An Open Letter to Congressman Dan Goldman

Dec 21, 2023 | History, Voices

by Avi Greenstein, CEO of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council.


Dear Congressman Goldman,

We are taught In Pirkei Avos to “Speak little and do a lot.” We’ve been watching you in the two months since the October 7th massacre in Israel, and you’ve been a model to this dictum.

Over the past two months, millions of people around the world have taken to streets, some to support Israel, but many to express criticism of Israel’s just war. While these protesters have a constitutional right to free speech, it was a troubling moment of truth for us to watch who was siding with those who committed the horrific acts on that day and those who stood firmly with the side of good and righteousness.

Congressman, you were one of those who stood with truth. You were on the forefront of those stating unambiguously that the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th brands them as barbaric terrorists. You have also stated clearly that Israel had the moral duty to defend itself and that anti-Semitism has no place in the United States.

But these words were followed by actions.

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Congressman, thank you for the moral clarity you express that there can be no ceasefire while Hamas holds hostages and retains the ability to continue its terrorism against Israel.

Thank you for realizing that Hamas was who started this war, and that Israel had the right to end this war on its own terms.

It is interesting that the above teaching in Pirkei Avos is followed by, “and receive all people with a pleasant countenance.” You are to be lauded for your willingness to listen respectfully to all sides of a dispute. Yet, you maintain a strong moral compassion between good and evil during those conversations, as you displayed during your recent virtual town hall meeting.

This ability is impressive, and for this we are grateful.

Thank you.

View the entire open letter to Rep. Goldman as it appears in VIN new.