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Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 11:59 pm

Letters to the Editor

Palestinians help a wounded man after an Israeli air force attack in Gaza City.

No more rockets

In 2005 Israel withdrew completely from Gaza, no soldiers, no civilians, nothing! What did Israel hope to accomplish? An area ruled by Arabs, for Arabs, living side by side with Israel in peace. What did happen? Constant rocket attacks since then, over 6,500 rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.

The cease-fire lasted six months. The rockets began again and Israel knows that Iran has helped supply, train, encourage and pay for better rockets, faster rockets, more accurate rockets to hit deeper into Israel than before. Now 750,000 Israeli citizens are at risk. Would America stand for it for even one day if Mexico fired rockets at San Antonio?

Like all sovereign nations, Israel has the right and duty to defend its citizens against attack. Hamas’ acts of terror have left Israel no choice but to take stronger measures to defend its citizens.

How to stop the violence? It would take about two minutes. No more rocket attacks over the border by Hamas. If the rocket attacks were to stop, Israel would not have to defend itself against them. Period.

Gloria Schwartz
Executive director
Springfield Jewish Federation

Violence brings violence

In response to the current escalating violence in Gaza, and the events 100 years ago which led to the Springfield riots, I believe that everyone in our city should visit the current Illinois State Museum exhibit, “Across the Divide: Reconsidering the Other,” curated by Robert Sill. The exhibit ends Friday, 1/9.

All of the work is excellent, intense, and provides much food for thought. However one piece that is especially relevant today is titled “passing.” The artists, Michelle Feder-Nahoff, who is Jewish, and Kanaan Kanaan, who is Palestinian, collaborated to design their work “so as not to prick the other’s hand while passing the needle back and forth in a delicate dance of cooperation.... The work suggests that the religious and political divides that act as barriers to peace can only be resolved through cooperation and trust.”

While realizing that the problems in Israel and Palestine are complicated and longstanding, as a believer in nonviolence I must speak out for an end to the bombing and further destruction which results in injury, loss of life and increased hardship. As a family member whose tax dollars unwillingly support this violence, I have written, and encourage others to contact, our representatives and senator, as well as the Obama transition team. Hopefully we will all educate ourselves on both sides of the issue, remembering that our perspective depends on where we stand, and violence only brings about more violence. We can no longer afford to solve our troubles with weapons: instead we need to strive to solve them with words of forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion and justice.

Diane Lopez Hughes

Illinois vs. Alaska

I was offended by Dusty Rhodes’ Dec. 18 article, “No, it’s not like this everywhere.” Her first paragraph did not sit well with me at all. It is okay to take your shots at our elected officials. However, when it comes to bastardizing the good people of Illinois, I draw the line.

We all know how corrupt the political situation is in Alaska. Nevertheless, you justify it by proclaiming the brilliance of the lawyers there. I proclaim that Alaska’s judicial system is just as corrupt.

Please do not get me started on the good ole boys of Texas. If you find our state not to your liking, please feel free to move back to Alaska or Texas tomorrow, better yet today.

Illinois has produced and continues to produce many great things for this nation. Sure, we have had our share of corruption, and we are not proud of it. However, when it is massive, such as with our former governors, we do something about it. Not like in Texas, where they have a good laugh, go barbeque a steer, have a bucket of beer and shoot up stop signs. We here in the Midwest are smarter than you give us credit for, even if we do move at a slower pace than you moose stew eaters prefer.

We vote for what we believe in — a newer and better way of serving the State of Illinios. We cannot judge a person’s soul or intentions nor can we anticipate one’s greed for power. We like to take a man at his word, give him a chance and if he bleeps up, then we will fry his bleep.

Ronnie Booth

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