We must not take our freedoms for granted

My family and I are so proud of the paper for its coverage of the Russian war against the Ukraine . You found a top-notch, excellent analyst in Alexander Smukler. The paper certainly deserves the highest award from the publishing industry for this extensive and comprehensive news coverage. I hope this superlative work is recognized, and I am sure I am not alone in this assessment.

Both my parents were survivors of the Holocaust and of course I know that Jewish history in the Ukraine was often abysmal and a cause for weeping. However, this generation has chosen freedom and democracy over totalitarian dictators. We can be proud of the current Ukrainian people for choosing a truly phenomenal, valiant, dedicated leader in President Zelensky. My heart goes out for the terrible, horrific conditions that Russia has placed on a sovereign nation.

When will the world be finished with the greed and rapaciousness of dictators who still see world conquest as their only reasons for legitimacy? Hasn’t mankind evolved past the human greed factor that motivates ever richer dictatorships to prey on other nations?

We, as Americans, must examine dangerous dictatorships through a clear lens and weigh their destructive behavior against those who seek democracy as the most dependable way forward for mankind. The freedoms of speech, religion, and right to assemble and the freedom to petition the government and chose our leaders should not be taken for granted.

Linda Rutta

Threats come from both directions

Mark Lurinsky focuses on Donald Trump in his description of the causes of the rising levels of antisemitism today (“Antisemitism and racism: Time for a refresher,” December 30). While I disagree with his assessment that Trump is an antisemite, I do agree that many of Trump’s actions have strengthened and supported antisemites on the right, been very harmful to society, and should be strongly decried by all.

He paints the problem of antisemitism as a uniquely white nationalist problem. For example, he writes that “Morton Klein and those in his political clique appear to be lacking the basic understanding that racism — white nationalist racism in our country — is the ugly face of antisemitism.”

Partisan ideologies such as Lurinsky’s harm our ability to understand the full scope of the surge in antisemitism today. His argument is simply not borne out by the facts. For example, a recent study by Americans Against Antisemitism found that over 90 percent of hate crimes against Jews in New York City between April of 2018 and August of 2022 where race of the perpetrators were documented to be committed by minorities, not white nationalists.

The surge in antisemitism today is a major problem that stems from a number of places. Ignoring any of them is a huge mistake.

Daniel Alter

What Diana did

In Rabbi Boteach’s December 30 column, he states that “Diana did not make the cardinal sin of abandoning Britain….” (“Harry’s real sin with Meghan was to become an American.)

One could argue that she did abandon Britain by embarrassing the Crown with her open romantic relationship with the Egyptian, Dodi Al-Fayed. But despite that, it needs to be said that she did not deserve to die traumatically in a crash inside a Parisian tunnel.

M.A. Fermaglich, MD, FACS

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