Letters, May 19, 2016


Misleading observations
Right diagnosis, wrong patient (“Misleading with contempt,” Editorial, May 12). David Samuels, the author of the Times piece cited, is a longstanding implacable foe of the Iran nuclear deal who has even supported, in print, an Israeli air strike against Iran.
As J.J. Goldberg notes in his May 12 Forward analysis, “What that Ben Rhodes profile really tells us about the Iran deal,” “The article is long and engaging, and manages to slip almost unnoticed between direct quotes by Rhodes … and Samuels’s own observations. For example, although it’s been widely reported that Rhodes denies Rouhani is a moderate, he never actually says that. It’s Samuels who puts ‘moderate’ in quotes and makes it a critical factor in ensuring the deal’s public acceptance — and by implication, its legitimacy.”
Samuels has clearly spun his presentation to paint the Obama administration in the worst possible light. The editorial’s outrage at “a level of chutzpah that is downright offensive” has much more to do with Samuels than with Rhodes and qualifies as an apt characterization of the (lack of) integrity of Samuels’ journalistic practice.

8th District
I believe there were three Jewish candidates in the Democratic primary, not two as reported in the article. In addition to Jamie Raskin and David Trone, David Anderson is Jewish and a member of my congregation, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation (in Bethesda).
Editor’s note: There were three Jewish candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee for the 8th District House seat: Raskin, Anderson and Joel Rubin.

Bad stereotyping
I am Jewish and sensitive to depictions of negative stereotypes of Jews in our culture. I saw this play in a local production last night and was extremely uncomfortable (“Bad Jews’: a personal review,” Forum, washingtonjewishweek.com, Dec. 1, 2015). Why is this entitled “Bad Jews”? They are all just bad people, but given a Jewish issue to display their “badness” around.
There is so much to explore — and laugh at — in the complexities of Jewish identity, but this play does none of it. Overall, this play and its popularity really upset me.

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