In Trump, there is plenty for us to agree on
Reading a recent sampling of letters to the editor underscores a seemingly irreconcilable chasm between those who embrace President Trump in messiah-like affection per his Middle East policies and those who view President Obama as the great Satan.
Let us assume for the moment that the Trumpian approach (move the U.S. Embassy to West Jerusalem, defund UNWRA, pull out of the Iran deal) will accomplish a paradigm shift in the welfare of the region, to Israel’s advantage — although many of us have significant reservations.
By all means praise what you “like,” but at the same time raise your voices to what you don’t about his intolerant messaging and performance (climate change denial, refugees and separating children from parents, misogyny, racism, emboldening white supremacists, disenfranchising 3.2 million citizens from health insurance access, creating greater disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor while adding more than $1
trillion to the national debt, pulling back on LGBTQ protections and rights, suppression of voting, etc.).
There may not be an absolutely linear connection between Trumpian twittering and what happened in Pittsburgh, but to deny that this president has set a tone of inflammatory rhetoric that has unmasked anti-Semitic forces is not to recognize the obvious. Not calling out Trump for many of his “initiatives” cedes too much moral ground and is not in keeping with Judaic principles and mores.
My experience in trying to have a conversation on these matters: Each entrenched side can’t seem to come any closer to some commonality of purpose and ethical pursuit. We can’t afford to have an “us” and “them” dichotomy in our own small community; we should keep on trying to have respectful discussions about our differences based on fact. Let’s put aside the silliness of “fake” news; there is an objective reality multiple observers can agree on.
A powerful message outside overflowing synagogue
I wanted to bring attention to something that was left out of a recent article (“Thousands gather in D.C. in shooting’s wake,” Nov. 1). Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt led a meaningful and heartfelt voice to those standing outside the sanctuary unable to get in.
He addressed the crowd and said, “The sanctuary is currently overflowing and as a result we will not be able to enter, but there has been such a tremendous outpouring from the community, and as you look around you can see that this is the place where we need to be tonight, together in a synagogue, as a response to what happened on Saturday at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“We would like to be able to share with you something that will give voice to the emotions we feel at a time such as this, something that will give expression to the depths of the pain that we all feel and the sense of solidarity we feel toward the
Jewish community of Pittsburgh.”
CANTOR MARSHALL KAPELL
Letter writer can’t possibly be serious
I thought Halloween was over (“Editorial betrays anti-Trump animus,” Nov. 22). Apparently not, as this letter would indicate otherwise. The former president of the Washington chapter of the Zionist Organization of America asseverates that “in reality, there is no linkage whatsoever between the murderous rampage of a deranged anti-Semite and our philo-Semitic president.”
According to such logic, inasmuch as Jesus was himself a Jew, it is logically impossible for Christians — i.e., those professing to be followers of Jesus —to be anti-Semitic. Therefore, it must be “fake news” to claim that the church bears any responsibility for the pogroms which the Jews experienced in Europe, let alone to allege that there is any linkage between classical Christian theology in its teachings concerning the Jews and the Holocaust.