Facts clear that U.S. should free Pollard

Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state; George Shultz, former secretary of state; R. James Woolsey Jr., former director of the CIA; Lawrence Korb, former undersecretary of defense; Michael Mukasey, former attorney general: this is only a partial list of people who, after a review of the facts and in some cases the entire CIA file of Jonathan Pollard, recommended that the president commute his sentence.

The maximum punishment for such crime today is only 10 years' imprisonment.

On the other hand, we hear in the media that Pollard was materialistic (he lived frugally and did not even own a car) and that the secrets that he gave the Israeli Mossad found their way to the USSR (never proven and not Pollard's fault anyway).

How can the U.S. ask for Israel to release murderers and terrorist who murdered hundred of Israeli and American citizens and keep Pollard in jail?

Gershon Luria

San Lorenzo

Senate bill passage a vital, positive step

I commend the Senate for passing legislation that will greatly benefit children and families in the United States.

By reinstating the child care funding for subsidized child care, those 1.6 million children and their families will have a little more assistance in their already difficult lives, as most are living at or under the poverty line.

Families who benefit from this funding are ensured the quality of their child care is maintained, thanks to the included funding for the new requirement of safety education and background checks.

This is a welcome change from the previous years' cuts to federal funding during sequestration to the tune of $115 million.

By passing this bill, the overall total of about $13 billion had been approved over the next five years. Although there will be a large influx of funding to child care, these figures will need to be maintained and advocated for amid budget cuts and political changes.

The Senate bill acknowledges this as an attempt to decrease child poverty. Such a bipartisan acknowledgment demonstrates willingness to work together.

Jennifer Sparber

San Jose

Creative 'facts' don't support absurd view

The April 10 letter "Ignoring Israel's transgressions" turns both history and logic on their heads.

The author's simplistic defense of Russian aggression in Ukraine is ugly and false. The Crimean people are of mixed ancestry. Many of them boycotted the illegal secession vote. Russian speakers in Crimea mostly arrived when the Soviet Union brought them to solidify Soviet control. The history is complicated, to say the least.

Likewise, the inexplicable (and unrelated) attacks on Israel run low on facts and high on simplicity. Yes, Israel did take the Golan Heights from Syria and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967. Defensive moves made in a defensive war.

Syrian and Jordanian forces repeatedly fired on Israel from these lands until Israel annexed them. Israel's repeated land-for-peace offers to Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians are always rejected.

The claim of "Jewish-only settlements" is a preposterous lie, easily disproved by actually visiting Israel and witnessing the diversity there.

How can anyone expect peace in either Israel or Ukraine when people make up fantastic lies to justify absurd world views?

Stephen Fisher

Atherton

Assertions in letter were clearly false

Sadly, the author of the April 10 letter "Ignoring Israel's transgressions" knows all too well that words make a lasting impression -- even untrue words.

All of the assertions written about Israel are false. Israel does none of those things. Perhaps the letter writer's imam has told him these absurd distortions and lies.

While the world focuses on tiny Israel and trumped-up false human rights accusations, thousands of people are murdered daily in Syria, millions of Syrians have fled, and countless human rights abuses are happening daily in Muslim countries around the world, including Gaza.

Roberta Zucker

Tiburon