Is RFPC anti-Semitic?
July 28, 2005
Dear Editor:The Chenoweths express concern that recent letters about the RFPC are distracting from their efforts on behalf of peace. I attended RFPC-sponsored discussions last fall in the spirit of a rational exchange of ideas but was exposed to a barrage of disturbing comments.Among them were: “Judaism does not believe in God” (this, about the faith that gave monotheism to the world); and the following two “examples” of this country “becoming the United States of Israel” – Theresa Heinz Kerry’s membership on the board of Hadassah Hospital (a world-class medical institution, one-quarter of whose patients are Arab citizens of Israel); and the Jewish origin of John Kerry’s paternal grandparents. Kerry’s great-aunts were exterminated at Auschwitz. The only objections to these comments were from a few Jewish people present. No one else said a word. On another occasion, it was only a visiting Presbyterian pastor who defended the Old Testament from a verbal attack. Again, not a word of objection from any member of the RFPC who is not Jewish. I found their silence hurtful and alarming. I wrote to Jim Chenoweth, urging that the RFPC make a statement repudiating anti-Semitism; Jim said he could not do so because he is not sure what constitutes anti-Semitism. Would Jim have been so reticent were the comments at issue racist, misogynist or against any other religious or ethnic group? I think not. Simplistic and extremist positions on the Middle East create an environment where old hatreds are given a new means of expression in the name of peace.Judith KingGlenwood Springs