Letters to the Editor, May 23
Embassy move correct
Trump may be obnoxious, arrogant and crude, but I’m glad he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved the American embassy there and canceled the horrible agreement with Iran that Obama shoved down our throats. I’m also grateful that he named Nikki Haley as America’s ambassador to the U.N.
Meanwhile the terrorists in the Gaza Strip, knowing the dangers, sent their people out to invade Israel in order to kill Jews, hoping many of their own people would die, thus inciting the world’s enmity against Israel.
The moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, while a bad move diplomatically, is not going to measurably affect Palestinian life.
The recent and ongoing Palestinian protests at the Gazan-Israeli border are about the Israeli occupation. Gaza is called the world’s largest open-air prison. Though controlled internally by Hamas, it’s been under blockade by Israel (and by Egypt on its southern border) for years.
Gazans cannot import or export freely, travel into and out of Gaza is severely restricted, fishing rights (a historic mainstay of the economy) is also severely restricted and their aquifers have been sucked dry by deep Israeli wells just east of their border. Gazans are currently undergoing shortages of food, water, medical supplies and electricity. Their sole airport has been bombed to destruction and they can’t import supplies to rebuild.
In short, Gaza is suffering a man-made human catastrophe because they are Palestinians. Israel has no desire to recolonize Gaza. Rather they use tiny Gaza as a dumping ground, trying to vacate the West Bank and Jerusalem of Palestinians, which are the areas they want to (and have been) expropriating since 1967.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not intractable. It’s merely a matter of the powerful (Israel) denying basic human rights to the powerless (Palestine). As individuals, Palestinians are no better nor worse than the Israelis. They’re just people who have been denied their rights.
If you want to know why hundreds of thousands of American Jews oppose the occupation, visit the Jewish Voice for Peace website, jvp.org. Then you’ll understand what’s going on.
Ban more weapons
In case you were wondering, the shotgun used in the Texas school shootings was a Remington 870, a devastating pump-action weapon which can hold up to 11 shells and has a rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute.
It is similar to weapons used in Australia’s Port Arthur mass killing of 1996, after which Australia banned private ownership of all pump-action shotguns. Only double-barreled shotguns are permitted, requiring a reload after two rounds.
The Texas killer also user a revolver. Handguns had been largely removed from private ownership in Australia before 1996.
In the past 22 years, Australia has had two mass killings with a total of 10 victims. Both cases were murder-suicides at the homes of family members using (legal) manual action hunting rifles. (All semi-automatic weapons — of which assault weapons are only one type — are banned.)
The mass shooting death toll in America since 1996? Why even bother to count?