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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Israel and Palestine

Not unreasonable to accept Israel as Jewish state

In The Seattle Times’ May 19 editorial, “Two new leaders, same old scripts” [Opinion], the editorial board seems to think it unreasonable that Israel require the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish state. After all, that would imply “a surrender of their claim of a right to return to territory held by Israel.”

There are 35 states that are officially Catholic, 31 Muslim, 13 Protestant and 13 Orthodox Christian. Egypt requires that we accept it as a Muslim state, Spain that we accept it as a Catholic state and the United Kingdom that we accept it as a Protestant state. Why shouldn’t Israel require other nations to accept it as a Jewish state?

And the Palestinians don’t simply claim a right of return to territory “held” by Israel. They claim the right of millions of Palestinians, most of them opposed to Israel’s very existence, to move to Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat — that is, Israel, not territory “held” by Israel.

I’m trying to imagine The Seattle Times supporting a proposal to find two million people who hate the U.S. and want it destroyed, and moving them all to the Seattle area.

— Paul Burstein, Mercer Island

Gross injustices against Palestinians continue

It seems to me that the most upsetting problems instigated by Israel toward the Palestinians are either overlooked or made light of by the media. More coverage is given to trivial or impossible demands of the Palestinians which are, in fact, only made by a few hard-liners.

The crux of the matter is that Israel is constantly building houses on land in the West Bank that belongs to Palestinians. This is ongoing and the Palestinians have no way to halt the Israelis.

A new outpost in the West Bank is being constructed as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama talk! The Israelis just carry on as before, being polite and thanking the U.S. for military and financial aid that enables them to go ahead with their construction on Palestinian land. Military strength keeps the Palestinians from any serious protesting.

I cannot imagine how the Palestinians must have felt when Obama said he would work toward peace in the Middle East — but the gross injustices against them are allowed to continue. Déjà vu!

— Jean Knight, Mercer Island

Funding tyranny not “progress”

The May 19 editorial in The Times stated, “One cannot say no progress was made Monday at the White House. The two leaders [President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel] agreed to more military and financial aid for Israel.”

Was that sarcasm? Is wasting U.S. money to provide the Middle East tyrant anything considered progress? Why is Obama proposing to continue support for Israel when we should have cut off all aid to the occupier of Palestine years ago?

Last week George Will’s column indicated that Obama’s stimulus plan for the auto companies will end up giving the union 39 percent of GM and 55 percent of Chrysler, even though the union contributed to the companies’ breakdowns [“Auto companies should be left to the rigors of bankruptcy,”Opinion, May 8].

When I voted for Obama I hoped for change. These two actions by Obama are greatly disappointing. Maybe he is not as wise as many thought.

— Spencer M. Higley, Edmonds

Comments | More in Middle East

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