True justice doesn't occur in a vacuum
The Jan. 22 letter "What if tables were turned for Israelis?" ends on a clamoring note: "Justice, justice, justice shall you pursue" as a "prophetic tradition of the Jewish faith." Fair enough. But justice does not exists in a vacuum.
Given a choice between delivering justice to those who want to destroy you and defending yourself from them, the defense always takes priority.
Palestinian refugees, lost territories, border checkpoints, etc. -- all of these issues stem from Palestinians' siding with Arab aggressors against the Jewish state or from Palestinians' own terrorist acts.
Those who, like author of this letter, blame the Israelis for all wrongs that happened to the Palestinians, propagate the myth of their victimhood, thus implying that they are not responsible for their actions.
As for "tables turned for Israelis" (and, I would add, for Jews in general), there are plenty of examples when this happened in recent and not-so-recent history. Most of the times Jews have overcome the hostilities and vile anti-Semitism by relying on their own inner strength, not the "international community."
Tax election method approved by voters
This is regarding the Jan. 23 letters, "Waste tax is bad, but vote method is worse."
The vote method the author criticizes was adopted by a statewide voter initiative amending the California Constitution: Proposition 218. For the fee in question, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority has gone above and beyond the requirements spelled out in the Constitution to make the process simple for those residential property owners who wish to oppose the fee.
Revenue from the fee ($9.55 per year for 10 years) will be used to support the countywide household hazardous waste drop-off centers and related services, which provide safe, legal, environmentally sound collection and disposal of residential household hazardous waste such as paint products, solvents and pesticides.
Without these services, most household hazardous waste will be illegally and improperly disposed (e.g., abandoned on streets, poured down drains, placed in garbage or recycling carts). Improper disposal of household hazardous waste is often dangerous and can detract from residential property values.
More information about the proposed fee and what it will fund is available at www.stopwaste.org/proposedhhwfee.
I encourage Alameda County residents to make an informed decision about these services, which will be dramatically reduced if the fee is not adopted.
Executive director Alameda County Waste Management Authority Oakland
Newspaper should expose tax scam
Thanks to author of the Jan. 23 letter, "Waste tax is bad, but vote method is worse."
The Alameda County Waste Management Authority is in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by requiring property owners to mail at their expense a no vote on their ballot to add $9.95 annually to our property tax bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court found such action unconstitutional in 1966 (Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663).
Making your no vote count only by paying for postage is a poll tax.
If the ballot is not returned your address is automatically counted as a yes vote. To assume that by not mailing in a ballot my choice has been determined beforehand is grossly offensive.
I agree wholeheartedly with letter writer who stated, "this newspaper should report on this scam."
Frank L. Foley