Liberal rabbis from the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements responded to President Trump’s initial remarks pertaining to Charlottesville by saying they would not participate in a pre-Rosh Hashanah conference call with the president.
I am sure there is not one word in our Torah that tells us we should refuse to take a New Year’s call from the leader of a country because of dissatisfaction with that leader’s verbal response to a horrible occurrence.
The liberal rabbis have an absolute right to criticize our president’s statement; however, their reaction was entirely too severe.
These rabbis should focus more on helping Israel and less on demonizing the president and turning their backs on his New Year’s greetings.
Would these same rabbis refuse to take a New Year’s call from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who names buildings and schools in honor of terrorists and who makes monthly payments to families of imprisoned and dead terrorists?
Has any of these rabbis ever publicly chastised Abbas for his conduct?
Has any of them ever demanded that the PLO and Hamas annul their formal charters, and Fatah its constitution, all of which unequivocally call for the destruction of Israel?
William K. Langfan
Palm Beach, FL
Real And Present Danger
Reader Reuven Solomon (Letters, Sept. 22) excoriated recent Jewish Press editorials, which in my opinion were fair and accurate. The editorials condemned both the left and the right. Mr. Solomon, however, is critical only of the right and praises “those who, at great risk, tried to stop them” in Charlottesville.
Is this what has become of Jewish liberalism? Are Jewish liberals compelled to praise the Left’s anti-Semitic anarchists, communists, antifa fascists, and sociopathic Black Lives Matter cop haters?
Mr. Solomon admonishes us not to compare anyone to Nazis. Why not? My take is this: when it comes to the extreme right and the extreme left, a pox on both their houses. Charlottesville was a classic case of evil confronting evil.
In the 1920s, tens of thousands of fully robed KKK members marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Klan membership at the time was estimated to be in the millions. Are we oblivious to the fact that the past 100 years have served to discredit them and shrink their numbers to the point where today they are a fringe of a fringe?
When KKK goons and other white supremacists rally in any city, what do we see? A literal handful or two surrounded by five or ten times as many police personnel. But it seems that some Jewish liberals see neo-Nazis and Ku Kluxers under every bed.
Meanwhile, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic leftists routinely turn out in far larger numbers in cities and especially on college campuses, and their vitriolic demonstrations often turn violent.
These throngs of left-wing extremists – not the pathetic KKK and white supremacist morons – are the ones who pose a real and present danger, an immediate threat to our system of law, order, and justice.
Fairness demands that we refuse to give a free, undeserved pass to the destroyers on the left who are not an iota different from those on the right – but who, in my opinion, are far more dangerous.
Jefferson’s Notion Of ‘Equality’
As reader Reuven Solomon reminds us (“Don’t Compare Anyone to Nazis,” Letters,
Sept. 22), “Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that ‘All men are
created equal and have been given certain deeply rooted rights by their Creator.’ ”
But it needs to be pointed out that however we might understand Jefferson’s words nowadays, it is not necessarily the same understanding Jefferson himself had. As a slave owner, he obviously excluded slaves, of whatever racial origin, from this statement. I am unaware as to whether he included non-slave persons of color in the category of those “created equal,” but that is another matter entirely.
Martin D. Stern
Tweeting Away The Presidency
We currently have problems with countries that could threaten our national security.
Evidently, Russia meddled to one extent or another in the 2016 presidential election and continues to hack into U.S. and European government and industry systems. And the Russians still occupy eastern Ukraine.
China laid claim to the South China Sea and is constructing bases on islands claimed by other countries. The Chinese military has confronted U.S. naval vessels and aircraft.
North Korea tests ballistic missiles that are capable of reaching the U.S. And the North Koreans are working on developing ballistic missiles outfitted with nuclear warheads by 2018.
Iran is involved in the Syrian Civil War and is a backer of Islamic terrorist organizations. The Iranians challenge our naval forces in the Persian Gulf and continually threaten to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
A dictatorship in Venezuela is causing instability in that country.
Given these situations, what are President Trump’s priorities? He is focused on repealing Obamacare, building a border wall, banning transgender people from our military, worrying about news leaks, undermining the media, routinely replacing White House staff, pardoning a convicted criminal sheriff, attacking NFL and NBA players, and showering the dictator Putin with platitudes.
Trump is not only contributing to the fraying of American society, he is tweeting away the presidency and jeopardizing our security.