Who’s a Jew?
Has the Jewish Exponent decided to renew the debate over who is a Jew? It seems that way, judging from the letters you published on May 30. The most blatant example is Howard Brooks saying “Jewish Republican is an oxymoron.” Wow! Does that mean Jewish Republicans should be excommunicated? There are so few of us Jews in the world, less than one in 500 people. Brooks would apparently excommunicate one-fourth of all American Jews.
Morris Olitsky | Havertown
I don’t think that Judaism is Republican or Democratic in nature — it goes back much further than either — but some of the statements in recent letters betray an astonishing level of ignorance.
One letter states that Republicans prevented Jews from escaping the Holocaust, whereas, in fact, the Roosevelt administration (Democrats) was in power for the entire period.
Another letter suggests that halacha requires liberal abortion laws and a single-payer health care system; one can only imagine the creative interpretation required to reach such conclusions.
People have a right to express their opinions on Jewish or other subjects. But if facts are twisted so far to meet contemporary political goals, is it any wonder our community is in demographic trouble?
Michael A. Livingston | Cheltenham
Whither True Zionism?
How intriguing — and embarrassing.
Of all the famous American Jews who attended the ZOA-linked Keeyuma/Carmelia camp in Vermont (“Remembering Herman Wouk — and Summer Camp,” May 30) — Arthur Miller, Norman Lear, Moss Hart, Paul Goodman, Andrew Goodman, Bob Treuhaft and especially the Orthodox Herman Wouk — not a single one ever wound up making aliyah.
Exactly what was the nature of the Zionism taught at that camp?
Stephen Arkan | Wilkes-Barre
When Democracy Loses
The problem with allowing “the democratically elected leaders” of a country to make any decisions (let alone those involving national security — see Ronnie Breslow’s letter in the May 23 Exponent) occurs when those leaders may be guilty of criminal activity, dishonesty and certainly of making decisions that many deem inconsistent with national security and other policy issues.
Were it not for the dishonesty, scare tactics and supposed help from President Donald Trump, it is likely that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not have been reelected, and new and more likely to succeed paths to peace could have been initiated in Israel. When “my country, right or wrong” becomes the rule with respect to governance, then darkness will replace light, and democracy will begin to fade.
Democracy also loses when unsupported claims are made about Jewish values being conservative rather than democratic (Jerry Stern’s letter, same issue). One need only look at recent decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as the actions and votes of Republican legislatures and the rhetoric and actions of our Republican president, to see that the claims about Jewish values being more at home with conservative beliefs to be totally baseless.
Frank L. Friedman | Philadelphia
More Questions Than Answers
The article (“MAS Philadelphia Responds to Controversy,” May 23) offers a faint apology by the Muslim community and creates more questions than explanations. The excuse seems to be that the hate material was ill-suited for children.
Was it any better for adults? Who created it? Where was it printed and distributed? Is it the party line of the Muslim American Society? Why was it in quantity in the mosque? Why does the material exist to begin with?
Is the apology forthcoming at all sincere or merely because the umma (“community”) got caught with it? Is chopping off heads in Jerusalem ever a proper topic?
The Israelis have been claiming for years that the Arab bloc, Sunnis and Shiites, America’s supposed friends and allies alike have used United Nations money to print and distribute the exact material found in schools and mosques through Gaza, the West Bank and even in Israel.
Needless to say, you can’t find any material like its counterpart anywhere near a synagogue anywhere in the world. Is it any wonder that a peaceful two-state solution seems so hard to reach?
Bart Banks | Blue Bell