Another example of Congress at 'work'

Monday I called Rep. Barbara Lee's office to find out what she was doing in Congress to help free Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican jail. The person who answered the phone said, "I'm not sure what her position on this is."

Your congresswoman at work.

Penelope Bevan

Oakland

Letter writer left out some critical details

A recent letter writer asks us to end the oppression of the Palestinians and paints a bleak picture of their plight. Unfortunately, she omits a large part of the story.

There's no mention of the three wars started against Israel, the tens of thousands of rockets that have been launched by Palestinians into Israeli cities, the hundreds of bombings against Israeli children and other civilians and the repeated calls for the annihilation of Israel by its neighbors.

The letter writer notes the recent beating death of a Palestinian, but seems unable to recall the recent abduction and murder of three Israeli youths.

Much can be learned by comparing these two tragedies. The murder of the three Israelis prompted celebrations in the streets of Gaza and the perpetrators of these crimes are free, and presumably heroes in the Palestinian community. The Israeli government has condemned the Palestinian murder, has already made an arrest of a suspect and promises justice under the rule of law.


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There is plenty to be outraged about in the Middle East. The letter writer has selected a fairly small slice of it and conveniently chosen to ignore the rest. Perhaps that is why she can make the outrageous comparison of the Palestinian situation today to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

Jim Rath

Lafayette

Israel has no choice but to defend itself

The author of the July 14 letter, "Amid murders, end military aid to Israel," is absolutely correct that the murders of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Palestinian Arab Mohammed Abu Khdeir cannot be tolerated.

Israeli and American Jewish leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all condemned the murders. Israeli President Shimon Peres called the boy's father, Hussein Abu Khdeir, to offer condolences.

The letter writer is incorrect, however, when she says that Israeli air strikes were launched in retaliation for the murders of the Israeli teens. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to try to halt the constant firing of rockets launched by Hamas since June 12 (before the murders) deliberately aimed at civilian targets in Israel.

Israel accepted a ceasefire brokered by Egypt and ceased firing at Hamas targets in Gaza. Hamas rejected the truce offering and continued its rocket barrage, shooting 47 rockets into Israel during the six-hour ceasefire.

Israel has no choice but to resume defense of its citizens against Hamas whose objective is the destruction of the state of Israel.

Linda Waldroup

Walnut Creek

Voters must again kill sales tax hike

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is coming back at us in November with a ballot initiative for a so-called temporary half-cent sales tax increase. It is the same proposal killed in 2012, except it is temporary until 2045. Let's kill it again. Why?

1. No increase is ever temporary. Earlier in 2014, Proposition AA extended the expiring current half-percent tax. How was this sold? "It's not a tax increase, it is the rate you're already paying."

2. District 1 Supervisor Scott Haggerty argues an increase to a full 1-cent county sales tax, first in the state, is needed for transportation, especially growing BART. Come on. The board really needs this increase because the BART board caved like papier-mâché to BART unions. The county board did nothing to preserve taxpayer money during that strike. Now the board dreams we'll stupidly vote more funds.

3. Specifically, I've been following Haggerty news for years. In my opinion, if Scott Haggerty is fronting a proposal, check your wallets.

William Kasten

Livermore

The Coliseum is no longer quaint

I am a longtime A's fan and used to think the A's ballpark, the O.Co. Coliseum, was quaint and old fashioned.

Then I fractured my fibula climbing up the concrete steps from my field box seat. Without rails down the center, the stadium is unsafe and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

We need a new state-of-the-art stadium

Helane Zeiger

Berkeley