August 19, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Obama, Iran and Jews in Egypt

Connect. Inform. Inspire.

Over lunch, I read the April 10 issue of the Jewish Journal cover to cover. The articles were informative, inspiring and gave me pause. The Iran framework offerings pushed me in all directions to think, rethink and re-rethink my position. I found plenty of Jewish delicious teachings too on Passover and more. I’m going to be contemplating Michelle K. Wolf’s insights on self-determination and its implications for how we treat Jews with challenges. I could go on and on.

Bravo, Rob Eshman. Yes, I enjoyed your editorial (as I always do, whether I agree or not), but more so the issue is praiseworthy as a whole. 

I suppose some would call for ex-communication for the lack of kvetching in this email to a publisher/editor-in-chief, but I am resolute. The issue demands I kvell

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, Congregation Or Ami

Skeptics Unite

I haven’t practiced psychology for several years but I still know denial when I see it (“Maybe Obama Knows What He’s Doing,” April 10).

First, Eshman tries to convince us — and himself — that the Iran deal will be good for Israel, despite Iran’s explicit intention of wiping Israel off the map. Then, David Lehrer, like Eshman a well-meaning, sincere gentleman, tries to convince us that our failure to be alarmed by anti-Semitism during a period of burgeoning anti-Semitism is evidence of ethnic maturity.

Really, guys?

Jonathan Kellerman, Beverly Hills


I hope Eshman is right, but I just do not believe in the foreign policy wherewithal of this president. Barack Obama may have been correct in 2003 in opposing the Iraq war (something few Democrats were opposed to at the time; both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry voted in favor of it), but undoing George W. Bush’s foreign policy is not a foreign policy. Obama needed to understand that he had to take the world as he found it in 2009. He took a victory in Iraq and turned it into a defeat.  

When Eshman said, “But there also is evidence that Iranian insiders are eager to find a way to abandon the long and costly push for nuclear weapons without admitting as much to the Iranian people — who have paid an enormous price for such folly,” I must be missing something. I read everyone from Jeffrey Goldberg to Bret Stephens to Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, and I have not seen anyone say that. 

I know Israelis do not think as he does. They are totally perplexed how a passionate committed Jew such as Eshman can support Obama. Frankly, I understand their views more than I understand his.  

We are going to have to wait for the verdict of history, but I find it hard to believe that this is beneficial.

Douglas J. Workman, Los Angeles  


Eshman is absolutely delusional.

How can he believe that this totally incompetent fool who belonged to an openly anti-Semitic church is pro-Israel? He never was and never will be. J Street is a fraudulent organization that pretends to be pro-Israel but undercuts them at every turn. Jews are absurd to be Democrats anyway, but to vote for Barack Obama, who is obviously pro-Islam and particularly pro-Iran? Obama is worse than Jimmy Carter!
Yes, I am Jewish.

Lee Tabin via email

What’s Missing

In regards to Rob Eshman’s “Let My People Stay” opinion piece in the April 3 issue, my husband and I were very much in agreement with the opinion presented. But lacking in the piece, and in the Journal in general, is the information regarding the ways in which “Jewish communities … can target these groups …” as well as methods for “supporting those Muslims speaking out against the status quo and the extremists within their own communities.” Who are these people and organizations? Is the Journal featuring their stories with any regularity? Perhaps it should be.

Cherie McDermott via email

He Who Helps Himself

Regarding Dennis Prager’s article “If God Took the Jews Out of Egypt … ” (April 10), this is the first time I’ve read something that actually helps me understand evil, why God allows it and our role as human beings to act in preventing it or in some way mitigating it. His explanation of why we also are to remember God having taken us out of bondage spoke to me. God not acting in the face of evil, since that time, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us or is powerless to act, but as Prager says, “… a moment’s reflection should make it pretty clear that this would end human free will.” I’m struck with the fact that I — we — must act, and not wait for him to do so.

Jerry W. Cohen, Los Angeles