Letters, March 23, 2016


AIPAC made poor choice
AIPAC shouldn’t be surprised at the fury over its invitation to Donald Trump to speak at its conference (“Clinton, Trump bringing roadshow to AIPAC,” WJW, March 17). With his appeal to the dark side of the American character, Trump is in a class of his own. Today it’s immigrants, African-Americans, women and Muslims. What about Jews? He’ll get around to us sooner or later.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote that “the parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th century — lurid figures such as Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Mosley, and Franco — are too evident to overlook.” But that’s exactly what AIPAC is doing.

Yes. AIPAC hungered to have reactionaries speak at its conferences in the past. But Trump isn’t only running for president; he’s built a movement that doesn’t support him in spite of his violent bigotry, but supports him because of it.

By having Trump speak, AIPAC not only disgraced itself, but also the dwindling number of Jews it represents.


Not-so-crazy aunt
The analysis of the Las Vegas debate is all wrong on Matt Brooks’ so-called “crazy aunt” (“Battle over billionaires at revealing Las Vegas debate,” WJW, March 17). The term “Palestinian” prior to the establishment of the State of Israel meant a Jew living in the Yishuv, the British Mandate of Palestine.

My wife had “Palestinian” cousins, my Hebrew school teacher was a “Palestinian” and the Jews from the Yishuv who fought for the British Army in World War II had a shoulder patch that said “Palestine.” The Arabs living there were no different than their cousins living in Syria, Lebanon or Egypt.

Yasser Arafat, the late leader, was born in Egypt and like many other Arabs vacationed in Palestine.

Assuming an ethnic identity uniquely different from their cousins on the rest of the region was merely a means of negating the legitimacy of the Jewish state and the Jews’ right to our ancestral homeland. They did not define themselves as “Palestinians” before that.

The aunt is not crazy. Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican Jewish Coalition funder, is correct, and the great-grandparents of Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street are most likely spinning in their graves.
North Potomac

He said, she said
My response to the Michael Goldblatt  (“EMET takes the credit at the expense of ZOA,” Letters, WJW, March 3) — Jennifer Dekel (“Credit due Sarah Stern for spearheading legislation,” Letters, WJW, March 17) dust-up is: Tweedledum, Tweedledee.

The fact of the matter is that Sarah Stern’s EMET and Mort Klein’s ZOA are both largely supported by the same people.

Why is Washington Jewish Week wasting its precious — i.e., limited — publishing space on this he-said/she-said kerfuffle?


Credit dispute
Israel is challenged by external enemies as well as a highly effective propaganda campaign against it by certain Jewish groups. I am saddened that ZOA would use its resources to attack an ally, i.e. an individual and organization that has essentially the same philosophy, goals and commitment to the survival of Israel and the Jewish people (“EMET takes the credit at the expense of ZOA” by Michael Goldblatt, Letters, WJW, March 3).

There are few substantive issues on which ZOA and EMET would disagree. Why treat EMET as a competitor rather than an ally?

As a present and past member of the boards of two other pro-Israel organizations, I have found Sarah Stern to be unusually generous with her time, contacts and substantive help in furthering the goals of like-minded organizations.

I am less interested in the specifics of who contributed most to the passage of the Koby Mandel Act, and more interested in the fact that with the efforts of multiple people, it passed.

I believe that rank and file members of the ZOA are likely to agree.

Rabbi Klavan, a friend to all
The obituary detailing the life of Rabbi Hillel Klavan (“Rabbi Hillel Klavan, a ‘distinguished and honorable gentleman,’” WJW, March 17) was beautiful. What an amazing, rare human being he was, a neshama that reached higher than most are ever blessed to understand.

Now business is business, one might say, but when there is a problem what should we do? Do we get upset and become irate? Chas v’shalom, never. At least not Rabbi Klavan. Rabbi Klavan
always knew just what to do. He would quietly with kindness go behind the scenes and fix things. He was a true example of greatness. He proved this time and time again with his patience and compassion to mankind.

Just one short story: One day my girlfriend was going to visit someone, but became lost and knocked on Rabbi Klavan’s door by mistake. The rabbi didn’t know this woman. Now, most people if the person is a total stranger would probably say, “You have the wrong address,” then close the door and that would be that. But not the rabbi. Instead, he insisted she come in. Then, he proceeded to get out the Yellow Pages and locate the correct address.

Later , I remember he read the ketubah at her daughter’s wedding. You see, once you met the rabbi you were no longer a stranger.

A mentor he was to many. A friend he was to all.

May we emulate his teachings as we give merit to Rabbi Klavan with our actions and speech of mitzvot.
Silver Spring

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  1. the original- full text- of the second paragraph is as follows. Why the WJW excised it, I don’t know.

    The fact of the matter is that Sarah Stern’s EMET and Mort Klein’s ZOA are both largely financed by the same source: billionaire casio mogul Sheldon Adelson. Who sees fit to lavishly subsidize partisan politicking but not the last days of struggling Holocaust survivors (March 17, Why are feds…).

  2. That Is a shanda. I can not at present afford to attend most of Emet’s events. I did not know they were financed or subsidized as well by a backing billionaire. It is not fair and Bernie Sanders would not approve. This is disproportionate appropriations and the poor Holicaust survivors should be helped as well. Don’t get me wrong though. Emet should exist. It’s just that their programs should be accessible to those who aren’t middle class and billionaires like Sheldon Adelson need to be more Mothee Teresa like and not expect a big Thank you reception from the kosher catering division of the new,being built Trump Hotel on PA Ave. . While EMET has a good and just mission, b those who cannot advocate on their own behalf a or who don’t have the PR capabilities and connections that EMET has their requests for help should not be ignored because there’s no intrigue or glamor to it. Today is Purim and the poor need to be acknowledged.


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