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When Singling Out Jews Adds Up to Anti-Semitism

March 17, 2003

We disagree that Rep. James P. Moran's (D-Va.) biggest mistake was portraying the Jewish community as monolithic ("Can the Crank Theories," editorial, March 12). The Virginia congressman's biggest mistake was in repeating a dangerous anti-Semitic canard about "Jewish control" of U.S. foreign policy.

It is outrageous and offensive to suggest that any war with Iraq will come about because of Jewish pressure. With members of Congress virtually united behind President Bush and his administration's campaign to oust Saddam Hussein, theories about a Jewish conspiracy to control U.S. policy are not only ludicrous but dangerous.

Such charges have been used for centuries to single out Jews as being disloyal, leading to anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia and the Holocaust in Europe.

More recently, anti-Semites have used similar theories to suggest that Jews control the U.S. government. It is appropriate for those Americans opposed to war to question their government. However, crude appeals to anti-Semitism and scapegoating of minorities, whether Jewish or Muslim, are inappropriate and clearly ill-befitting a member of Congress.

Bruce J. Einhorn

President Regional Board

Pacific Southwest Region

Anti-Defamation League

Los Angeles

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Every administration has had Jewish men and women close to it. The Bush administration is not any different. However, the reason the president stands close to Israel now is because Israel is still fighting for its right to survive, and the president knows it. It has a democracy and an Arab population of about 20%. The president is determined to rid the world of the culture of suicide bombings and teaching hatred in schools and through government-sponsored television and newspapers. He wants to increase democracy in that area of the world.

It's not because of having defense advisor Richard Perle and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz close to him that the president feels the way he does. It's because it's the right way to lead the country. We are fortunate that the president has advisors such as national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz, Secretary of State Colin Powell and some fine military personnel, as well, to help see us through this war on terrorism.

Marsha Roseman

Van Nuys

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I do not understand what Moran was thinking with his statement. However, it is time for the U.S. to impose a settlement in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Bush's inaction and deliberate lack of urging Israeli restraint has escalated anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, with a resultant increased terrorism. The senseless tit-for-tat Israeli-Palestinian killings have solved nothing and serve only to increase hatred in the area.

Enough is enough; settle it. If the U.S. cares about peace, our influence on Israel can force a settlement. It won't be simple and it won't be perfect. The alternative is endless war and terrorism, and that is neither acceptable nor civilized.

Bill Mead

Oak View, Calif.

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