August 20, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Joe Biden’s Flawed Approach, ‘Character Assassination’ of Trump

Joe Biden’s Flawed Approach
Dan Schnur describes in his column (“The Joe Biden Gamble,” May 10) using arguments against President Donald Trump the policymaker but not against Trump the person. It’s apparent that Biden is against Trump in every way, shape and form. Biden apparently knows that Trump has done an enormous amount for the economy in two years, what former President Barack Obama — Biden’s boss — couldn’t do in eight years.

Schnur then describes Biden’s repeated references to the 2017 “white supremacy” rally in Charlottesville, Va. Biden described the demonstrators who wanted to preserve a Confederate statue as “white supremacists,” and Schnur repeated it. The people who opposed tearing down the statue were Unite the Right. The depiction of them as “white supremacists” has as much credibility as the Russia collusion hoax.

When Trump said there were good people on both sides in the Charlottesville event, he did not validate or indicate in any way that he was supporting any of the people who dressed like Nazis. Jared Taylor, one of the few people who got it right, wrote in American Renaissance right after the Charlottesville episode that people who get the news from the mainstream media might have believed that all of the violence was caused by “white supremacists.” It’s perfectly logical that peaceful, law-abiding people were there who just don’t want a mob to come into town to tear down the statue. Of course, what caused the violence was hostile counter-demonstrators, many of them wearing helmets and carrying shields. If they had not been there, there would have been no violence, and the rally would have taken place as planned.

Of all people, it was Trump who came the closest to getting it right, condemning “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” This, of course, earned him near-universal condemnation. Joe Biden explained, “There is only one side,” and the problem was Unite the Right. This prompted a storm of retweets and similar sentiments.

Here, one side is demonstrating peacefully, though provocatively; the other side — the good side — is committing violent aggression. This is the moral calculus of Biden and the rest of the left. If Biden runs on this platform, he will have a lot to explain after the underlying premise of his platform is exposed as false, just as the Russia collusion narrative was exposed as a hoax.
Marshall Lerner, via email


‘Character Assassination’ of Trump
Letter writer Stephen J. Meyers is upset about “character assassination” of Trump (May 10). I wonder which part of Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s story about Poway is “character assassination” (“Dealing With the Threat of Home-Grown White Nationalists,” May 3).

Is it “Facts are not ‘fake news,’ though things described by President Donald Trump as fake news are just facts he doesn’t like revealed by the news.’ ” That’s 100% true, so it can’t be that.

Is it “Why then is 99.9% of our president’s attention focused on his largely invented dangers posed by brown people?” I’m sure you could quibble about the percentage, but it is a fact that he’s been very vocal about the border situation.

Or is it “Let’s use a Trump technique and repeat, repeat, repeat the fact that our president and other leaders of our country are ignoring the reality that nearly all extremist murders are being committed by homegrown white nationalists, not the immigrants over whom they obsess”? You can disagree about the premise, but it is 100% true that Trump repeats talking points obsessively, like any wannabe dictator. 

So which part is “character assassination” and which part is “fake news about Trump”?
Steve St. John, via email


Christianity and Judaism
With the ongoing and recent events in the world regarding the animus toward Christianity and Judaism, I feel compelled to write. I recently read Ben Shapiro’s column (“Don’t Give Anti-Semites What They Seek,” May 3), and that inspired me to write to you.

I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I attended Catholic schools. I have no Jewish ethnicity but being a New Yorker, I was exposed to Jewish culture on a daily basis. As a child, I read “The Diary of Anne Frank” and that affects me to this day. I have read extensively about the treatment of Jews in Europe during World War II and I felt great outrage and sadness. After graduating, I worked in Jewish companies and made many friends. I love the Jewish sense of humor and strong family ties.

I went to Vilnius, Lithuania, recently and toured the Jewish section of town. As I stood on the cobblestone sidewalk, I was full of emotion to know of the annihilation that occurred there. And now renewed anti-Semitism is showing its face every day and I am truly alarmed. Has nothing been learned? 

I hope to visit Israel someday, and I will continue to stand with the Jewish community against dark forces. I pray that people of all faiths realize what dangerous times we are in.
Amy Matturro, via email

Stephen Smith’s column “A Christian Killer in Poway” (May 3) insists all Christian leaders must denounce the Poway synagogue killings. Anti-Semitism is escalating: If Poway presages events to come, there is ample cause for alarm.

But American Christians remain friends more than foes to Jews. Care must be taken not to jeopardize that, as the article’s tone and demands seem apt to do. Jews need Christians’ support. But Christians have challenges, too — and support should be reciprocal.

“Imported anti-Semitism” (with which Europe is familiar) fosters rising crimes targeting Jews, and fans societal acceptance of anti-Semitism — extending to Congress, where party elders have responded tepidly to the anti-Semitism championed from their midst. In the U.S., anti-Christian violence remains rare but it is open season on Christians in academic discourse, in a fashion that would not (yet) be tolerated against Jews (and would be condemned were the target Muslims). Internationally, anti-Christian violence is deadly: Help eludes Egyptian Coptics and Syrian Christians, under assault despite long historical presence in those regions. The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka signal expansion of the threat to Christians — and underscore the shared perils that should bind Christians and Jews.

It is mortifying that any Christian espouses the Poway suspect’s sentiments. But we mustn’t forget the broader picture: U.S. Christians have been great friends to Jews and to Israel, a small nation that assumes outsized importance, as burgeoning anti-Semitic assaults in Europe drive ever more people to seek refuge there.

Let’s make sure the friendship that Christians extend is respected, treasured — and reciprocated.
Beatrice A. Golomb, via email

The Jewish Journal printed two letters that were well thought out in response to Smith’s column. However, based on the negative change in attitude of some Americans toward Zionism and Judaism, I am not so certain that America will remain as positive as it is now.

Many American Christians are thankful for the positive influence of Judaism all over the world. However, they must be sure to state their horror over events like what took place at Chabad of Poway. There must be zero tolerance of anti-Semitism.
Neal Silversher, via email


‘Even-Handed’ Anti-Zionism?
In reference to David Suissa’s May 10 column (“How Even-Handed Should We Be With Terrorists?”) and George Epstein’s May 17 follow-up letter to the editor, IfNotNow’s and Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ statements are, at least as quoted, anything but even-handed. It is grotesquely one-sided to blame Hamas rocket fire primarily or exclusively on Israel The consequence of labeling such statements as even aspirationally even-handed is that it gives us an excuse not to be even-handed. 

I agree with Suissa that terrorists do not “deserve” even-handedness. And after rocket fire, unequivocal condemnations like the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt’s are likely wiser than delving into the complex history of the conflict. But long-term, in no way should we excuse ourselves from being even-handed with our own. Just as self-hating ire blaming Israel for every Palestinian misdeed is shameful, so too is entirely dismissing the complexity of the conflict or the very possibility of our own mistakes.
Michael Feldman, Los Angeles


Now it’s your turn. Send your letters to the editor. Letters should be no more than
200 words and must include a valid name and city. The Journal reserves the right to edit all letters. letters@jewishjournal.com.