September 24, 2018

Letters to the Editor: Israel and Refugees, Anti-Semitism and Taylor Force Act

Israel Should Open Judaism to Refugees

I applaud Jonathan Zasloff for his clever arguments in favor of expanding the Israeli population by offering Jewish conversion to refugees and others seeking to immigrate to Israel (“Israel Should Open Judaism to Refugees,” March 23). I often wonder why we seem to be the only religion that makes conversion so difficult and unwelcoming. Why are we afraid of having more Jews in the world? We say we are proud of our religion and heritage. Then why don’t we try harder to share it with others? It makes no sense to me.

Zasloff’s persuasive reasoning does indeed make a lot of sense — both practically by increasing our numbers, and spiritually by spreading the word and meaning of Torah and our rabbinic sages throughout the world.

John F. Beckmann, Sherman Oaks


Author Seems Naïve About Anti-Semitism

I do not know what rock “(((Semitism)))” author Jonathan Weisman lives under, but anti-Semitism is alive and doing well in the United States (“A Call to Action in Age of Trump,” March 16).

There is nothing “new about the prominence of an anti-Semitic subculture in America.” Thanks to the 45th president, it has shown its ugly face even to most naïve Jews.

As for the signs pointing to it, Weisman has not even scratched the surface. He needs to look at the Sanders/Clinton/ Obama shenanigans to understand the reasons for the rise of Trumpism, as he coined it.

Rebecca Gottesfeld via email

Book critic Jonathan Kirsch makes no secret of sharing the views expressed by Jonathan Weisman in his book “(((Semitism)))” regarding the alleged increase of anti-Semitism during Donald Trump’s presidency. Unfortunately, Kirsch neglected to address glaring omissions in Weisman’s theory.

Although anti-Semitism is alive and well among the far right, in his modern-day “J’accuse” book, Weisman fails to acknowledge the entrenched anti-Semitism exhibited by the powerful left in the United States and Europe today. Unlike the fringe alt-right, the progressive left enjoys political power as well as a chokehold on our universities, from Jewish self-loather extraordinaire George Soros and his well-funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, to college campus leftist extremist anti-Israel professors brainwashing college students at almost every university across the country.

Richard Friedman, Culver City


The Importance of Studying Jewish History

I thoroughly read Mark Miller’s story about Jewish history (“Why Study Our History?” March 2) and I immediately wondered, “Why have I not thought about this?” I agree that one usually will not have motive to indulge in the studies of our humble beginnings. This topic really has a special place in my heart because I enjoy vacationing in Israel; seeing non-Jewish tourists there shows me the interest others have in our past. This makes me feel accepted by others. I really hope others get this great chance.

Jonathan Hazani via email


Jordan’s King Would Do Well to Follow Father

I agree with Dima Abumaria’s story “Jordan’s King Torn Between His Government, His People and Israel,” March 16. Abdullah has a problem (reacting to the killing of accused Palestinian knife-wielder Mohammed Al-Jawawdeh).

What was not made clear in the story is that appeasement of an angry populace has never proved the best course of action.

Reversal of the security measures on the Temple Mount bought nothing.

Getting out of Gaza bought nothing (other than relieving pressure on Israel from getting out of the West Bank).

Jordan’s king is turning back the clock on the wise courses his father and grandfather took when dealing with Palestinian assassins. He is sure to regret it. It doesn’t take a genius to foresee the problem ahead. Israel can survive it. I doubt that King Abdullah can.

Steve Klein via email


The Dark Side of ‘7 Days in Entebbe’

Eli Fink implied that Zionist and anti-Zionist views of the film “7 Days in Entebbe” are equally valid, by presenting both uncritically (“The Emotional Mission of ‘7 Days in Entebbe,’ ” March 23).

The truth is that the film is anti-Israeli propaganda:

The filmmakers portrayed one of the hijackers as conflicted about the action, honorable and merciful. Where did they get that?

They injected apology for the terrorism, as in service of a good cause. It was actually in service of a campaign of genocide against Jews.

Louis Richter, Reseda


Unity Behind Taylor Force

Over the past few weeks, the Journal published several stories and columns describing the political polarization of Americans, and in particular, the polarization among Jews regarding issues pertaining to Israel. One might think that the Taylor Force Act might be one that would receive bipartisan support.

The Taylor Force Act had strong bipartisan support, prompting Senate leadership a few weeks ago to hotline the bill, which would set it up to pass by unanimous consent, a parliamentary procedure that expedites passage of noncontroversial legislation. If no senator objects to the move, the measure is passed without the need for a floor vote. But the Taylor Force Act was blocked after Democratic senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dianne Feinstein of California rejected the hotline, killing the unanimous consent process and forcing the bill to undergo the Senate’s lengthy cloture process.

On March 23, the Taylor F`orce Act passed as part of the omnibus spending bill. The spending bill has something in it that just about everyone wants and something in it that just about everyone opposes. Perhaps one of the few things that has brought Americans and American Jews together is support for the Taylor Force Act. There is a great need to stop funding Palestinian terrorism using U.S. taxpayer dollars. It’s unfortunate that the act would probably have never been passed except for the death of a great American, Taylor Force, who was killed at the age of 28 by Palestinian terrorists.

Marshall Lerner, Beverly Hills


New-Look Journal

I want to congratulate you on a great redesign and introduction to a much more diverse paper that has views from all facets of the community.

The cover story on the possible meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump by Larry Greenfield (“What Will It Take?” March 16) is excellent, well laid out  and  makes it easy to understand the current situation.

Amy Raff, Los Angeles