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Comment Archives: stories: Columns & Blogs: Last 30 Days

Re: “Letters to the Editor: July 30, 2014

Every Nation Has a Right and Duty to Protect Its Citizens

So May Taylor thinks citizens of the world's only Jewish State should passively wait for the Palestinian Arabs to kill them via rocket attacks and kidnappings? I don't.

On June 12, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped by Hamas members. The Israeli government began an intensive search. That same day, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups renewed rocket attacks, followed by attempted infiltration through tunnels.

Hamas has been committing a double war crime – intentionally targeting civilian centers in Israel and intentionally placing its weapons in civilian neighborhoods in Gaza.

On June 15, Israel struck terrorist targets in Gaza. On June 30, in the West Bank town of Hebron – where the first Hebrews, Abraham and Sarah, are buried – the murdered bodies of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel were found.

Norman Solomon (Bohemian “Rhapsodies & Rants 7/23-29,14) criticizes the Israeli Government for searching for the perpetrators and destroying rocket launchers. Mae Taylor piles on the criticism. In a “morally skewed universe,” Solomon calls terrorists “party activists” and implies that Israel has the approval of The New York Times and the U.S. Government to “Kill more.”

Actually, the Palestinian unity government still receives U.S. funding. The “moderate” Palestinian Authority -- Hamas’s partner in a unity government -- celebrated the kidnappings in its official publication (http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=11706).

"Moderate" Fatah promises "to turn Tel Aviv into a ball of fire" (http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12198)

Hamas TV broadcast a sermon, "it is Muslim destiny to exterminate the Jews" (http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12218)

Ms. Taylor complains about schools in Gaza being hit by Israel. The third UN school in Gaza was found to be storing rockets (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/29/THIRD-Rocket-Arsenal-Found-At-UN-School-In-Gaza)

Jewish “settlements” in Gaza go back to at least 145 B.C.E. There has been an almost continual Jewish presence until 2005, when Israel gave up all of Gaza. Since then, Arab terrorists have launched more than 10,000 rockets (including the Iranian Fajr-5) and nearly 5000 mortars into Israel from Gaza, killing 65 Israelis, wounding almost 5000 and traumatizing thousands.

Tons of humanitarian goods are transferred from Israel to Gaza, despite these ongoing attacks. Israel’s responses are proceeded by leaflets, phone calls and other means to warn civilians to evacuate targeted buildings. A recent analysis found 82% of reported Gaza “civilian” fatalities were male; 45% age 18-28. (http://www.israellycool.com/2014/07/20/analysis-of-gazans-killed-so-far-in-operation-protective-edge/) Civilians? Hmm?

Jews have lived in the land of Israel continually in an independent state or under the rule of others since the return from Egypt. “Zionism” is the 2000 year old Jewish aspiration of a re-established independent Jewish state in their ancient homeland.

There was no sizable Arab presence in the land until the Muslim invasions, about 1800 years after the return of the Jews.

Despite these stronger Jewish claims to the land, Jews have been willing to “share” the territory with the Arabs. But the Arab and Muslim response has been disproportionate in words and violence.

In 2012, Hamas representative Fathi Hamad said, "For the Palestinian people death became an industry…. We desire death as you desire life."

By protecting it’s citizens – the first responsibility of any government – Israel chooses life.

What is so controversial about that?

Ben Winkler
Santa Rosa

15 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Ben on 07/30/2014 at 10:13 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: July 23, 2014

The Solomon Screed
Norman, it's even worse than you thought. Rep. Huffman, who defeated you soundly in the Democratic primary, was actually a co-sponsor of the resolution supporting Israel, and, head held high, appeared recently at a rally in support of Israel's actions at Temple Emanuel in San Francisco.
Why do liberals like Rep. Huffman, and even the Progressive Caucus, who joined in the Congressional "seal of approval", and the sainted New York Times, never a great friend of the Zionist state or its leaders, see things so differently from you?
Could it be that they realize that the regrettable death of civilians in Gaza is the fault of the terrorist group Hamas, which the Gazans mistakenly elected to lead them, and whose recipe for victory is to "desire death more than you value life", as a member was once quoted as saying. Apparently they believe that firing missiles from apartment complexes and storing weapons in mosques and schools is the best way of helping their charges achieve immortality. It is not the Israelis, or the U.S., that places little value on human life, but Hamas, which for years has timed its rocket attacks on Sderot to coincide with the beginning and end of the school day, hoping to kill Israeli children on their way to and from school. The U.S. supplies Israel with weapons to defend themselves against this murderous group, and, to all accounts they are doing it with as much respect for the lives of civilians at the target sites as they can. Using building supplies that Israel allowed through its blockade for humanitarian purposes, Hamas has built a huge network of deep tunnels underneath Gaza for storing weapons and hiding Hamas leaders from Israeli bombs. No civilians are allowed in these tunnels. Hamas wants the Gaza population to remain in place as collateral damage for Israeli attacks, to be waved in front of the sensationalistic international press and for the convenience of propagandists like you.
You had your moment in the spotlight. Now have the grace to retire into obscurity, neither with a bang nor a whimper.
Jeffrey Sheff
Santa Rosa

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeffrey Sheff on 07/25/2014 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Welcome to Gun Country

"What a country we live in: In open-carry states, a mostly white group of chubby second amendment “gundamentalists” have taken to carrying actual assault weapons into retail and fast-food outlets with not much pushback from police, while in California, a 13-year-old Latino kid gets shot and killed by police while openly carrying a toy gun in a semi-rough Santa Rosa neighborhood. Meanwhile, there’s a school shooting practically every week—and thus the battle lines are drawn between arming everybody and, gee, how about some sane gun laws?"

No child is allowed to open carry. No one in CA can own a non-neutered semi-automatic rifle. Open carry activists usually inform police of their actions beforehand. There is not a school shooting every week, but over 50% of gun homicide victims are african-american. How about constructive policy rather then your anti-NRA "gun laws" that do nothing to help anyone! Talk about drinking the kool aid. Strawman much?

If you cared at all about ending gun violence, you would be talking about poverty, the war on drugs, black on black crime, and the failure of anti-gun policy. But you're not. You're repeating talking points that don't make sense, you're demonizing your enemies and your tugging at the heartstrings of racism in the United States. Unbelieveable.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Strawman on 07/11/2014 at 8:17 AM

Re: “D.A: No charges for Gelhaus

Deeply affected.* Smh.

Posted by Victoria Shamrock on 07/08/2014 at 10:21 AM

Re: “July 3: Ernest Ranglin at 19 Broadway

Why are you listing shows after they happen...? Not even a review..

Posted by TR on 07/08/2014 at 8:42 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: July 2, 2014

Lake Berryessa is not a National Monument!

Proponents of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area, knowing that Congressman Thompson’s highly unpopular bill will never pass Congress, have begun an anti-democratic strategy to bypass Congress and have the President declare Lake Berryessa a National Monument under the Antiquities Act - simply by a stroke of his pen!

Lake Berryessa does not meet the basic standards of an NCA. And it especially doesn’t meet any criteria to become a National Monument.

The main problem affecting Lake Berryessa in all this chaos is that it was included in the original silly Berryessa Snow Mountain NCA in the first place. Lake Berryessa is like the tail of a dog that can't seem to wag the rest of the dog's body. The lake is not even connected on the map to the rest of the proposed NCA/National Monument which stretches far into Northern California. Just look at the map yourself!

http://www.lakeberryessanews.com/2014/NCA%20Minus%20lake.jpg

At a minimum, Lake Berryessa should be removed from the boundaries of any proposed National Monument or NCA and the NCA should be renamed the Mendocino Snow Mountain NCA.

The Antiquities Act states that National Monuments should contain “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” and be “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” Lake Berryessa meets neither criteria and clearly falls into the “Rural Developed Setting” under the government’s own Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum Users' Handbook (WALROS) quoted below. This designation should immediately exclude it from National Monument or NCA consideration. And Lake Berryessa and the surrounding areas are already highly protected.

"A rural developed area is beyond a metropolitan area and the suburban ring of development. Rural developed areas may serve as "bedroom" communities for urban areas and may contain working farms, ranches, and towns. In this setting, primary road networks are common. Although development will be prevalent and common, the setting has a pastoral sense because of an interspersing of forests, water resources, hills, valleys, canyons, wetlands, open spaces, and agricultural lands. Naturally appearing shoreline edges are common, although various water controls or other structures are also common. Recreation management is prevalent and common but not as extensive as in an urban setting.”

Lake Berryessa is a man-made lake with no special historical or environmental significance, created by a minor dam and surrounded by bedroom communities and private land. It has historically been a major public recreation destination. Although I have been a long-standing critic of the Bureau of Reclamation in the past, its recent actions show that Reclamation is doing an excellent job in managing the future development process for the revitalization of the lake. Reclamation’s last Public Forum presentation in Winters of the status and results of the ongoing planning process for the lake’s redevelopment were extremely thorough and professional. It included drafts of detailed Market Assessment and Financial Analysis, Conceptual Site Plans, and Infrastructure Design Report. These are all available for review at their web site: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/updates/index.html

How would a National Monument designation affect residents, property owners, and ranchers in the boundaries? How would the designation affect the NBRID, the Berryessa Highlands, and the potential Community Services District being planned for that region?

A National Monument is traditionally managed by the National Park Service, but the Bureau of Land Management has often been designated as the manager in the legislation. A National Monument designation would force out the Bureau of Reclamation - as would Thompson’s other bill in Congress. His management transfer bill, HR4166, does not enjoy popular support among the people affected and has never had any significant public input. What would be the cost of the transition and who would pay for it? How long would it delay the present process? What specifically can the BLM do better an faster than the BOR?

What happens to current Reclamation employees, some long-term, who care as much about the lake as do local residents? Their lives would be seriously affected, their jobs could be eliminated, their families could be uprooted for no good reason.

A National Monument designation could severely restrict public access to and future development at the lake - as could an NCA designation. The usual radical exclusionist suspects have already been floating the idea that some of the resorts should not be reopened at all, reopened with limited amenities, or reopened for day use only.

Posted by Pkilkus on 07/05/2014 at 1:09 PM

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