Offensive Column

I am very offended by the column “Why Karen Handel Deserves Jewish Vote.” I am Jewish and a Democrat, and I completely disagree with the characteristics and assumptions made about Jewish Democrats.

I fully support Israel. I have a spiritual connection with Israel. I visited Israel as a young adult, and I have family living in Israel. I think most Jewish people in America would agree that Israel holds a special place in our hearts.

I am disturbed that this article is attempting to divide Georgians, just as Karen Handel’s ads do, by labeling two groups as “us” and “them.” We are all Georgians, and I would prefer to vote for a candidate who wants to unite us by working with both parties, not divide us.

Jon Ossoff is that candidate, and he has stated that he will work with anyone to make Georgia’s 6th District thrive. Jon is a uniter; Karen is a divider.

— Sandi Strasberg, Dunwoody

He’s One of Us

I write in response to the opinion piece by Chuck Berk suggesting that Jews should vote for Karen Handel.
As a Georgia voter and proud Jewish American, I was disappointed to read this essay. Despite Berk’s prose (and Handel’s vacuous TV commercials funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee), she is certainly not “a proven, effective leader.” She is, in fact, a politician who is a proven loser of elections and has allowed herself to be co-opted by Donald Trump and his apparatchiks, who as of today seem to be doing everything they can get away with to bring totalitarianism to our country.

Of particular concern to your readers, Handel is running advertisements exhorting voters to support her because “she’s one of us.” Intelligent voters might ask, “Who is ‘us’?”

Handel was born in Washington, D.C., grew up and graduated from high school in suburban Maryland, attended two colleges but never graduated, worked for a few companies, and, after losing several elections, took a job at the Susan G. Komen Foundation, where her right-wing politics (and egregious and self-centered attempt to influence Planned Parenthood funding) forced her eventual, ignominious resignation from what had been an apolitical charity.

There is nothing in her personal history — geographic, economic, social or philosophic — to which I or my middle-class Jewish family can relate. We, apparently, are not “one of us.” Her rhetoric is redolent of exclusionary politics and encourages outright racism and anti-Semitism.

Jon Ossoff was raised in Georgia. His father is an Ashkenazi Jew. He was brought up as a Jew and was once a bar mitzvah boy. His fiancée is Jewish. His views on achieving peace in the Middle East seem intelligent and thoughtful and respectful of history. Perhaps I am prejudiced, but Jon Ossoff seems to be “one of us.”

I can only hope your readers look at the facts and make up their own minds.

— Ira K. Schwartz, Decatur