Teaneck’s memorial isn’t necessary

In his op ed, “Moving toward a garden to nurture human understanding” (February 2) in support of Teaneck’s proposed Holocaust memorial, Steve Fox tried to answer the question of why a Holocaust memorial is needed here, since there is already one in New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The question was a good one, but it is incomplete. In addition to that museum, there are local Holocaust memorials, monuments, and educational programs in the area’s Jewish schools, synagogues, and JCCs, and also in Teaneck High School. Holocaust courses are part of the curriculum in other New Jersey high schools and the Holocaust Museum in Washington is easily accessible. By ignoring these other sources, Mr. Fox avoided answering the question regarding the unnecessary duplication that the Teaneck memorial will be.

In addition to the money being raised to construct it, which will come largely from the Jewish community, where will the funds to maintain it over the years come from? Will that be yet another financial obligation on the area’s Jewish community?

The partnering of the Holocaust and Enslaved Africans Memorials is a coupling of two different historical events. Though both are among the many examples of man’s cruelty to man, only the Holocaust was intended to be genocide. The enslavement of Africans was not.

The Town Council’s proposed location of the memorials is unfortunate. The likelihood is that they will ruin the beauty of Teaneck’s municipal green by being obstacles to its wide, unobstructed views, spoiling its tranquility, and possibly resulting in the removal of some of its majestic trees.

Ahrona Ohring

And then they came for my children

First they came for San Ysidro, Eamond, Stockton, Jacksonville, Killeen, Iowa City, Olivehurst, San Francisco, Garden City, Jonesboro, Columbine, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Wakefield, Meridian, Red Lake, Goleta and Nickel Mines, and I did not speak out.Because I was not anti-gun.

Then they came for Salt Lake City, Blacksburg, Omaha, DeKalb, Binghamton, Fort Hood, Huntsville, Manchester, Tucson, Seal Beach, Oakland, Aurora, Oak Creek, Minneapolis, Brookfield, Newton, Santa Monica and Washington, D.C., and I did not speak out. Because I was not political.

Then they returned to Fort Hood, and came for Isla Vista, Charleston, Chattanooga, Roseburg, Colorado Springs, San Bernardino, Orlando, Burlington, Fort Lauderdale, Orange County, and Parkland, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a liberal.

Then they came for your children, and mine — and it was too late.

Amy Soukas

Praise for Trump

I want to address these remarks in response to Sandra Dermon’s letter, “No thanks for Mr. Trump” (February 16). She objects to the Frisch school’s support of the president on his declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and that Frisch has “no business participating in political action, especially one that would support a president who has trampled on every institution in America.” It is true that religious institutions should refrain from stating their political preferences; nevertheless this happens, and we mostly object to it when the views expressed are not ours. But the claim that President Trump “has trampled on every institution in America” is no more than sour grapes by those who refuse to accept the outcome of the last election.

The president’s supposed assault on the free press is a more complicated issue than indicated. By far the greatest percentage of the media is violently, if not pathologically, opposed to President Trump. The president does not get a fair deal from them, and this manifests itself in so many ways. For example, news items that should be impartially presented are so often presented in a way that makes them barely disguised “editorials” opposing him. In fact, there is such a continuous drumbeat of anti-Trump stories, true ones, half-true ones and outright lies, that the president may eventually be forced to resign.

Our immigration system is an incredible mess and urgently in need of reform. But here are some numbers, among others, Ms. Dermon overlooked. President Obama deported over 2,500,000 illegal immigrants, more than all of his predecessors from 1892 to 2000 combined. And this country accepts more immigrants than any other on earth.

Some of the president’s actions toward women are despicable and inexcusable. Some of his predecessors also committed acts we consider unacceptable today, and there is no excuse for any of them.

Other assertions by Ms. Dermon are equally unsupportable by facts, but what I find particularly offensive is the claim that the president has a great deal in common with Mussolini and Hitler. President Trump was legally elected, and I hope that emotionally based degrading comments will eventually be replaced with rational thought.

Dr. Norbert Ripp

More praise for Trump

It is unfortunate that much of what used to be polite discourse within our nation, has lowered to the point where those who are anti-Trump will sink to any level to denigrate actions that either he took or those expressing positive views concerning anything he does or did. In this instance I am referring to the letter, “No thanks for Mr. Trump” by Sandy Dermon (February 16). Via the content of her letter, I feel that she is a member of the left-wing crowd that finds fault with much of what President Trump does, even if it means that one must distort and twist facts to fit one’s biases or prejudices.

Without this seemingly anti-President Trump paranoia, I don’t think she would have written, “Trump’s interference in American politics has added yet another burden to any chance for a peaceful resolution to the Middle East crises.” “Trump’s interference”? He, despite the fact that she appears to despise it, IS the President of the United States. It is his obligation, as President, to “interfere” with and take part in actions concerning our government both domestic and foreign.

It seems that the trigger for her diatribe was the urging of Frisch students to write letters to President Trump thanking him for verbally declaring that the government of the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

According to her, “Hebrew day schools have no business participating in political action…”, especially an action she disagrees with. These students should “not be encouraged to participate in political issues, especially divisive ones.” What nonsense! How does she define political issues? Can she point to any that cannot be considered divisive? Is Israel a political issue? According to what she wrote, does she object to the participation of any Jewish day school in the Salute to Israel Day Parade?

Students must be made aware of the issues and what is going on around them. Their information should come from a wide variety of sources. They should be able to discuss the many sides of each issue. If they are able to do this, they may be able to resist being led blindly down an ideologically fueled path.

Her juxtaposition of Trump with Mussolini and Hitler is nothing short of obscene but fully understood with her political leanings. She is not alone. It is unfortunate that so many in and out of our community are so blind.

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford

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