Letters to the Editor: February 8, 2017

Inauguration blessing

I resent Professor Henry Schvey’s Jan. 25 commentary (“A shameful blessing at Trump’s inauguration”), although it was quite informative. In it, I learned that if one (Rabbi Marvin Hier, for instance, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights agency based in Los Angeles) accepts the results of the recent election and an invitation to deliver a benediction at the inauguration of the President of the United States, he is shortsighted and self serving, and his blessing is cowardly and shameful. 

I learned Schvey seems to believe that this benediction lends the name and reputation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the presidency, and not the other way around. Puhleeze. I learned that Schvey thinks that the Wiesenthal Center is a defender of the dishonest press.  

I learned that Schvey thinks Trump’s supporters can hear dog whistles, or at least may rightly be subject to dehumanizing imagery. 

We can infer from Schvey’s commentary that Trump is a bigoted racist who will stop at nothing. We’ll see.   

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

Warren Handel, Edwardsville, Ill.

Unite in opposition to executive order 

We unite against anti-Semitism. We support our Jewish brothers and sisters in other countries, and advocate for their safety. When we remember the tragic events of the Holocaust, we vow, “Never again.” 

Well, it is happening again: religious discrimination, a massive refugee crisis, a political mess in a region an ocean away, and above all, indecisiveness over how to intervene and save lives, if at all. 

The recently signed executive order suspending immigration from seven countries and totally banning Syrian refugees is not anything our country and our Jewish community can support. 

 We as a people have experienced oppression, so it must be a priority of ours to stand up against oppression on behalf of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, classmates, and families who experience discrimination. 

We must not only remember the Holocaust and pledge tolerance in our own hearts, but take action to make real change in the right direction. 

Our voices are powerful, and must be if any progress is to be made. Remember, our president, and all elected officials, do not have complete power to do whatever they please. We can — and should — stand up to policies that are discriminatory and counterproductive in our fight for the recognition of universal rights and freedoms. 

Do not be afraid to speak up! I encourage you to call Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, as well as your representative in Congress, and urge them to oppose this administration’s unethical immigration policies.

Yara Levin, Town and Country

Where is the outcry?

Jews have always been in the forefront of civil and human rights movements. We have always fought the good fight against discrimination and prejudice in order to ensure fairness, equality and justice for everyone, regardless of nationality, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

We have defended, aided, and supported the oppressed, the poor, and the downtrodden. No other people more than Jews have exemplified and personified the concept of tikkun olam — repair of the world.

However, we are now living in perilous times, and this one-sided selflessness needs to change.

Anti-Semitism is running rampant throughout the world, reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany of the 1930s, as Jews are being virulently denounced and besmirched by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers and BDS advocates, and politically, by the far right and the far left.

What is being done to counter this insidious bigotry? Why are there no marches, rallies, and protests in support of Jews and Israel, and against anti-Semitism, by the same people we have so bravely defended against intolerance?

Why do we not hear the voices from here and abroad, including those in the media, condemning and excoriating this vitriolic hatred of Jews?

I’ve listened closely, but I’ve heard nary a peep. Their silence is deafening.

Gene Carton, Olivette