Letters | Nov. 14, 2018


Two others Jewish veterans who deserve inclusion

As a Jewish Vietnam combat veteran, I read Ira Cooperman’s Veteran’s Day article very closely (“Veteran’s Day 2018 — remembering Jewish veterans,” Nov. 1).

I feel it is missing tribute to two remarkable Jewish servicemen who were instrumental in the success of the U.S. military: Adm. Hyman “Hymie” Rickover, founding father of the U.S. nuclear submarine program and his trusted aide, the Jewish Orthodox Alvin Radkofsky, whose work guaranteed America’s strength during the Cold War and still gives America a vital edge on the high seas.



Silver Spring

President’s statement was strongest ever

A recent article mentioned President Donald Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism (“Disunity and hate defined the midterm campaign for Jews,” Nov. 1). The article should have directly quoted the president, because his statement was the strongest any U.S. president has ever made on anti-Semitism.

The most relevant part of the statement was, “The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue. It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its ugly head. We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism.” This stands in contrast to some watered-down statements in the past, including President Barack Obama’s reaction to the 2015 Hypercacher massacre in Paris, calling the attackers “a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”



Israelis should stick to commenting on Israeli affairs

A recent article notes that Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett regards criticism of President Donald Trump following the Pittsburgh massacre as unfair and that Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer enthusiastically greeted Trump in Pittsburgh while claiming that those who criticize the president should study history (“Disunity and hate defined the midterm campaign for Jews,” Nov. 1). Would this history include Trump’s remarks after the Charlottesville rally, claiming there were very fine people on both sides after mobs went through the streets chanting that Jews will not replace them? Would this history include Trump demonizing immigrants to the point where the Pittsburgh shooter, already biased against Jews, was compelled to kill Jews because of HIAS support for immigrants who he felt were going to come in and kill his people? How about a 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Day announcement that didn’t even
mention Jews?

Trump could have said there were bad people on both sides in Charlottesville; he did not, and the white supremacists were happy with his comment. Trump could have focused on the need for the United States to control immigration without demonizing illegal immigrants; he did not. And how does any leader note the Holocaust without reference
to Jews?

Bennett and Dermer should stick to Israeli politics and government actions, and stay out of ours.


Vienna, Va.

Being a liberal who happens to be Jewish is okay

I take exception to Ammiel Hirsch’s assertion that contemporary Jewish liberalism has an obligation to reflect the ideals of mainstream Reform Judaism (“This is the gravest threat to the future of liberal Judaism,” Oct. 25).

I consider myself a liberal who also happens to be Jewish. I believe my personal responsibility is to put into action my own progressive goals in any way that can do the most good for the most in need for a just cause. I marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because I believed in his goals; it had little to do directly with my Jewishness. I lived and worked in Poland for more than a year with an international, non-sectarian service organization. I challenged the staff at Auschwitz when they informed us that 3 million Poles were exterminated there. I had them admit that almost all were Jewish. I oppose the BDS movement.

I state these examples because I believe my progressive activities as a Jew in service to the neediest among us can only compliment liberal Judaism. It is also that spirit of service as a Jew that also enriches and deepens my own faith.


Alexandria, Va.


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