Federation gets it right
The well-reasoned position statement issued by the Board of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation is a refreshing departure from the heightened rhetoric that the Iran Accord has generated from so many (“Statement of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Board of Directors on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Ledger, Sept. 4, 2015). Whether you support or oppose the accord the charged language used by its supporters and detractors for those on the opposite side of the debate concerns this writer not because there are not intelligent spokespersons in both camps but because so many have chosen to demonize the opposition. In laying out the deep concerns of the Board, our Federation rose above the divisions that are separating the community in a time-honored tradition of educating and advocating for an involved electorate. In this case, our leadership understood that awareness of the pros and cons of the accord would be of greater value than another statement in opposition or support. Coming from a Board whose consistent support of Israel cannot be questioned the statement will carry great weight among our community.
Federation Needs to Lead
We look to the leadership of our Jewish community for their support and counsel in matters that concern our security in the United States as well as the security of Israel.
The recent statement of the Board of Directors of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation is a classic example of “fence sitting” (“Statement of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Board of Directors on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Ledger, Sept. 4, 205.)
Is this an example of leadership?
I am deeply disappointed but not surprised since some of our Jewish political leaders have taken similar non-decisions or support this agreement. Some are clearly politically based and others are based on fiscal analysis (fundraising).
In my opinion, these are very trying times and Chamberlain-like moves are dangerous both to the United States and Israel. When the leadership of Iran constantly says “death to the United States” and “death to Israel” we cannot ignore these statements and make a noncommittal response. We cannot behave like this and expect our government leadership to respect us and to respond to our concerns.
Was this a unanimous decision? Was there dissent?
Some of us are old enough to remember the Holocaust and had close relatives who perished (although Iranian leadership denies this horror). Iran pledges another holocaust! The Iranians are responsible for many American deaths and sponsor terrorism all over the world. Are they a legitimate partner that we can trust?
We must stand up together and denounce this mockery of an agreement.
The future and wellbeing of the United States, Israel and the entire Middle East may very well depend on what we say and do at this historical time.
Our local Jewish Federation leadership has failed us.
Shame on you.
Edward Milikow, M.D.
Trump gets it wrong on guns
According to arrogant tycoon Donald Trump, the recent murder captured on camera in Virginia “isn’t a gun problem, it is a mental problem.”
Mr. Trump is absolutely correct! But, he fails to identify the mental problem. That problem is the utter failure of those who rally around “liberty” to bear arms to understand this: Unwillingness to bear “responsibility” in the defense of liberty is nothing short of anarchy.
What can be more irresponsible than the failure to reduce the number of guns that get into the hands of irresponsible people? Only a mental misfit ignores the crying need for rigorous background checks.
So, yes, Mr. Trump, mental illness is a massive problem – more than you think!
Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, PhD