I must commend Emily Barasch, who wrote an extraordinarily uplifting account of “Quarantining With My Holocaust Survivor Grandmother” (Oct. 29). Barasch gives us a life-affirming list of all of the things that her grandmother did during her visit, albeit an extended one from mid-March to July.
I would surmise that “Oma” had seen hard times before. Being a Holocaust survivor puts quite a different slant on the term “hard times.” Compared to her hard times, these hard times of being quarantined with a loving family, having plenty of food, TV to watch — French TV series and international movies — plus tablets which could provide able bridge players, are a walk in the park, speaking of which Oma enjoys regularly, during quarantine.
Upon being released from the camps in 1945, the first thing Jews thought about was educating their children. In the most dreadful of times, Jews looked to action, not feeling sorry for themselves.
Oma realized what was important during the pandemic. She was comfortable, she made wonderful meals for her family, she could still enjoy the arts and long walks taking in scenery of lovely parks. In a word, her cup was half-full, not half-empty.
In the meantime, we must go on with our lives, cherish what we have, and show courage in the face of difficulty. If there ever was a time in our lives to emulate the Omas in our lives, this is it.
Ann Krauss | Havertown
Both Parties Face Questions Over Israel
Both Democrats and Republicans face serious challenges in their ranks over Israel, but none are quite as threatening as either party makes them out to be. These issues emerged in Oct. 29 commentaries composed by William Wanger (“Donald Trump: Promises Made, Promises Kept”) and Jill Zipin (“Joe Biden: For Decency, For Democracy, For America”).
Concerns were raised about some antagonistic representatives in the House of Representatives who crudely bash Israel and Trump’s impractical plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wanger writes that Biden’s “party embraces the warped anti-America, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks of the Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ayanna Pressley squad.”
Zipin notes that Biden “has not hesitated to take on those on the left whose modern form of anti-Semitism takes the form of rejecting Israel’s legitimacy.”
The truth lies somewhere in between: First, to correct the record, Pressley has said she will take pro-Israel positions since many of her Boston-based constituents are Jewish.
I’m not clear on what Biden has done, but Democrats in the House should have censured Omar and Tlaib each time they opened their mouths about Israel. Democrats never “embraced” them as they tolerated their conduct so they would hold onto their supporters.
Most House Democrats are as pro-Israel as their Republican counterparts. The chief worry is whether people like Tlaib and Omar ever rise to control the majority of Democrats in the House.
Wanger also writes, “Trump released a bold vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Trump’s plan for the Middle East would offer the Palestinians less territory than Ehud Barak proposed to Yasser Arafat 20 years ago; Arafat rejected it. Why would the Palestinians accept anything less now? l
Bruce Ticker | Philadelphia