Op-ed didn’t measure up
As a newspaper, the Washington Jewish Week has the right, indeed the responsibility, to offer opinion pieces and editorials.
Opinion pieces and editorials should offer informed opinion and insight based on some kind of evidence that will help inform and enlighten readers. On that scale, the paper failed miserably last week in presenting the piece “Oy Vey, Donald,” (Voices, Feb. 9).
The author presented himself, among other things, as a columnist on ethics, morality, Judaism, religion and politics. The first thing he does in engage in name-calling, not exactly a Jewish value, calling political opponents zombies, sorry losers and the like.
Exactly how that presents Jewish values is a mystery to us.
More importantly, ascribing the absence of the mention of the suffering of the Jewish people on International Holocaust Day to President Donald Trump paying too much attention to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ approach is absolutely ludicrous. What evidence exists that Trump is paying any attention to Sanders in any field whatsoever? One could much more reasonably ascribe Trump’s comments to his desire to have closer relations to Russia. Making the Holocaust a universal symbol of suffering rather than one with special meaning in Jewish history was a feature of the Soviet Union’s memorials to the Holocaust.
Trump wrote this statement, not Sanders, not the “progressive zombies” that the writer feels it’s appropriate to castigate. Trump wrote it, he owns it, he’s responsible for it, and it’s our duty as Jews, as Americans and as voters to hold him responsible for it.
WJW has a responsibility to its readers to offer informed commentary and not opinion pieces which lack evidence, insight or Jewish values.
RICHARD and SARAH DINE
Women’s march coverage reflects Jews’ involvement in event
I am astounded by the letter-writer’s comments on WJW’s reporting on the recent marches in Washington (“WJW march coverage showed gaps,” Feb. 9).
The reason for the extensive coverage of the Women’s March on Washington was because so many Jewish people were involved with it, championing the women’s causes it represented.
There was no good reason to cover the March for Life since there were no Jews involved with it, with the possible exception of Jews for Jesus. And the reason for Jews’ (and therefore WJW’s coverage) absence, is that the premise of the March for Life — a Catholic and Evangelical Christian enterprise — is that life begins at conception, which is not simply an unhalachic, but is a totally anti-halachic, stance.
The WJW’s coverage decision was
BARRY (BARUCH) HASHEM
Public funds, private schools
Mazel tov to the Jewish Community Relations Council for its facile adaptation to the Trump era (“Public funds for private schools gets JCRC nod,” Feb. 9). By backing Gov. Larry Hogan’s BOOST scholarship program in support of private religious schools, the JCRC has now adopted the position of white segregationists fleeing from integration mandated by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.
Segregation academies still exist today, kept afloat in part with the help of tax-exempt status. How long until there is a class-action lawsuit wondering why there are no non-frum students winning these scholarships the JCRC supports? Or non-Catholics winning scholarships at St. Fill-in-the-Blank School?
Public funds are fungible, so this takes money away from public education or the legal purpose of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program, which was created to fight tobacco addiction and cancer.
Peace Now argument fails
Peace Now leader Avi Buskila was quoted in your Feb. 2 issue (“Respond to fears, says Peace Now head”) asking, “We have tanks and rockets, and we’re afraid of a girl with a fork?” That’s a clever way to ridicule his opponents. But as an intellectual argument, it falls flat.
Conjuring up an image of the typical terrorist as being merely a child with a kitchen utensil makes the Palestinians seem less dangerous. But the kitchen implement that terrorists use is not a fork, or a spatula, or a soup ladle. It’s a knife. Knives are deadly weapons, as the terrorists have demonstrated time and again. The fact that the Israeli army has tanks and rockets does not do much good against a knife-wielding attacker who stabs Jews randomly at a bus stop or in a grocery store.
As I write these words, six Jews in Petach Tikva are lying wounded in a hospital, after an attack by a Palestinian Arab teenager with a gun and a screwdriver. Needless to say, tanks and rockets were not of much use in stopping that terrorist rampage. Taking Israel’s enemies seriously makes more sense than pretending they are just children with harmless household implements.
STEPHEN M. FLATOW
Religious Zionists of America
Letter’s assertions incorrect
Regarding the letter about the interview with Peace Now’s leader, the letter-writer (Letters, “Peace Now refuses to see reality,” Feb. 9) misrepresents the truth.
Contrary to his claim, Palestinians have officially accepted Israel’s right to exist. In 1993, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization signed a treaty with Israel which said, “The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.” This document has never been revoked.
Contrary to his claim, Palestinians do not bar Jews from East Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders, in the past, have accepted the Clinton Parameters, which state that under a peace treaty, Israel will maintain sovereignty over Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
Contrary to another assertion, Palestinians do not deny Jews the right to pray at the Temple Mount. Jews pray at the Western Wall, which is a part of the Temple Mount. Jews don’t pray on the Temple Mount’s plateau, where al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are today, due to a so-called “status quo arrangement” which the government of Israel has endorsed, and due to Jewish religious rulings that have to do with ritual purity. Contrary to another claim, Avi Buskila, who served 15 years as a combat officer in the IDF, does not “mock” the fears of Israelis. Rather, he is explicitly quoted in the Feb. 2 WJW article as saying the opposite.
Contrary to another false assertion, Buskila does not believe in appeasement but in a practical combination of military power, military deterrence and diplomacy.
The writer claims that peace based on compromise with Israel’s neighbors does not work. Reality proves the opposite. Israel signed a peace agreement based on compromise with Egypt and with Jordan. Both treaties are key national security assets for Israel.
Americans for Peace Now
District of Columbia