There were two 1917 Russian revolutions
The article “Moscow museum gives full picture of Jewish role in Russian Revolution” (Nov. 9) fails to explain that there were two Russian revolutions in 1917.
Czar Nicholas II was not succeeded by the Bolsheviks. He was overthrown by the democratic February Revolution, under which Alexander Kerensky became prime minister. Eight months later came the October Revolution, which brought the Bolsheviks to power and led to the establishment of the totalitarian Communist state, which, under Stalin, became strongly anti-Semitic.
There is no doubt that Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolsheviks, was of Jewish ancestry. (When asked what his religion was, he is supposed to have answered “Socialist.”) But all available evidence indicates that the great majority of politically active Jews in the Russian Empire identified themselves with democratic groups, many of them with social democrats. Julius Martov (Tsederbaum), the leader of the democratic socialist Mensheviks, was Jewish. The major Jewish political organization was the General Jewish Labour Bund, which was strongly anti-Bolshevik.
As noted in the article, Jews have often been accused of being politically largely associated with Communism. The accusation has no merit. The fact is that most European Jews of the pre-Holocaust period, including the Russian Jews of 1917, inclined toward social democracy and rejected Bolshevism.
Appalled by BDS move on campus
I am appalled that the University of Maryland introduced a resolution to divest from companies “profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine” (“BDS resolution fails and Univ. of Maryland,” Nov. 23).
As a graduate of the university, as are all of my family members, I want to know why the administration stands for this false propaganda.
Furthermore, the Washington Jewish Week lauds Gov. Larry Hogan for signing an executive order last month “prohibiting all state agencies from entering into contracts or conducting official state business with companies engaged in a boycott of the state of Israel.” Isn’t then the University of Maryland in direct violation of Hogan’s executive action?
One need only read Daniel Markind’s op-ed also in WJW (“The cowardice of American academia,” Voices, Nov. 16) to understand that the intent of all BDS efforts is to delegitimize Israel; it is anti-Semitic in nature which far outweighs any defense of free speech. To believe otherwise is proof that the brainwashing effects of this false BDS propaganda has been a success.
SARA SILVERMAN KLOMPUS
Palm Beach, Fla.
Wonder why Israel is a BDS target?
Still waiting for a movement to form around a BDS effort against Egypt for its treatment of Copts, against Libya for allowing human trafficking, against Iraq and Turkey for their treatment of the Kurds, against Syria for its treatment of, well, anybody who isn’t with the murderous regime. The list goes on and on (“BDS resolution fails at Univ. of Maryland,” Nov. 23).
Yet only Israeli treatment of Palestinians, miserable as it is, gets this attention. Wonder why?
Serious political accusations for GOP
In the aftermath of Thanksgiving, let’s talk turkey.
If Democrats (Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Al Franken, John Conyers) are more prone to sex scandals, then the initials GOP, which once stood for Grand Old Party, now stands for Gaggle of Pedophiles.
It is a sad tradition extending from Rep. Mark Foley to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to Jerry Sandusky — and the latter’s prime enabler, Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was one of the featured speakers at the 1988 Republican Convention. Because of his college football prominence, he was heralded as “Mr. Pennsylvania Republican” and was even encouraged to run for governor of the Keystone State.
And now we can add the name of Judge Roy Moore, Mr. Ten Commandments himself, to this shameful list. And, of course, his Alabama enablers/supporters.