Letters | Nov. 7, 2018


Nothing friendly about Sarsour
In your extensive article on the massacre in Pittsburgh, you gave three paragraphs of ink to Linda Sarsour, who spoke at a vigil in front of the White House (“Thousands gather in D.C. in shooting’s wake,” Nov. 1). Shame on the Washington Jewish Week!

Regardless of the overt politics this newspaper reflects, the quote from Sarsour crosses any acceptable line for any newspaper, much less one that professes to have a Jewish perspective. “We love you. We stand with you. We risk everything so you can have the right to practice your religion,” she is reported to have said. This embrace of the Jewish people is reported as if it were sincere. This is the same Linda

Sarsour who has embraced Louis Farrakhan, to whom Jews are termites and has chanted “death to America and Israel” on Iranian TV. She is a “soneh yisrael” of the first rank who deserves the recognition reserved for those on the ash heap of history.
Washington, D.C.

Timely message, wrong evidence
The opinion piece by Barbara Goldberg-Goldman was timely and pertinent, but oh so prejudiced (“Vote to restore integrity and civility in our democracy,” Nov. 1). Without specifically naming individuals or political parties, the examples of poor choices she quoted came straight from a Democratic playbook.


We certainly need to change the quality of discourse within society, but we will not achieve it by claiming that all the blame lies with one political party. Perhaps the media from which the author gathers her information failed to mention the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, the advice of Eric Holder (“When Republican’s go low we kick them”), the advice of Rep. Maxine Waters (“Harass Republicans in restaurants and in malls”), and the behavior of Sen. Dianne Feinstein during the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

The decline in the civility of our society lies equally on both sides of the political spectrum, and a vote to banish most of the incumbents might send the required message. Unfortunately, too many in our society rely on name recognition when voting and pay little or no attention to whether that name is recognized because of good work or for other reasons.

As Churchill noted in 1947, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” He did not add that the problem is mainly those who are allowed to vote.

The nation’s entire leadership is to blame
The horrific slaughter in Pittsburgh of innocent Jews, exercising their freedom of religion, serves as a jarring reminder that anti-Semitism needs little provocation to rear its ugly head again in American
society (“Death rains down on Pittsburgh,” Nov. 1). As Michael Gerson accurately noted in The Washington Post, little was done to help desperate Jewish refugees trying to escape the horrors of Nazi persecution during FDR’s administration, despite growing evidence of genocide.

As an independent voter, I recognize that our present national leadership, in words and deeds, has helped to rekindle the spark of anti-Semitism in our country.

However, it is not just one side that “needs to do better.” Jewish students are ostracized in college campuses across the country by sanctioned student groups and radical professors for expressing a love or admiration of Israel. Anti-Zionist fervor and the BDS movement are plausible excuses to exclude Jews from progressive movements.

The Anti-Defamation League has been alerting us for months about the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes locally and in the country at large. And it takes little provocation for anti-Semitism to
reemerge once again in Europe.

I admire Holocaust survivors for speaking to our youth about their horrific experiences. What happens when they are gone? Will we as Americans be willing to confront the dual bigotry of racism and anti-Semitism on a long-term basis? Or, will it be easier to express temporary indignation at another mass shooting/hate crime and then continue with our daily lives?
Burke, Va.

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