Left-Right Confusion

The photograph on the cover of the Nov. 6 edition of the JT, commemorating veterans, is backward (look at the Hebrew letters). During an inspection, any of us who proudly wore the uniform would have been reprimanded if our ribbons or insignia were on the wrong side.

JT Doesn’t Get It

The last time I checked, the Jaffe family has been a subscriber to the Jewish Times for more than 50 years. The last time I checked, I’m Jewish and live in Pikesville. The last time I checked, Pikesville is in the state of Maryland. The last time I checked, I am a filed Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Melissa Apter’s article “Meet the Press” (Nov. 13) brings home the point that the JT doesn’t get it.  People are fed up on the national, state and local levels. They are fed up with career politicians whose primary goal is to promote their own personal self-interests at the expense of their constituents. They are fed up with the media — writers who are supposed to report the whole story but take it upon themselves to inject their own biases and omit essential facts. Deliberate omission of the facts is tantamount to prejudice and partiality on the part of the writer and editor.

As a teacher and not a career politician, my candidacy is based on a movement that I started in 1992 when I became convinced it was time to get the money out of politics and to expose the dreadful consequences of keeping long-term phony career politicians in office.

Unlike the so-called two leading Senate candidates mentioned in the article, I do not take any campaign contributions because they are disguised bribes. My campaign stands on the principles of telling the truth all the time, not some of the time, and serving one term only, which enables me to be a public official whose only  intent is to be a good public servant.

It’s a shame the Jewish Times is part of the media’s bandwagon mentality that gives emphasis to the size of the candidate’s treasury chest or if the candidate is a career politician as  opposed to the candidate’s ethics and significant ideas.

Joke’s on Us

I’m pleased that Mara Atrash was taught in Hebrew School about the consequences of “baseless hatred” (Your Say, Oct. 30). However, one wonders whether her teachers would approve her current alliance with instigators such as Gideon Donnelly, a JCPOA proponent (Your Say, Sept. 25) who, like Steve Weissman (Your Say, Oct. 23), impugns the respectability  of prominent rabbis and formidable Jewish groups such as AIPAC, ZOA and Beth Tfiloh.

One of several recent JT contributors, Weissman shockingly vilifies those who do not agree with him, most especially Democrat Alan Dershowitz, the distinguished Harvard lawyer who supports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position on the Iran deal. As if to add comic  relief to this mix of dissenters, Brad Shaw (Your Say, Oct. 23) chose to  assail the prime minister for “insulting” our 44th president, Barak Obama, by, in his opinion, pausing for 44 seconds during an urgent speech to Congress. Imagine that! (Did Bibi use a  stop-watch?)

The joke is really on us, as anti-Semites here and abroad revel when we argue among ourselves. Charles Schultz had it right when, through “Peanuts,” he reminded us that,  indeed, we are our own worst enemies!

It Could Be Worse

A key consideration is being overlooked in the recent outbreak of what is being called the “Stabbing Intifada” (Opening Thoughts, Oct 23). For all the killed and wounded, the casualty count would be much worse, if guns instead of knives were the weapons being used.

Clearly, the reason that knives rather than guns are being used is due to Israel’s strict gun-control laws. Memo to the NRA and its Jewish supporters: Please note. And this goes double for those synagogues that are considering gun clubs.

Adding Power To Veterans Day

I heartily concur with Joshua Runyan’s call for some form of mandatory civilian service as a way to honor the dedication of our veterans (“We Need to Do More,” Nov. 6).

Another suggestion: In some state and municipal localities, Election Day is a day off from work for state/school employees. Veterans Day is a national holiday; there is no mail, and federal employees have the day off, but it is not necessarily observed as a day off by municipalities and states.

What we have is two partial observances. Why not combine the two to create one formal holiday — a day off from work at all levels, just like Independence Day and Memorial Day for instance. Then, there would be no excuse for not being able to vote.

What would be a better — symbolical as well as practical — tribute to our veterans, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, most importantly the precious right to vote?

Many years ago, an attempt was made to make Veterans Day a moveable holiday rather than the historical Nov. 11 date. This failed because of an outcry over the traditional significance of the World War I armistice having been signed during the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

That protest was spearheaded by families of the WWI generation, many of whom have now gone on to their reward. Most Americans today, I would guess, are not so committed to the “11” symbolism.

Will the Real J.K. Please Stand Up?

The JT’s Nov. 6 issue mentions J.K. Rowling’s opposition to a cultural boycott of Israel (The Seen). I thought your readers should know what Rowling had to say about Israel on Twitter, illustrating that she is scarcely a supporter of Israel.

“The Palestinian community has suffered untold injustice and brutality. I want to see the Israeli government held to account for that injustice and brutality. Boycotting Israel on every possible front has its allure. It satisfies the human urge to do something, anything, in the face of horrific human suffering.

“What sits uncomfortably with me is that severing contact with Israel’s cultural and academic community means refusing to engage with some of the Israelis who are most pro-Palestinian and most critical of Israel’s government. Those are voices I’d like to hear amplified, not silenced.”

J.K. Rowling, great friend to Israel. With friends like these …

Grand Reopening Is My Mall Wish

Regarding the JT’s article “Doors Closing Opens Up Mall’s Future” (Nov. 6), I definitely hope Owings Mills Mall is redeveloped with the existing structure and the J.C. Penney remains. While I’m disappointed with the Macy’s closure, at least there is one Macy’s store still in the area at Security Square. But there is no other J.C. Penney store nearby.

The odd thing about Owings Mills Mall is that it still seemed to do as much business as other Baltimore-area malls until about 10 years ago. But then its businesses slowly started to close for reasons unbeknown to me, but clearly not business related.  What really needs to happen, although I doubt it will, is for the mall owner to contact businesses that also own locations at successful area malls such as in Towson, Columbia and White Marsh and do whatever possible to persuade them to come to Owings Mills. Then there could be a grand reopening.

To quote a popular movie, “If you build it, they will come”.

A Proud Partnership

We were thrilled to see the article about Revital Shimoni visiting Chizuk Amuno’s Goldsmith Early Childhood Education Center (“A Guest from Ashkelon,” Oct. 30) while in town recently with her husband, Ashkelon’s Mayor Itamar Shimoni. That event, sponsored by The Associated’s Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership, was part of the couple’s visit to Baltimore to learn about our Jewish community, see firsthand the work that we do and discuss what we can learn from one another to meet the needs of our constituents.

As part of his visit, the Partnership connected Mayor Shimoni with officials from the offices of Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake and Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector to showcase our sister-city partnership.

During his visit, Shimoni was quite impressed with the warm welcome he received in Baltimore and with the collaborative relationships that exist among Baltimore’s Jewish organizations. He also noted the strength of The Associated’s ability to engage a widespread network of dedicated volunteer leaders.

We remain proud that over the past 12 years, we have developed a thriving partnership with our sister city, creating personal connections between many residents of Baltimore and Ashkelon. We look forward to continuously expanding and deepening this relationship that strengthens our interconnected communities.

For Dour Duo, Baseless Hatred

We are taught in Hebrew School that the Second Temple was destroyed on account of sinat chinam (baseless hatred ), such as that triggered by petty vindictiveness.

The JT has offered a contemporary instantiation of this. I refer to recent Your Say letters by Nelson Marans (“Where’s the Respect?” Oct. 9)  and David Gitlitz (“Letter Writer Guilty of Intellectual Fraud” Oct. 16) in their hysterical response to Gideon Donnelly’s Sept  25 concise Your Say letter, “Beth Tfiloh or Beth AIPAC.” All Donnelly did was a) rightly skewer the mega-watt pomposity of the eternally self-promoting Shmuley Boteach; and b) comment on, what seemed to him, to be the egregiously over-the-top involvement by the Beth Tfiloh congregation in exceedingly partisan political activity — conduct he deemed unbecoming to a (tax-exempt) spiritual venue. In doing so, Donnelly expressed no position on the JPCOA but simply registered his immense discomfort with the mob spectacle that transpired there.

For this effort, the two JT letters, in a droning derangement of the senses, accuse Donnelly  of “propaganda and disinformation” and “ideological fraud” and of executing a “suicidal agenda.”  In other words, by innuendo, in all but name allying him with the nefarious BDS movement.

The dour duo’s dyspeptic attack on Donnelly amounts to sinat chinam.

Get a life, people!

‘Peace’ Groups? Anything But

With one child entering college next fall and another entering in two years, I am truly disgusted by stories of anti- Israel groups masking as “peace groups” (such as Jewish Voice for Peace),  or even as groups claiming to be Jewish and demanding the right to present their anti-Semitic views right in the very place that is trying to instill the most basic fundamental beliefs of being Jewish, in a campus Hillel.

In “On the Attack” (Oct. 9), just who are these insane people who consider themselves Jews but insist on trying to brainwash our vulnerable Jewish young adults into thinking they should be anti-Israel? Let Hillel be pro-Israel for God’s sake, let Jewish clubs remain solely to educate kids about being Jewish and to support our God-given homeland. Enough with the craziness of Jewish Voice for Peace, BDS and all the Israel and Jewish hate groups. Let us truly be left in peace.