Letters for the Week of April 27 

Readers sound off on the Israel-Palestine conflict, taxing the rich, and Oakland trees.

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Jewish journalist Jeffrey Blankfort asked me to leave a demonstration because of the sign. At another demonstration in front of Oakland's federal building, another Jew, Barbara Lubin of Middle East Children's Alliance, asked me to put down the sign but she didn't ask the fascist Jews, who were occupying the other half of the sidewalk, to put down their signs. At the same time, Nora Barrows–Friedman, of KPFA at the time, was denouncing my sign as "anti-Semitic" on the loudspeaker. I stood there taking it from the fascist Jews, as well as from the "progressive" Jews, with the encouragement of passersby until they all left. The "progressive" Jews are just the left leg of the criminal Jewish State.

The ideology of all Jews is Judaism, a xenophobic tale about the invasion of Canaan with a messianic justification for the murder of men, women, and children on behalf of Jehovah. That's the ideology that's made possible Part II, the invasion of Palestine, with imperialism's help. They've all come out of the synagogues of many countries with the financial and propagandistic support of the ones that've stayed behind.

That guy Harris got it right: "All Jews are part of one people." Yep, at least ideologically; their game is to control the discourse from the left and the right. Hence the rabid reaction when a non-Jew like myself criticizes Judaism.

Antonio Trossero, San Leandro

A Vocal Minority

Leftist writer Judith Scherr bases her entire article on an assertion she never proves — that the debate around Israel among Jews "is growing more difficult." Of course, Scherr's ultra-left buddies, Michael Lerner and Penny Rosenwasser, would like us to believe that their lonely voices are growing stronger. Based on my decades of experience in the East Bay Jewish community, the numbers of Jews opposing Israel has and remains infinitesimal. Lerner and Rosenwasser's groups remain marginal at best and reviled outcasts at worst. They have zero standing or influence among the mainstream Jewish community. Indeed, Israel's fortitude and ethical conduct in the face of continued attacks from Arab terrorists remain an inspiration to the overwhelming majority of East Bay Jews. Do you really think it's a "best practice" of objective journalism to have left-wing writers covering left-wing causes? Scherr's fawning homage proves it's not.

Jim Sinkinson, Oakland

No Equality

The article paints the two sides of the Palestinian/Israeli issue as if they're equal. In fact, they are far from it. As a Jew who's obviously not anti-Semitic, it's crystal clear to me that the Palestinians have gotten the worst of this by far since 1948. Israel maintains a state of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza at the expense of the Palestinians. The whole world agrees with this point of view, with the exception of the US and Israel. This article was no more "fair and balanced" reporting than giving equal time to climate-change deniers, whose ridiculous claims also only get a voice in this country.

Your column mentions the Jews' "expulsion" from Israel 2,000 years ago. This is such a mischaracterization that it's a blatant lie. The Jews were not expelled from Israel as one thinks of expulsion by some big bad government; instead, they lost a tribal war that they'd been fighting for hundreds of years. If the Arabs had lost that war, would you give a voice to the ludicrous claim that they had a right to take the land back 2,000 years later?

The current state of Israel was formed after the largest genocide in history almost wiped out European Jews. One quarter of my family was killed by the Nazis. The Palestinians played no part in that genocide, but they suffered the retaliation for it. Palestinians were killed and chased from their homes in order to create what is now Israel. How is that in any way fair? If European Jews were to be given a homeland because of what the Germans did to them, they should have been given part of Germany, not Palestine.

A major issue missing from most of these debates is the underlying reason that Israel was created; the US and Western Europe wanted a client state in the Middle East in order to have some control over the oil. For anyone who thinks that the US doles out billions of dollars of military aid every year to Israel for benevolent reasons, I've got some bridges I'd be happy to sell you. Just like the US support of the repressive and brutal regime in Saudi Arabia, the US supports governments that further its business interests, no more, no less. Israel would never have been created if the West had not desired to control the oil in that part of the world.

All that said, the vast majority of the people alive in Israel and the Palestinian territories now were not born when Israel was created by stealing the Palestinians' land. A fair and reasonable solution would be for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, dismantle all settlements constructed after that time, and allow a fully autonomous Palestinian state outside of Israel. In exchange, the Palestinians must recognize the state of Israel and denounce any ideologies of destroying it. This would be the most fair and balanced solution that could be achieved, and is probably the only way that peace in that part of the world could ever happen.

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