Kudos on your balanced and thoughtful editorials in the Jan. 5 edition of Washington Jewish Week (“Trump’s tax returns” and “Where is the progress on immigration reform?”).
Although I am not a Trump supporter, I am a passionate supporter of fair play and agree wholeheartedly with your editorial on Trump’s tax returns.
With the recent rediscovery of our southern border by President Biden and the inauguration of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, one can always wish that those two institutions will take the following steps with the aim of supporting that which is in the best interest of our country:
1) Control illegal immigration along our southern border;
2) Enact bipartisan legislation to update and rationalize our immigration policy.
Charles F. Miller, Bethesda
The WJW has presented the new Israeli government in terms of its political positions (“Fulfilling a campaign promise,” Editorial, Jan. 12). But there are more threatening implications of the plans of this government.
The plans include kicking members of Israel’s bar association off a panel that reviews and recommends judges, while packing the same panel with politicians from the current government. It also plans to overrule the judiciary’s independence from the legislative branch.
Where else have these actions recently happened? Hungary and Poland, where opposition parties and advocates for minority sexual identifications and abortion rights advocates have been threatened politically and legally. These countries accelerated their agenda after receiving Israel’s NSO Group’s spyware program during Benjamin Netanyahu’s prior government. Richard Nixon said, “If the president does it, then it is not illegal.” And “I am not a crook.” He retired in disgrace. Are Netanyahu, Deri, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich destroying democracy to save themselves?
Mark Czarnolewski, Silver Spring
Tobin’s disagreeable disagreement
Jonathan Tobin’s op-ed in the Jan. 5 issue of WJW (“Can U.S. Jews love the real Israel?) does not support the new government of Israel so much as it slanders non-Orthodox U.S. Jews who have supported and continue to support Israel despite concerns.
How dare he presume that “the majority of Americans identify with the non-Orthodox denominations the center of whose faith is liberal politics.” This is not only insulting to the religious integrity of those with whom he disagrees politically, it is antithetical to the very core of traditional Jewish [talmudic] discourse that focuses vigorous disagreement on issues but assumes the integrity of those holding contrary opinions.
Those of us who care a lot about Israel from a non-Orthodox perspective should be concerned that Mr. Tobin’s “own the libs” approach will weaken support in the U.S. more than the early initiatives of the Israeli government alone.
David Yaffe, Arlington
What Jews learned from Dr. King
Jews often tout our contributions to the mid-20th century civil rights movement. However, we often omit the effect the movement had on us.
The success of 1963’s March on Washington, led by Dr. King, whose birthday we are honoring, caused other groups, many with a significant Jewish presence, to launch demonstrations for ending the Vietnam War, nuclear disarmament, women’s equality, gay/lesbian rights, ending the AIDS crisis, pro-choice and the Me Too movement.
For Jews, Dec. 6, 1987, Freedom Sunday for Soviet Jews, marked a turning point in how Jewish leaders operated. The success of bringing 250,000 people to Washington stood in stark contrast to the Oct. 6, 1943, Rabbis’ March when only 400 rabbis attempted to bring the wholesale murders of Jews to the president’s attention.
Thank you, Dr. King, for reminding all Americans of our First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and petition our government for a redress of grievances.
Paul L. Newman, Merion Station, Pa.