Letters to the Editor: January 6

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Disqualifier for future senators
Total silence on the GOP side that their would-be candidate to be Georgia’s senator, Herschel Walker, could not utter a single word about his mentor, former president Donald Trump, having dinner in Florida with two Holocaust deniers: Kanye (“Ye”) West and Nick Fuentes (Opinions, “Warnock, Sinema, Trump and Biden,” Dec. 16).

Republicans love to make the support of Israel a litmus test for Jews. I think a much better test is forcibly condemning any politician who gives comfort to Holocaust deniers or remains silent when an ex-president has dinner with virulent antisemites. This is a total disqualifier for a future senator.

There was also no statement on the Republican Jewish Committee website condemning Trump for this and a very tepid one by Israeli Prime Minister (who was prime minister-elect at the time) Benjamin Netanyahu on “Meet the Press” when he shifted the conversation to, “Well, look at all the good he did for Israel.”

Kudos to Republican politicians Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, former Vice President Mike Pence and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell for their forceful condemnation.

As President Joe Biden said, silence is acquiescence.

Leon Van Gelderen, Baltimore

Where are those standing up for Israel’s Law of Return?
In 1988, when Baltimore’s own Shoshana Cardin, of blessed memory, led a national task force and delegation to Israel for the Council of Jewish Federations and raised serious concerns about Israel’s attempt to change the Law of Return, the Knesset backed down from narrowing the definition of “Who is a Jew?” among non-Orthodox converts in Israel (Editorials, “Engage with Israel’s new government,” Dec. 30).

She and the leaders of the North American Jewish Community felt that the proposal could destroy the unity of the Jewish people and would deny citizenship to immigrants converted to Judaism by non-Orthodox rabbis trapping Jews in countries of Jewish oppression and danger.

Where are today’s Shoshana Cardins and North American Jewish leaders as some of Israel’s extremist leaders and parties attempt, once again, to change the Law of Return while newly installed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoints someone to head a new Jewish identity government agency who feels that the current law “ … is absurdly used to bring gentiles into the State of Israel,” according to a Dec. 21 article in The Washington Post.

Those “gentiles” are Jews with at least one Jewish grandparent whom Hitler and the Nazi Party would have murdered, and whom the Knesset voted unanimously in 1950 to consider Jewish and eligible for citizenship and aliyah.

Only 35 years ago, North American Jewry and its lay leaders were very concerned that a change in the Law of Return would drive a deep wedge between the Jewish state and the Diaspora.

Has that much changed in 35 years that the Federations, synagogues and Jewish organizations, along with their lay leaders and professionals, no longer care?

Glenn S. Easton, Chevy Chase

Missed two other tribe members who won ‘Time’ magazine award
Although I realize this comment might be perceived as coming from a know-it-all, I must stand up for the Jews (Briefs, “Volodymyr Zelensky named ‘Time’ magazine’s ‘Person of Year,’ ” Dec. 16): You left out two other Jewish “Men of the Year” published in “Time” magazine: Henry Kissinger (1972) and Andy Grove (1997).

Let alone the “Person of the Century,” none other than Albert Einstein on Dec. 31, 1999.
Robert Schwarcz, Baltimore

Editor’s Response: You are correct. As we went to press, we received an update by JTA that included the above two men. The late former business executive Andrew Grove earned the award in 1997; former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger earned the recognition in 1972.

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Letters should be related to articles that have run in the print or online, editions of the JT and may be edited for space and clarity prior to publication. Please include your first and last name as well your town/neighborhood of residence. Send letters to editor@jewishtimes.com or Baltimore Jewish Times, 9200 Rumsey Road, Suite 215, Columbia, MD 21045 or submit them online at jewishtimes.com/letters-to-the-editor.

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