Letters Aug. 24, 2017

Twin evils

Eric Rozenman points out that today’s anti-Semitism and its twin, anti-Zionism, are spawned mainly by the political left, not the right (“Un-teachable moment: leftist anti-Semitism,” Aug. 10). While that may be true, let us not forget that these twin evils are rooted in religion-based intolerance, not political affiliation.

The religious rationale for anti-Semitism developed from a centuries-old doctrine known as “replacement theology” — a belief that Christianity supersedes Judaism in the Divine plan for humanity. In the eyes of many Christians today, the survival of the Jewish people after centuries of persecution and the resurrection of a Jewish state stand as a direct refutation of this doctrine.

The same cannot be said of many in the Islamic world who believe in an Islamist variant of replacement theology — a belief that Islam supplants both Judaism and Christianity as the only true monotheistic faith.

Anti-Zionism — the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, and denial of the 4,000-year connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel — is a natural offshoot of the religious bigotry practiced in many predominantly Moslem nations and communities today.

Is it any wonder why many in the Islamic world (and their apologists on the political left) are so belligerent toward Jews and the Jewish state of Israel?

MARC CAROFF

Virginia Beach

 

The same evil, left or right

Letter-writer Barry Dwork (“An authority regarding tolerance?” Aug. 17) misreads my commentary (“Un-teachable moment: leftist anti-Semitism,” Aug. 10) thoroughly if not intentionally.

I did not cite Corey Stewart “as an authoritative source on the subject of tolerance.” My column plainly cited actual authoritative sources including Dennis Prager, Joseph Telushkin, Robert Wistrich and Natan Sharansky on the roots, continuing influence and identification of leftist anti-Semitism. It mentioned Stewart, an unsuccessful candidate for Virginia’s gubernatorial nomination, as someone virtually laughed out of a local synagogue for stating the obvious on this score, however inarticulately.

Dwork suggests someone ask me about President Donald Trump’s failure to refer to Jews in this year’s International Holocaust Commemoration Day statement. My Times of Israel commentary, “Remembering the Holocaust, Forgetting the Jews” (Feb. 15) did just that — adding that Trump followed liberals such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau and the European Union’s Catherine Ashton in making that glaring omission.

The issue is not, as Dwork would frame it, whether left-wing or right-wing anti-Semitism is the “lesser evil.” They are the same evil; the issue is whether or not Jews recognize which end of the political spectrum currently spews it in greater quantity.

ERIC ROZENMAN

Communications consultant,

Jewish Policy Center,

Washington

Give us examples

Regarding “Can we handle the truth?” (Dvar Torah, Aug. 17) Rabbi Alana Suskin presents generalizations such as, “we live in a time when truth is derided as fake, and falsity is sweetened for mass consumption,” without providing an example of what she has in mind. The rabbi presents as an expert on human behavior, generalizing that “[p]eople do not like to accept complexity … our impulse is to pick that side and reject the challenge.” and assumes that people engage in thinking that classifies people as “all good or all bad.” The beguiling words of the rabbi, minus examples of the situations she had in mind when writing the D’var Torah, make it difficult to attach meaning to the interpretation presented.

ROSALIND FELDMAN

Rockville

Head for the exit

Although one can respect the political diversity of the American Jewish community — those who voted for Donald Trump and/or participate in his administration, the president’s response to the events of the last few days represents a tipping point (“Charlottesville violence prompts area response,” Aug. 17).

Can Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn and even Jared Kushner continue in their posts — business as usual — without coming to be defined as “kapos” of our generation?

Trump’s embrace of the white supremacy movement and his attempt to define some semblance of moral equivalency between the racist and anti-Semitic marchers and those opposing them is an absolute signpost that should lead these Jewish members of the administration to head for the exit ASAP. There isn’t any moral or ethical (or Judaic) alternative.

DR. RAYMOND COLEMAN

Potomac

Metal detectors are fact of life

Metal detectors are employed at the Vatican, at the Mughrabi Bridge where non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount (during the limited hours and days) and at the Western Wall (“Israel removes detectors in J’lem amid tensions,” July 27). Metal detectors are even in use at Muslim worship sites in Saudi Arabia.

Metal detectors are a fact of life in the 21st century.

Incitement to rioting and violence, fomented by Fatah, Hamas, and the Waqf (religious authorities!) is also a fact of life, one that cannot be tolerated any longer if there is ever to be peace.

JULIA LUTCH

Davis, Calif.

 

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