Trump is not good for the Jews, part I

In his June 8 op ed (“Is Trump good for the Jews? It’s an easy yes”), Rabbi Boteach writes that “he is not here to get political on this issue,” but, of course, he does. He has a never-ending appetite to bash Obama for the Iran deal. I seem to remember that there were a substantial number of Israeli military people who favored the deal and many who are as devoted to the welfare of Israel as he is also believed that the Obama team got the best deal possible at that time.

And, unsurprisingly, he then writes favorably on President Trump’s dealings with North Korea, as if there is a direct comparison between the two situations. Trump is a person without a core of values and beliefs. I support his moving the embassy but fear that this lover of a deal, could easily sell Israel out. Those who choose to get into bed with our President might live to rue the day that they chose him for a bedmate.

Herb Steiner

Trump is not good for the Jews, part II

I was bewildered by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s June 8 column (“Is Trump good for the Jews? It’s an easy yes”), proclaiming that Trump is good for the Jews. After all, Trump is the most dishonest, malevolent, incompetent, ignorant, self-serving national leader since Caligula — hardly the role model to which Jews should aspire, and hardly comparable to Avraham. 

It was not until I read his June 22 column (“The difference between Obama’s Iran deal and Trump’s Singapore summit”) that I understood that Trump, the self-styled “very stable genius,” provides cover for some Jews, those who deal in half-truths, irrelevancies, and illogic.

To annotate Rabbi Boteach’s column would make this letter far too long. So let me highlight several points vis-à-vis Iran: 1) There is no comparison between a multinational deal negotiated over at least two years and a quickie photo-op that required as much thought as choosing a pair of socks. 2) Obama did not “give” the Iranians $150 billion. Rather, the Obama administration returned Iranian assets held in U.S. banks since 1979. (It apparently was much less than $150 billion.) 3) Obama did not “lift” all major sanctions against Iran and “save” its economy. The sanctions lifted were those imposed by the U.N. Security Council. Sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress and other administrations remained in place. And, in case Rabbi Boteach listens only to Fox News, the Iranians are resentful that their economy has not improved since signing the deal — precisely because Obama left the U.S. sanctions in place.

Now, let us look at North Korea. There was no deal of any sort between Trump and Kim. The vague communiqué promising to denuclearize the Korean peninsula has about as much legitimacy as a degree from Trump University. Trump agreed to cease military exercises with our ally South Korea and praised Kim publicly, saying that Kim is a strong leader and that his people love him — a sick joke considering that Kim kills people for not applauding enthusiastically enough. And what did Trump get for these concessions — absolutely nothing! Kim — who runs a regime that has imprisoned people in concentration camps for three generations, that manufactures and sells heroin, and that peddles nuclear technology to rogue regimes such as Iran’s — suckered Trump, playing him like a violin. Kim will get rid of his nukes the same day Trump makes his tax returns public.

In the last third of his column, Rabbi Boteach discusses the Nazis and genocide, for reasons that defy logic completely. The topic is completely unrelated to Iran, North Korea, or Trump. Because invoking the Nazis has been shown to silence discussion, I can only surmise that Rabbi Boteach was trying to silence criticism of the rest of his illogic. Well, two can invoke Nazis; after all, the president that Rabbi Boteach praises as “good for the Jews” has instituted his own Vel d’Hiv and baby prisons on the Rio Grande.

Richard J. Alexander

Keep a watchful eye on kids around pools

We hope by sharing our story it helps others. We are incredibly fortunate and pretty damn lucky.

Yesterday we went to our pool club for a quick swim. The first two rules for our family are sunscreen and swim vests. We did just that. We ran into friends, and our kids played together. Emma and her friend decided to go from the big pool to the baby pool, so I followed. Emma asked if she could take her vest off and many asks later I said okay, thinking that the baby pool is just one foot deep. Emma and her friend filled buckets and went to water the plants on the grass near the fence. They were nowhere near the big pool. I turned my head to say goodbye to another friend and noticed that Emma’s friend was back but I didn’t see Emma. Seth and I started running around searching for Emma. I found her face down in the pool.

A good Samaritan jumped in without a second thought, before I could even process what was happening.

Never in my life will I forget the blue shade of Emma’s lips. The man passed her to me. She was breathing. I passed her to Seth and she puked, which apparently is a good thing. We brought her to the hospital and she was transferred to St Peter’s, where she is doing quite well.

You always hear stories like this but you never think it’s going to be your story to tell one day. If you are by a pool, keep the float on. Please learn from this. Like others say, it’s a blink of an eye, a turn of a head. Couldn’t be more true.

To the man who saved my daughter’s life, we are forever grateful to you.

To the lifeguard who thought Emma was playing, I hope you learn from this. If there is any question, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A minute later could have changed the end to our story.

Hug your kids a little tighter tonight and don’t take anything for granted.

We encourage others to share our lesson.

Seth and Tracy Katzenstein