I was struck by the double standard in your editorial, “Fiddler, as Political Outreach” (editorial, Aug. 10). The piece concerned Ms. Ocasio-Cortez who had made disparaging remarks regarding Israel during a PBS interview and then admitted that she was ignorant when it came to matters pertaining to the Middle East. She was unwilling to modify the statement in which she called the IDF “murderers.” An invitation had been extended to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez to attend a conference on immigration at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The invitation stirred controversy between those who supported Ms. Ocasio-Cortez attending the conference and those who opposed.
“Reach out to doubters and outright adversaries and turn them into friends” was the overriding message in The Jewish Week’s editorial. Seeking to engage her … may not pay off … it certainly won’t be easy, but we believe it is worth the effort.” Those who opposed the invitation were admonished — “their goal is not to explore the possibility of opening dialogue … but to paint her as an implacable dangerous foe.”
If only a similar standard could be applied by the liberal media towards President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo’s efforts to engage adversaries on the world stage. Certainly, Putin, Kim Jung Un and the ayatollahs of Iran are more imposing and more threatening than Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. Nevertheless, if the media could apply the same open-minded attitude, the same conciliatory tone, the same willingness to acknowledge the fact that dialogue matters, even if the effort in the end proves to be futile, what a welcome change that would be. Instead they continue the incessant drumbeat of negativity and foreboding. Robert April in last week’s letter to the editor stated, “If we cannot listen and learn from each other how can we expect to fix a fractured world?” Let’s apply that standard not only to individuals with whom we differ, but also to leaders of nations who are willing to try.