Significant history left out of letter

While portraying Israel as evil, the writer of a Sept. 6 letter unwittingly insults Palestinians, presenting them as blameless, hapless victims, not accountable for their own actions.

They are, however, full participants in the complex Israeli-Arab conflict.

The writer examines Israel's flaws under a microscope, but omits Palestinian behaviors toward Israel: suicide bombers, Hamas rockets from Gaza, Hezbollah's Israeli-aimed missiles from Lebanon, weapon-smuggling tunnels from Egypt and Palestinian leaders' refusals (Arabic and English) to accept a Jewish state.

The writer correctly states that in 1948 "Israel was born in violence." That "violence" was initiated by five Arab countries that -- rejecting the U.N.'s offer of a Palestinian state -- instead waged a failed attempt to destroy Israel (which accepted the U.N. offer).

Arab violence launched a war that created Palestinian refugees who have been forcibly kept by Arab governments -- to this day -- in shameful camps supported by U.N. and U.S. dollars.

All peoples, governments and countries are imperfect. But peace can never result when the goal of one party is to annihilate the other party.

June Brott

Oakland

Are you being made sick by job?

Did your job make you ill? Since 2000, Tri-Valley CAREs has facilitated a support group for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia-Livermore National Laboratory workers who have been made ill from on-the-job exposures to radiation and toxic chemicals.

Only 40 percent of claimants who apply for compensation from the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act have been approved. The other 60 percent are denied, often unjustly. If you, or your loved one, were previously denied, you might want to reapply.

The next Sick Worker Support Group meeting is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2, at the Livermore Main Library, Community Room A, 1188 S. Livermore Ave. We will also observe a resolution passed by the Senate, called the National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers.

Feel free to bring pictures, stories and other memorabilia to share. For more information call Tri-Valley CAREs at 925-443-7148.

Jo Ann Frisch

Livermore

It's not acceptable to discard trash

A Sept. 7 letter blamed merchants for dirty streets.

Merchants of Oakland's Chinatown, or any town, are not blind to trash in the streets. They want the areas where their shops, homes and schools are located to be as pleasant as possible. However, we as a society have allowed rampant garbage tossing to become an accepted norm.

At events, I've seen people toss their empty cups and wrappers to the ground, even when a trash can is within view. As you leave the nicest movie theater, you have to step carefully because people have left their "leavin's" for staff to clean up.

I've heard children told, after asking their parent where the garbage can is, to drop it on the ground because someone else will clean it up. We've all seen diapers and cups thrown from cars as they travel down the road.

This attitude and its result disgusts me and I have taught my children that it is not OK to do this. Pick it up and dispose of it properly. Be responsible.

Merchants are facing an uphill battle in the garbage wars, and their direct responsibility ends at the sidewalk.

Why do we put up with fouling our own nests?

Patty Lacy

Fremont

Firing of symphony music director wrong

I am not a regular member of the Fremont Symphony, but I have played concerts with them many times over the years.

I was distressed and angered to learn of the recent dismissal of longtime music director David Sloss. It's bad enough that a jewel of the community was fired, but the way in which it was done was despicable; blindsiding a man who put his heart and soul into the Fremont Symphony for many years.

This decision not only disrespected him, but the musicians as well. If a new music director was wanted (which I don't concede as necessary), the normal course of action is to form a search committee and give the musicians a weighted voice in the process.

Instead, the musicians were told that they don't matter. What they are, in fact, is the symphony's main product and greatest asset.

I understand that there are financial problems, but those problems affect the music director and musicians as well, so let them participate in the solution.

Hire David Sloss back and invite him and the musicians into the problem-solving process. It's the right thing to do.

James Gott

San Jose