Letter writer must face the real and ugly truth

A recent letter writer admonishes us to "face the truth" about Israel. I urge him to do likewise.

Let's begin with his sources. He urges us to read books by a converted Muslim and far-left academic, watch a film made by an extremist organization called Electronic Intifada, and cites a study performed by an organization called the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, whose purpose is primarily combating poverty within South Africa itself.

As the letter writer wrote, "People desiring peace should start by facing, not skirting, the truth."

The real and ugly truth is that all of these people and organizations support the annihilation of the state of Israel, an event that could lead to the ultimate demise of the Jewish people. I suspect that this is the letter author's wish as well. It doesn't sound particularly peaceful, though.

Stephen Fisher

Atherton

Photo of dead Syrians is deeply disturbing

Was anybody else deeply disturbed and reduced to tears at the photo of the deceased Syrian children on the cover of the Aug. 22 paper?

As a mother of two sons of color growing up in Oakland, I ache everyday when reading about the deaths of more and more of Oakland's young men -- but the visual of seeing these innocent children laying there waiting to be claimed was just too much.


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Are we assumed to be that hardened in our own communities that we wouldn't react to such a heart-wrenching story and photo?

Amy Coffin

Oakland

Give bus operators a fair pay package

Riders of AC Transit have a special bond with bus operators.

Yes, they are operators; they do more than drive the bus. They deal with each rider and, as such, both see each other as people in the same boat, so to speak.

Riders like to see operators fairly compensated for their work. And operators realize that many, if not most, riders have no other means of transportation, no other way to get to the doctor, to school, etc.

There was once a watchdog organization called Alliance for AC Transit whose membership was composed of both riders and operators and which successfully fought for the passage of Measure B.

Unlike a BART operator who only gets a distant glimpse of passengers as they embark or disembark the train, a bus operator personally interacts with each rider.

So I say that there is a bond between them that results in each respecting the other's needs. We riders hope this will play out in the contract negotiations.

Joyce Roy

Oakland

Apartheid reference far from Israel's reality

A recent letter writer wrote that Israel engages in apartheid.

Either he doesn't understand what apartheid was in South Africa, or he lied.

Same for the authors he referred to in his letter, all of them well-known as Israel haters.

Arabs are 20 percent of the citizens of Israel, with equal civil rights and protection of the legal system.

In the West Bank, the Palestinians have a better life than they do in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other Arab and Muslim countries, which even deny them citizenship.

As to violations of International Law, the letter writer ignored the Palestinian terrorism against Israel, by kidnapping, suicide bombers, snipers and rockets fired from Gaza.

Norman G. Licht

San Carlos

Israelis yearn for peace and security

In his recent letter, Jon Peterson insists that Israeli settlements are killing the so-called peace process.

He and his Jewish Voice for Peace friends must think the American people are gullible and stupid.

Anyone who is paying attention knows that Israelis yearn for peace and are more than willing to discuss the settlements -- but only in return for real security.

Those of us who can understand Arabic, and even those who can't, hear the Palestinians loudly proclaiming they want all of Israel, not just the settlements.

When the Israelis returned Gaza to the Palestinians, what they got in return was Hamas and rockets.

A glance at the geography of Israel shows the Israelis can ill afford another Gaza in the West Bank.

And as for peace in the Middle East, all one has to do is look at what's happening with Israel's neighbors to realize that goal is a long way off indeed.

Lewis A. Glenn

Danville