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November 21, 2013 at 6:25 AM
Palestinian people need to accept the permanency of a Jewish state
Columnist Thomas Friedman aptly articulates the complexity and the nuances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his review of Ari Shavit’s new book, “My Promised Land ” [“Changing the discussion on Israel,” Opinion, Nov. 19].
Indeed, Israel is a miracle of political science: the re-establishment of an ancient nation-state on its ancestral homeland after centuries of exile. Yet, Israel is also in a perilous situation vis-à-vis its neighbors, and the broader tumultuous region at large.
July 25, 2013 at 5:57 AM
Ads are misleading
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) bus ads are misleading and untrue. [“Dueling bus ads reveal under-radar change in Metro’s policies,” page one, July 19.]
The ads falsely assert that the Palestinian Authority is calling for “a Jew-free state.”
Back in 2011, the Israeli prime minister declared that there will be a permanent presence of Israeli soldiers and illegal Israeli settlers (who are Jewish) in any future Palestinian state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not permit that.
Abbas’ stated refusal of what would amount to a permanently “occupied” Palestinian state was taken out of context, and written up in the media as the untruth we see now in AFDI ads. The Palestinian Authority even corrected the false claims.
King County Metro’s policy that permits a public debate of issues on bus ads can be a good thing, as long as the messages are true. Metro policy calls for truth, but says it’s up to advertisers to certify the verity of their message.
Since the AFDI boasted that it bullied Metro into running the ads by threatening a lawsuit, it would be fine poetic justice for Metro to seek damages from AFDI for assuring Metro the ads are true when in fact they are false!
Linda Frank, Tacoma
May 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM
We need Israel as an ally
Columnist Bruce Ramsey claims that Israel is not a vital ally of America in the Middle East [“The Senate supports an Israeli ‘defensive’ attack against Iran,” seattletimes.com, May 23]. If not, who is?
Since the Arab Spring has cooled into the Arab winter, with the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, Syria in a civil war — supported by the anti-American Hezbollah — and attacks on Christian minorities and the rights of women under a rising tide of Islamic extremism, exactly who would he have us allied with?
Israel was the only nation that had direct combat experience against the latest Soviet weapons during the Cold War and now is our most reliable source of intelligence in this important and volatile region.
Our leaders have called it “America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier,” and “worth more than five CIAs.”
It is the only nation in the region that can pass a test on First Amendment rights. If we would like to see our type of government prevail in place of the medieval theocracies now spreading, who else can carry that banner for us?
The U.N., America included, has called on Iran to halt its nuclear program, with no success. President Obama has said that the military option is still on the table. Who in the Middle East has the motivation and ability to help us if it comes down to that?
If Ramsey shares these goals, and perhaps he doesn’t, I call on him to revise his analysis of Israel’s worth to America.
Robert Kaufman, Seattle
May 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM
It wasn’t anti-Semitism
Stephen Hawking canceled a conference hosted by the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, held for this June in order to show his support for the Palestinian cause [“Stephen Hawking won’t attend Israeli conference, seattletimes.com, May 8].
His decision is not due to health concerns, as stated by Israeli supporters, but as a way to boycott Israel academically.
However, his decision to boycott provoked outrage and false accusations of anti-Semitism. It is not anti-Semitism; it is the acknowledgment of Israeli oppression of Palestinians and Hawking refusing to be part of it. His decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
David Jeraiseh, Seattle
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