Letters, April 27, 2016

Election measure clarified
I would first like to commend Washington Jewish Week for capturing our accomplishments during the contentious 90-day legislative session in your article (“Looking back on the Maryland General Assembly,” April 21).  I am writing to clarify the section on election law and the Universal Voter Registration Act.

As originally introduced, the bill would have automatically registered all eligible voters in Maryland. This version of the bill was defeated on the Senate floor. A similar bill (HB 1007) passed the House of Delegates, but was subsequently reworked on the Senate side. Sen. Steve Waugh (R-District 29) and I spent countless hours modifying the bill in the final days of session.

The significantly amended bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, will make it much easier and more accessible to register to vote. It increases the number of government agencies that will be able to register voters and establishes an opt-in, rather than an opt-out, system. The revised bill passed the Senate unanimously. With such bipartisan support, it is very likely that Gov. Larry Hogan will sign the bill.

Thank you for covering the successes of the legislative session and for helping to inform the residents of Maryland. I appreciate your taking the time to consider the updated information on the final voter registration bill.
SEN. CHERYL C. KAGAN
D-District 17

 

Jewish BDS supporters naïve in their thinking

It is always painful for me to see Jewish intellectuals siding with the BDS movement and vehemently defending the Palestinian misdeeds at the expense of Israel (“The dilemma of Simone Zimmerman,” Editorial, April 21). The mistake which is made in facing the accusations against Israel is to counter each argument on its supposed merits. There should be only one consistent and persistent response: “When the Palestinians stop threatening to kill all the Jews — not just Israelis, mind you, but Jews — then everything becomes negotiable, then we can find help for the Palestinians.”

The arguments that if Israel would treat the Palestinians better and would stop the so-called occupation, then they would stop hating us is a naïve notion based on nothing factual.

First of all, Jews, including those in Israel, do not threaten to kill all the Palestinians. Second, the Jewish intellectuals who align themselves with BDS agitators are too young to appreciate what we, the residual survivors of the Holocaust, had learned that those who threaten to kill you because you are a Jew, given the opportunity, they will do so.

I doubt that you can find a Holocaust survivor who supports BDS. The threat to kill is not an abstract idea. But the Jewish intellectual who supports BDS, regardless of his stance, is not protected. The threat of those who Jews targets him as well.
FRANK COHN
Alexandria

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