The travesty continues

To add insult to injury, it is so appalling that the United Nations’ cultural body, UNESCO, passed a resolution just last week condemning Israeli actions at Jerusalem’s holy sites while totally ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The travesty continues, and this declaration comes on the heels of the Palestinians currently calling to sue the United Kingdom for issuing the 1917 Balfour Declaration, one hundred years later. It is so very obvious and should be to the world that they will stop at nothing to insist that the Jews have no rights to the land of Israel. Their justification and commitment, time and time again, is to rain terror on our land till they wipe us out completely.

Ever wonder when some group of people will protest the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, and try to overturn all that was achieved, more than 240 years ago, while maintaining that the United States has no right to claim the land of America? In reality, those who want to condemn our Jewish state prove over and over that they do not recognize agreements and historical facts that prove otherwise. You have to wonder when these absurd conundrum of mockery and accusations against the state of Israel will ever cease to exist. Or will they?

Ruby Kaplan

Yes, Scott Garrett

I find it odd that Scott Garrett, a man who isn’t Jewish, seems to know and obey our God more than we as Jews do. We read previously that Mr. Garrett, a born-again Christian, “supports traditional marriage,” staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, and is “unswervingly anti-abortion” (“Meet Scott Garrett,” Oct. 14). On the other hand, Josh Gottheimer, a Jew, believes “people should be able to love and marry whomever they want, and “is also in favor or a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy” (“Meet Josh Gottheimer,” Oct. 21.) Two men, two opposing views. What we as Jews should be asking is “What is God’s view?”

When we read the Tanach, the Jewish Bible, we see that God supports traditional marriage between a man and a woman and opposes same-sex relationships and marriage. “And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “You shall not lie down with a male, as with a woman: this is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “And a man who lies with a male as one would with a woman both of them have committed an abomination” (Leviticus 20:13).

Regardless of the culture or the law of the land, what God calls holy is holy, what God calls sin is sin, and we, as His people, are to obey the voice of our God.

Regarding abortion, God is anti-abortion. “You shall not murder” (Exodus 2013). “It was You who created my conscience; You fashioned me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am awesomely, wondrously made; Your work is wonderful, I know it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). In the days of old, the Israelites ignored the commands and ways of God and followed the ways of the world, as we Jews are doing today. “And they built the high places of Baal to burn their children with fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command, neither did I speak nor did it enter My mind” (Jeremiah 19:5). The Israelites used fire to kill God’s creation — today we Jews use abortion clinics. What was God’s response to our murder — defeat by our enemies, captivity of our people, the destruction of the Temple. What shall His response be today, when we murder babies that God Himself is fashioning in their mothers’ wombs?

Six million Jews, 1 million of whom were children, were exterminated at the hands of the Nazis. Over 50 million babies have been exterminated through abortion. Murder is murder. This time it is our hands that are stained with blood.

As Jews, we are called to follow and obey God, and not accept and follow the ways of the world. It seems that Mr. Garrett, and not Mr. Gottheimer, has chosen the path of heeding God’s voice and following His ways. Yes, he may lose support in the pubic eye, but in God’s eyes, the only eyes that should matter to us, he is accepted and applauded for his obedience and faithfulness. May we Jews heed the voice of the LORD that cries out, “Obey Me so that I am your God and you are My people, and you walk in all the ways that I command you, so that it may be well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23).

Sherry Silk

Yes, Josh Gottheimer

I am a lifelong resident of Bergen County and a registered Republican. That being said, I have felt compelled to split my vote and vote for Josh Gottheimer for Congress in the 5th Congressional District. Scott Garrett is completely out of touch with our district. Although I believe in smaller government and less taxation and wasteful spending, I do expect us to get something back from Washington. With Scott Garrett, the 5th District gets back 33 cents for every dollar we pay in federal taxes.

That is just downright insulting.

Perhaps the worst example of this occurred in 2014, when Garrett refused to help the Paramus Police Department apply for a federal grant to hire five new police officers. They instead had to turn to Bill Pascrell, a congressman who represents an adjacent district, for help. I am the mother of a first responder, and I think that this is outrageous!

And for all you fellow animal lovers out there, Scott Garrett has one of the worst animal welfare records in Congress. That alone should be reason enough to send him packing!

I will proudly be voting for Josh Gottheimer on November 8, and encourage others to do the same.

Enid Kossar Kannry

Yes again for Josh Gottheimer

I have been a Bergen County resident for over 25 years. I have been a volunteer for Josh Gottheimer’s campaign since July and have met and talked with him on numerous occasions.

Personally, I have not felt much personal benefit in having Mr. Garrett as my congressman since 2003. On issue after issue, he puts Tea Party extremism before our needs. For example, because he does not apply for federal grant funding for our district, we subsequently only get 33 cents back for every dollar we pay in taxes. It’s a terrible return on our investment, and without an advocate in Congress, we won’t have the resources we need to repair our decaying roads and bridges. In addition, Garrett consistently has voted against women, minorities, and LGBT individuals. The Star-Ledger even called him a “shameless bigot.”

Josh Gottheimer seems to really care about the 5th Congressional District. He cares about each and every voter, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, independent, or unaffiliated.

Josh Gottheimer is the kind of bipartisan leader we need in Washington. He is fiscally conservative and socially progressive. He has diverse public and private sector experience and wants to help our district by lowering our taxes and bringing jobs back to Bergen County. He has formed a women’s advisory group and believes in a woman’s right to choose and that every woman is entitled to equal pay for equal work. Josh is an AIPAC member, and he is endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans throughout our district, state, and around the country, as well as teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, and business owners.

Josh has pledged his intention to work across the aisle with both Republicans and Democrats to solve our government’s problems, rather than just vote along party lines. That’s the main reason I’ve been volunteering in his office, and I will vote for Josh.

Bergen County needs to send Josh Gottheimer to Congress, and I encourage 5th District voters to support him on Tuesday, November 8. Every vote counts. Please make your voice heard on election day.

Jill Strassberg
Woodcliff Lake

No to Donald Trump

Jews once again are divided. This time it is over a political question, the current presidential election. Never in my life have I questioned an American politician’s commitment to the Jewish community and to Israel. This year, I do.

Donald Trump is no friend of the Jews.

What saddens or even frightens me so much, is how easily many Jews have been able to accept Trump, just 70 years after the worst pogrom in human history.

I am shocked that they do not see the parallels with Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, and by extension, with Adolf Hitler. Some of his followers (whom he has not repudiated in any way) clearly do. The bombastic styles, the lynch mob party gatherings, and even Trump’s physical gestures as he makes speeches all are eerily familiar. We, the Jews, always have been on the receiving end of that treatment. And Trump’s supporters continue this drumbeat in the media and on social networks.

I am aghast that these American Jews can overlook Trump’s treatment of women, which may extend even to pedophilia. They disregard his disdain (a very mild word) for the ger, the stranger. They are not bothered by his constant stream of aspersion and invective hurled at so many others. The man is a living personification of lashon hara. It is no coincidence that Jewish sages warned so strongly against the evil tongue. Bad words lead to bad action.

I am horrified that my Jewish brothers and sisters can ignore the considerable evidence that Trump is an anti-Semite. A short list would include the facts that he never has visited Israel, despite repeated invitations. (Sheldon Adelson gave him $100  million as an incentive, and reportedly was disappointed that Trump did not carry through on his promise.) Donald Trump has not invested one shekel in Israel, while at the same time he has done a great deal of business with the Arab world. He has not condemned the likes of David Duke. He has used the “international banks” canard in his attacks on Clinton — a page taken right out of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” And finally, he invited Malik Obama to a debate as his personal guest. Malik Obama is the Muslim half-brother of Barack Obama. Malik is an avowed supporter of Hamas, and has been quoted as saying “Jerusalem is ours — we are coming.” So, someone please tell me, if it walks like a duck, is it not a duck?

I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton, but I am able to recognize a modern day Shabbetai Tzvi when I see one. If modern American Jews do not know who Shabbetai Tzvi was, they can use Google or ask the nearest rabbi. Tzvi was a 17th-century version of Jesus, believed by many to be the Messiah. He converted to Islam and ultimately was regarded as a heretic and reviled by his followers. chasidism emerged as a reaction to him. As a Jew, it is impossible for me to follow a false prophet. Torah is very clear on this. And that is what American Jews who support Trump are doing — following someone blindly, on the strength of his emotional appeal and nothing more.

I understand that some Americans do not like Hillary Clinton, or her policies, or both. That’s fair and normal in politics. But to support Trump in reaction to these sentiments goes beyond the pale. If a Jew does not like or trust Clinton, there is an alternative. It is the Libertarian party.

I am no Libertarian, but there is nothing wrong with supporting Gary Johnson and William Weld. They are honest men, Republican governors, with credible public experience. Weld, in particular, is an exceptionally qualified candidate. Or people can take a close look at Tim Kaine. He too is an honest human being, with demonstrated commitment to the Jews and Israel. The country could do much worse than to wind up with Kaine as President.

On the other hand, if Donald Trump is elected, I will fear for the Jews. He will abandon Israel, because the Arabs have more money. He will cooperate with Putin in supporting Assad and Syria. He will fuel the animosity of fundamental Islam by barring Muslims from America. Da’esh is undoubtedly praying that Trump becomes the next American president. He will be their greatest recruiting tool.

And then he will come after us. Mark my words.

Eric Weis

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