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2017-06-16 digital edition

TODAY in the Jewish World:

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


June 16, 2017  RSS feed

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Letters to the Editor

Reader: Conservative viewpoint lacking

Dear Editor:

The JTA news service’s political spectrum must range from mildly hostile to fanatical-hatred of President Trump. It appears there’s never any room in this paper for conservative viewpoints or anything that could be interpreted as (heavens forbid) complimentary to the administration. That’s a shame, since many Jews are politically conservative.

The President returns from Israel and not a single word about it? Instead, we get a story about how Trump could have damaged Israeli relations because he shared intelligence with Russia. No specifics given and sources are unknown. No consideration that maybe the President was trying to thwart a terrorist act. Another front-page story describes a Zionist organization that might have less support for Trump because he softened his position on moving the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Buried in the article is a quote that undermines the headline. Of all there is to report, these are the stories we get?

On second thought, I take back some of my criticism regarding lack of political diversity. Federation CEO Gary Gould wrote about the ascendancy of an organization called Jewish Voices for Peace. He laments how this organization persuades young people into supporting anti-Israel causes. Unfortunately, there are many of these groups now. Another one is called “If Not Now.” These groups almost seem designed by Hamas or ISIS as a way to dupe young or weak-minded people. What Gould fails to mention is these groups are all liberal-progressive movements with a growing presence in universities and the Democratic Party. The people who challenge and expose this poison are usually conservative writers whose views should be part of the diverse viewpoints of the Jewish Press.

Noah Jacobson

Editor’s Note: President Trump had not arrived in Israel when the Jewish Press went to press on May 19.

Why does president get pass when he backtracks on embassy promise?

Dear Editor:

Morton Klein, (president of the Zionist Organization of America) says about President Trump: “This guy in his heart and soul is very pro-Israel in a serious way” when explaining away his slowness to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem because it “sends a message of weakness” and called it “painful.”

A JTA news service story in the Jewish Press notes, “Conservative pro-Israel voices, among them Klein, have been outspoken as well in defending top Trump advisors who hail from the ‘alt – right’ … that includes anti-Semites but also strident defenders of Israel.” Among members of the white nationalist alt-right the writer is referring to as providing so-called support on behalf of Israel are Steve Bannon, special assistant to the president, and Alex Jones from Inofwars. Can it be that Klein is so desperate for support of Israel that he turns to groups espousing anti-globalist and xenophobic rhetoric, which is their stock in trade? In fact due to the alt-right, hate crimes in general have risen since the election, including anti-Muslim activities up 80 percent and anti-Semitic acts of violence at all time highs. Mr. Klein’s dependence on alt-right groups for support of the U.S. embassy moving to Jerusalem is disgusting and absurd.

The Middle East reset from the Obama administration seems to be based on forming an alliance between 50 Sunni countries and Israel against Iran and terrorism. In preparation for his first foreign trip the president met with the King of Jordan, the president of Egypt, and the head of the PLO, and made his first stop Saudi Arabia on his foreign trip. By all accounts the goals of the administration were achieved, but what was not discussed was the movement of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy would be a sign that the U.S. has given up its role as an honest broker for peace and has, instead, chosen sides. How would Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinians react on the day after an announcement of the U.S. moving the embassy to Jerusalem? We will not find out because just like three presidents before him, Trump has signed the necessary waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Promises teased out by candidate Trump have shown to be very flexible on a variety of subjects. Our president has proven himself to be the “over promiser” in chief so they should not be surprised that his promise was not kept. At least for the foreseeable future the U.S. is not disappointing the Sunnis and testing the president’s “special bond” with his hosts.

Robert Berman
St. Petersburg

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