I read with disappointment Thomas Friedman’s March 14 column brushing off current U.S. attention to the Israeli/Palestinian issue as a “hobby,” then recognizing the serious regional and wider import of the events in Syria and elsewhere, but paying them no more mind as he went on to describe President Obama’s coming trip to Israel as that of a “tourist.”
Granted, his challenge to the president to question in public Israeli leaders about continuing unlawful settlements in the West Bank was spot-on. But having asked, what then?
It seems to me the president’s time would be better spent at home by 1) leading a serious reevaluation of continuing U.S. support to Israel, in the face of the settlements, and 2) correcting Secretary of State John Kerry’s reference to the Islamist and Al-Qaida-affiliated Syrian opposition forces as “freedom fighters” (they are now burning books) and mounting a serious effort, through cooperation with the Russian foreign minister, to quarantine the violence and press both sides to dialogue without preconditions.
Then Obama will have gone a long way to deserving the now nearly four-year-old Nobel Peace Prize.
Maggie Meehan, Fergus Falls, Minn.
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Child sexual abuse
Remove time limit on prosecution
Current law says child sexual abuse victims immediately know they are injured and have until age 24 to file a lawsuit. Considering that it can take decades for victims to confront the abuse, statutes of limitation are woefully short and act as an arbitrary barrier to justice. I know because I am a survivor of child sexual abuse.
I was sexually abused by a parish priest at age 13. I suppressed my pain so deep that I didn’t recognize I had been abused until well into adulthood. Even as a well-educated, full-grown man, I continue to be haunted and challenged by this history.
At age 39, I was able to find the courage to seek justice against my abuser and those who helped facilitate the abuse. After five years and publicly reopening those wounds, my case was dismissed by the Minnesota State Supreme Court because the statute of limitations had expired. I was revictimized by the system designed to protect me because I couldn’t seek justice on my time frame.
The Minnesota Child Victims Act being considered at the State Capitol would eliminate the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, allowing victims to seek justice at any time against the abuser or institution that facilitated the abuse. This legislation respects and acknowledges the healing process while encouraging victims of child sex abuse to come forward and potentially identify abusers who may still be abusing children.
Jim Keenan, Savage
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The answer is right before our eyes
I believe that Gov. Mark Dayton has presented a good idea without even realizing that fact.
He stated that if we can’t raise taxes on the rich, then we will need to cut spending to cover the $627 million deficit. That is the good idea.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.