Noshes, Page 3 are unfair to Trump

I am getting very tired of the way media no longer reports the news but has to inject their personal political beliefs into what should be an informational article, and sadly the Jewish Standard appears to be just as guilty as the national media. I am a regular reader of the Jewish Standard because I truly want to see news that is pertinent to the Jewish community, locally, nationally and in the world, and your paper does provide that, but as for political opinions, that is why editorial pages and the work of columnists are included in newspapers. News should be facts, and that alone. Stating, as you did this week, that Hunter Biden has a target on his back because the Trump administration is trying to coerce the Ukrainian government into framing him (“Page 3”) is opinion, not fact, and likewise so is implying that Gordon Sondland made a big mistake in supporting Trump (“Noshes”), or last week when you lauded Adam Schiff’s “quiet determination” in pursuing the impeachment agenda (“Noshes”). These are all your opinions poorly dressed up as news. You could easily have reported all three stories without the left-wing spin: especially when in each case the opinion part felt like it was merely inserted as an acerbic little aside that could/should have been left out!

It may be inconceivable to you, but a large segment of the Jewish community is not on the side of the Democratic party , and their left wing, let’s-get-rid-of—Trump-any-way-we-can even if it means fabricating facts, taking events out of context, or outright lying agenda; I know many of these moderate or right wing Jews personally and they are just as exasperated as I am with how the media is portraying events in Washington. We do not need to be served this by our local, community paper as well, and in so doing, you are alienating a large portion of your readership. You may well believe the narrative that the left is pushing regarding the president, and even if I believe you are 100% wrong, I also believe that as Americans you have the right to think and say what you want (which by the way, is contrary to what many on the left feel about people whose beliefs cling closer to mine), but I also have the right not to read your paper particularly its all-important advertising, throw it away, or use it to blot up accidents that my dog may have in the house.

Again, I do not fault you for your beliefs, and you have every right, and obviously every intention, to print them, but please do so in the opinion section of your paper, because that is what they are, opinions. News is fact, not beliefs. As someone who desires to remain a loyal reader, I entreat please to keep these two categories separate, as they ought to be.

Richard E Krieger

Trump is bad for Israel

Love him or hate him, most people can agree that President Trump knows how to grab headlines and use them to his advantage. It’s that phenomenon that has led to a loud minority of Jewish voters who vote predominately on America’s support for Israel to declaim that Trump is the most pro-Israel president in history. Headlines around the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of the Golan, the president’s cheerleader-like support of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and his withholding of aid to certain Palestinian organizations, has earned him those Jewish voters’ unyielding support. Regardless of any other topic you can confront them with, “but what about Israel?” they’ll say.

To that I say, in time President Trump will become known as the worst American president to ever happen to Israel. To understand this truth, you need to read beyond the headlines. In a vacuum, moving the embassy to Jerusalem was momentous for Israel and its supporters, and if keeping a campaign promise is a checkbox for supporting a president, he got that check.

After further review, however, was it worth it? What did Israel really get, and what did it sacrifice? Israel got the U.S. embassy moved to West Jerusalem, an area that would remain Israel’s capital in any future deal with the Palestinians. The official statement that accompanied the move said specifically that the future boundaries of Jerusalem are to be determined in future negotiations. In other words, that’s the same position held by the overwhelming majority of the western world. In fact, the U.S. and the few small nations that followed, by only speaking of West Jerusalem, could have bolstered Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem. In return, international and domestic supporters of Israel were forced to go on record to express their lack of support at best and condemnation at worst for the embassy move. After the first 10 minutes of the announcement, it was not good for Israel.

That same process played out with that recognition of the Golan, an area of land that was not part of the public discourse. Outside of Iran and Syria it was unspoken yet accepted that for strategic and defensive reasons Israel is not going to withdraw from the land. Only when President Trump, to meddle in the Israeli elections, declared that he would recognize the Golan did it become an issue, once again forcing allies abroad and at home to speak out against President Trump — and Israel.

If that were the end of it, it would be a net negative for Israel’s support around the world, which directly affects its security and economy. But that was not the end.

President Trump, surprised that he was not beloved by diaspora Jews and already harming Israel by increasingly making Israel a partisan issue, came out to declare that those Jews who don’t vote for him are disloyal and anti-Israel. Never mind his clear lack of understanding of the anti-Semitic tropes that have been hurled at American Jews for decades. He struck another brutal blow to Israel’s ability to remain a bipartisan issue. That’s one of the few things everyone, outside of this president, agrees is crucial to maintain America’s support for Israel going forward and for Israel’s overall security.

One would think that in the face of all this, President Trump was at least showering the Israeli military with support and providing acute security assurances, but instead it’s the opposite. For a president who loves to rip up deals because they don’t satisfy him, he has never spoken of increasing the current military aid package to Israel. The answer to the question of which president signed the largest military aid package to Israel, three years into President Trump’s term, remains President Obama.

For the first time in modern history, due to President Trump’s inaction in the face of Iranian aggression; his withdrawal from northern Syria, which allow Turkey and Iran to further entrench themselves closer to Israel; and his repeated comments about wanting out of the Middle East, Israel is faced with the simultaneous situations of a potential military exchange with Iran and the prospect that the U.S. will not step up to support it should that occur.

After all, President Trump pulled the chair out from under the Kurds for the stated nonsensical reason that they didn’t fight with the U.S. at Normandy. Who is to say he doesn’t feel the same way about Israel’s lack of military support in Vietnam?

Another one of the few things almost everyone can agree on is that the Middle East is complicated. If you really support Israel, you would do your due diligence to understand the real implications of this president’s actions and his inactions, not just the attention-grabbing tweets or the headlines he creates. There will be a next president of the United States in the next one to five years. Real support of Israel looks beyond the next presidential term, the next decade, and the next generation. That kind of support requires a genuine appreciation for the country and understanding of the situations surrounding it. Neither of which this president possesses.

Steven Mark

CORRECTION: As the result of an editorial error, we printed the wrong date and place for the Jewish Federation SynaCon conference for synagogue leaders (“Synagogues unbound,” November 1, page 10). It’ll be held on Sunday, November 17, at the offices of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, 50 Eisenhower Drive in Paramus.

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