Then-candidate Donald Trump speaking at the AIPAC 2016 Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 2016. (Photo/JTA-Getty Images-AFP-Saul Loeb)
Then-candidate Donald Trump speaking at the AIPAC 2016 Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 2016. (Photo/JTA-Getty Images-AFP-Saul Loeb)

Boycotts are warfare; Trump is a liar; and don’t trust Federation survey results

Big and little lies a harbinger of much worse to come

Here, in a tip of the iceberg, is why so many liberal Jews are so upset with Jewish Trump supporters (“One year later: Trump’s Jewish voters are proud, but not loud,” Jan. 12). I agree with David Blumberg that “persona is less important than policy,” but in Trump’s case, his persona, policies and authoritarian agenda of undermining the norms, checks and balances of democracy all reflect the same constant aggrandizement of his own ego and his money.

When asked by “ABC World News Tonight’s” David Muir: “Do you think that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country, without presenting the evidence?” Trump’s response was, “No, not at all, because many people feel the same way that I do.” Trump is basically saying it’s OK to lie if others believe your lie and the lie benefits you at the moment. In his first 355 days, Trump made 2,001 false or misleading claims, as documented by the Washington Post.

I invite Trump supporters to research the following Big Lies and their lie-based policies: a) Trump saying “I have nothing to do with Russia,” ignoring the FBI and CIA’s conclusion it interfered on his behalf, promoting policies to dilute the Republican plank on sanctions, not enforcing current sanctions and not countering the ongoing cyberwar; b) Saying global warming is a Chinese hoax and supporting fossil fuels; c) Saying “This is going to cost me a fortune” while signing a wealthcare-healthcare tax bill that will enrich the richest, raise health care premiums and screw the rest of us.

Trump built his presidency on lies, racism, xenophobia and economic desperation. For the sake of our children, I invite his supporters to take a closer look at his lies and the damage his lie-based policies have done.

Tom Kahan,

Boycotts are warfare

Boycotts are an act of economic warfare. You can say that “settlements” are wrong or criminal as much as you wish, but when you promote and engage in economic warfare you have gone beyond opinion into the realm of enemy. Israel has every right to keep out enemies of Israel, and you are trying to muddy the waters by confusing opinions with traitorous actions.

Ruth Parker,
San Francisco

The facts don’t lie

Here are the facts: 1) In the last three presidential election cycles, about 70 percent of Jews nationwide voted for the Democratic candidate. Moderate Republican Sen. John McCain, well-balanced Mitt Romney and “outrageous” Donald Trump each managed to garner less than 30 percent of the Jewish vote.

Second, the recent Pew poll shows that a whopping 79 percent of Republicans and only 27 percent of Democrats are on the Israeli side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Third, according to the Federation’s new survey, only 21 percent of Bay Area Jews are “very attached emotionally to Israel,” while across the entire country this number is 32 percent of Jews. It is worth noting that the 2016 Pew survey found that 54 percent of Americans support Israel, while a meager 19 percent support Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Apparently, we are “more papists than the pope” in condemning Israel’s sins.

By all accounts, Israel’s greatest sin in the eyes of the progressive Democrats and their Jewish partisans is the maltreatment of the Palestinians. But Israel is much more than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a Jewish home in the land of Jewish ancestors, it is a Jewish idea of a nation built on principles of ancient civilization and modern advances in all spheres of life, and it is a deeply rooted belief that “never again” should never happen again.

Nowhere is the relentless anti-Israelism (and accompanying anti-Semitism) more striking than on American campuses. That is where the future Democratic leaders are maturing, and where the pro-Israeli students are fighting for their voices to be heard. If we want to narrow the Republican vs. Democrat gap on Israel, that’s where our communities and clergy should start paying attention, before it is too late.

Vladimir Kaplan,
San Mateo

Federation survey results are flimsy and skewed

When one reads about a preposterous finding that one out of four Jews in the Bay Area is between the ages of 18 and 29 (“This Is Us: New Federation survey paints portrait of Bay Area Jewish life,” Feb. 14), the first thing one does is NOT to unquestioningly accept the whole report as true, then adjust one’s assumptions accordingly. Rather, what I do is examine the report for gross errors in research methodology.

Reportedly, an online survey was taken, with 3,500 Bay Area Jews responding. The age distribution being so heavily skewed toward millennials suggests that it must have been primarily a survey of those Bay Area Jews who spend hours per day online and have leisure time to answer surveys. Therefore, I think all conclusions based on this survey should be doubted.

Was any effort made to account for the majority of Bay Area Jews who do not spend hours a day online? Their affiliation rates are likely to differ from those who responded. Was any effort made to avoid counting responses from the same family multiple times? Seriously, do Mr. Steven Cohen et al. really believe that 42 percent of Bay Area Jews have advanced degrees?

I find it sad that the Federation spent $700,000 for such a flawed study, that J. saw fit to turn it into a cover story, and that the same methodology was used in two dozen Jewish communities across the U.S. Sadder still is the fact that these flimsy findings will be affirmed, studied and cited for years to come.

Sheryl Rattner,
Los Altos

J. Readers

J. welcomes letters and comments from our readers. To submit a letter, email it to