Johnson Scapegoats Israel

It was curious to read that Hank Johnson asserted that “I do not seek to blame Israel, the Jews, for every problem that exists in the world” (Aug. 12). More worrying is “But it is clear that the growth of terrorism is aided and abetted by the frustration born out of the establishment of the state of Israel and the failure to solve the issue of a Palestinian state.”

By blaming Israel’s founding, he falls into the trap of ignoring the real cause of terrorism: decades of indoctrination in which hatred for another group is used as the sole permissible distraction. Scapegoating others is an age-old tool of Middle Eastern and other despots. It is currently being used by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has sought to cast the United States and a Turkish cleric in exile as responsible for the recently failed coup.

As for the issue of a Palestinian state: There could have been one in 1948, 1967 or many times since. Every Palestinian leader has rejected any resolution of the conflict that allows a permanent Israel of any size and behind any boundaries. Mahmoud Abbas himself has made it clear that a Palestinian state in the West Bank would not end the conflict but would be used for further hostilities against a more vulnerable Israel.

Blaming the more pliable party, Israel, is easy. Demanding that Arab leaders reverse decades of indoctrination and start to educate for coexistence is more difficult. However, it is in their own interest and should be a necessary condition for U.S. aid. The incitement against others has come back to haunt Arab regimes in the form of terror across the region. Imagine how different things could have been if Arab leaders had looked forward, as did Israel, building a thriving economy and democracy even though under siege?

— Doron Lubinsky, Sandy Springs

Johnson Doesn’t Understand

I believe that Hank Johnson honestly wants to see the situation of the Palestinian people improved. I am heartened that he recognizes that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is certainly not the main cause of Islamist terrorism. However, I do not think he fully grasps how the Palestinian situation has been manipulated by the leaders of the Muslim world, including the Palestinians’ own leaders.

When Arab nations went to war to prevent Israel’s rebirth, they blocked the creation of what would have been the first Palestinian Arab state. They then forced the descendants of the Arabs who fled the 1948 Arab-initiated war into refugee limbo, blocking U.N. Relief and Works Agency efforts to provide jobs for the people and assist them in relocating. Most Muslim countries have laws specifically barring Palestinians from becoming citizens and limiting their pursuit of professional careers. Yet their despotic rulers have often used the saga of the Jews’ mistreating the Palestinians as a way to distract their subjects from their own poverty and lack of freedom.

Israel has put forth several proposals for Palestinian statehood, even withdrawing from territory, only to be rebuffed at the negotiating table and subjected to attacks (whether it be missiles aimed at Israeli population centers or stabbings and car rammings instigated by leaders who call on the people to violently resist the occupation that the leaders refuse to end via diplomacy). Constant incitement against Jews is just part of a culture of intolerance that has led to persecution of Christians, Baha’is and the wrong type of Muslim (whether it’s Sunni killing Shia or Shia killing Sunni).

Refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war and Islamic State terrorism fear being trapped in the same limbo to which the Palestinian have been consigned. They risk their lives trying to enter Europe via dangerous ocean crossings. Few have been given refuge in Muslim countries.

The first step toward resolving the refugee crises is raising our expectations of the Muslim world. Anti-Muslim incitement has to cease. Muslim governments need to stop funding terrorism. Aid to the Palestinians, as well as to the current refugees, needs to be monitored carefully to ensure that it reaches the people and is not diverted to the war against Israel and Western civilization.

Toby F. Block, Atlanta

Johnson Wrong on Israel

The article that appeared in the Aug. 12 edition on Hank Johnson and the subsequent interview only exasperated the situation and truly showed his ignorance and stupidity. In his feeble attempt to apologize and put a spin on it, he only showed his lack of knowledge and frankly anti-Semitic tendencies.

In the article he double-talks about BDS and asserts that terrorism is somehow the fault of the Jewish state, never stating that there has not been a peaceful resolution because of the Palestinians themselves.

It appears obvious that that he doesn’t learn much, as he has been on an AIPAC trip. If he is so concerned about “human rights,” then why doesn’t he focus his efforts on the scores of African and Middle Eastern communities that have despicable human rights records with little concern for minority rights, women’s rights and alternative lifestyle rights?

He misses the boat on Israeli training on law enforcement. The Israelis are training on techniques and not on political policies.

Lastly, his true colors come through as to the lesson he learned: to be politically correct and not to offend people. He never learned from the substance of his comments.

In my opinion he epitomizes an ignorant anti-Semite (that might not be “politically correct”).

Larry Benuck, Sandy Springs

Latinos Dominate Immigration

In her report on the fourth annual Charla and Challah Jewish-Latino community event (“Immigrant Experience Helps Unite Jews, Latinos,” Aug. 12), Sarah Moosazadeh has “informed” your readers that “today, immigration restrictions stand in the way for Latin American immigrants who seek new opportunities and a better standard of living in the United States.”

Respectfully, that statement is absurd.

Event participant Judge Dax Lopez said, “People have valid concerns, but debates should be based on facts vs. feelings.” We wholeheartedly agree.

The latest available annual official figures show that of the more than 1 million legal immigrants admitted to the United States in 2014, Mexico was the No. 1 sending nation. The Department of Homeland Security flow chart “U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents: 2014” shows that Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Colombia also are in the top 20 sending countries.

By region, the combined numbers of immigrants from Central America and South America are far ahead of Europe and Oceania, for example.

We hope that the AJT’s future news coverage of immigration will include more careful research, less baseless opinion, and perhaps a nod to the underrepresentation and possible oppression of European immigrants in the oft-described “rich tapestry of the diverse fabric” of the “press-one-for-English,” changing American population.

Perhaps the object of the community event or news report was to add to the ongoing push for officially open borders and unrestricted immigration. In that case, we would point to the obvious fact that such a policy would be the end of any semblance of a sovereign, defined nation and a mindless betrayal of struggling American workers.

— D.A. King, Marietta, president, Dustin Inman Society, for the board of advisers

No More Illegals

I disagree with the “Immigrant Experience” article and its implied support for the positions put forth by Judge Dax Lopez and GALEO. There is no comparison between being committed to a diverse Atlanta Jewish community and condoning illegal immigration into the United States. GALEO supports, condones and encourages illegal immigration.

We are a country of laws. Our laws are being flouted by our neighbors to the south. Leveraging Eric Robbins’ request for community diversity into a call for unlimited Latin American immigration does not report the news.

Yes, “immigration reform remains a key concern in upcoming elections.” Immigration reform as used by GALEO is code for open borders. The rest of us wish to see our existing laws enforced and strengthened.

Our country cannot accommodate unlimited immigration, especially unskilled immigrant labor. Our natural resources are reaching capacity. Witness Atlanta’s and Georgia’s present drought situation.

Comparing the situations faced by Holocaust victims before and after World War II to the Latin Americans’ situation today is insulting at best. Latin Americans appear to want an open door to the United States and our support systems, whether or not they have any skills or means of support.

Already, Latin Americans’ illegal immigration results in overcrowded schools, overburdened welfare rolls and depressed wages for unskilled labor. Unemployment for unskilled workers continues to be high. Why does the Latin community want its unemployment rate to be higher?

George Nathan, Sandy Springs