American Jews must collaborate

Editor:

Dr. Matthew Karlovsky’s diatribe against the Democratic Party is quite frightening because of all the communication scare tactics that he uses (“Jews and the Golden Calf: 2016,” Jewish News, Nov. 25). Guilt by association, innuendos, drawing inappropriate generalizations from specific events, attributing blame for coincidental events, wholesale rejection of a group because of the actions of only a few, vague expansions (and dozens more) and false claims are transparent strategies. 

This is McCarthyism 101 in 2016. Ideological differences can, of course, lead to the positioning of oneself in such an extreme posture and to realistically lose sight of the debatable and discussable issues at hand.

Then to further bolster his point, he uses the name of G-d to castigate the faithful people of his own religion.

I apologize if this response sounds as vindictive as the original “opinion,” but we as American Jews MUST find a way to collaborate and join together in the name of Israel and the survival of Judaism in the Diaspora. 

Our communality and similar needs are much more powerful than our differences. We must rediscover this essential element of our Jewish heritage.

Michael W. Cohen, M.D.

Sun Lakes


Israel needs friends on all sides

Editor: 

Matthew Karlovsky’s opinion piece in the Nov. 25 Jewish News does a grave disservice to individual Jews, the Jewish community and to the long-term security of the democratic state of Israel. 

Many Jews take great pride in their advocacy for human rights and social justice, both within the United States and across the world. They see fighting for social justice as an integral part of their Jewish identity, founded in the fundamental belief in Btselem Elohim, that we are all – Jew and non-Jew – created in God’s image and thus of infinite worth. 

They take pride in the call of our Prophets to seek justice and to protect the poor. Karlovsky demeans our Jewish heritage by calling these values godless universal secularism. He desecrates our Jewish community by turning one against the other. Those who disagree with him should not be labelled as quislings or worshippers of the Golden Calf. Many of our most successful Jewish organizations work diligently for social justice. We should be proud of the work they do. They embody Hillel’s creed: “If I am only for myself, then who am I?” 

The work of these organizations are needed now more than ever as hate crimes escalate and our Latino and Muslim neighbors are nervous about their future in the United States. In the words of Hillel, “If not now, when?” 

Finally, Karlovsky’s ideas threaten the long-term security of the state of Israel. Some of the strongest and most effective efforts to fight against BDS and other efforts to delegitimize Israel have come from groups devoted to pursuing peace with justice through a two-state solution. They know that “If I am not for myself, than who will be for me?” 

The security of Israel will not be advanced by denigrating Democrats and promoting Donald Trump. Rather, Israel needs all the friends it can get on all sides of the political aisle and all parts of our diverse Jewish community.

Irwin Sandler

Phoenix

 

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