Letter writers offer distortion of Israel

Recent anti-Israel letters rewrite a fictional history to support their opinion of hate. The "Jewish Voice for Peace" -- a brilliantly deceptive name -- is one of the most vitriolic haters of Israel and Jews.

The Jewish Kingdom of Judea had existed for more than 700 years by the time Imperial Rome came to destroy it in war -- documented in writing -- from 70-130 AD. To remove any Jewish association with the land, the Romans created a brand-new name for the area: Palestine -- whose etymological root means "invader."

Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly states that he will never recognize a Jewish State of Israel. Gaza, ruled by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group Hamas, asserts a no-compromise religious duty not just to destroy Israel but to murder every Jew on Earth. A "one state" solution is code for the destruction of Israel.

The Islamist future for women? Islamist Taliban shot 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the face in 2012. Her crime? Advocating the right of girls to go to school. In Israel, an Arab woman sits on the Supreme Court.

Fred Korr

Oakland

Replace labor and management

The greed that all sides of the BART union negotiations have exposed is sickening. We tax and ratepayers are not getting good value for our money. The negotiations are between fat cats and fat kittens. Nobody is looking out for the public.

What happened to public service? We need a Truman Commission to look into the excesses granted throughout the BART system.

I pay about $11.50 a day to ride in noisy, crowded trains. Each station looks shabby. Signage is circa 1970. Toilets -- if available -- are penitentiary grade and fast-food clean. I hear that the major cost to the system is labor, but there is no visible station help in Fremont, just one poor soul in a bulletproof booth.

The train drivers seem friendly, but their major task (as viewed by me) is announcing station stops. BART police and management are otherwise unknown to me, but I suspect they are well-compensated.

I'm fed up. We collectively have paid for this system for decades only to watch it grow fat and shabby. Where is the taxpayer's advocate? Strike? Let's bring in scabs to take over labor and management.

Larry Davick

Fremont

All chance meetings don't turn out badly

On a sunny Sunday morning some years ago, driving on the Long Island Expressway, a tire blew up. I was able to coast to the next exit.

I am a white woman and found myself in a deserted, rundown neighborhood with no phones in sight, and cell phones were not yet available. I had to change the tire myself, and started to jack up the car.

Another car stopped behind mine. A young, tall black man came out and offered to change the tire. I was surprised and grateful. A job that would have taken me hours was completed in a short time.

When I offered him some money the young man declined, saying that he wished somebody would do the same for his mother and sister. He mentioned that he was on his way to pick them up for church. I told him the money could be spent for ice cream after the service. He smiled and accepted my small offering. The entire time we spent together I never felt threatened.

Our reciprocal respect created a feeling of friendship.

Maria G. Nicolodi

Fremont

Ask why Martin threw first punch

Do I think George Zimmerman should have been acquitted? Considering Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman, punching him in the face and knocking Zimmerman to the ground; considering that punch hit Zimmerman so hard that Martin broke Zimmerman's nose; considering that Martin was taller than Zimmerman and younger; considering that Martin told Zimmerman, as Martin bashed Zimmerman's head into the concrete, that Zimmerman was going to die -- considering all this, Zimmerman was put into a fight for his life and had to defend himself.

The media kept saying Martin was unarmed. Martin had fists and a 17-year-old's energy. Fists can kill.

The question should have been, "Why did Trayvon Martin throw that first punch?"

Pauline Zazulak

Oakland