First they came for the chasidim…

A Jewish newspaper, devoting enormous space to the argument that the Mahwah eruv dispute is not anti-Semitism (“Wired,” August 11) it’s anti-chasidism; it’s about, to quote your article, not wanting neighborhoods to change, opposing a group that moves en masse, ignores building code, is not in sync with the common feel of an American neighborhood, etc.

Did you read what you wrote? This screed is the same, racist, ugly, hateful argument that was used for decades to exclude African-Americans — that they bring crime and slums and force neighborhoods to change. It is the same argument that is now used to exclude honorable, devout Muslims. Not long ago, this same argument was used to reject even secular and Reform Jews from exclusive schools, clubs, and other venues.

This kind of thinking is a direct byproduct of today’s regressive-progressive identity politics; the failure to view people as individuals, but only as members of a group, with society doling out its favors to those groups that can best advocate for their own victimhood and excluding its benevolence and tolerance from groups that are not in fashion.

Perhaps we need to update Martin Niemoller’s famous WWII poem to now read, “First they came for the chassidim….”

Harry J. Reidler
Englewood

It’s about ignorance

It is so simple to hate; in the name of religion, in the name of color, in the name of beliefs, heritage and culture.

It is simple to hate what is not understood; so much more simple than reading and listening and communicating and trying to find out why and how.

Most people, even the most educated among us, hate because it is easiest, because then they can shove some other kind of people in the closet rather than talking with them or learning truly who they are. Because that would make life a bit more complicated. So why bother?

When I see continuous repetitions of the same train of thought on hatred, I wonder if those who walk around with signs and join radical killing machines actually understand the meaning of those groups. It’s about ignorance, it’s about negligence and living in a world screaming about equality and who did what to whom, who was where first. It is certainly not about education.

The hatred for Israel, of Jews, the Jewish Nation, Israel.

The hatred for people of color, the hatred for those with certain illnesses and disabilities. The hatred of religious beliefs and the belief in religion itself as final and finite.

All of it is the ignorance we live with and are near and are surrounded by and lead by, in our country….

The false news, the fake news, the fake lives…. All of it ignorance..

Sandra Steuer Cohen
Teaneck

Tear down the statues

I believe that all leaders (political and military) of the Confederacy are guilty of treason against our beloved republic.

I hold that they should be stripped of all honors that have been accorded to them up until the present time with the permission of the United States. This includes burial in the sacred Arlington National Cemetery.

There were many causes for the Civil War. At the top of the list was racism and slavery. The traitorous Confederacy and all that was involved remains the glaring symbol of an ugly and destructive heritage.

I believe that all artifacts alluding to those leaders and the Confederacy (including Stone Mountain in Georgia) be removed from public domain and relocated to private collections and museums.

I applaud President Trump for forcefully and specifically clarifying his condemnation of white supremacists (KKK, Neo Nazis, etc.) and all other extremists who promote hatred, xenophobia and violence. Organizers of demonstrations that seek hatred and division of Americans are criminals. They should not be given permits to congregate. If they succeed in causing (potential or actual) lethal violence they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of applicable law.

Jerrold Terdiman MD
Woodcliff Lake

CORRECTION

In last week’s piece, “The Items,” by Lyndra Kraar, we said that Piotrkowska Street was “inside the Lodz Ghetto.” In fact, it was outside the ghetto.