To Jack Martins, for whom I have had the greatest of respect:
Friday I received two mailings that you have approved to advance your campaign.
One was sent to what is obviously your mail house’s sort of the county’s list of voters with selectively only likely “Jewish: names. An acceptable political tactic, fair enough.
But the headlines in this selective list scream, “Jack Martins Has Fought for The Jewish Community and Israel,” and “Jack Martins is the Right Choice for the Jewish Community,” and has quotes from others including “We need Jack Martins to uphold our values.”
The photos of you wearing a yarmulke and doing everything short the Hora with black hatted men with long beards and coats was, … well, …. impressive.
Your mailing to us on the eve of the last Shabbat before the election was flattering in that you reached out to us to remind us of things you did for which most of us are grateful.
Please allow me to suggest that no one (least of all me) in the Jewish Community since Moses has been chosen to speak for our entire tribe.
We separately speak, — and vote — as individual Americans who share a common history of both joy and suffering and a culture that is deliciously nuanced. Our conclusions often differ.
Let me emphasize again that while I can’t and don’t speak for the Jewish community, I can speak about us. We are commanded to seek justice. Only sometimes do we succeed.
We are taught and encouraged by our Sages to “be not for ourselves alone.”
(It’s been observed with surprise by some, when many of us stand up for Muslims when they are confronted with overreaching group discrimination.)
We therefore especially appreciate those, such as yourself and Pete King, who often attempt to prevent us from standing alone against unjust attacks.
Which brings me to your simultaneously arriving mailer directed to the general public. It is a major disappointment.
In it you single out and depict bare-chested, menacing and heavily tattooed decidedly Hispanic young men, right out of central casting. It is Willie Horton on heroin.
It is stereotypically racist. It outright proclaims your opponent is the candidate of M-13, the condemnable gang of murderers.
This one mailing employs the sad but racist strain of these sad times in which some would use to personally diminish and demonize individuals, disparage a whole political party, malign an entire race, and divide the American people.
Please, Jack. Renounce that mailing. It’s a mistake. It doesn’t make you a winner. Even if you win. It’s not the Jack Martin we have known and respected.
And we do not share those values.