,” WJW) failed to indicate that Rehm actually badgered Sen. Bernie Sanders — though I doubt NPR will do much about her choice to spread the canard that he is a dual citizen of Israel and the United States.
West River

Headline, article inflammatory
I was appalled by the headline “Masorti rips bar mitzvah rite for autistic youth held in Orthodox synagogue,” (WJW, June 25) and unfortunately the article was no better.  The headline and article, especially the first paragraph, are inflammatory and do not do justice to the serious issues underlying the incident described. The tension in Israel between the Orthodox and those who are not Orthodox but continue to live religiously significant lives especially through Masorti/Conservative Judaism is a tension that will continue to grow as incidents like this are commonplace.  Often not reporting is the better choice than doing it badly.

Pro-Israel community should heed Oren’s words
In a front-page article and an editorial, WJW reports on the controversy brewing over former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s recent disclosures about President Barack Obama’s shabby treatment of Israel (“Oren’s take on Obama sets off firestorm” and “Oren’s un-diplomacy,” June 25).

It should be abundantly clear by now that Obama’s hostility and insensitivity to Israel’s concerns, and his disdain for its prime minister, is without precedent in the history of U.S-Israel relations. Oren’s disclosures in major news outlets, and in his new book, highlight the scope and intensity of that hostility and instances of Obama’s deliberate attempts to weaken the historically strong U.S.-Israel alliance by forsaking the core principles of “no daylight” and “no surprises.”

Oren’s book cites specific examples of Obama’s shabby treatment of Israel: snubbing Prime Minister Netanyahu, pressuring Israel to make unwarranted concessions to advance the peace process while making no substantive demands of the Palestinians, ignoring the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority and its promotion of hatred and terrorism, unilaterally discarding U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and its guarantee of defensible borders for Israel by insisting on the 1949 armistice lines (with land swaps) as a baseline for Palestinian statehood and, last but not least, pursuing a flimsy agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that apparently leaves it with the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

The words of truth-tellers like Oren need to be heard and heeded by the pro-Israel Jewish community so that it is not misled by the siren song of the Israel-bashing Obama administration.
Silver Spring
The writer is the president of the Louis D. Brandeis chapter of ZOA

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