Muslims do not hate Jews, just blockade

Muslims do not hate Jews. For centuries, Arabs and Jews lived harmoniously together in Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco and Spain.

Arabs do not hate Jews. During World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jews who escaped Nazi Germany were welcome with open arms. By whom? Not the U.S., but by the Arab countries of the Middle East.

What Arabs do hate is the suffocating blockade of Gaza, where neither people nor products can move in or out. They hate the humiliating checkpoints and the never-ending settlements built on the West Bank. Most of all, they hate seeing crowds on a hill in Israel cheering every bomb explosion in Gaza and hearing them chant, as reported in some publications, "Tomorrow there's no school in Gaza, they don't have any children left."

Mary Hanna

Oakland

Difficult to see need for garbage fee hike

I find it very difficult to fathom how our Oakland City Council could sign off on a new waste pickup contract that sticks us all with a 23 percent rate hike. If I am not mistaken, we were forced into an automatic hike of about 2-2¿1/2 percent every year for as long as I can remember, and I believe those hikes were equal to or higher than the inflation rate and Consumer Price Index increase over that period of time. So what could possibly justify a 23 percent increase? Was there a public input meeting on this that I missed? I am also wondering what yearly increase we will be stuck with this time. Big increases with EBMUD, PG&E and now this.


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John Murray

Oakland

Parker makes most sense as next mayor

Recently, I had an opportunity to listen to some candidates for Oakland mayor. Bryan Parker was one of them, and I was impressed.

Finally, not a politician. Well-educated, has a law and business management background, and he is a member of the Oakland Port Commission, a vital income producer for Oakland.

I support his views on safety, employment and education as the most important issues. They are the right priorities. His business background would make Oakland a business-friendly place again. While there are also other candidates, he is the person who in our racially diversified city can and should be elected.

Being a businessman in Oakland for 44 years, I believe that jobs are the answer, also for safety. San Francisco is overpriced for business and housing. With good leadership and support for business, we can attract the good jobs we need here and revitalize the city.

Nicholas Balas

Oakland

Abuse of antibiotics should be stopped

Doctors are judicious about prescribing antibiotics for their patients. After all, the more these lifesaving medicines are used, the more likely it is that bacteria will develop resistance and become superbugs.

It is a serious and growing problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consistently estimates that every year 23,000 Americans die from superbug infections.

Factory farms feed perfectly healthy livestock and poultry low-dose antibiotics to make them grow faster and fatter. Are faster-growing chickens worth losing medicines to treat the common illnesses? I think not!

Reform in Denmark has proved that removing low-dose antibiotics can reverse the superbug effect.

This epidemic of overuse of antibiotics has rightly been described by the World Health Organization as a crisis. The Food and Drug Administration needs to take action immediately.

Siun Smyth

Berkeley

Must stop slaughter of world's elephants

Elephants are slaughtered at the rate of 35,000 to 50,000 a year. Extinction is likely within the decade.

China is the biggest consumer of ivory. The Chinese government claims it is educating the public not to buy ivory and, yet, 35 ivory-carving factories are allowed to continue their bloody work in China. The lie is in the facts.

The United States and other nations also continue to allow the sale of ivory products.

Join us at our Global March for the Elephants and Rhinos on Oct. 4 in San Francisco. For details, see march4elephantsandrhinos.org. We will speak out for the elephants and rhinos in 111 cities around the world.

Lois Olmstead

Lafayette