U.N. lacks credibility on Palestinian state

Support a U.N. vote to recognize a new Palestinian-Arab state? The question assumes that the U.N. is a neutral forum with a clear moral compass. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thousands of rockets, directed at Israeli civilians, are launched from Gaza. Yet the U.N. is silent.

The U.N. Charter, Article 2 states: "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."

The Charter of Hamas, which rules Gaza, asserts its plan to wipe Israel off the map and murder every Jew on Earth. Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly affirms that he will never recognize a Jewish state of Israel.

In Abbas' Nov. 29 speech at the U.N., he never mentioned the "two states for two peoples" concept -- the basis for current Mideast peace efforts.

If "occupation" were to justify terrorism, then post-Civil War Ku Klux Klan terrorism of Southern blacks would be seen as freedom fighters. Yet the KKK is clearly seen as terrorists.

Fred Korr

Oakland

Arab rejectionism at heart of issue

A Dec. 4 letter writer must have missed the news since 1947 about the repeated Israeli attempts to create a Palestinian state, all of which have been rejected by the Arab side. Only one such attempt, the Saudi Peace Plan was ever made by the Arabs.

But given the turmoil in the Arab world, especially lately, it is even more clear now than it was then that there is no reliable Arab guarantor of such a plan, and Israel was both wise and lucky to not accept it.

Therefore, the suggestion that Israel "didn't want Palestine to obtain even a modicum of statehood" doesn't hold water.

Arab rejectionism toward Israel has become so entrenched and so violent that any discussion of a peace process in the Middle East has become a cruel joke.

The Arabs can't make peace with each other, so it is obvious they are not ready to make peace with a democratic nation like Israel, which they should be emulating instead of trying to make it go away.

Desmond Tuck

San Mateo

Returning vets weren't abused

A news report recounts the experiences of a member of the 561st Air Force Band, including an account of being pelted with water balloons after the end of the Vietnam War at a 4th of July parade in Danville.

I can't contradict her recollections, but I would like to correct the widely accepted view that returning veterans were typically abused, insulted and spat upon.

According to Jerry Lembcke, a Vietnam veteran who wrote "The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam," this is a widely accepted urban myth, fostered by the movie character Rambo and repeated by politicians from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

No photographs and scant contemporaneous evidence exists to document any abuse. There are books containing many personal accounts refuting Lembcke. But if newspapers are the "first draft of history," evidence is lacking to support the idea that vets were widely abused by antiwar protesters.

Jim Beller

Albany

Not OK to mock people's religion

After reading Karen D'Souza's front-page article in the Nov. 20 Times, one can only wonder if Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the award-winning musical, "The Book of Mormon," might want to take on a more challenging project with the same theme.

Maybe as D'Souza described it a "blasphemous lampoon of religion with a song in it's heart and potty in it's mouth" -- only call it "The Book of Islam."

No? Why not? Doesn't everyone like to see their religion mocked and made light of?

Floyd R. Colton

Pleasant Hill

Sports collection not worthy of front page

This paper obviously thinks that the vain and vapid collection of a self-absorbed sports player warrants full-blown, front-page, above-the-fold, multi-inches of column space.

Really? Nothing else was going on in the world, the state, or even the East Bay? Really?

With this glorification of mindless pap, the paper has reached a new journalistic low. Not to mention that encouraging this sort of empty-headed materialism leads to teenagers mugging each other for their shoes. Stupid and irresponsible.

Stephanie Massey

Oakland