Letters to the Editor: The U.S. National Nightmare Must End

Donald Trump winks as he listens before a trade agreement signing with Japan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, October 7, 2019, in Washington.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

As part of his tweetstorm late last month, U.S. President Donald Trump’s called for Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and is leading the impeachment inquiry, to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” and asked whether Schiff should be “arrested for treason.” As president, Trump has often called for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned. Now he’s warning about a civil war.

He has often encouraged attendees of his rallies to commit acts of violence. There is also his suspected corruption, including emoluments involving his worldwide properties (not entirely unrelated to his refusal, utterly unprecedented, to release his tax returns to the public).

On top of this are his suspected improper attempts to use influence over foreign leaders for personal political gain in Ukraine and elsewhere, his frequently tweeted suspected slander and intimidation of both political opponents and witnesses to this suspected corruption, and his assertion that the Constitution lets him do anything he wants, under Article 2. All this suggests that it’s more than past time for our national nightmare to come to a lawful end.

James Adler
Cambridge, Massachusetts

U.K. Labour’s Nazi bullying tactics
Not a day goes by when, on turning the pages of your esteemed journal, one is not mentally transported back to the dark times of 1938 and specifically to the Berlin of that era. Each day articles carry disturbing news of anti-Semitic incidents in many parts of the world, with these latest revelations concerning events in Belgium proving most sinister.

I am sure that many people, as before, are turning a blind eye to these reports conveying the possibility of isolated incidents by inconsequential individuals.

However, this is far from the truth, as we have learned that the U.K. Labour Party is considering the deselection of two of its Jewish MPs of many years’ standing and impeccable record, namely Dame Louise Ellman and Dame Margaret Hodge.

Their fate is planned for debate and a vote on Yom Kippur night, and it’s no exaggeration to suggest that it bears all the hallmarks of bullying tactics that were frequently employed by the Nazis.

As we now see, these instances are becoming more frequent, some brazenly overt, others often devious but no less potent in the anti-Semitic message they convey.

It would of course be most prudent to note that the following age-old adage is never more relevant than now: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Stephen Vishnick
Tel Aviv

It’s the children who deserve fairness

In response to “Despite Abuse Claims, Jewish Agency Allowed Alleged Pedophile to Immigrate to Israel,” by Dina Kraft, September 5.

This article described the sorry process concerning an alleged child molester who, despite being accused multiple times over several decades, escaped prosecution in the United States and came to live in Israel under the Law of Return.

Was it some conception of fairness that underpinned the Jewish Agency’s statement that it had no grounds for refusing the alleged pedophile’s emigration to Israel because “he did not have a criminal background,” despite the Jewish Agency being “aware of the past allegations” against the alleged pedophile?

In such cases, an adult’s ability to manipulate and use a child should disrupt and deeply complicate any conception of fairness. There is no fairness for a child who has a completely asymmetrical relationship to the adults he or she is expected (and expects) to love and trust.

There is no fairness in the fact that every day more children are exposed to alleged pedophiles decades after the initial allegations are aired; they are not only potential victims of the asymmetry inherent in their relations with ill-intentioned adults, but also of the asymmetry in their relations with the law. The law is busy being “fair” in its assessment of whether the accused is innocent or guilty; it has no interim plan for children exposed to those who are neither officially guilty nor patently innocent.

I am not a lawyer. I do not have answers. But I would like to see more questions being asked about the fairness extended to children, and about their rights under the law to protection from those who would potentially destroy their lives forever.

Lesley Marks
Tel Aviv