I am writing to you regarding and in response to this past issue’s “For What It’s Worth” column by Mr. Warren S. Hecht. In short, this article betrays that ignorance which so often underlies the gun debate in this country. Though there are many misleading and untruthful statements therein, I want to point out a couple that are, in my opinion, especially problematic. Firstly, Mr. Hecht cites Premier Trudeau’s quote about AR-15-type weapons not being suitable for either “hunting or sport-shooting purposes.” Aside from the fact that AR-15-style weapons are actually used for hunting and sport-shooting quite frequently, the basis for gun ownership in the United States – while it may be otherwise in Canada – is essentially for purposes of self-defense, as is quite blatant in the Bill of Rights and subsequent Supreme Court decisions, and so I am not sure why Mr. Trudeau’s (false) point is relevant here.
For the sake of being concise, I will gloss over other problematic lines in the PM’s remarks (as well as Mr. Hecht’s misleading implication about the percentage of shootings or even mass shootings conducted with AR-15-style rifles, which is a small one) and come to Mr. Hecht’s conclusions about Michigan gun owners. Very much to the contrary of what Mr. Hecht would have QJL readers believe, it is, in fact, those totalitarian “third-world” regimes that are so keen on banning weapons, in government buildings or otherwise, unless they are held by loyalist soldiers. It is a mark of the highest trust in the American citizenry and belief in the central tenet of consent of the governed that many state capitols allow citizens to carry weapons under their domes. If politicians in those locales are intimidated, they are free to bring weapons of their own.
If the obvious problem of gun violence in this country is to be addressed effectively, it would be a good idea to start by actually analyzing the real problems and stop disseminating platitudes and false information.
Over the weekend, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) made a despicable remark, saying the existence of the State of Israel is an “ethnic cleansing” of Muslim Arabs. This is false, and she knows it. Since the establishment of the State of Israel 70 years ago, the Arab population in the Land of Israel has multiplied six-fold. Muslim Arabs within the Israeli territory have better access to modern amenities than in most places in the Arab world.
As the invasion by surrounding Arab states began in 1948, the Israeli government asked its Arab population not to leave. It promised them protection and citizenship; nonetheless many left at the request of Arab attackers who said it would be easier for them to perform their attacks if their Arab brothers were absent the area. Those who left did so of their own free will and with the hope that the Jews would be ethnically cleansed.
The fact is that the ethnic cleansing that happened after the establishment of the State of Israel was done to the Jews living in the Arab lands in North Africa and in the Middle East. Muslim countries expelled and threatened their Jewish population. The 850,000 Jews who for over 1,000 years had lived in and contributed to these countries were expelled and ethnically cleansed.
The ethnic cleansing going on today in the Middle East and northern Africa is being done mostly by Arab Muslim leaders and jihadists who are systematically purging these areas of age-old Christian communities, indigenous tribes, and remnants of the few Jews remaining in these areas.
When speaking of ethnic cleansing, Rashida Tlaib should look in the mirror and see that it is her ideology that is the greatest perpetrator today of ethnic cleansing in the world today.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero
I read the opinion of Warren Hecht in the May 15 edition of the Queens Jewish Link. It is his normal protocol to end with a “Trump quote of the week.” However, he instead decided to go after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On May 3, Pompeo had an interview on Face the Nation with Raddatz. Warren correctly points out that Pompeo incorrectly stated that the intelligence believed that the virus was man-made. Pompeo then corrected himself and correctly stated that the intelligence found no evidence the virus was man-made. Warren then blows this out of proportion by stating that “It sounds straight out of George Orwell’s 1984.”
Warren conveniently left out the most important part of the interview. Pompeo stated the fact that there was a virus lab in Wuhan near where the virus originated. Pompeo also stated that China misled us about the virus by denying the outbreak. China also refused to allow our scientists access to the lab to find out what happened. If China would have cooperated, countless lives would have been saved. It is very possible that someone in that lab contracted the coronavirus and spread it to the population. We will never know, because China is preventing any investigation.
Since Warren loves to hit Trump, I think it is time to bring up statements from Biden. Here are some of those quotes: Sometime in 2017, Biden stated, “You know I have hairy legs that turn blond in the sun and the kids would like to come up and rub my leg down and then watch the hair come back up again. So I learned about roaches and I learned about kids sitting on my lap. And I love kids sitting on my lap.” In a March 24 interview with “The View,” Biden stated, the COVID-19 cure “will make the problem worse, no matter what.”
I think these quotes speak for themselves. It is no wonder Biden is in hiding.
As a father and educator, I was impressed with Goldy Krantz’s article of not changing in order to be accepted and liked by others, whether it’s someone you developed feelings for or peers. Too many times I see teenagers doing what they normally wouldn’t do, in order to be accepted by others in a group or to make friends.
Goldy’s words can be adapted to use in many situations. Even though I am not seeing my students in person these days, but through computers, I don’t feel like I have the personal connection with some that I did when I was interacting with them every day. Every couple of days, one of the boys will call me to say hello or to talk through an issue he is having, whether it is academically related or not. I am going to adapt Goldy’s article (maybe even get in touch with Goldy) so that I can send it to my class to let them know they are strong and should make the right decisions for themselves, not because of what others think of them or want from them.
As a father of both boys and girls, I can tell you that this issue does exist in dating. Long story short, my daughter started changing prices of herself when dating someone years ago. Finally, she realized that she was great, not fine, but great the way that she was, and if the young man didn’t see that, than he wasn’t seeing the real her.
My daughter is since married, with a family of her own, to a wonderful man whom she didn’t have to change a thing for.
Keep up the good work.
All I can say is “Wow” after reading Goldy Krantz’s column. I almost fell into the trap of changing little bits of who I was for someone until I realized it changed the core of who I was and I didn’t like the new me. It takes a strong person to stand up against the pressures of what society or a person wants from you and not to conform in order to be accepted. Kol ha’kavod to Goldy for telling women and men to be themselves and the right person will come along and will like that person and not who they want to transform you into.
Today’s Congressional generation could learn much from the late Idaho Republican Senator James A. McClure. For 18 years, he read every word of every bill before voting on it. Members of Congress will have to take an Evelyn Wood speed reading class to absorb the 1,200 pages contained in Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $3 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill (co-sponsored by Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer). Only lobbyists and key Congressional staff members (employed by the House and Senate leadership teams), who actually wrote the fine print on behalf of their bosses, have any idea of the details buried in the actual contents. There should be a two-week minimum time-out period. This would provide adequate time for members of Congress, ordinary citizens, the media, and independent good-government watch-dog groups the opportunity to understand all of the contents contained in this legislation. Everyone would also have the option under an open process to comment and discuss the benefits or consequences before others vote up or down for adoption. Congress could hold a series of public hearings in the light of day instead of meeting in the back room of Speaker Pelosi’s office.
If we print more money to pay for this, we run the risk of runaway inflation. We can’t count on tax revenue to cover this, and don’t want to borrow money to pay for it. The only nation that could lend us the money is China, which is why we are in this bind in the first place.
With the coronavirus raging among us, it is time to focus on some good news for a change. Recently, the charges against General Michael Flynn were dropped by Attorney General Barr. I believe that this case has great implications for our country and in particular the Jewish people. The corrupt actions of leadership elements of the FBI, the DOJ, the Democratic Party, and the media are so egregious that they threaten the very fabric of this nation. Here is the story that you may not have heard.
Michael Flynn was instrumental in shaping US counterterrorism strategy and dismantling insurgent networks in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, serving from July 2012 until his forced retirement from the military by Obama in 2014. After the assassination of Osama bin Laden, Obama declared that al-Qaeda was neutralized. Flynn disagreed and argued that Islamic terrorism was still a threat that should be taken seriously. This went against the “Obama Doctrine” that wanted to establish better relations with Iran and other supporters of terrorism and end our alliance with Israel. Obama retaliated against Flynn by ending his military career. Then in November 2016, Trump won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton and became the 45th President of the United States. Obama took this opportunity to stab Israel in the back. He refused to veto an anti-Israel resolution (Resolution 2334) in the UN Security Council. Flynn was a senior advisor to Trump in his campaign and was picked to be the United States National Security Advisor after the inauguration in January 2017. Flynn had conversations with the Russian ambassador in attempt to persuade Russia to veto this heinous resolution. Although Flynn failed to prevent this travesty, he may have prevented a second resolution that would have been even worse.
Obama was determined to punish Flynn for this “crime.” First, the FBI commenced a phony investigation into Flynn’s connection with Russia. The records reveal that no crime was found, so the FBI decided to manufacture a crime. The FBI under Comey decided to lay a perjury trap. The FBI went against protocol and approached Flynn without informing President Trump. They told Flynn that they wanted to ask him a few questions. When he asked them if he needed a lawyer, they lied and told him that this was not a serious matter and it was not necessary. They then proceeded to ask him questions about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. The FBI already had the leaked transcript so the purpose of the conversation was solely to catch Flynn in a lie and prosecute him. The FBI then informed Flynn that they tricked him and that he really did need a lawyer. They proceeded to blackmail him into signing a phony confession that he lied to the FBI. If he refused to sign, they threatened to go after his son.
When the details of this case were thoroughly reviewed by Attorney General Barr, he dropped the charges. The Democratic Party and the media were in an uproar. Nadler, Schiff, Obama, Biden, Schumer, Brenan, Comey all chimed in unison that “dropping the charges against Flynn was against the rule of law.” These same politicians who want to lock up an innocent man argue that the most violent criminals and terrorists should be let free. The Jewish people have a history of being falsely accused and punished for crimes we did not commit. As Jews, we must raise our voices in support of Flynn and others who are falsely accused.
Please stay safe.