Israelis want peace,? Palestinians do not
A July 26 letter laments the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The writer labels Israel an apartheid regime and states, "South Africa ended its apartheid regime; Israel needs to do the same." In a follow-up on The News website, the same writer offers: "You make peace by making peace, not by killing those you perceive as your enemies." Does he not see the contradiction in these statements? South Africa ended its apartheid regime because both sides of the conflict wanted a peaceful settlement. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has only one side that wants a peaceful settlement. Yes, there have been evil Israelis who have shed innocent blood, but the overwhelming national desire of Israel is for peace with all its neighbors. The same cannot be said of the Palestinians.
The writer is addressing the wrong side of the conflict. It is the Palestinian leadership that "honors" its commitment to educate its people for peace in the 1993 Oslo Accords by continuing to publish textbooks that teach its children that Jews are the offspring of pigs, by naming landmarks for the murderers of schoolchildren and of pizza palace patrons, and by negotiating instead with Hamas, which pledges no peace with Israel. The Palestinian cheers for the destruction of the World Trade Center are a product of this deliberate failure of the Palestinian leadership.
The Palestinians, under Yasser Arafat's and under Mahmoud Abbas' leadership, were offered nearly everything they demanded on multiple occasions. Were they serious about peace, they would have had their state years ago.
Open more Nexus lanes?to speed border crossing
So, there is "… a new plan to make it easier to get a Nexus card," according to an article in the July 27 News. That would be good news if only the U.S. Peace Bridge plaza was better managed. At about 9:30 on the morning of July 23, the cars for the Nexus lane were backed way up onto the bridge because there was only one Nexus lane open. It was over a 15-minute wait before a second lane was opened and the backup was immediately cleared. This situation doesn't even begin to address the many times cars can't get to the Nexus lane because the whole bridge is backed up. Before more people are urged to enroll in the Nexus program, there had better be assurance that "they will be zipping right across the border."
Left's liberal programs?causing country's woes
Two recent letter writers attempted to justify the far left policies of our government, but in two very different ways. One attempted to glorify what he believes to be liberal programs that be believes benefit the country, and the other blames all of the country's woes on what he calls the far right. Both letters were false as well as irrational.
To the one who wants credit for all of the liberal programs: Up until the Obama administration, with very few exceptions, no policy or program, good or bad, would have become law without support of both parties, the exception being those by the stroke of executive pen. Many were Republican programs, but that is a whole other letter. Sorry, both parties get the credit for the good and both for their failure.
To the one who wishes to blame the far right: This country has never seen a combination of more debt, more unemployment, more poverty, more loss of manufacturing or higher taxes than any time in our history. All politicians, right and left, repeat the same truth – that our spending on entitlement programs and public union benefit programs is the problem and the spending is unsustainable. The government can't tax everyone enough – rich, middle class and poor – to maintain the current rate of spending. I do not make an argument pro or con with respect to public unions. Cities and communities across the country are filing for bankruptcy. The writer blames the far right for the country's woes, but the programs and policies that were put in place and then expanded far beyond their original intent were almost all started by the left.
Bruce W. Dittly
Having Buffalo host?Olympics is laughable
I was amazed and amused that The News devoted its Another Voice space to an author who suggested that Buffalo bid to host the Summer Olympics! A more appropriate location for this folly in the newspaper would've been the comics pages. My suspicion is that those who were reading the piece were laughing out loud.
State jeopardizes safety?of its correction officers
Once again the state of New York is playing a dangerous game with correction officers' safety. While the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision administrators continue making mindless decisions, they are putting their heads in the sand and ignoring the safety of their staff. While the bean counters are smiling and slapping each other on the back, the correction officers are dealing with increased assaults and increases physical injuries; some even career ending.
In its latest move of Russian-roulette and bean counting, the DOCCS recently closed four more housing units due to staff shortage. The department is in a current free-fall and is degrading a once proud correctional system. Someone needs to look out for the fine men and women who enter the prison facilities every day and go to work.
America should ratify?Law of Sea Convention
George Will's recent column in The News on the Law of the Sea Convention overlooks the enormous advantages the state of New York and our country would gain under LOS. He vaults over the favorable changes, made years ago, to the seabed mining terms of the LOS Convention and sadly and surprisingly substitutes personal criticism of those who support the convention for solid argument.
As a former Chief of Naval Operations and commander of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, and after 38 years in the Navy, I support the convention because it provides a stronger and more predictable guarantee for U.S. freedom of movement on and under the sea. Militarily, we are not inhibited in any way. The convention strengthens our navigational freedoms, guarantees passage in international waters and protects our right to exercise at sea, none of which requires permission from any other nation or body.
I am not alone in my support. All living U.S. presidents and secretaries of state, along with numerous current and former Army, Marine and Air Force generals and Navy and Coast Guard admirals, support the convention because it strengthens our sovereignty and bolsters our economic security.
The world has changed and the treaty has changed. It is time for us to change course now and ratify the LOS Convention.
Admiral Gary Roughead
Retired Chief of Naval OperationsWashington, D.C.