Your Sept. 29 editorial “New Mideast obstacle” and Gwynne Dyer’s Sept. 29 op-ed column, “To Netanyahu, ‘peace’ means surrender,” criticized Israel for allowing its unprecedented 10-month moratorium on new construction in the disputed West Bank to expire.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad abruptly left a United Nations meeting after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting that said “two states” instead of “two states for two peoples,” which would have implicitly recognized Israel as a Jewish state.
Where were you when Palestinians wouldn’t accept “two states for two peoples”? Why do world leaders expect Israel to keep giving when it gets nothing in return? Why only criticize Israel?
If the Palestinians won’t accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, these talks are for nothing. When — not if — the Palestinians renege and renew attacks on Israel, they will be able to claim that they could not be held to the terms of an agreement with an “illegitimate entity.” That is why Israeli leaders have insisted on addressing the recognition issue.
It is the Palestinians, not the Israelis, for whom peace means that Israel must surrender. Accepting the Palestinian position that Israel cannot be recognized as the Jewish people’s homeland would be the most fundamental form of surrender for Israelis. No Israeli leader can stand for this. Shame on you and Mr. Dyer for not acknowledging this elemental truth.
Change should help the poor
Conservative Republicans and Tea Party activists want our national government to be small and less involved with the majority of people who are well off.
They seem less concerned about the one in seven Americans who lives in poverty. The richest are represented by the GOP and Tea Party, which have a selfish, self-centered, egotistical view.
The America I studied was concerned about the less-fortunate and maintained that government was established to protect everyone's welfare.
Change is inevitable. I hope change will be based on charity for all, including minorities, as Democrats and liberals advocate.
William L. Snitch
Little gets done in years of gridlock
Our country has had do-little or nothing Congresses for 10 years. Given the state of our economy, health care, and infrastructure, we must have a Congress that will do something.
The GOP has said no to just about any proposal on any issue. With a Republican Congress and Democratic President, nothing would get done in the next two to six years.
Repealing Obamacare with nothing to replace it is a bad idea (“Health-care plan falls short among majority,” Sept. 26).
Vote Democratic, if for no other reason than to have a road on which to drive to work.
TPS, change first, then seek levy
Tough times will get worse for Toledo Public Schools before they get better. Our students and community will suffer. Even knowing that, I cannot vote for the new TPS property tax. I have always voted for TPS levies, but not this time.
As Blade Editor David Kushma stated in his Sept. 19 op-ed column, “Tough choices, for TPS and voters,” total transformational change is needed. If the levy passes now, without mandated changes, the district will continue with business as usual.
How can we give money to schools that fail our children and are unwilling to make changes, or to take responsibility for that failure? I apologize to the students and parents who are trying to get by in these tough times and still get a decent education, but we have no other choice.
We need families to force change from the bottom. We need community leaders to force change from the top. We need massive change throughout every level of the system.
Until then, we cannot give TPS any more money.
It's the parents, not the teachers
President Obama wants to purge underperforming school teachers (“Removal of some teachers backed,” Sept. 28). How about confronting underperforming parents?
I have worked in an urban school for 16 years. It isn't hard to figure out where the problem lies. Most failures are the result of parental neglect and instability.
The urban family has a pattern of educational failure. Most dropouts began performing poorly at a young age.
Blaming educators is easy. Parental responsibility is never addressed. It is simple to blame poverty, racism, and multicultural misunderstanding.
But parents still should be held accountable for their children's failures. They must step up and do their jobs.
Cast ballots for fewer taxes
Those who seek office should not eliminate or lower income taxes, but should lower regressive taxes, such as the tax on property.
If you win the lottery, you could afford to pay your share of income tax. But if you get laid off or become ill, there is no refuge from property tax. People in dire circumstances generally pay far less in income tax, as it should be.
Lessen impact of flu responsibly
In May, the Ohio House passed a bill that would require, if the governor declared a health exigency, employees of any state agency to leave their job site should they exhibit one symptom. It requires them to take vacation, or sick, personal, donated, or unpaid leave.
I am concerned that the one-symptom rule may lead to employees being sent home with influenza symptoms that are nothing more than a common cold. The pandemic this legislation attempts to avoid would be better addressed by increasing employee vaccination against influenza.
By offering work-site vaccinations, which have been found to be 70 percent to 80 percent effective, employees would have a choice that would keep them from being sent home, possibly without pay.
Influenza can and does afflict anyone of any age. But if everyone receives an annual flu shot, the hardships inherent in an outbreak can be minimized.
Jennifer J. Wohlwend
All groups have extremists
Some members of the Islamic community and St. Rose Catholic Church in Perrysburg have met in each other's homes for two years.
The experience has opened our eyes to both groups' many similarities. Speaking with each other more intimately has revealed that extremists exist in both religious groups.
Grand Rapids, Ohio
Know what public officials do
All taxpayers should know what our public servants do with our money (“Was the surplus our business?” Reader's Forum, Oct. 1).
Look at what happened in Bell, Calif., where citizens were purposely misled. The mayor and other officials were arrested for being grossly overpaid and for misappropriating $5.5 million. Why was it so easy for them to do this?
We need to wake up and be aware of what our local, state, and national government officials are doing.