October 13, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Ed Asner, Trump and Armenia

The Decision to Honor Ed Asner

So sorry Ed Asner and the Jewish Film Festival became mired in the lack of civility regarding our viewpoints on the Jewish state (“Defending Ed Asner, and Israel,” May 5). Yes, Ed Asner has been a true activist for many causes all his life. Kudos to him. On the other hand, his relationship with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a far cry from Main Street’s viewpoints. This group is at war with Israel and should be treated as pariahs.

Dick Bernstein, Los Angeles

I am reading many comments and discussions about your choice to honor Ed Asner, an outstanding actor, and your defense of your decision. I must ask the following questions:

If Mr. Asner was actively, vehemently opposed to gay rights or other popular social justice causes, would you have chosen him to be honored for his skill as an actor?  

As a member of JVP, an organization that actively supports boycotts of Israeli Jewish actors and artists, Asner, by association, believes in boycotting his fellow Jews. Isn’t it hypocritical for a Jewish organization to honor a Jew who supports the boycotting of Jewish Israeli actors and artists?

He may be a great actor but not such a great Jew for a Jewish organization to honor, no matter his accomplishments.

Luci Varon, Seattle

Trump and Middle East Peace

President Donald Trump needs to reflect on the fact that Israel has offered to give up a tangible land for an intangible peace, but her offers have been rejected every time (“Trump’s Jewish Fans Should Be Nervous,” May 5). Considering that the Palestinian Authority views the State of Israel as having no rightful place on Earth, it should be obvious that no agreement leading to peace can be brokered for the foreseeable future. 

Julia Lutch, Davis, Calif.

What the Democratic Party Represents

Mike Hais — enough of disguised Democratic Party propaganda! (“Has Trump Split the Jewish Community? Hardly,” April 28.) The Democratic Party is not democratic, nor liberal, nor for the working man — no matter how many times you capitalize and imply that it is the “good old party.” It is leftist locally and nationally. Look at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) machinations recently, the Hillary Clinton emails and the Antonio Villaraigosa audio count of the party platform several years ago.

It is amazing to note that in the same Journal issue, Edmon Rodman correctly pointed out that Democratic President Harry Truman prohibited sending arms and material to the nascent State of Israel in its War of Independence (“With Israel’s Survival Up in the Air, Pilot Sam Lewis Went Above and Beyond”). It was again Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt who refused to take in Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler. However, it was Republican President Richard Nixon who heeded the pleas of Golda Meir in the Yom Kippur War.

A history question for Mr. Hais: Who was the lone political warrior who voted against Franklin Roosevelt’s internment order of Japanese Americans in World War II?  Republican Sen. Robert A. Taft!

Rick Gascon via email

Turks and Armenians

Dennis Prager claims that because “Palestinian society is first and foremost a Muslim society … it honors suicide terrorists as the finest examples of the Palestinian people” (“Who Killed the Armenians?” May 5). He fails to mention, however, some early radical advocates of Palestinian terrorism against Israel, such as George Habash, who headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Nayef Hawatmeh, who led the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were Christian.

Barry H. Steiner, Professor of Political Science, CSU Long Beach

I think historians will differ with Dennis Prager given the series of wars between Russia and Turkey and Armenians siding with the Russians (according to the Turks). On my return from a trip to Turkey, an uncle of Greek descent reminded me that the Turks “did terrible things to the Greeks.” In that situation, the Turks would argue that the Greeks (particularly in Smyrna) were siding with the English. In wars, terrible atrocities are committed. This does not excuse the Turks nor does it excuse Prager’s simplistic explanation of past atrocities.

Theresa H. McGowan, Santa Monica


In a story about a benefit walk for Jewish World Watch (“Community Puts Best Foot Forward at JWW’s Walk to End Genocide,” May 5), the date of the Rwandan genocide was misreported. It was 1994.

In a caption under a photograph accompanying a Moving & Shaking item about a “biblical trial” at American Jewish Univesity (April 28), Paul Goldstein, general manager of Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, was misidentified.