Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Just Politics?

The October 15th Democratic debate showed how dishonest the Democrats are and how little they respect the voice of the people.

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When asked why Democrats want to impeach President Trump and not wait for voters to “determine the president’s fate” in next year’s elections, Elizabeth Warren answered, “Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. And I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry.”

Voting for a president is just “politics”? Voting is the cornerstone of a democracy! What’s just “politics” – at its worst – is spending three years searching for a reason to impeach a president?

What’s more, no one called her out on her twisted dishonesty and thumbing her nose at the American people. Do none of the Democratic candidates have faith that the people will make the right choice? Or perhaps that’s exactly what they’re afraid of – of the people making the right choice and retaining Trump!

Josh Greenberger
Brooklyn, NY

 

Mission Accomplished

Thank you, Jewish Press, for letting people know about the protest of the reading of P Is For Palestine at the public library at Highland Park, New Jersey. Over 100 people came and stood in the rain for two hours against 20 or so counter-protesters, half of them from out of town.

At the end, only three people showed up for the author’s reading, all from our chevra.

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosenberg

 

Are Democrats Socialists?

According to President Trump and the national conservative news media, someone who supports federal welfare programs like Social Security and Medicare is a “crazy socialist.” If we go by that definition, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were “crazy socialists” since they both signed social programs of this nature into law.

Both also supported Social Security. In fact, Eisenhower wrote a letter to his brother in which he said that any Republican who wants to abolish Social Security is “stupid.”

It appears, though, that conservative Republicans have become more aligned with the radical right in recent decades. For example, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s acting chief of staff and budget director has famously stated that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and “unconstitutional” and should be abolished.

Stewart B. Epstein
Rochester, NY

 

Frankfurter and the Holocaust

In a column last month, Saul Singer claimed that Supreme Court justice and presidential confidante Felix Frankfurter was “arguably correct” in believing that “pushing the issue [of rescuing Jewish refugees] would not sway” President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In fact, events at the time demonstrated that Frankfurter was utterly mistaken. Defying those who claimed the president could not be swayed, a group of activists, known as the “Bergson Group,” lobbied Congress, sponsored more than 200 full-page newspaper ads, and organized rallies pleading for rescue (the most famous being the 1943 march by over 400 rabbis to the White House shortly before Yom Kippur).

The Bergson campaign culminated in the introduction of a Congressional resolution urging the creation of a government agency to rescue refugees. Roosevelt’s administration fought it tooth and nail, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted it anyway.

Meanwhile, aides to Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. discovered that the State Department was sabotaging opportunities to rescue refugees and suppressing news about the mass murder. Morgenthau, like Frankfurter, had been reluctant to trouble the president with Jewish concerns. But in the face of his aides’ discoveries, the treasury secretary finally mustered the wherewithal to confront the president in January 1944.

The last thing Roosevelt needed in an election year was a scandal over his administration’s harsh refugee policy. So FDR acceded to Morgenthau’s appeal and created the War Refugee Board. Although underfinanced and understaffed, the Board played a major role in rescuing some 200,000 Jews, in part by sponsoring the life-saving work of Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest.

In short, contrary to Saul Singer’s claim, FDR could indeed be swayed. What was needed was public pressure by Jewish activists and some courage on the part of the Jews in Roosevelt’s inner circle. Frankfurter showed no such courage; fortunately, Morgenthau did.

Dr. Rafael Medoff
Director, The David S. Wyman
Institute for Holocaust Studies

Washington, D.C.

 

Keeping the Brain Young

I am constantly amazed at the scope of articles in The Jewish Press. One that caught my attention the other week was Bracha Halperin’s Tech Talk column on using electromagnetic impulses to cure Alzheimer’s.

A much easier way to deal with this problem, however, may be to play poker. At least one book (Stay Young, Play Poker by Dr. Alan N. Schoonmaker) and several other publications have noted that playing poker (and perhaps other brain-challenging games) appears to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Remember the saying: Use it or lose it!

George Epstein
Los Angeles, CA

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