Trump Democrats

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., respond to remarks by President Donald Trump after his call for the four Democratic congresswomen to go back to their "broken" countries, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As a New Orleanian and an American, I was deeply disturbed to see Dan Fagan's Aug. 25 column in our local paper.

The author used his position to speak for the Jewish community. I don't know whether he is a part of that community or not; it is an important question, but to me, it hardly matters. This column is stunningly out of touch, and reads like something you would see in a conservative paper. It drums up hatred for no reason. There is a massive difference between taking issues with Israel's politics and being an anti-Semite. These democratic congresswomen are being targeted for speaking out on injustices. This article is a continued smear, one started by Donald Trump to undercut the efforts of lawmakers who actually do care about the less fortunate. Honestly, it's not even about whether you like "The Squad" or not.

This article infuriates me more than any other I have seen in a long time. It is presumptuous at best (I would say offensive), to assume that all Jews simply decide on who to support based on their views regarding Israel. Just like all people, Jews have many issues they consider when deciding on whom to vote for. The idea that an ethnic group will all vote the same way because of a singular gesture (support for Israel, a meeting with Kanye West, etc.) is insulting. We are not a flock of sheep. Most people understand that the Middle East is a complicated issue, and I think most would also acknowledge that money plays a big part in Israeli (and all) political operations. Saying that is not hate speech. And if you truly believe that the reason those congresswomen were banned from Israel is because they are antisemitic, then I am wasting my breath because the Kool-Aid has already been drunk, and ears are no longer open.

We readers, Jewish or not, deserve better than divisive content like this. It offends me not as a Jew, but as an American citizen. This column has no place in an open-minded and loving community like our New Orleans. I greatly support local news organizations and count on you for staying connected to my community. Please respect that trust I place in you, and be careful which opinions you publish because not all are fit for print.

Cherry-picking angry tweets from Jews is not the same as demonstrating broad community support, and it does not prove any of the columnist's points. Anyone can find people who agree with them on the internet; that is why it is such a useful tool for promoting hate.

Jake Kelston

tour company manager

New Orleans