Letters to the Editor: January 1, 2015


Jewish news
I have been a subscriber of WJW for many years because I am interested in reading news related to all Jews living throughout the entire world — news which often doesn’t appear in local and national publications. I question publication of the article “Up in a puff of smoke” (WJW, Dec. 18) about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana that pertains to the public at large, rather than primarily to Jews.

The article begins on the front page and continues to a full page of the WJW – a lot of space.

It involves a subject, like a number of subjects featured in WJW, which can be covered in The Washington Post and many other newspapers.

Race conversation unnecessary
As to “Ferguson and Eric Garner are symptoms of a deeper problem” (WJW, Dec. 18), Ms. Feinspan, with all due respect, you are wrong. Ferguson and Garner are not the deep problem of America. America does not need a conversation about race. What America needs is a conversation about values. As the great American and Jewish scholars Dennis Prager, Mark Levin and Michael Medved often say, many Americans, particularly many American Jews, have abandoned core American values and replaced them with the values of “leftism.”


Just read your own piece carefully. Directly and indirectly, it gives the typical Marxist-based leftist trope. “America is a racist society. America is full of greedy capitalists producing income inequality. Rich privileged white folks obstruct the poor and darker-pigmented people through rigging of the system.”

It’s the classic trinity of leftist race/class/gender our kids are steeped in at college and we get from our mainstream media and the Democratic Party. On the contrary, Ms. Feinspan, we are not what you say. We are a good people who don’t care a whit about the color of a man’s skin, how rich or poor he is, or what sexual proclivity he has. We are a people that love the rule of law and expect great punishment for any American white, beige, dark beige, or quite brown who reaches into a police car and smashes one of our fine law enforcement officers in the face and reaches for his gun. We are a people that love liberty and hate the liberty-crushing, Leviathan-sized government the left has created which weakens us, depletes our spirits and wealth and obstructs all of our paths for a dignified life. Ferguson is not the deep problem, Leftism is.
Chevy Chase

Silencing freedom of expression
As a passionate Zionist and an equally passionate theatrical investor, I am appalled at the copycat tactics of entities, be they lone actors, community boards or dictatorial countries who would try to silence freedom of artistic expression in America (“Ari Roth out at Theater J,” WJW, Dec. 25). I will not return to Theatre J until such freedom is restored.
Ruth B Hurwitz
From washingtonjewishweek.com

Terminological problem
Your Dec. 4 editorial (“The irreplaceable Netanyahu?”) referred to “increasing violence in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians.” That terminology failed to make it clear that one side is the aggressor, and the other side is simply defending itself.

Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem have been ramming their automobiles into crowds of Israelis at train stations and randomly stabbing Israeli passersby. On several of these occasions, Israeli policemen shot and killed the attackers. That is not violence “between” the two sides.

We note that your editorial was published just prior to the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Surely nobody would describe that act of aggression as “violence between Japanese and Americans.”
MOSHE PHILLIPS, president,
Religious Zionists of America,

‘Disputed,’ not ‘occupied’
Your Dec. 4 feature, “Words matter: how vocabulary defines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” failed to include the inflammatory and misused term: “occupied territories.”

“Occupied territory” generally refers to territory belonging to one sovereign state that is occupied by another, leading to terms like “Nazi-occupied France” and “U.S.-occupied Japan.” But whose land is being “occupied” in the “Israeli-occupied West Bank”?

The last uncontested sovereign over much of the area was the Ottoman Empire. With its dissolution after WWI, the League of Nations gave sovereignty, as a Mandate, to the United Kingdom. After separating the Hashemite Kingdom, the British kept the balance as the Palestinian Mandate.

When Britain, in the late 1940s, planned withdrawal, the U.N. General Assembly approved a partition plan. The Jews of Palestine generally supported it, Islamic States opposed it, and Arab states invaded to destroy Israel.

Fighting ended with an armistice and an established state of Israel. Most states recognized Israel, admitted to the United Nations in May 1949.

Jordan was left in control of the West Bank, the area behind the “Green Line” that it annexed in 1950, but only three states recognized that annexation. Sovereignty over the West Bank, therefore, remained indeterminate. The status changed drastically following the 1967 Six-Day War when Jordan was expelled from the area.

Israel was now in control of the West Bank. The area is clearly “disputed” and not “occupied,” as there is no previously recognized sovereign – not even Jordan, whose sovereignty was never really accepted as legitimate.

The status of the West Bank remains the subject of a dispute festering since 1948. Israel now exercises control over “disputed” and not “occupied” territory. It is time to move away from ideology and towards accuracy.

Blessed men
Knowing both rabbis from my years as executive director of the Hillel at GWU, this story really saddens me (“Rabbis face off,” WJW, Dec. 18). Both rabbis are blessed men who have done remarkable work in our community.
From washingtonjewishweek.com

Glad Gross home for Chanukah
This was so inspiring and so welcoming and a blessing that Alan Gross made it home for this holiday (“President Obama talks about Alan Gross at White House Chanukah reception,” washingtonjewishweek.com).
From washingtonjewishweek.com

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