Congress should fund gun research
Thank you for your editorial on the school shooting in Florida and, more generally, gun control (“When will America wake up?” Feb. 22). Some Google sleuthing will reveal that Congress deliberately blocked knowledge gained from research that would identify those who are prone to commit gun violence against themselves or others. The CDC is forbidden to conduct research on gun violence and, the magazine Science reports, even NIH directors recently refused any “focus” on gun violence research.
Experts are identifying legitimate red flags when it comes to the propensity to engage in gun violence, yet there is no funding to place many of these concerns within an actionable framework.
More research is needed to help decrease gun violence. The American public is demanding safety from gun violence. It only makes sense that the American public’s tax dollars be channeled to research that develops informed approaches to keeping us safe.
Don’t forget Obama effect on pro-Israel attitudes
While a recent editorial identified many possible factors that could explain the partisan discrepancy when it comes to pro-Israel views, it failed to mention what, in my opinion, is the most significant factor — the previous presidential administration (“The new Pew study,” Feb. 1).
Former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy was a disaster, especially with regard to its effects on the U.S.-Israel relationship, treating Israel more as a foe than as America’s most reliable and loyal ally. As can be seen on the chart on page 11 of your Feb. 1 issue, most of the dramatic downturn in Democrat support for Israel over the past 40 years occurred during Obama’s eight years in office.
The “progressive” left wing of the Democratic Party, which unfortunately includes many liberal Jewish Democrats, followed and still follows Obama’s aberrant foreign policy path, much as proverbial lemmings follow their leaders over the cliff. In my opinion, they can be aptly described as “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” (to paraphrase Thomas Paine’s famous words) when it comes to their shallow affinity toward Israel and fundamental Zionist principles.
With regard to the affinity between the American Jewish community and Israel, these are truly “the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.”
Virginia Beach, Va.
Protest story lacked sufficient context
A recent article on the presence of a local student at an Israeli Embassy protest did not provide sufficient context about the activities of Palestinian Ahed Tamimi and her family (“Jailed Palestinian teen draws student protest at Israeli Embassy,” Feb. 8).
Tamimi, who is known as “Shirley Temper,” has a long history of participating in her family’s staged incidents that are intended to provide photo opportunities that cast Israel in a false light. Notwithstanding the restraint shown by the Israel Defense Forces to the Tamimis’ violent antics, the family’s productions are accepted uncritically in many quarters. Similarly, your article provided an opportunity for the gullible Jewish student protesters and their organization to repeat what sounded like Palestinian Authority talking points about supposed Israeli oppression.
The real story should have been why the Jewish institutions with which the protesters (including an officer of a USY youth group) are affiliated seemingly take such a cavalier and ho hum attitude about anti-Israel activities.