Letters to the Editor
Reader says Elias spot on with column
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The Community Voice:
Looks like those nasty Jews in that “brutal” little Jewish state (you know the one I mean) are at it again, making life just miserable for the so-called “Palestinians.” Therese Mughannam said it (Letters, Jan. 23, 2015), so it must be so.
What’s more, anybody daring (as columnist Tom Elias did) to characterize as anti-Semitic the Hamas-supported, “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement (endorsed by the University of California teaching assistants’ union) has “faulty, myopic reasoning...drenched in victimhood…and boring.”
Well, no, it just gets down to calling a spade a spade.
Ms. Mughannam says none of her Jewish friends and colleagues agree with the anti-Semitic characterization. But the BDS Jewish figurehead leadership is radical leftist, and what would you expect of that crew? Of course, the movement is judeopathic; nobody’s fooled by this transparent attempt at exploiting a gaggle of token Jews as a spoonful of sugar to smooth the strychnine on its way.
The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize Israel in public consciousness by portraying the one and only Jewish state as evil. Well, it’s nothing of the sort, and Americans know it in their bones. Mughannam’s claim that Jew hatred stems merely from “Israel’s greed for Palestinian land” is a thinly veiled, clumsily festooned crock seated not only in grotesquely fabricated, medieval images of the grasping, predatory ‘Jew,’ but also in the bizarre, equally ignorant and dishonest notion the heartland provinces of Judea and Samaria (aka, the “West Bank”) are territories “owned” by local ethnic Arabs now calling themselves Palestinians.
The truth is that those provinces were the very cradle of the Jewish people. Where in blazes do you suppose “Judea” got its name anyway, the Sears Roebuck catalog?
These are lands that in modern times were designated, like the rest of the territory from River Jordan to Mediterranean, for Jewish development and restoration of Jewish sovereignty by the 1922 Palestine Mandate Charter, codified in law by international treaty (ratified by the U.S. Senate). The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, however, seized those territories unlawfully from the UN Temporary Trusteeship during Israel’s 1947-49 War of Independence and continued holding them in defiance of the Security Council for 19 years.
In 1967, however, Jordan, unable to resist the lure of another bite of the apple, lost them to Israel when the Hashemite Kingdom made those centrally situated provinces a launching pad from which to assault the postage-stamp sized Jewish state again that summer. So, in a defensive war, Israel acquired lands slated for her by the League of Nations from Day One of the latter’s existence. With the lands came many local resident Arabs.
Yet, the provinces do not belong to the soi-disant Palestinians collectively; there was never any Palestinian-Arab state incorporating that land. Legitimate property deeds presented by individual Palestinians are scrupulously honored by Israeli courts, but no collective non-Jewish entity has sovereign territorial rights there and the notion that such an entitlement exists is the biggest hoax to come rolling down the pike since Piltdown Man.
Boycott, sanctions not anti-Semitic gestures
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The Community Voice:
As a religious Jew involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, I am responding to syndicated columnist Thomas Elias’ assertion that this movement is anti-Semitic.
The simple truth is this movement was begun some 10 years ago by a Christian Palestinian, Omar Barghouti, as a non-violent tool to restore basic human rights and self-determination to the Palestinian people.
It is promoted by hundreds of organizations world-wide, including Oakland-based Jewish Voice for Peace and the Israeli group Who Profits.
The people who participate in BDS are Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists and others. Its goal is to put economic pressure on companies that profit from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine until the occupation ends.
Gambling problems on rise, as predicted
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The Community Voice:
It (the Graton Resort and Casino) is as we predicted so many years ago. So sad!
When you understand that casinos make 80 percent of their profit from the addicted gamblers, who are 3-5 percent of all gamblers, you realize how merciless casino owners are. Exploiting the weak and vulnerable is the mark of a cruel, thoughtless society. This is not who we are in this community, but it is what the Graton Casino is.
Help is available for problem gamblers
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The Community Voice:
In the article, “Compulsive Gambling, A soul-sapping addiction,” (Jan. 23, 2015), Fran Russell questions why there aren’t nonprofits coming out to help problem gamblers. While this may be true in some states, she is obviously not aware of some of the resources available in her own, California.
The CA Office of Problem Gambling funds a number of efforts, including two helplines, one that is run by my organization, NICOS Chinese Health Coalition (www.facebook.com/sfccpgp), specializing in Asian problem gambling as this particular population appears especially vulnerable.
The helplines direct callers to a number of other resources, including no-cost counseling provided by licensed professionals.
Otherwise, her insights are mostly spot on, and I certainly applaud her for her work in addressing the issue through a public forum.