Letters May 24, 2018


What about sanctions against Russia?
You recently published an overview of Jewish organizations’ reactions to the Trump administration’s re-imposing sanctions on Iran (“Trump quits Iran deal,” May 10). In contrast to the differing opinions on Iran sanctions, would one think there are any differences of opinions when it comes to imposing sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

Think of it: Putin invaded Crimea; he is still fighting in Ukraine; his soldiers (or mercenaries) shot down a commercial airline filled with passengers; he launched cyberattacks against Estonia in 2007 and, more recently, worldwide, according to U.S. and British intelligence; his pilots repeatedly targeted hospitals in Syria; and according to U.S. intelligence, he attacked U.S. elections in 2016 and plans to in 2018.

Are there any Jewish organizations opposed to sanctions, which have been directed by Congress, against Russia?
Mark Czarnolewski
Silver Spring


Let’s not mince words about Gaza ‘massacre’
Your front-page story on the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem is an embarrassment to the American Jewish community (“U.S. Embassy opening spurs celebrations,” May 17). Celebrations? Sixty Palestinians protesting the move were fatally shot or otherwise killed by the State of Israel that day — on top of Israel’s previous protester killings over the preceding weeks.


Incredibly, your article just ignores this appalling fact, except for casually pointing out that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t mention” it in remarks made “back in Washington,” and then only in a contorted assertion that it was “the attempted storming of the border fence by Palestinians in Gaza that claimed dozens of lives when Israeli soldiers opened fire.”

Please. It was the live fire of the Israeli soldiers that “claimed dozens of lives.” We can argue all we want about whether the live fire was legally or morally justified, but spare us the pretense.

I have been a strong supporter and defender of the State of Israel since its founding in 1948, when I was an 11-year-old pre-bar mitzvah candidate. But whatever one thinks about the appropriateness of moving the embassy and whatever one thinks about the fencing-off of Gaza, Palestinian self-determination and the claimed “right of return,” this massacre is a disgrace to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people for whom it brazenly purports to speak.
I weep.

Alexandria, Va.

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