Letters | Mar. 23, 2022

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Ukraine, 1919

Regarding “What do we make of the history of brutality to Ukraine’s Jews?” (Opinion, March 17):

I, too, have a Ukrainian story. My Burka family all came from the shtetl Rafralevke in western Ukraine which was part of the Pale. In 1919, Polish soldiers in uniform instigated a pogrom. My great-grandparents were living in their house along with my grandmother, my 10-year-old father and his younger brother. My great-uncle, along with his wife and two toddler children, were also in the house. Polish solders entered, shot and wounded my great-grandfather and shot and killed my great-uncle. His body remained in this thatched roof “house” for seven days. Soon after, my great-grandparents, grandmother, father and uncle emigrated to America, settling in Washington D.C.; ultimately, my great grandfather died of his wounds which never fully healed.


BARRETT BURKA
McLean, Va., and Naples, Fla.

The view from Silver Spring

I support Israel accepting Jewish Ukrainians and Jewish Ethiopians. I am against Israel accepting non-Jewish refugees. Multiple countries, whether by religion or color, can accept non-Jewish refugees. Jews need a Jewish state for current and future Jewish refugees.

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

Some see bigotry through the prism of color, I see bigotry through the prism of religion. Jews have been killed by Europeans and by people in Africa and the Middle East. Jews were killed by white and people of color for their religion and not skin color.

The world complains that white Christian countries do not accept Muslim or black refugees, but the world does not complain that Muslim and black countries do not accept even Muslim and black refugees. Why?


I see a difference in refugees from internal conflicts versus refugees from invasion. People are responsible for their future, whether in Ukraine or Central America. I do see an obligation by Israel and others as obligated to help invaded countries. I see everyone responsible for stopping genocide, which, thankfully, is not yet happening in Ukraine, Ethiopia or Central America.

MELVIN FARBER
Silver Spring

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