Letters to the Editor for April 15
Two-state solution in Mideast will take U.S. leadership
As a Zionist and a strong supporter of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I believe in Israel’s survival as the democratic homeland for the Jewish people, as well as an end to the occupation of the Palestinians and the continuing spread of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
I believe in establishing secure borders based on the 1967 lines, with agreed reciprocal land swaps allowing Israeli incorporation of a majority of settlers, as well as Palestinian viability and contiguity.
I believe that it is essential that there be broad bipartisan political support for American leadership in pursuing the peace process. Not only are many of our congressional leaders under unprecedented attack by those who seek to deny the existence of Palestinians as a people, but many representatives now maintain that the United States should no longer assume a leadership role in the peace process. I believe that this lack of leadership would be extremely detrimental to the establishment of a viable two-state resolution to the conflict.
I urge our representatives to sign the Cohen Yarmouth Connelly letter to President Obama, which unequivocally states the necessity for a strong U.S. leadership to continue to strive toward a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
We do not have the luxury of waiting for a “better” time to pursue the peace process. In May 2011, President Obama stated that “the current situation in the Middle East does not allow for procrastination — the march to isolate Israel internationally and the impulse of the Palestinians to abandon negotiations will continue to gain momentum in the absence of a credible peace process and alternative.” The window of opportunity for achieving a two-state solution is rapidly closing.
Some experiences in Israel similar to Strock’s
I appreciate Carl Strock’s reporting about his recent trip to the Israeli occupied Palestinian West Bank [April 3 Gazette]. I had similar experiences in 2005.
When I traveled in a vehicle with an Israeli license plate, it was fairly easy to get through the many road blocks staffed by armed solders; it took about as long as paying at a New York State Thruway toll booth, except that instead of a toll collector, there would be a half-dozen or more heavily armed Israeli soldiers.
When I traveled in a vehicle with Palestine plates, it was a much different experience. You had to wait in a separate line (from the Israeli vehicles); you might not be allowed through at all; you could be forced to wait for hours with no hint as to if or when you would be allowed through, or you might possibly get shot by a soldier.
I have a Palestinian friend whose cousin was shot and killed while returning from work a few years ago by an Israeli soldier-sniper at a West Bank checkpoint while his wife and children waited nearby. Israeli travel restrictions made it so onerous for him to travel 20 miles round trip to work each day that he stayed with friends for five days each week, returning to his family on weekends.
A Palestinian policeman told me that on the prior day (in August 2005), with temperatures above 100 degrees and nearly 100 percent humidity, an obviously ill young Palestinian man died at a West Bank check point when he was held up for three hours by Israeli soldiers.
If you travel in the West Bank, you will see displays of revolting Israeli racism. Daily Gazette letter writers can deny it all they want, but the whole world has caught on to what Israel does to the Palestinians. With the Internet and ubiquitous cellphone cameras, it is easy to document the facts.
Those of us — including Carl Strock — who criticize Israel’s policies do not do so because of hatred of Israel or Jews; we do it because what they do is wrong. No one should be abused. Many of us are also outraged that U.S. tax dollars and politicians, such as Sen. Charles Schumer, support this repression.
Fossil-record gap shows flaws in Darwin theory
I am writing to rebut your April 12 editorial, “Faith v. science again in Tennessee.” You triumphantly state that after 153 years of Darwin, “nobody has come close to disproving it.”
I not only disagree with you but I can provide some evidence to the contrary. I have been on both sides of this issue and in my earlier days would have agreed with you. My initial training in science — on the undergraduate and post-graduate level — allows me to speak with some authority.
Darwin believed that all living organisms spontaneously arose from a common ancestor — a slow evolution of species that gradually diverged into the various families, orders, classes etc. But even Darwin himself knew that his theory had serious flaws.
For example, in the Cambrian Period (around 530 million years ago), a veritable “explosion” of animal fossils appear in as little as 5 to 10 million years — a short time in geological terms. Most of the animal phyla alive today arose in the Cambrian. (Prior to this period, only single-celled organisms appeared in the fossil record).
To make matters worse for Darwin, the Cambrian organisms appear at phyla and class level right from the start — not at a lower level, as Darwinian evolution would predict. The intermediate organisms that would precede these advanced organisms have never been found. Thus, instead of a “bottom-up’” progression of organisms, the fossil record reveals a “top-down” movement.
Space does not allow me to continue with more evidence, but suffice it to say, Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” is full of holes. I would refer your readers to two books for further information: “A Case for a Creator,” by Lee Strobel, and “Icons of Evolution,” by Jonathon Wells Ph.D.
Obama’s open mic opened one reader’s eyes
Let me start by saying I voted for President Obama in 2008. Up until now, given the uninspiring Republican primaries, my intent was to vote for him once again. That was before March 26 when, on an open microphone he didn’t realize was still on, President Obama was recorded for the world saying to Russian President Medvedev “on all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev was heard responding “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” This was the exact transcript.
This wasn’t some crazy guy with an agenda on Fox News taking cheap shots at the president. This was the president of the United States himself telling the president of Russia that he will keep his true intentions and plans from the American public until after the election, not to hurt his re-election campaign.
It was a deceitful breach of trust. What does this say about his credibility on other issues? As a “middle of the road” independent voter, I need to wonder what else is lurking behind that amiable smile? Social programs that will reveal him to be much further to the left than I’m comfortable with? Further dismantling of our military strength and security? What has Russia even done positively to deserve his pandering?
Obama removed our missiles from allies Poland and the Czech Republic while Putin invaded Georgia and backed Iran, Syria and Libya. This is not a man I can confidently say will stand up to China as it asserts itself upon our allies in Asia. The problem with weakness throughout history is that it leads to more war.
With this deceitful slip up he has made the case for limiting all presidents to four years. Here’s hoping that [GOP candidate] Mitt Romney now accomplishes that.
Scotia’s quiet spaces being lost to sports
Since the mid-1990s we have been residents of Scotia, paying our taxes and enjoying our serene little town.
For years I’ve walked my dog every day from my home down through our back streets to the Flint House. This is historical property nestled in a quiet section of town; a nice park-like setting to play with your dog, rest on a bench and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Just recently, we’ve had people from surrounding areas taking over that park to play rugby. They aren’t from our town; they park their cars all over the lawn, put in portable toilets, and have groups of kids with spectators everywhere. The noise is very disturbing to the people bordering this historic park. It’s not meant to be a sports field. Scotia already has many places for kids to play their sporting events.
I’m a big advocate for all kids to become involved in activities. Sports should play a major role in all the kids’ lives. But so far, we’ve been chased off the river because of the sculling activity. We can’t go to Collins Park because everybody and their brother, including out-of-towners, are filling up that park. Now we have kids from surrounding cities and towns using our only quiet place to play rugby.
Where are we supposed to go now? And why should our quiet piece of history have to be turned into another sports field for people who don’t even pay taxes here. Whose idea was this, anyway?
Debra and Fred Turner
Saints’ intent-to-injure seems a legal matter
The April 10 AP article, “Goodell upholds Saints’ suspensions,” regarding the National Football League’s problem of certain players being offered a bonus for putting a specific opponent out of the game, generates some questions in my mind.
Penalties have been assessed by the NFL against certain players and team officials involved, but is that the proper authority? To my knowledge, an attempt to willfully inflict personal injury is considered assault and battery and actually a violation of the law.
So, who should best decide the punishment to be applied? Legal authorities or NFL officials?
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our website: www.dailygazette.com.