Letters to the editor: November 11


Newspaper pages represent ‘America in miniature’
If Maryland is “America in miniature,” then the Oct. 28 issue of the Baltimore Jewish Times opalesced the fraught political topography of American Jewry today.
To wit:

Page 7 was devoted to an article on Veterans Day, highlighting how homelessness was a significant issue for U.S. veterans. Page 5 featured an ad by the Zionist Organization of America heralding the feting of Mar-a-Lago impresario former President Donald Trump, who (in)famously avoided military service in Vietnam as a 4-F due to “bone spurs.”

The Page 14 headline was “ ‘Not all Nazis were bad,’ comments Indiana school-board candidate, drawing ire.” Trump’s immediate reaction to the 2017 white-supremacist/neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., was “There are very fine people on both sides.”

Summing it up, on Page 19 was JTA luminary Andrew Silow-Carroll’s yeoman analysis of “Does Trump hate Jews or just ‘bad Jews’ ”?


Beth El shines a spotlight on antisemitism
On Oct. 28, Rabbi Dana Saroken and I were joined by Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, for a Shabbat discussion about the rise in antisemitic incidents reported throughout the country. This alarming trend has been coupled with several recent controversial comments made by celebrities, including Kanye West (newly renamed “Ye”). It only takes a brief glance at a newspaper or the Internet to see these incidents front and center in the headlines.

About 200 people joined us in person and virtually to discuss the troubling trend. We heard from individuals who had questions about how to address this painful hate. Others told us that their children have been asking them questions about antisemitism.

These conversations are never easy, and I imagine many more will occur in the coming weeks and months. I hope all of the attendees found solace in knowing that they are not alone during such uncertain times.

The Jewish people have a long history of being resilient amid adversity. Much of our strength comes from lessons learned over time. I am confident that the Jewish community, both locally and globally, will continue to connect and support each other. Together, we must stand up against hate, while embracing the values that unite us.

Beth El Congregation

‘Proud Zionist/irresolute Zionist’
Andrew Silow-Carroll (Opinion, Oct. 28, “Does Trump hate Jews, or just ‘bad Jews?’ ”) employs his own form of “pigeonholing” when he uses the simplistic “good Jew/bad Jew” dichotomy to guide his analysis of the differing positions that American Jews take on the Jewish state, i.e. Israel.

A more precise reference frame for evaluating American Jews’ relative positions on Israel would be “proud Zionist/irresolute Zionist.” I believe that former President Donald Trump’s recent statements on the attitudes of American Jews towards his pro-Israel policies and towards Israel itself, when viewed in this context, are analytically quite accurate and objective.

It is noteworthy that Trump’s recent remarks also included a general comparison between the respective attitudes towards his pro-Israel policies of American Jews, Evangelical Christians and Israeli Jews. Silow-Carroll conveniently overlooked these remarks in his piece.

From these overlooked remarks, it becomes even more clear that Trump was castigating the solid majority of American Jews who, by their attitudes and voting patterns, can be objectively described as “irresolute Zionists.” As noted by Trump, the opposite is true for Israeli Jews and Evangelical Christians; solid majorities of these two groups fit into the category of “proud/unabashed Zionists,” as does Trump himself.

Virginia Beach, Va.

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