Attacks on Jews go beyond Holocaust statement omission
I very much liked Leon Weintraub’s Voices piece (“They even want to take away our history,” Feb. 16) as a cogent historical review of the multifaceted assault on Jews to the present day (I am a friend of the author and very much admire his writings on and contributions to Jewish causes).
I am upset by the Trump administration’s omission of the specificity and magnitude of the World War II genocide against the Jews which provided the most horrific basis of the Holocaust, never to be forgotten or subsumed within any homogenized framework. But I believe singling out an egregious misstep by a seemingly blundering administration ties the trend only to one form of denial and does not draw the full canvas of current attacks on Jews and our history.
The nuclear deal with Iran abets and gives comfort to the murderous regime and its intention to destroy Israel and the heart of the Jewish people, an action far greater than President Donald Trump’s omission. As an opponent of the Iran deal, I cringed as the then-White House and its allies raised the millennial-old canard that Jews of my ilk were fifth columnists.
Our children at institutions of higher learning are being assaulted and made ashamed for their support of Israel or simply for being “privileged” Jews, left defenseless by administrations and fellow students, and at times recoiling and fleeing from their identity.
I hope Weintraub’s article and others like it along with letters to the administration will lead to the direct referencing of the Jewish genocide when the administration’s International Holocaust Day proclamation comes out next year. I also hope our fight against the obliteration of our history and the resurgent expressions of anti-Semitism is engaged across the whole spectrum of the malignancy.
Cyber synagogue provides daily online minyan
Your article on the Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute failed to mention its most important service (“Cyber synagogue challenges conventions,” Feb. 9). When my father died 18 months ago, I would have had to drive a minimum of 90 minutes, assuming no traffic, to find a minyan to say Kaddish. The JSLI provided an online minyan each day. There are several synagogues closer than 90 minutes, but none has a daily minyan. For Jews in the Virginia Piedmont, and other thinly populated areas, the Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute provides an important virtual community that supplements services no longer provided by many local synagogues.
GARY L. MISCH
Raskin comments add to divisiveness
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Distict 8) illustrated why this country is in such serious trouble (“Nothing diplomatic an Ambassador Friedman,” Voices, Feb. 16).
His hate rhetoric for the president and for nominee David Friedman as ambassador to Israel is unparalleled for a sitting member of Congress. He engaged in misleading statements regarding President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on immigration and on his financial holdings, and insinuated that Trump might collect payments from foreign governments.
Raskin accused Friedman of not being a diplomat, a statesman and a conciliator. One does have to wonder how a lawyer could be successful if he lacks such qualities. He cites statements made by former Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer to buttress his contention that Friedman is unfit to be ambassador. Yet Kurtzer has a long record of hostility to Israel and failed diplomacy. Raskin blasted Friedman’s negative remarks about ADL, ignoring ADL’s acceptance of an apology and statement that ADL will work with Friedman to advance their shared interests. He attacked Friedman for making deserved derogatory statements against former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry over the Iran nuclear deal and their failure to block the anti-Israel U.N. resolution last fall.
Raskin praised George Soros as a Jewish refugee from Nazism and ignored that in 1944, Soros delighted in working with the Nazis to confiscate property of Jews taken to concentration camps. Raskin whitewashed Soros’ record of financing organizations considered anti-Israel by many in the Jewish community.
Raskin disagrees with Friedman on the question of a two-state solution and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Raskin closes by citing political extremism and the need for solidarity and civility in the American Jewish community. Yet he fails to understand that his own rhetoric contributes to even greater divisiveness between Jews here and in Israel.