Letters to the Editor

Long-standing threats to Jews still present

Next week, Jews on Hilton Head Island and around the world will gather with their friends and families to celebrate the Festival of Freedom, Passover.

During the evening meal, the Seder, a passage from the Haggadah is chanted: Ve-hi She-amda. "In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands."

Have non-Jews really tried to destroy the Jews in every generation? Unfortunately, history attests to this, especially during 2,000 years of Jewish statelessness.

And today, this is no less true. An unholy alliance of the extreme right, the extreme left and Islamist movements around the world has converged to once again threaten the Jewish people -- directly in Europe and through efforts to delegitimize and destroy their haven, the re-born nation state of Israel.

Faith in the Almighty is helpful. But as President Barack Obama visits the Holy Land, it behooves him to remember history; to be cognizant of the renewed threat to the survival of that ancient people, this time emanating not only from extremists in Europe, but also from Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Sudan -- indeed from all 22 members of the Arab League. It is also important that he remember that our values and freedoms in America are closely intertwined with the secure, independent existence of the Jewish nation.

William Bilek

Hilton Head Island