September 20, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Drug addiction, Jews who support Trump, Ben-Gurion and reparations

Drug Addiction and the Damage Done

Your opioid epidemic article did not tell us anything we don’t already know (“Even Nice Jewish Boys and Girls Are Caught in Opioid Epidemic,” Aug. 18). We are losing our children daily to substance abuse. It was not a solution-based article.

I’ve been sober 11-plus years because of a higher power and a daily regimen focused on recovery. And still, there is no guarantee I will remain sober. Scary, right? But it’s the truth. I relapsed after 10-plus years of sobriety.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, there are no concrete solutions to the drug problem, but our schools need to be more aware of what’s going on and become more involved in helping, instead of doing nothing.

Stuart Feldman via email

Why Some Jews Still Support Trump

I remember being told in cheder in Newark, N.J., by teachers who had numbers tattooed on their arms that some Jews had supported Hitler.

I had the same sense of “What were they thinking?” that I do now when I read about Jews still supporting Trump (“For the Trumpteenth Time: We’ve Got His Back,” Aug. 25).

How can any rational Jew support a political leader who fails to condemn (and don’t tell me that he did condemn them, when his spontaneous remarks showed his true feelings, which his later prepared comments tried to hide) neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan?

Daniel Fink, Beverly Hills

Ben-Gurion Was Right About Reparations

Shmuel Rosner wrote that “David Ben-Gurion cast aside morality as prime minister when he decided to accept reparations from Germany. … To his fierce opponent Menachem Begin, this was the beginning of absolution for the Germans” (“Israel’s Response to Charlottesville: On Morality, Leadership and Unity,” Aug. 25).

History has vindicated Ben-Gurion. Germany has rejoined the family of nations, denounced its Nazi past, raised two generations with democratic and humanistic values, supported Israel and its own growing Jewish community. And if the first reparations were the beginning of absolution, 65 years later we can be certain Germany has sought no such absolution — it is committed to remembering the Holocaust, including denouncing Nazis and neo-Nazis — but it has demonstrated the power and possibility of repentance.

Ben-Gurion’s decision was not only pragmatic, nor even desperate, but visionary and brilliant — the truest form of morality.

Rosner owes Ben-Gurion’s memory an apology. As he often did, Begin fiercely expressed Jewish anger but offered no way forward.

As to the rest of his argument, if I understand Rosner correctly, the morally courageous prime minister of Israel is right to remain closed-mouth in the face of neo-Nazism as long as it is good for Israel. 

So much for Zionism being a bulwark against anti-Semitism.  

I await the prime minister’s new campaign ad for Donald Trump: He’s bad for Jews, but he’s good for Israel.

Michael Berenbaum, Director of Sigi Ziering Institute, American Jewish University

Constitutional Rights Cover Us All

I agree with President Donald Trump that there was wrong on both sides and, as much as some hate the beliefs of the far right and, I equally, the far left, both sides have the right in this great country to march and express their views without being attacked. As the Supreme Court has ruled over and over: Hate speech is protected speech. Unfortunately, it seems to me the Journal has forgotten that the laws that allow it to print its brand of “fake” news also protect Nazis and the KKK. If we infringe on one group’s rights, we eventually infringe on all. 

David Mayer, Los Angeles

One group to the left of me. The other group on the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle: a Jew.

Kati Baltimore via email