JT Story ‘Biased’

I was very disappointed to read the JT’s biased and untruthful “Trump Supporters at Goldberg’s Trouble Customers” (Nov. 11).

I was there canvassing for Dr. Mark Plaster along with the Trump supporters and truck. There was absolutely no antagonizing patrons going on, and, in fact, none of us involved ever made contact with any of the patrons inside the restaurant. The only time any of us entered was to use a restroom or make a purchase.

It is very sad that customer Noah Bers felt that his opinion on Trump gives him license to distort what was simply enthusiastic supporters informing people about the candidate with song and entertainment. As for Goldberg’s, it had nothing to do with the event, and the idea of boycotting the shop is pathetic and ludicrous.

No Confidence in Media

The media, including Jewish newspapers, have published many articles about the alleged anti-Semitism of Stephen Bannon, President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, but are silent about the checkered history of Keith Ellison, the leading candidate for the Democratic National Committee chair (“A Divisive Result,” Nov. 18):

> that he was a defender of Farrakhan and his spokesperson’s anti-Semitic remarks;

> that he received contributions from the Council of on American Islamic Relations, which has ties to the terrorist organization Hamas;

> that he has put forth a conspiracy theory about President George W. Bush and 9/11;

> that he believes Israel is an apartheid nation;

> that he has appeared on platforms with those vocal in their opposition to Israel.

Why would Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, both Jews, endorse Ellison? That answer is obvious: for political purposes, such as pushing a progressive agenda.

Why would the media and Jewish publications be silent about the history of Keith Ellison?

If the answer is a political bias toward the left, then you will understand why readers like me have lost confidence in the media.

Democrats and Palestinians

When you vote for a presidential candidate, you also vote for his or her party (“A Divisive Result,” Nov. 18). Many influential leaders in the Democratic Party support the Palestinians and want to push Israel back to the pre-1967 borders. Many want to prosecute Israelis for war crimes. Many support the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. To be fair, some Democrats oppose those positions. Republicans support Israel.

People forget that the Palestinians are led by Hamas, a vicious, radical Islamic terrorist organization no different from ISIS. They are committed to the destruction of Israel and do not want peace. It’s even in the Hamas Charter. People forget that on 9/11 Palestinians danced in the street and gave candy to their children. Palestinians burn the American flag almost as often as they burn the Israeli flag. They are not our friends. And they continue their terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and continue building infiltration tunnels under the border.

The Jews have always voted for the Democrats, so much so that in this election, they didn’t even bother pandering to us, like they did to other minorities. They just assumed we would be one more monolithic identity voting block for them.

There will be other elections for presidents, senators, congressmen and governors. Your vote counts.

Dems Ignored Too Many

The Democratic Party has reinvented itself. It was the party of the working poor and middle class. But now it has become the party of the African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQs, radical left-wingers, socialists, disenfranchised, anarchists and so on.

The Democratic Party pandered to these groups and recruited them into a rainbow coalition determined to advance their agenda. Along the way, they just wrote off the working poor, the middle class, rural America and everybody else. This has led to a fractured country (“It’s Trump,” Nov. 11).

The Democrats lost on the issues. Nobody wanted another four years of the last eight years. The Republicans won with their message of change and rebuilding the economy and job security. They won on the commitment to defeat our enemies and to protect us against radical Islamic terrorists. They won on addressing the illegal immigrant problem. They won on health care. They won on supporting law and order and rejecting Black Lives Matter and affirming that all lives matter.

The Democrats lost on their attempt to delegitimize Israel and advance the Palestinian agenda. According to some sources, while campaigning, mentioning Israel was discouraged.

The Democratic Party has traditionally been the party of the Jews. But it has veered to the radical left. The Republican Party has become more centrist and may appeal to more people. “To everything there is a season.”

Hopefully, with the new administration, this wounded land will heal.

Job Well Done

In response to Joshua Runyan’s Nov. 11 Opening Thoughts (“Thank God, the Election Is Over”):

A degree in journalism and speech from what was then Syracuse University’s School of Journalism and School of Speech and Performing Arts didn’t result in my pursuing either of the fields except indirectly, but I can appreciate the quality of your writing and how you have professionally insulated it from other personal life choices. Yasher ko’ach!

Got Trump Where He Belongs

Whether or not I appreciate the JT’s coverage of the presidential election remains to be seen. But was it really necessary to put Donald Trump’s picture on the Nov. 11 cover? It will, however, fit perfectly at the bottom of my bird’s cage.

State Says No to Voter Intimidation

Voter intimidation is prohibited by federal law, as Joshua Runyan pointed out in the JT (“Getting Out the Vote,” Nov. 4). It’s also prohibited by Maryland law.

Flyers were distributed in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods urging people to vote on the Thursday after Election Day in 2004. They also  implied that you couldn’t vote if you owed rent or had overdue parking tickets.

That prompted me to introduce legislation that made it a crime for a person to willfully and knowingly “influence or attempt to influence a voter’s decision whether to go to the polls to cast a vote through the use of force, fraud, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, reward or offer of reward.”

The phone calls urging people to stay home and not vote, paid for by the 2010 Ehrlich campaign, violated this law.

Speak Out for Social Justice

I want to respond to “Shall We Really Pursue Justice in Baltimore in 5777?” by Claire Landers in the Oct. 7 edition of the JT.

I believe the prophet Isaiah calls on us to engage with this issue and with others related to social justice here in Baltimore. A Department of Justice study reveals details that are stunning for those of us who are not exposed on a daily basis to these problems. This is not a matter of accusing all law enforcement officers of racial bias; the issue is whether a  system can be put in place that ensures accountability to the public when there are cases of egregious misconduct, especially by those who have a long record of such behavior.

Last winter, I attended the police accountability educational forum sponsored by Jews United for Justice, where I listened to a panel of speakers that included lawyers, activists and law enforcement professionals who spoke about the ongoing issue and the need for reform. More than 100 people from the metropolitan Baltimore Jewish community, most of them synagogue members, took the opportunity to write cards and make phone calls to their legislative representatives on behalf of the bill described in Landers’ piece, and we did indeed make a difference.

As Landers points out, the work is not done. Pirkei Avot teaches us, “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to  desist from it (2:21).” The  Baltimore Jewish community has a lot of influence over  decisions that are made at both the local and state level, decisions that can have a tremendous positive impact on the well-being of both our community and our neighbors. My hope is that more of us will think and speak in support of social justice.

Szeliga’s the Choice

I am disappointed but not surprised that once again the JT has put liberalism in front of qualifications and Democrat Party loyalty ahead of America and Israel. You accomplished this by putting Rep. Chris Van Hollen ahead of Del. Kathy Szeliga in your endorsement (“Van Hollen for U.S. Senate,” Oct. 21).

You attack Szeliga for supporting Donald Trump as if it were the most important issue facing America. Let’s look at what she really said, that we have two very flawed candidates, and like most Americans, she feels a need to pick one, and she is picking the one who will  oppose Obamacare and its job-killing results. She will oppose allowing a pathway to a nuclear Iran. She will support Israel. She will support law enforcement. She has consistently called out Trump on the carpet for his words and thoughts. But in spite of Hillary Clinton’s many misdeeds, Van Hollen has never said that she makes mistakes, not even in Benghazi or with her email.

But what do you claim to like about Van Hollen? “He crosses party lines,” you say, but the truth is that he votes with his party more than 93 percent of the time and votes the liberal line 90 percent of the time. We know that he’s more liberal than she is conservative. Van Hollen has been a loyal supporter of Obama, and that’s fine if you’re a liberal. I am not a liberal, and not all Jews are.

Perhaps you should just be more honest and say that liberals who oppose America and Israel’s national security should support Van Hollen, but the rest of us should go for Szeliga.

A Rising Star

Congratulations to Jennifer Robinson for being spotlighted by the Jewish Times (“You Should Know,” Oct. 28).  Jennifer represents the very best of the oft-maligned millennial generation, demonstrating strong  loyalty to family and dedication to her professional growth and satisfaction.

Jennifer pitched the idea of a young professionals group to the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce as a mechanism for up-and-coming young professionals to network and support each other in their growing careers. The Chamber was thrilled with this concept and enthusiastically supported her suggestion as a way to reach out to and support these future leaders of our community.  As previously reported by the JT, the Young Professionals Chamber Group’s kick-off event was held on Sept. 26 with more than 50 people in attendance; the next event is being planned for early 2017. Details can be found on the Chamber’s website at pikesvillechamber.org.