Jews join allies to #CloseTheCamps

The outrage at U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) labeling of migrant detention centers “concentration camps” detracts from the inhumanity of the conditions. Regardless of the term, there is no denying that these sites constitute human rights abuses. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.S. members of Congress, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, have all stated as much. Human beings packed into stifling or frigid cages, children as young as 7 caring for toddlers, and a U.S. Justice Department lawyer arguing (on our tax dollars) that safe and sanitary conditions need not include soap and toothbrushes for detained children. As can be glimpsed from the re-unification videos of the lucky few, these children will suffer lasting harm to their emotional development.

As Jews we are called upon to join with our allies to speak out against the unspeakable. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights is partnering with the immigrant-led organization United We Dream in asking allies to hold vigils and protests outside Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices nationwide. From its website: On the holiday of Tisha B’Av (August 10-11, 2019), T’ruah, Bend the Arc, the RAC, J Street, and the National Council of Jewish Women are partnering to coordinate Jewish vigils and protests, demanding an end to this unfolding modern-day catastrophe. Last year more than a dozen Jewish communities across the country held similar events, and unfortunately, we have even more reasons to protest today.

We must demonstrate publicly that the Jewish community will not turn its back on refugees arriving in our country and our immigrant neighbors already here. Join us on Sunday, August 11, at 10 a.m. at the Federal Plaza Newark/Peter Rodino Federal Building — Outside the ICE Office 972 Broad St, Newark, organized by Congregation Bnei Keshet. Check out T’ruah’s website.

Don’t turn away.

Karen Bonuck, Oradell

It’s not about free speech
— against Boteach

I would like to clarify a misconception that a letter writer stated in support of continuing to publish Shmuley Boteach’s columns in the Jewish Standard. It’s not a free speech issue. The Standard has a very lively letters to the editor section, which has included letters from the far left to the far right, mainly on Israel but on a variety of issues.

As I see it, the regular columnists are fairly center. The Standard could find other conservative commentators if it wishes to do so. I personally do not like Shmuley’s views and just skim through them or avoid them, which is what I suggest to others.

I find his views extremely partisan, and I dislike the constant self-promotion. I feel you could find a much better person to represent the conservative side.

Bertha Massoffi, Linden

Another pro-Boteach voice

I am sick and tired of those who have had enough of Rabbi Boteach, of those who seek to justify their arguments by quoting history falsely, and of sore losers.

Rather than getting rid of the rabbi as some of your correspondents suggest, I would recommend that you may want to avoid publishing letters that distort history and/or play loosely with the truth. Wouldn’t that be a blessing?

Dr. Norbert Ripp, Teaneck

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