On Jewish Citizenship
The op-ed “Expressions of Gratitude Beyond ‘Thank You for Your Service’” written by Leon S. Malmud (Nov. 7) is an excellent presentation.
The statement, “United States is the first nation in post-biblical history to have granted equal citizenship to Jews upon its founding in 1776,” however, may be subject to discussion.
Ottoman Turks not only generated and maintained a refuge to hundreds of thousands of Jews fleeing oppression they faced in Western Europe in general and Spain in particular during 14th and 15th centuries, but also granted them equal citizenship as the Jews were skilled and productive people along with demonstrating loyalty to their new home. They were appreciated by the Sultans then ruling the lands where the Jews were discriminated and oppressed by the previous rulers of different empires.
We, of course, may discuss the concept of citizenship within the perspective of its being understood today, as the people in the previous centuries have been more likely to be the subjects of their rulers rather than constituents of their governing leaders. However, provided one associates citizenship with equality, then the given equality had been granted to the Jews through Ottoman Sultans some 300 years prior to Washington’s submitting a letter to American Jews, written in 1790, stating that they were free to practice their religion in the way they deemed necessary.
Mehmet Fuat Ulus | Pittsburgh
Not a Prophet
After reading Mikhal Weiner’s op-ed (“A Call to Service,” Oct. 3) calling for ecological teshuva, I was troubled by her comparing young Greta Thunberg to the prophet Jonah. As I watched Greta’s speech, I was struck by her extreme anger and apocalyptic rhetoric. Someone has frightened this girl to death, propagandizing and convincing her that her world is about to end and the adults of the world are to blame. Rather than being a prophetess she struck me as an abused child, full of fear, hate and mindless aggression.
We’ve seen this act before, in the early ’80s, the ’90s and several times in the 2000s, and the message is always the same: The world is about to end in 10 years if you don’t do exactly as I say and if it isn’t done immediately. The fact that we’re still here speaks to the hysteria of these climate alarmists.
Greta is just a child, not a prophet. She should be happy-go-lucky, living the best years of her life doing things that normal children do. Instead, she has been manipulated and used as a weapon by those whose agenda doesn’t include a young girl’s mental state and future.
Here’s my prediction: The world will be here 10, 20, 50 and 100 years from now, even if we ignore the prophets of doom.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, New York