Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2019


Encourage lawmakers to pass gun violence prevention bills

I was heartbroken to hear the news of not one, but three major shootings this weekend in El Paso, Dayton and now Chicago. With the 2019-2020 school year about to start, we will also have to brace ourselves for school shootings again. 

Every shooting is a tragedy. Too many communities feel the pain every day of having loved ones killed, wounded and impacted by gun violence. And it’s far too easy for those motivated by hate to get armed and terrorize a community, as we have seen these past few days, and have seen time and again across our country.

One thing is clear: it’s past time for the Senate to take action.

Today, we must honor all those impacted by gun violence with action. We must recognize the tragedies in Texas, Ohio and Illinois, as well as the tragedies that occur across our country every single day. We must let our leaders know that we expect them to take action to prevent gun violence tragedies.

Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley have the power to pass life-saving gun violence prevention bills. It is their duty to save lives through background checks on all gun sales, and a strong Red Flags law. I urge all readers to call their members of Congress today.

Yara Levin, St. Louis 

Editorial ignores Rep. Omar’s past comments

Regarding the Jewish Light’s July 24 editorial, “Go Back To Decency,” I cannot believe the Light — the only Jewish newspaper in St. Louis — would devote a large portion of the editorial page to showing empathy to Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has made such heinous remarks about Jews and Israel.

What bothers me most is at the end, where the Light agrees with a statement by Omar that “it was not about me. This is about fighting for what this country should be and what it deserves to be.” Claiming she was right was absolutely preposterous. Nothing was criticized about her outright hateful anti-Semitism.

Why criticize the president? While I’m totally in favor of free speech, Donald Trump also has every right to suggest Omar and her cohorts leave the country. If they don’t like their environs, they can try to find their “happiness” elsewhere. 

The Light might be correct in one statement: that the rhetoric on both sides has to cool off. However, to reiterate, I admire our president for, at least, replying to Omar’s defamatory statements. 

The Jews of the entire world have never, ever, done anything to provoke anti-Semitism; the people of our faith have had to defend themselves since biblical times. Hence, it is about time that somebody like our president rhetorically states an opinion of reality.

Howard Sandler, University City

Long ago, I stopped writing the Light because its worldview and mine were so far apart that corrections were of no use. However, your July 24 article, “ADL criticizes Missouri senator for speech containing phrases historically used ‘demean Jews’ ” regarding Sen. Josh Hawley (whom I do not know) goes too far in its ignoring of basic knowledge. 

First, the word “cosmopolitan” is the philosophical or moral ideology that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality. Because our American elites and our Jewish elites seem to share the same worldview that only the (now far-left) liberal views of society and government concepts of community and society are of any worth, are Hawley’s conclusions (as a man of the right) incorrect or somehow, anti-Semitic? 

Half or more of the American population (including this Jew) agree with him. The idea of cosmopolitanism was tacked on to Jews by the earliest communists and fascists who saw them as not just as having a different worldview; but, because of that, enemies of the state. 

The evil ones steal a valid word to describe a philosophy, and you brand a decent man as possibly buying into that evil. Not good. Second, this nation — ours — was, indeed, founded on Christian principles; and with a strong emphasis on the “Old” Testament. Hawley is poetic and gentle in his inclusive phraseology.  This, you snidely denigrate. 

You’re getting better at mentioning other views (like the true meaning of cosmopolitanism) but continue to push the idea that people you don’t like are raising the specter of Nazism, even when using it properly. 

Sydney J. Chase, University City