Letters, the Week of April 6, 2017


For Some, Azerbaijan Not Such a Welcoming Place

The recent depiction of Azerbaijan as some sort of modern-day Shangri-La of peaceful coexistence and exemplary behavior was totally off the mark and highly offensive to the minorities who suffered under its various regimes for more than a century (“Look to Azerbaijan as a Model of Peaceful Coexistence,” March 23).

It would behoove the Exponent to enumerate these indisputable facts: 1) Azerbaijan is by all accounts a brutal one-man dictatorship ruled by a despot whose claim to fame is being the offspring of the previous dictator, Haidar Aliyev; 2) Azerbaijan has organized state-sponsored pogroms against its minority Christian Armenian citizens on at least three different occasions in the last century; 3) Azerbaijan recently engaged in a systematic destruction of ancient Christian tombstones, monuments and historical edifices to erase any cultural heritage belonging to the minority Armenian community in its Nakhichevan exclave; and 4) Azerbaijan has of the most corrupt governments on earth.

You should reconsider awarding this rogue state an Academy Award for best political conduct.

Viken Evereklian | Newtown Square


Not Swayed by Pro-Azeri Portrayal

It is unfortunate that the opinion writer did not do any research on Azerbaijan either before her trip or before writing her article (“Look to Azerbaijan as a Model of Peaceful Coexistence,” March 23). Had she done so, she would have learned that, notwithstanding its good relations with Israel, Azerbaijan is a dictatorship with little regard for human rights and is one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.

Judah Labovitz | Center City


Lay Off the Quakers

Your opinion pages are a refreshing forum for healthy debates on issues of concern, but one writer crossed a line when he used his attack on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel to mount an assault on another religion — the Quakers (“The Nature of Quaker Education,” March 2).

I am no fan of BDS, but in the same edition in which you report on the rise of real anti-Semitism, it is more than a little ironic and disappointing that you printed an essay that turns the tables on another religion. Just when it seems that many in our community are beginning to realize that Muslims are not our enemy, do we really need to start picking a fight with the Quakers?

The article asserts that “one of [the Quakers’] central missions is promoting the BDS movement.” Central mission? I somehow doubt that BDS is at the heart of most meetings for worship.

More importantly, I sure wouldn’t like it if a Catholic or Muslim or Quaker newspaper printed uninformed accusations about the “central mission” of my religion. And I sure don’t like it when a newspaper that speaks for my religion takes potshots at another.

Richie Feder | Mt. Airy


  1. Mr. Feder,

    I remember The Society of Friends (Quakers) rescuing Vietnamese children during the Vietnam War. Do not remember ever reading about them rescuing Jewish children in Poland so that they wouldn’t be cremated in Auschwitz. And they DO support BDS. No religion should be treated with a “broad stroke” but I don’t believe that Quakers are any friends of the Jews.


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