Letters the Week of September 3, 2015

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Donald Trump, American Airlines and the Iran Deal are discussed in this week's letters.

Standing Against Deportation
I cannot understand why more people from both political parties, especially Jews, have not spoken out against Donald Trump and other Republicans for denigrating Mexicans and proposing to deport them. In my reading of history, every effort to banish or deport groups from any place or country has constituted a gross injustice toward that group. The effort always includes wholesale vilification and exaggerations about the group’s bad behavior and character.  Notable examples of such policies in the United States include all of the forced relocations of Native Americans as well as the internment of Japanese-American citizens following Pearl Harbor. In Europe, examples include the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, the mutual population “exchange” between Turkey and Greece in 1923 and, of course, the Jewish deportations from France, Italy and other countries during World War II. Elie Wiesel tells us that after the Holocaust, his personal commandment from the Bible became, “Thou shall not stand idly by.” We all have a responsibility, he says, to intervene and interfere when we see or hear about people who are being persecuted and mistreated. If threats by Donald Trump and his ilk do not qualify as mistreatment and spur us to speak out, we will be complicit in another great injustice.
 
Benjamin R. Schuster | Santa Fe, N.M.
 
Un-American Behavior Is Unbecoming
I am one of those local regular travelers to Israel who is disappointed with the cancellation of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv (“American Airlines Cancels Philly-Tel Aviv Route,” Aug. 27). For me, it provided the convenience I looked for after spending years trekking to Newark, JFK or experience lengthy transfers leaving out of Philadelphia. However, I am angered at the suggestion that it was politically motivated. Royal Jordanian and British Airways also have regular flights to Israel. And if you look at American’s website, El Al also has a relationship with the airline. Delta is another airline with daily flights to Israel, and Saudia and Middle East Airlines are their partners in Skymiles. Routes come and go all the time. That is the nature of the beast. I guess if Philadelphia was such a lucrative market, El Al would have established a route here years ago. I am no fan of any airline, but any suggestion that there is some sort of political motive related to Israel or anyone else should be well researched before it’s placed into print. I am a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen and a lifelong Zionist. I find recent dishonest reporting from our end disturbing. We have plenty of enemies without having to go on witch hunts.
 
David Stein | Philadelphia
 
Straight Talk on Iran Deal
For those who don’t like the Iran deal, welcome to the crowd (“South Jersey Jews Tackle the Iran Deal,” Aug. 27). Nobody likes the Iran deal. We all wish that the deal were better. But it’s not, so get over it. For those who think that President Obama and John Kerry are incompetent and even anti-Semitic, go right ahead. But the fact is that, like it or not, the United States is now limited to two (non-military) options: Accept a deal that has the potential to delay the day that Iran gets nuclear weapons; or reject that deal and ensure that Iran will get nuclear weapons sooner rather than later. And with either option, Iran will be getting billions of dollars, either from the U.S., Russia, China and Europe or “just” Russia, China and Europe. 
 
Steve Mendelsohn | Penn Valley
 

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