Letters to the Editor: September 6, 2019
OpinionLetters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: September 6, 2019

The AJT welcomes your letters. Please write 200 words or less, include your name, phone number and email, and send it to editor@atljewishtimes.com.

Letter to the editor:

Rabbis Analia Bortz and Mario Karpuj’s spiritual, social and physical contributions to our communities, both Jewish and general, have been rich and profound. Taken at their word, these colleagues are embarking on a pilgrimage of transition and expansive meaning. Irrespective of their frequent and deep attachments to Israel and Israeli life, their embarkation is adventurous. It can serve as an example for many of us who remain attached to the familiar and the comfortable as our decades roll by. I wish them and those they leave renewed vitality.

Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, Atlanta

Letter to the editor:

In a letter appearing in the Aug. 30 issue of your publication, the writer in well-intended but misguided support for Israel, urges that “No Jew should vote Democratic today.” If that sentiment became accepted, it would not aid Israel but rather pose a grave threat to Israel by tossing support for Israel into the maelstrom of American partisan politics, which it has managed to avoid since its establishment and immediate recognition by President Harry S. Truman – a Democrat.

I have seen firsthand how requests for Israel support have been handled positively in a bipartisan or nonpartisan way. There would be dire consequences for Israel if it were to become just another partisan political football to be kicked around annually in Washington.

I would caution anyone who has negative feelings about the Democratic Party because of its stance on tax policy, social programs, immigration, education, civil rights or whatever, to confine his or her advocacy of those issues and not drag Israel into it. If you support Israel, you will rue the day it becomes a contentious domestic partisan issue. So, back off the dangerous rhetoric of “No Jew should vote Democratic today.” You are hurting, not helping, Israel and the Jewish people.

Elliott H. Levitas, Atlanta

Letter to the editor:

Last week’s letter stated, “No Jew can vote Democratic anymore.” A call to require Jews to act in one specific way or another is not a call for civility. While I have criticized the current administration for certain activities, I have not called on any Jew not to vote Republican if that is their desire. Civility needs to be practiced, and results in a call for reflection and determination that our collective safety must be ingrained in the fabric of America. Any Jew can, and must be allowed, to vote for a Democrat or a Republic or an independent.

While the support of a few Democrats in Congress for BDS is troublesome, it is support by a few. Many more Democrats, and Republicans, support the rights of Jews in this country and advocate a democratic, Jewish, secure state of Israel. In fact, Congress recently passed a resolution against the BDS movement by over a 300-vote majority, including most Democrats.

One way of reflecting on our national consciousness is to look at the effect on the birds in the coal mine. In many countries over many centuries, the birds in the coal mine, which are the first living things to die when the environment in the coal mine becomes too dangerous, were the Jews. Today, the birds in the coal mine in the U.S. are the patients receiving life-saving medical care, who are immigrants who have been allowed to stay in this country so that they have access to this medical care, which is not available in their home countries.

The Department of Homeland Security has just sent letters to these patients and their care-giving families to leave the country. In 33 days from the date of the Aug. 13 letter, these patients will have deportation processes begun against them. This inhumanity shown to the most vulnerable people in society is a signal to Jews that we must stand up for them. We must convince this administration that this cruelty should not define the fabric of our society. I urge everyone in the community to call our senators and ask them to exhort the administration to stop this cruelty.

The office of Senator [Johnny] Isakson, who himself is facing health issues, can be reached at 770-661-0999. Senator [David] Perdue’s office number is 404-865-0087. Please call.

Harold Kirtz, Atlanta

Letter to the editor:

I found Ms. Starkman’s letter published Aug. 30 by this paper very inaccurate and unsettling in that it was published without any dissenting commentary. It should have been labelled as a political advertisement for the re-election of Donald Trump. The writer’s attempts to tarnish the pro-Jewish record of [Congressmen] John Lewis and Hank Johnson is regrettable. They were totally misquoted in the article. This is no different than the attempts by the religious right to label Barack Obama as an anti-Semite. John Lewis did condemn BDS, but rightfully believes boycotts are a fundamental right in a democracy. Would Ms. Starkman condemn the Jewish boycott of Germany in the 1930s? Hank Johnson did not refer to Jews as termites, but rather referred to the effect of right-wing settlers usurping Palestinian land and destroying the social fabric of the West Bank like termites in a house.

Donald Trump and his Jewish assistant, Stephen Miller, are responsible for the massacre in Pittsburgh and should be the ones condemned rather than deflecting the topic to Democrats. The fact that Jews can be brainwashed by Trump and Netanyahu to smear liberal Jews, Democrats and black politicians will only lead to more animosity and division.

Leon A Van Gelderen, Atlanta

Letter to the editor:

In Ms. Starkman’s letter she brings up the Charlottesville marchers. But she leaves out that Mr. Trump said that there were fine people on both sides. Implying that the alt-right marchers who were yelling the “Jews will not replace us” are fine people.

Ms. Starkman stated that she and her husband are both children of Holocaust survivors, which indicates that her parents immigrated to the U.S. If the rules suggested by Mr. Trump and his party would have been in effect when her parents immigrated, would they have been allowed into the U.S.? Were they white enough, wealthy enough, educated enough to meet the suggested standards? At least they were from Europe.

As for which party to vote for, we are left with choosing the lesser of two evils. We can select the party that believes the U.S. is a Christian nation, anyone who is not white and male is of lower status, that old white men should rule the U.S. now and forever. Or we can choose the other party, warts and all. We live in a complex world.

Leo Klein, Atlanta

Letter to the editor:

This is in response to last week’s letter.

There are plenty of Republican members who believe in the second coming of the “messiah,” and feel strongly that the Jewish state is necessary to the creation of the conditions necessary for that apocalyptic event. They therefore “love” Israel and the Jews because soon the Jews will all be converted to Christianity or die. The Republican party has failed and refused to condemn those folks. Should we therefore say that “No Jew should vote Republican today,” in sympathy with Starkman’s arguments?

I think that there is more than one issue involved. But most important of all, in my opinion, is the issue of the climate crisis. Republicans have done everything possible to dismiss the urgency of climate warming, drought, flood, bigger fires, higher water levels, more extreme weather events. A vote for Republicans in 2020 is a vote for no attempt to deal with these issues, and for our passing the point of no return. I owe it to my 12-year-old granddaughter to vote for folks who will try to change the world so that she will still be able to survive, and that is not the Republicans.

Michael P. Froman, Atlanta

read more: