Letters, the Week of May 26, 2016

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Readers discuss President Obama, the Jewish “tribe” and Friends’ Central School.

Shocked, Shocked at Lack of Outrage
I’m not sure whether I’m amused or bemused at the editorial, “Misleading with Contempt” (May 12). The Exponent was shocked, just shocked that one of President Obama’s top advisors had admitted to lying and manipulating the press and the public. I can’t imagine why.
Obama has constantly lied to the American people since he took office and has gotten away with it. After each one of his several scandals, he’s promised to get to the bottom of it. Since his administration has done absolutely nothing to back up his words, it’s now obvious that he was lying.
During his push to get the Affordable Care Act passed, he continually repeated that “you can keep your doctor,” “keep your health care provider if you wished” and it would reduce your premiums by $2,500 per year. None of this was true.
When the president stated during the Iranian nuclear negotiations that moderates were now in charge in Iran, the lie was transparent. Iran is a theocracy with the Ayatollah Khamenei in absolute control of the government. The idea that the newly elected Rouhani government was moderate and in charge of policy was absurd.
In the wake of this and more, there was no outrage, and no attempt to put the president’s feet to the fire. Ben Rhodes and the president concluded that the press was in their pocket. The result is the worst treaty ever negotiated by our government and Rhodes misleading (read that as lying) with contempt.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
Curious Source for Tribal Endorsement
Rabbi David Osachy is entitled to his opinions about the virtues of tribalism (“‘Tribe’ Needn’t Be Pejorative Label,” April 28). But his claim that this idea was advocated by the late Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan strikes me as a bizarre misinterpretation.
I’m no theologian, but I was raised in Kaplan’s original Reconstructionist congregation in New York. I knew him personally, as well as his family. Kaplan was on the bimah at my Bar Mitzvah. He and my grandfather were friends. On that basis, I can confidently state that the concept of tribalism was anathema to him.
The essence of Kaplan’s philosophy lay in his observation that Judaism is, above all, a civilization that has constantly reconstructed itself over thousands of years through a trial-and-error process conducted by thinking individuals. To Kaplan, the glue that held the Jewish people together was not tribal loyalty, but reason and intellect.
 Dan Rottenberg | Philadelphia
Friends’ Alliances Deserving of Spotlight
As dismayed as I was when I read the story about the Friends’ Central School providing financial support to an organization known to have ties with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement (“Parents Angry with Friends’ Central for Previously Supporting BDS Organziation,” May 19), I was encouraged to learn that Brad and Lisa Sandler had the courage to stand up to the administration and board and insist that such funding cease.
In an era when too many believe political correctness is the order of the day and that “silence is golden,” it is refreshing to learn that some have the strength and conviction to defend Israel and to not allow the injustice and viciousness of the BDS campaign to be funded and facilitated by local schools within our community.
I commend the Jewish Exponent for sharing this story.
Michael Saewitz | Bala Cynwyd

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