Acknowledge White Privilege Where it Exists
I agree with Saul Golubcow that Jewish privilege posters are outrageous, but I believe that the term “privilege” is meaningful (“The Noxious Notion of Jewish Privilege,” June 1).
There is no such thing as Jewish privilege in the United States. A group can only be privileged if its members control the government, economy and other institutions, and run them at the expense of another group. Thus, Jews would have to control society and run things to the disadvantage of non-Jews.
White privilege, however, is very real. Europeans have always dominated people of color and reaped the benefits, using policies like slavery and segregation to maintain their advantages.
Many Americans, including Jews, wish to end racism. To do so, they must acknowledge their privileged status as whites. Admitting that one has white privilege is not a guilt trip, and calling attention to it does not dehumanize or persecute anyone.
Michelle Rose Marks | Philadelphia
Op-Ed Writer Should Do His Homework
Ari Witkin takes issue with the alleged occupation of the so-called West Bank to the detriment of the “Palestinian” Arab population (“Keeping Hope Alive as we Mark 50 Years of Occupation,” June 15).
I disagree and suggest that he expand his reading to the 700-page treatise, authored by the late Howard Grief of Jerusalem, titled, “The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law.” Grief explains that, owing to Balfour and its progeny, the United Nations never possessed the authority to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Therefore, Israel is the legitimate sovereign over the now “disputed” territories — Judea, Samaria and the entirety of Jerusalem. Thus, in the true legal sense, no “occupation” obtains.
Discussions are in progress regarding the disposition of the Arab population in the West Bank. Giving away a major portion of the Jewish heartland is not the answer, factually or legally.
Arthur Solomon Safir | Warminster
Museum Should Do More, Not Less
Reading about the financial problems of the National Museum of American Jewish History reminded me of the businessman who did not believe in advertising until he had to advertise his failed business for sale (“Jewish Museum Cuts Budget, Lays Off Staff,” June 15). The museum is not only about Jewishness. The museum has a message for all religions.
Just as other organizations seek universal funding, so should the museum seek funds from non-Jews. It should strive to be a destination like the Liberty Bell and Constitution Center.
Ralph D. Bloch | Rydal