August 22, 2017: Readers weigh in on the uproar over Trump’s statements

The primary reason for the existence of Israel is the defense of the Jewish people, whether they reside here or in the Diaspora.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I find it totally unacceptable that a member of the government, speaking on behalf of the Jewish prime minister of Israel, views the good relationship with the Trump administration as more important than defending Jewish people under threat (“Ayoub Kara: Ties with Trump are more important than condemning US Nazis,” August 18).
No previous government dared to even consider placing its own interests ahead of those of the Jewish people, let alone actually voice such a view. Our government has a moral and legal obligation to speak out against any antisemitic activity with every ounce of the resources it has available.
The primary reason for the existence of Israel is the defense of the Jewish people, whether they reside here or in the Diaspora. The true practical application of the words “never again” is that the State of Israel will never allow a situation to develop that promises danger to Jewish people, wherever they may be.
The hard Left, which includes many Jews, took violent exception to violent anti-Jewish activities of the hard Right. This is the same hard Left that sponsors and supports the BDS movement and is vocally anti-Israel. The fact that Jews with a liberal leaning have bought into the anti-Israel propaganda of the Palestinians and their apologists does not mean they must be abandoned. The exact opposite should hold: Anti-Israel Jews should be shown that Israel has an obligation to come to their defense and will always do so simply because they are Jewish.
Liberal Jews, on the other hand, must realize that they have an obligation to the State of Israel.
While they might feel unable to support the current government, they have an obligation not to offer support to Israel’s enemies.
They should try and influence our government by other means.
Hod Hasharon
I congratulate Ayoub Kara and our prime minister’s stance and wisdom regarding the Charlottesville, Virginia, incident, not forgetting the action by both Kara and Benjamin Netanyahu against the evils of Al Jazeera, a terrorist mouthpiece if ever there was one.
In respect to Charlottesville, better that all sides are in the possession of facts and not shooting from the hip.
Nazis have no place on this planet, and the perpetrators of what happened in Charlottesville should be subjected to the full weight of US law. But the real threat to democracy comes not from a desperate, near-defunct pocket-Nazi Right, but from the more numerous and radical elements of the growing Left.
Which is more antisemitic, the Right or the Left? The Right is more candid in its hatred of the Jewish people. But the Left is also anti-Jewish, disguising its antisemitism with an anti-Israel campaign.
We should keep a watchful eye on both sides, not just the Right.
Kfar Saba
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has plunged to Trumpian levels: It is unforgivable that he responded to neo-Nazi antisemitism in America so ambiguously.
There is no more important reason for the existence of the State of Israel than to be a bright, glittering light leading the world in attempting to annihilate resurgent, metastasizing antisemitism.
Netanyahu has grown as smug as a fat, impotent statue contemplating its navel. His main consideration is saving his own skin. He is blind, deaf and mute about the demise of the once-morally-great United States, which is being sunk by President Donald Trump.
Forget the idiotic mantra “But Trump is good for Israel!” Trump isn’t good for anybody. Netanyahu is sinking Israel and the Jews of the world the way Trump is sinking America. Cry both the beloved countries!
Though I am sometimes critical of the Anti-Defamation League and believe it often seems more comfortable condemning traditional right-wing antisemitism than expressions of such hate on the Left and within Islamist circles, Caroline B. Glick levels a misleading charge against the group that requires a response (“Trump and the Jews,” Column One, August 17).
Glick claims that the ADL had nearly nothing to say about Congressman Keith Ellison’s record of anti-Jewish statements during his service in the antisemitic Nation of Islam. This is misleading.
In December of last year, the ADL came out in opposition to Ellison’s bid to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee because of a speech he gave in 2010 that, as ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt characterized it, raised “the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government.”
Most would glean from Glick’s column that the ADL has been hesitant to criticize Ellison, a suggestion that Greenblatt’s condemnation demonstrates is without merit.
In most cases, it’s horrible to be happy that someone is dead. But I’m so relieved that my parents, Holocaust survivors, and my mother-in-law, a passionate American patriot, are no longer with us to see what’s going on with regard to neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching in the US. It is simply shameful and outrageous.
When are we going to see massive demonstrations in New York and Washington a la the 1960s and ’70s, voicing our abhorrence of the current state of affairs?
Mevaseret Zion
Charlottesville might well be a wake-up call to American Jewry.
Nazi hooligans armed with automatic rifles shouting epithets threatened to burn down a synagogue while worshipers were holding a Shabbat service.
Fearing for their lives, the worshipers exited through the rear doors, having taken the precaution of removing their Torah scrolls to safety earlier in the day.
Calls for police protection were ignored. Nor was there police follow-up.
Congregation Beth Israel suffered earlier antisemitic incidents, so it hired armed guards.
So far, the American Jewish community is taking this incident in stride. But those familiar with early Nazi Germany have a different understanding of what could follow. It began with the burning of our synagogues.
Norwalk, Connecticut
US President Donald Trump should know how to speak so that he is not misunderstood.
Unfortunately, he lacks this ability, so the people who dislike him have even more choice and reinforcement to pounce on him for what he says.
What is so needed in the White House is someone like our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has the extraordinary ability to state exactly what he means.
President Trump has to issue very simple statements based on Abraham Lincoln’s words. He will then not issue statements he has to afterwards clarify. He has to say that he will not permit antisemitism and that he will not permit anti-black hatred. In addition, he must state that he wants America, as always, to be the special nation that stands for liberty, equality of opportunity and democracy.
America is one nation under God, and not a nation divided. If Trump said that, he would not be open to such criticism.
Your newspaper has been full of shocked articles about US President Donald Trump’s equivalence between KKK people and the victims of their hate. I agree fully with all that is being said on the subject.
What bothers me is all the liberals, both Jews and others, who took a similar equivalent stand when Israelis suffered so many terrorist attacks and made excuses for the perpetrators. Former president Barack Obama was expert at this, though no one (least of all the main TV and radio stations) took a stance against his “even-handedness.”
As usual, there are different standards when it comes to Israel.