Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

COMPARING ISRAELI AND RUSSIAN INFLUENCE ON THE U.S.

To the East Bay Times, July 26, 2017

Much has been written about Russia's excessive influence on our government. Little has been written about Israel's control of our government. Recently, the House passed a bill giving Israel $705 million for a rocket defense system. This in addition to the $10.5 million we give to Israel every day-365 days a year.

Mind you, Israel is not an impoverished country. It has the fourth largest military in the world and its citizens enjoy free health care and subsidized college tuition. So, Israel is doing just fine, while we are $20 trillion in debt and many Americans are overwhelmed by health care expenses and college tuitions.

Can we afford to give Israel whatever it asks for? Who dares call attention to the fact that we are being bled by a country accused of unspeakable human rights violations. Certainly, not our Congress.

If President Donald Trump is serious about putting Americans first, he needs to look at our limitless spending on Israel and keep some of that money right here at home.

Forrest J. Cioppa, Moraga, CA

GAZA'S GOT TALENT

To The Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2017

As indicated in the Aug. 7 front-page article "Trapped, jobless and bored: Gaza's wasted generation," Gaza has some of the region's highest literacy rates juxtaposed against the highest unemployment. I can attest firsthand to the ambition of many Gazan youths looking for a way up or out. Gazans are not only violent or victims. The Post should feature Gazans who won U.S. college scholarships against all odds and achieved beyond all expectations. Readers may be amazed to learn of one family whose three Gazan-educated sons won scholarships to MIT, Harvard University and Stanford University, or of a Gazan refugee woman who recently gave the senior class commencement speech at Gettysburg College. Gaza's got talent. It is being cynically sacrificed.

Theodore H. Kattouf, Gaithersburg, MD. The writer is president and chief executive of AMIDEAST.

THE CONTINUING PROBLEM OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

To The Baltimore Sun, Aug. 28, 2017

I don't think I have ever seen a more inane pronouncement in my life than this: "Trump...has made clear that unrestrained settlement activity does not advance the prospect for peace." Duh! ("White House tries again to revive Mideast talks," Aug. 23.)

This is like saying that stealing my land and resources, controlling my movements doesn't contribute to being good neighbors. Who knew?

Unrestricted settlement activity is, of course, the cause of the lack of peace. Israel's consistent and persistent theftof Palestinian land can in no way contribute to peace.

Doris Rausch, Columbia, MD

PROGRESSIVE LAWMAKERS AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BDS

To The Oregonian, Aug. 12, 2017

Thank you for your coverage of Sen. Ron Wyden's town hall ("Wyden pressed on Israeli anti-boycott legislation, talks health care at Wilson High," Aug. 8). Sen. Wyden was questioned by several constituents about the contradiction between his strong stand in support of almost all civil liberties issues and his (misguided) co-sponsorship and support for Senate Bill 720, the "Anti-Israel Boycott Act." This legislation has been called out by the ACLU and other legal and civil rights groups as jeopardizing the First Amendment right to free speech by any American who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a nonviolent means to gain Palestinian human rights.

There is a term called "PEP," which stands for "Progressive Except Palestine." PEP refers to individuals who are generally progressive on many issues, but fail to call out violations of international law in the ongoing assault on Palestinians' human rights by the Israeli government.

Sen. Ron Wyden solidly fits in the group of PEPs. And with his current position in support of S.720, he also shows he only holds qualified support for the First Amendment of the U. …

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