Readers React: We can’t talk about hate today without mentioning Trump

Memorial Service for Lori Gilbert Kaye
Flowers are left outside Chabad of Poway, where a gunman killed one woman a wounded others on April 27.
(Sam Hodgson / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper correctly describe our failings to counter anti-Semitism and racism without once pointing to the White House and President Trump as sources.

The president’s words and actions have fueled hatred and division, even earning praise and support from right-wing extremists.

Their op-ed article criticizes lawmakers for politicizing instead of effectively addressing the issues. One has to wonder if the rabbis are politicizing the issue by omitting the failure in moral leadership from the top.

Rabbi Marc Dworkin, Long Beach



To the editor: Hier and Cooper are right in their plea for eradicating the hate that is taking away the American dream. Our leaders must set the tone, and quickly.

But we should also, again, be talking about the military-style weapons that are so readily available to us.

I grew up without any of the fears that my children and grandchildren have to face, and I am disheartened. Enough!


Esther Friedberg, Studio City


To the editor: How sad that Hier and Cooper spoil their eloquent appeal for comity with a gratuitous and frankly hateful swipe at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). The person who allegedly attacked the synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Saturday is believed to be a white nationalist.

These people are emboldened to act on their irrational hatred by opportunistic support from the highest levels of our government. Rather than lecture Omar, perhaps the rabbis should caution White House advisor Stephen Miller about the friends he has chosen.

Charlie Dodson, Long Beach


To the editor: How unusual it is to see contradictory and hypocritical statements in the same op-ed article.

In their first paragraph, Hier and Cooper state, “European Jews, to try to protect themselves from Palestinians in the 1970s, and today from returning Islamic State fighters, have long accepted that the only way to pray in peace is to prepare for war.”


But later in their piece they write, “Media outlets don’t seem to trust that Americans are mature enough to know that all Muslims aren’t responsible if an Islamist commits a hate attack, just as all of Christendom is not culpable when a white nationalist invokes Scripture to justify murder.”

Why, then, did they say that protection was needed from all Palestinians?

Tony Haftel, Palm Desert

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