Letters Week of Dec. 8, 2005

Stands on Domestic Issues Should Influence Votes
Thanks to Jonathan Tobin for another fine analysis of the political options facing Jews (A Matter of Opinion: "Whom Do We Really Fear?" Nov. 23).

One point that should also be made is that many Jews – all things on the foreign-policy and Israel front being equal – steer back to the Democrats on domestic issues such as the support of civil rights. Plain and simple, these people can't stomach Republican tax policies, environmental policies and everything else they've pushed through Congress.

As a retired person, I find – outside of the Orthodox community – continued support for the Democrats because of their domestic agenda.

Perhaps the economic status of the younger generation of Jews may cause them to back a Republican program.

But I think the consideration of domestic policy should also be part of the discussion.
Howard Krause

It's Easier to Hang Out With the 'Right' Side

It seems to me that Jews who agree with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's contention that conservative Christians wish to constrain Jews from practicing their religion in the United States have it all backward (A Matter of Opinion: "Whom Do We Really Fear?" Nov. 23).

All of the conservative and evangelical Christians I meet are delighted by my obvious love of my religion, and the fact that I bring Torah into our conversations, observe Jewish dietary laws, wear a Magen David and the like.

It's the liberals – both Christians and Jews – who are uncomfortable by any expression of my faith or traditions.

I believe that any practicing Jew in the the United States feels more comfortable living among conservative Christians than liberals, and wish that Jonathan Tobin had pointed this out.
Esther Goldberg
Alexandria, Va.

It's Correct to Mistrust Pro-Israel Christians

Jonathan Tobin's account of Howard Dean's remarks at the AIPAC dinner in Philadelphia was a big surprise to me (A Matter of Opinion: "Whom Do We Really Fear?" Nov. 23).

May God grant that Dean's words guide his actions.

The concern Jews have with Christians is, I believe, spot on in the sense that evangelicals, by and large, believe they must convert Jews to "save" them. Others may support Israel, but have contempt for Judaism.

I believe they are often conflicted about their support of Israel and contempt for Jews.

The Christ-killer myth that says "They killed Him" is often subtly hidden from their consciousness. To get it out, you have to discuss issues with these folks.
Barry Boyer
Ritzville, Wash.

Dean's Talk of Christian Threat Is Unjustified

I have a simple question about the essence of the argument put forward by Howard Dean at the AIPAC gala (A Matter of Opinion: "Whom Do We Really Fear?" Nov. 23): Why do Jews in America fear that conservative Christians cause Jews to be "constrained from practicing their faith or be compelled to convert to another religion?"

We do, after all, have a Constitution that would, on its face, preclude anything close to such "constraints."

Also, I have never seen or heard of any conservative-Christian publications or statements that would in any way inhibit Jews from practicing their religion in this wonderful country.

Dean's statements perplex me to no end, because they imply that conservative Christians espouse very serious unconstitutional conduct.

My parents were survivors of Auschwitz and always had a heartfelt deep gratitude for this country for countless reasons that are rather obvious.

Polemics about the threat from "conservative Christians" are simply wrong and clearly inappropriate.
Saul Davis
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Iraq Pullout Benefits Only the Fanatics

Critics of the war in Iraq claim that the U.S. military is losing and cannot win the war (Cover story: "A Battle Ripples Over State of War," Nov. 17). Some have even demanded that American forces leave now or within a year.

The effect of American disengagement will be a war between the fascist Ba'athists remaining from Saddam Hussein's regime and the fanatical, radical Islamists.

For more than 50 years, American foreign policy has been to support Arab and Muslim dictators who have oppressed, exploited and tortured their own people with massive human-rights violations.

In the cases of Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the Assad regime in Syria, both nations engaged in aggressive, expansionist wars against neighbors. The rationale for tacitly supporting these dictators was that radical Islam, instability and anarchy were worse threats.

The radical and revolutionary President George W. Bush has changed the course of American foreign policy by introducing an alternative.

The use of American military and American diplomatic power has removed a regime of dictators, allowing self-government and self-determination to arise, along with the recognition of the human rights of the oppressed people of the Middle East. A free press has also been established. There are now more than 68 separate newspapers, radio and TV outlets – even the Internet – in Iraq.

To abandon President Bush's vision of advancing freedom as the most enduring defense of American self-interest – no democracy has ever attacked another democracy – and to leave Iraq and the Middle East to a civil war between fascists and fanatics cannot be good for anyone, even the fascists and the fanatics.
Robert Guzzardi
The writer is a member of the board of the Jewish Publishing Group.



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