Don’t forget liberal praise of Haley
A recent article implied that only conservatives had praise for Nikki Haley (“Jewish groups fawn over Haley after resignation decision,” Oct. 18). Absolutely not true. I am one liberal who would say that Haley is one of the best U.N. ambassadors the United States has ever had.
The article’s almost exclusive focus on Haley’s pro-Israel credentials, while understandable, obscures the fact that she is so effective because she’s a great diplomat. While I certainly appreciate her taking the United Nations to account for its obsessive anti-Israel record, she also stands strongly for American and democratic values, and has been a powerful voice for the persecuted around the world.
She has been seemingly the only person in this administration who knows how to be a diplomat. In stark contrast to most of the others, Haley appreciates our allies (many of whom see her as the go-to person) and works very well with others. This means she has had real influence. For example, she got even Russia and China to support sanctions against North Korea. Hence the almost universal praise and well wishes from other U.N. diplomats when she announced her impending departure.
Also, in very stark contrast to the president and most of his appointees, Haley is a class act. This has been reflected in her leadership in response to the neo-Nazi terrorist at the Charleston church, her consistent opposition to bigotry, her respectfulness in dealing with others, her praise of Sen. John McCain and her recent remarks about civility in politics at the Al Smith dinner. She will be very hard to replace in many ways.
Take a critical look at the Democratic Party
Op-ed authors Abby W. Schacther and Anat Talmy have pointed out a problem for the more than 70 percent of American Jews who vote in a knee-jerk fashion for Democrats whether or not it benefits fellow Jews (“The real rift: how the left is driving liberal Jews away from Israel,” Oct. 18). As the older, more moderate pro-Israel Democrats move out of the picture, their place is being taken by more left-wing ideological Democrats who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and are heavily anti-Israel.
Soon, there will be no one to tamp down the anti-Israel tendencies of the left wing. Right after 9/11, I was lucky enough to spend three months at an executive course at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where I had lunch with Rep. Mickey Edwards, a Jewish Republican from Oklahoma. In one of his comments, he indicated that it was his hope that future generations of Jewish Americans would take a more critical look at the Democratic Party from a practical, rather than ideological point of view, and see if the liberal/social tendencies of the party actually benefitted their needs.
It is clear that sooner rather than later Jewish voters will need to take Edwards’ critical look at the Democratic Party to determine if they want to continue to support a party in which more and more of its members are openly hostile to the State of Israel.
A voice for Ficker
The failure of the Washington Jewish Week to recognize Robin Ficker as a serious candidate for Montgomery County executive indicates a tremendous bias against a legitimate Republican candidate with solid accomplishments (“Floreen for Montgomery County executive,” Oct. 11).
Ficker, through his initiative and efforts, deserves much of the credit for the charter amendment passage of term limits for elected officials, which passed by a large majority. Ficker also was instrumental in the passage of the charter property tax limit requiring a unanimous council vote for property tax increases higher than the inflation rate. This law has saved homeowners thousands of dollars. Both initiatives were opposed by elected officials.
Ficker has been a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly and would work well with Governor Larry Hogan.
A voice for Elrich
I am disappointed by the Washington Jewish Week’s endorsement of Nancy Floreen (“Floreen for Montgomery County executive,” Oct. 11). The Jewish community should be standing with, and voting for, Marc Elrich.
Our Torah teaches that we should repair the world, pursue justice and welcome the stranger. I am proud to teach my children these values and proud to be part of Jewish community that puts those values into action. If we cherish our tradition’s call to justice, we must align our votes with our values.
Judaism demands that I support the “widow and orphan,” the most vulnerable people in society. I’ve lived in Montgomery County since 1997 and have been involved with local county politics and policy since 2002. In my job as a local community organizer, I’ve worked with both Marc Elrich and Nancy Floreen for years, and the choice between them is clearly a choice between supporting the “widow and orphan” and helping the rich get richer.
We are commanded by Jewish tradition to repair our world. In Montgomery County that means bringing balance to a system that’s gotten too unbalanced towards profit-driven developers at the expense of our county’s most vulnerable residents.