Letters | July 18, 2019


She didn’t speak too soon

In July 1994, on the Shabbat immediately following the attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people and injured hundreds more, the Argentine ambassador showed up at Adas Israel to convey the official sympathy of his government.

I was leading the kabbalah/erev Shabbat service. After the ambassador expressed his condolences briefly from the bimah, I thanked him for coming. Then my tongue ran ahead of my brain, as I said very undiplomatically something on the order of: I hope Argentina brings the perpetrators to justice with more speed and diligence than you have done with the bombing of the Israeli Embassy.

The bombing happened two years earlier and, at the time, I felt chagrined at my hasty remarks. All these years later, with no resolution to the crimes, I feel much less regret.

The writer is rabbi emerita of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington.



Better names for a new town

The cover of June 20 WJW featured a photograph of the newly named Trump Heights on the Golan Heights.


Aren’t there enough Israeli and Jewish figures to whom we could honor this project (the first new community in the Golan Heights is 20 years) with their name or remembrance? How about the young soldier who gave up her or his life to see that Israel lasts? How about the last Holocaust survivor to be freed? How about the spouse of a great hero who undoubtedly gave unconditional support while they served? How about the grandmother who was killed on her balcony by a bomb blast or errant (maybe) rifle shot?

The list is endless, but Trump (or other non-Israeli) … really? I suggest that it should be considered to roll back the name of the new community and name it after an Israeli figure more relevant to the country.

North Potomac


Cartoon isn’t alone in lacking backbone

I was disappointed to open the July 4 Washington Jewish Week and see the editorial cartoon that made it seem as if the Palestinians are underdogs.

The cartoon portrayed President Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner, professionally dressed, holding an olive on a toothpick — not even on an olive branch — toward a bedraggled, disappointed-looking Palestinian, demeaning the peace process.

In an effort to create a peace, Israel has made some exceedingly generous offers — in 2000 under Prime Minister Ehud Barak and in 2008 under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — and has always kept the door open to peace with the Palestinians. The United States has poured billions of dollars into these efforts.

The cartoon makes it look as if we’re offering nothing while, in fact, both Israel and the United States have been working very hard to find a way to end the violence. Neither the United States nor Israel has been able to satisfy the Palestinians, to bring a smile to their faces in appreciation of our trying to find a middle ground.

We, as American Jews, need to recognize that Israel has a legitimate right to exist. It would be superb if our Jewish media could reflect that attitude: that we stand with Israel, that we have enough backbone to stand up to the prevailing negativity and misinformation campaign against Israel, and to those who oppose Zionism.

Silver Spring


Horrific treatment, then and now

Regarding the front page photo “AOC’s contentious comparison” (July 11), I never thought I’d say anything in defense of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), because I am alarmed by her hostility toward Israel and appalled by the anti-Semitic messaging of her close allies in Congress.

The truly barbarous treatment of asylum seekers at our southern border, however, should cause us to re-evaluate the consensus view that Ocasio-Cortez’s concentration camp reference was inappropriate or disrespectful to the memory of Holocaust victims.

We should remember that even as the Nazis were subjecting the Jews of Europe to increasing levels of persecution and degradation, the immigration policy of the United States was to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of future victims to join their families in this country because those in power viewed them as inferior and unworthy of citizenship. Given the horrific treatment of refuges taking place now, our conscience and values should allow the lessons of those dark times to be invoked.


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  1. I agree with Stuart Endik’s support of Representative Ocasio-Cortez by his saying she was not disrespectful of Holocaust victims. The U.S. detention centers are where children and adults are being corralled and a number are becoming sick and even dying. My late mother shared that before she was sent to England through Kindertransport before WWII, her father, despite being a WWI veteran, was sent to a place or camp and was never the same when he was allowed back home. Why solely focus on full-scale concentration camps as the standard for acknowledging when horror does occur?” Both her parents later perished during the war.
    Further, 300,000+ people fled to the U.S. just in 2019. Robert Muggah, cites that “almost 50 percent of the weapons turning up in El Salvador’s crime scenes are from the U.S.” Ryan McMaken details that Honduras and Venezuela have the highest homicide rates (over 56 per 100,000). Yet, Honduras has 14.1 guns per 100 civilians, and Venezuela has 18.5 guns per 100 civilians. So, high murder rates in Latin America are accounted by a small percentage of the people. The U.S. treats the victims as criminals despite its apparent involvement in the instability?


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