Letters January 12, 2017

Where’s the concern for Israel?
If the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran’s radical leadership wasn’t enough for Jews to abandon the Democrat Party, the recent vote on the U.N. Security Council resolution targeted at Israel may just do the trick. The resolution declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem since the 1967 war have no legal validity and are a threat to a two-state solution (“Shemtov says remarks at menorah lighting not directed at Obama,” Dec. 29).

That means the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall in Jerusalem are illegally occupied. One more step in delegitimizing Israel.

Despite the Jewish community uproar, we are not hearing disagreement from the Democrats’ core constituents: Black Lives Matter, Council on American-Islamic Relations, LGBTQ community, or National Council of La Raza.
BRAD BOTWIN
Rockville

Not participating, but having its say
I am confused by the article “O.U. wants nonpartisan approach at Trump interfaith inaugural event” (Dec. 29). Isn’t it rather chutzpadik to set down rules for an event you will not be able to attend?
TOM STYIYER
Beltsville

Iran policy troubling
I believe that the nuclear deal with Iran poses a serious threat to Israel, but this issue has not been adequately addressed by the media, our political leaders and the public. To me, it is reminiscent of the time we were being murdered and starved to dead by the Germans and their collaborators, and the free world remained silent and offered no help.

President Barack Obama’s policy of enabling Shia Iran to become a major power in the Middle East, and a nuclear power is very detrimental to our interests, to our Sunni Arab friends and allies, and Iran poses an existential threat to Israel (“Neither political party has monopoly on Middle East solutions,” Dec. 29).

Obama is well aware that the nuclear agreement is only delaying for about a decade Iran from developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

Yet he signed the nuclear agreement without insisting that Iran renounce their threat to destroy Israel. This clearly shows his total lack of concern for survival of Israel.

Obama’s supporters will argue that he has approved the legislation of providing Israel with $38 billion dollars over the next 10 years, and other appropriations during his presidency. However, all the money will be of no avail should Iran proceed with the threat.

The end result of Obama’s Iran policy will force Israel to do what is necessary to protect itself, and I pray to God they will be successful.
RUBEN MOLLER
Silver Spring

Mazel tov to Friedman
I find it ironic that J Street and similar groups can back the inept efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama, yet condemn an untested David Friedman (“Jewish groups tussle over Friedman pick,” Jan. 5). I did not vote for Donald Trump, yet I lament the efforts of Obama, Kerry, and our State Department to time and again, throw Israel under the bus.

Unlike many crony appointments, Friedman really has been to Israel and realizes the reality on the ground. There is no functioning Palestinian Authority government, except to line the pockets of its senior officeholders with the millions in charitable contributions meant for its citizens. The P.A. and Hamas promote terrorism, not country building.

Liberal Jews in the United States, of course, conveniently forget that the Palestinians were given a country by the United Nations in 1947-48. The Arabs unsuccessfully went to war, and lost, and have for nearly 70 years wallowed in self-pity. Israel built a thriving, vibrant democracy and provided for its citizens. Land for peace is a false syllogism that has never worked. It can’t when the Arabs press for the destruction of Israel and the Jews.

Friedman despises J Street, as he should. Had their Neville Chamberlain-type philosophy prevailed, Israel and the Jews would not exist. Appeasement does not work with the Arabs. The negotiations never quite get done. They always want something more.

Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Negotiate from strength. In this way maybe the United States could contribute, as 68 years of give, give, give have not worked. Maybe negotiating from strength may do the trick. Mazel tov to Friedman.
STEVEN JACOBY
Silver Spring

JVP is anti-Israel group
As a Washington Jewish Week reader, I am baffled that WJW chose to devote an entire page to the activities of a small, fringe, anti-Israel group (“Jewish Voice for Peace marches against Islamophobia,” Dec. 29).

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) claims that the Clarion Project is “a hate group” and “Islamophobic,” however a look at the Clarion Project’s website shows that it is not against all Muslims, it is against Muslims who are extremists and/or terrorists.  The Clarion Project’s website includes a petition requesting that President-elect Donald Trump meet with the moderate members of the Muslim Reform Movement.  The Clarion Project’s Advisory Board includes two Muslims.

In contrast, the Jewish Voice for Peace has earned a place on an Anti-Defamation League list of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in America.  Thus, it seems that JVP is Israelphobic.

Surely there must be other Jewish community news more worthwhile to cover, than the activities of a Jewish anti-Israel group.
ETHAN STARR
Washington

Don’t push away interfaith couples
By refusing to accept or perform interfaith marriages we run the risk of driving mixed couples away from Judaism (“Conservative group ousts rabbi for performing intermarriages,” Dec. 22).

It is as though we are saying, “We refuse to accept your non-Jewish partner.” It is important that we welcome all couples whether or not one of them isn’t Jewish.
NANCY L. DUDWICK
University Heights, Ohio

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