His Skin Color Is Irrelevant
I was distressed to read your report concerning the Ethiopian youth killed by an off-duty police officer. Especially disheartening was your statement that the policeman’s report is “hard to believe based on the testimony of eyewitness.”
More information has recently been uncovered, and I think it only fair that you inform your readers what really happened. The following information comes from various Israeli sources:
The officer was in a park with his wife and three children – ages seven, five, and seven months. He was not on duty, but when he saw a young boy being assaulted by three older individuals, he approached the scene, identified himself, and separated the boy from his attackers.
The three attackers then turned on the officer and began throwing rocks at him and his family. He drew his weapon, and when they didn’t stop, he fired into the ground. Unfortunately, when the bullet hit the ground, a fragment ricocheted, hitting Solomon Taken in the chest and killing him.
The police investigated and corroborated the officer’s story. The bullet removed from the dead youth was fragmented, and another fragment recovered from the ground in the park matched it. As a result of the police investigation, no murder or manslaughter charges will be brought against the officer although he may be charged with firing his weapon into the ground.
The name of the officer has been revealed, and, as a result, he and his family have had to flee to a safe house where they are under continual guard. The killed youth, incidentally, was reportedly under some sort of house arrest when he was shot due to previous incidents with the law.
I hope you print this letter so that readers understand that we’re not talking about a police officer shooting a black Jew just because he was black.
Howard J. Cohn
New Milford, NJ
The Jewish Press Should Not Apologize (I)
Reader Yehoshua (Alan) S. Frankel is wrong. There was nothing unfair about The Jewish Press’s criticism of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, nor is there any doubt about the intent of her comments concerning concentration camps in general and her anti-Semitism in particular.
Ocasio-Cortez defended herself by playing semantics, but her denunciation of President Trump’s “fascist presidency” in the same breadth that she talked about “concentration camps” and her comparison of those “fleeing violence in central America” to “Jews fleeing Germany” in the 1930s supports the claim that Ocasio-Cortez was most definitely comparing U.S. migrant detention centers to Nazi concentration camps.
Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez has vigorously defended Rep. Ilhan Omar’s right to spew blatant anti-Semitic tropes and tweeted the following to the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn: “It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you.”
I have no doubt that if a Republican defended David Duke and wrote kindly of him in a tweet, Mr. Frankel would rightfully label him or her a racist. It therefore never ceases to amaze me that Jews like Schumer and Nadler – and perhaps Mr. Frankel – give the likes of Ocasio-Cortez a free pass as long as they share a common agenda.
The Jewish Press certainly does not owe an apology to anti-Semites and haters of Israel like Ocasio-Cortez. Indeed, it is Mr. Frankel who owes an apology to the family of Rabbi Sholom Klass for his heavy-handed attempt to obscenely connect this great sage of the Jewish people to Ocasio-Cortez. If this is his idea of “defending the Jewish people,” we Jews would be better off without his assistance.
Englewood, New Jersey
The Jewish Press Should Not Apologize (II)
You were right for arguing in your editorial two weeks ago that Congresswoman Alexandria “Ocasio-Cortez diluted the significance of the Holocaust.”
Furthermore, her statement, even if not intended to offend, was painful to many Jews, including myself. I therefore respectfully disagree with the reader who suggested that The Jewish Press apologize to Ocasio-Cortez.
Even more disturbing than Ocasio-Cortez’s words was the silence of Rep. Jerry Nadler and Senator Chuck Schumer. As a lifetime Democrat, liberal, and proud Jew, I am deeply disappointed in them.
Yet, my concerns go beyond Ocasio-Cortez’s controversial remarks and the Democratic silence that greeted them. The number of anti-Semitic slurs made by several members of Congress has grown sharply over the last year, and our Democratic Jewish leaders have either been painfully silent or justified or misrepresented these slurs.
It is time to speak out clearly against anti-Semitism. If we don’t, we enable it to continue. Silence in the face of anti-Semitism amounts to complicity with evil.
Dr. Mel Waldman
Ban Laundry Detergent
America and Canada should ban the sale of laundry detergents. Laundry detergents are killing the fish in our oceans, lakes, and rivers.
You can have perfectly clean clothing and dead oceans or less-than-perfectly-clean clothing and living oceans. You decide.
Randall Jeffrey Pancer
Let Democrats Pay For It
There’s a big difference between charity and taxation. One is voluntary; the other is mandatory.
Every one of the Democratic presidential candidates supports free health care for illegal immigrants. The taxpayer, of course, would be forced to foot the bill.
If all the Democratic candidates continue to favor such a preposterous proposal, they are destined for defeat. How can they offer this benefit to people who come here illegally and not to tax-paying citizens?
Here’s a proposal: Give free health care to illegal immigrants, but take the money necessary to pay for it from the Democratic Party’s coffers.
Fort Lee, New Jersey
An Argument for Truth?
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’s column last week really resonated with me. He explained that the difference between the righteous arguments of Hillel and Shamai and the spurious arguments of Korach and Moshe is the difference between arguing for truth and arguing for victory.
It’s obvious to me that the left’s arguments with Trump are arguments for victory, not truth. Proof of this abounds. For example, look at the left’s position on immigration and detention centers today versus the Obama era. Look at the left’s insistence on investigating Russian collusion with Trump but not Russian collusion with Clinton. Look at the left’s use of the inaccurate and undefined term of “undocumented immigrant” instead of the factual and defined term of “illegal immigrant.” Etc. Etc.
The level of intellectual dishonesty on the left is truly astounding.
Radical = Anti-Israel
While there are many issues to consider in selecting between the endless number of Democratic candidates, one concern is uppermost in my mind, namely: Which candidate is most favorable toward Israel and the least anti-Semitic?
And I think it’s clear that there is a strong correlation between the most radical candidates and the most anti-Israel candidates. Let’s hope that the Democratic Party chooses a moderate.
New York, NY
I’d like to note two factual errors in the op-ed last week by Ettie Kryksman (“Are the Babies of Illegal Immigrants Being Tortured?”).
She writes that “no one is being denied food, shelter, or medical treatment” in border detention facilities. That is false. Dr. Dolly Sevier, a pediatrician who interviewed 39 detained children, reported that they had “no adequate access to medical care…or adequate food.”
This report is by no means unique. Whistleblowers, as well as lawyers and doctors with firsthand knowledge, have made similar statements.
Kryksman also speaks of “the president’s efforts to…facilitate the legal entry of immigrants into the country.” I’m not sure what she’s referring to. President Trump has actually tried limiting legal immigration into the United States. Just months into his presidency, the Trump administration announced its support for the RAISE Act, a bill that aims to cut legal immigration into the U.S. by half.
Executive changes to asylum, refugee, and work-visa policy, as well as Trump’s ban on immigration from some countries, have already placed aggressive limits on legal entry to this country.
New York, NY
BDS Radicals Won’t Stop
BDS insidious corruption of American education continues unabated. The following resolution, thankfully defeated at the just-ended national convention of the National Educational Association (NEA), hardly needs commentary.
“NEA will use existing digital communication to develop and publish resources to educate members and the general public on the apartheid, atrocities, and gross violations of human rights of Palestinian children and families by the State of Israel, funded directly by the United States.
“NEA will publish an article in the NEA Today on the work that is being done by our members and organizations fighting for the rights of Palestinian children and families, such as but not limited to: Parents Against Child Detention, HaMoked-Center for the Defense of the Individual, Defense for Children International-Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism, and Jewish Voice for Peace.
“NEA will partner with the No Way to Treat Child Campaign to pressure the Israeli government to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.”
In the face of deteriorating public education, radical elements would have the NEA embrace an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel foreign policy based on the most lurid Palestinian propaganda, aided, as usual, by radical Jews.
Richard D. Wilkins
Turning On Israel
Reader Alan Weintraub and I disagree on the Democrat Party’s attitude toward Israel and the Jewish people. He believes all is well, while I believe there’s been breach in a relationship that was once firm and resolute.
In light of our debate, I was pleased to read last week’s Jewish Press editorial on this very subject. It spoke of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the president’s “extraordinary pro-Israel leanings,” the waning of support for Israel among Democrats, and the unusual tolerance “outright slandering of the Jewish state” by newly-minted Democrat representatives.
The editorial correctly noted the growing influence of the radical wing of the party, which challenges what was once traditional bi-partisan support for Israel. Democrats who would have been ecstatic if Barack Obama had relocated our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights are now openly carping about Trump doing the same.
The editorial also noted that no on in the recent Democrat primary debates mentioned Israel. Apparently, none of the candidates believed support for Israel would benefit their campaign.
The Jewish Press editorial spoke strongly for me and, I hope and pray, for many other readers as well.
Why Are We Treating Children Like This?
I never thought I would see the day that children would be treated at the border in such a deplorable manner. They are children! What have they done to deserve this fate?
A very wise person I know said the government should have used the money spent on rolling out tanks on the 4th of July in Washington to help the detainees.
A trillion tanks don’t make a country strong or great. It’s how you treat the most vulnerable that speaks volumes.
The Cross Isn’t Christian?
In his op-ed two weeks ago, Professor Nathan Lewin cited the Mordechai’s distinction in Meseches Avodah Zarah between a cross worn by Christian clergy and a cross used in a Christian religious service. He argues that the Supreme Court adopted a similar distinction in ruling that the Bladensburg Cross memorial is not a purely Christian symbol.
The Mordechai, however, explicitly states that a cross worn by Christian clergy is not problematic because a cross on a cloth does not contain a pirtzuf shalem (a complete image). The Bladensburg Cross, though, is a prtzuf shalem.
Justice Samuel Alito argued that the Bladensburg Cross symbolizes themes that are not specific to the Christian faith. But this reasoning would seemingly not satisfy the Mordechai. He writes that creating an image of the sun or moon is forbidden even if they are not worshipped in one’s locale or generation.
Based on the above, I am not convinced that the Mordechai would concur with the reasoning or ruling presented by Justice Alito in the Bladensburg Cross case.
Dr. Nisan Hershkowitz
The Silver Lining
As I read your editorials and various letters to the editor regarding Israel and its relations with the U.S. government, a rather strange thought came to mind.
I met Donald Trump years ago and came away from our conversation thinking he was the world’s greatest con artist. So despite my disgust with Hillary Clinton, I voted for her – the lesser of the two evils, I reassured myself.
Now, though, I think Trump’s character may be just what we need. Just look at what he has accomplished, especially with regard to Israel; he has done more than any other world leader since the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Many of us dislike his character, behavior, and some of his policies, but he achieves goals that previous leaders were scared to even address. In the final analysis, then, President Trump may very well be accomplishing the tasks needed to make this world better for all humanity. There’s an old saying: “Every cloud has a silver lining.”
Los Angeles, CA