Letters to the Editor, Jan. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows (website)

Cartoon by Jim Meadows (website)

Thoughtless foreign policy will lead to war

Re: “U.S. heading to another war?,” T&V, Jan. 23

To the editor:

I begin my letter with the reminder of something said a few years back by Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister said, “We want to be known as the ‘Jewish State.’” My use of the term is governed by Netanyahu’s risky remark.

In his letter, J. Sicoransa wrote about a bill currently being formulated in the United States Senate, by Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), with co-sponsorship of Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). It is unfortunate that our political leaders, in particular the senior senator from New York, should place The United States of America at the service of “the Jewish State.” Israel developed its nuclear/germ warfare capacity and thereby introduced that sort of awfulness directly into the Middle East. For our part, here in the States, Israel’s possession of a nuclear capacity is something U.S. presidents, including Mr. Obama, have chosen to ignore. The demand that America support “the Jewish State” without regard to what it actually initiates runs counter to Jewish intellectual tradition. Mr. Schumer’s commitment to Israel would draw America into supporting it as a Jewish State rather than as a nation on its own merits, plain and simple.

Mr. Schumer has shown himself a hawk in matters other than those bound by his faith. In an email to me, dated Oct. 24, 2013, responding to my moral doubts about our drone practices, Senator Schumer wrote coolly, “These unmanned aircraft are most commonly known for their operations overseas in tracking down and killing suspected members of Al Qaeda and related terrorists organizations.” Here, in print, a United States Senator puts himself and our foreign policy on record that we kill over there on (mere) suspicion.

Does he imagine that if we kill people “over there,” those actions will not distort life here? To my query about the use of drones over our skies and the meaning of that action given our Constitution, the senator gave the now patented reply about the need for “balance between security and liberty in America.” How awful that we send our troops to other countries where many of them die believing they are protecting our way of life. Yet here on the home front, that way of life, that Constitution and those endowed rights, is the very life Mr. Schumer and others would reason away. “Balance” has become a symptom of severely detached reasoning.

John M. Giannone
Stuyvesant Town

What snow removal prep?

To the Editor:

In this week’s T&V article, “Local Week in Review,” the paragraph stating “The PCVST team has made extensive preparations” left me speechless.

Two days after the snowstorm, while Peter Cooper Road was clean as a whistle, the walkway adjacent to the road looked as it the snow had been tamped down by people walking on it.  It was never cleared.  I could only walk on road as were other people.  No one was using the walkway.  Additionally, the area surrounding the fountain hadn’t been cleared at all.  I called the Maintenance Department to report that the walkway hadn’t been cleared.

If this is extensive preparations, what does that say?

Marcia Robinson
Peter Cooper Village

Epiphany: A+

I want to add my voice in praise of the Epiphany School and it’s outstanding principal Jim Hayes. Epiphany has been one of the most outstanding faith based schools in the nation for generations. And Jim Hayes has quite literally stood guard guiding this school longer than any other principal. My appreciation and admiration for Jim and his staff is boundless.

Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

One thought on “Letters to the Editor, Jan. 30

  1. Re: Letter to the editor to T&V by John Giannone “Thoughtless foreign policy will lead to war.” (1-29-14)


    Firstly let me praise Mr. Giannone for his articulate comments and the fact that the writer signed his name rather than using the all to frequent: ‘Name Withheld.”

    Any survey and course in sociology will cover the “in group / out group” problem. It states that in most nations and cultures, there exists groups that either consider themselves superior or threatened by other(s) and groups which become despised, preyed via discrimination, violence or even murder.

    Let me mention just three: (1) blacks, (2) Jews, (3) and the residents of Northern Ireland.

    For over four centuries the Catholics and Protestants were at war with each other (both were of course, Christians.)

    No details — but, let me remind you that PM Margaret Thatcher was attempted to be assassinated at her Party Congress in Brighton.

    I don’t need to elaborate about blacks: slavery, emancipation followed by a century of Jim Crow, not being able to vote in many southern states even though they had the franchise, lynchings, and…

    Jews are far more complex in attempting to label what rubric they fit under: Is it a religion? Is it a culture: Is it a nationality? Hitler and his National Social Party labeled them (literally) as “vermin.” Biologists would not call Jews a race. And, only crazed extreme right wingers would refer them as vermin or the “anti-Christ.”

    But, let me refer to your letter… I am considered by myself and others as being Jewish. I am a secular Jew and I was never Bar Mitzved.. Culture means the values of a group of people. The only time I attend temple is when someone is married or goes through the rite of passage at age 13. Ergo, I am a secular Jew.

    But, anti-Semites don’t care about my definitions. According to them, I am just a Jew!

    Anti-Semitism in all its manifestations is about two millennia old. First, it began due to the allegation that they were guilty of Deicide — forgetting that Jesus was a Jew. Then all of Europe concurred except for some intellectuals and a few others. Jews were not allowed to own land, were barred from certain professional occupations… Follwed by the canard of “The Elders of Zion.”

    And, pogroms were practiced frequently — including vicious assaults, rapes and murders visited upon entire Jewisn communities. Of course, this cumulated in the Nazi era with the Holocaust which was most shocking at the time because Germany along with Great Britain and France had been considered to be the most sophisticated and cultured nations in the world.

    Zionism ( a homeland for Jews) was the answer to 2,000 years of barbarity which had been visited upon them. So, in post-war 1948 the U. N. recognized the State of Israel. This was part of the land which England had promised under Churchill which had been part of the vast British colonial empire. “The sun never set…!” (This section should be expanded…)

    Yes, as all nations, Israel has committed certain actions which are wrong. E.g., the eviction of some Arabs from their homeland. And certain more recent events that have not only been harmful to Palestinians — but, self defeating, as well. But, here in the U.S. (the land of American Exceptionalism)

    I could mention any number of despicable actions by our country: our usurping of Mexican land via the Mexican-American War, our useless entry into W. W. i — in which utopian Presidentr Woodrow Wilson led to Hitler and W. W. I I, via the CIA, the assassination of President Lumumba in the Congo, the murder of the democratically elected president of Iran to be replaced by the Shah for oil, the murder of President Allende in Chile to be replaces by the Fascist General Pinochet… the State Department’s misunderstanding of Vietnam as they took over the French Indo-China War as they never understood that all Ho Chi Min wanted was independence from China, then France and then U. S. … I could continue …

    Then your query about Israel having nuclear weapons. Israel is quite similar to the way Europe and our nation are. They are as a Western democracy. Unfortunately, the Muslim Middle East nations are (in part — and are governed by dictators as in the 14th Century — and , this is a huge difference vis-à-vis who should be prohibited from having these weapons.

    Israel need to be a majority Jewish State for the reasons I cited in the beginning of this essay.

    Now, my final point… Why are nations so immoral? They all consist of people from the U. S. to Israel to the continent of Africa… to..? It’s really “the people problem”. Or, call it the nature of the human condition. Or, “original sin” either literally as in Christianity or as a metaphor.

    And, as far as any ideas for war, diplomacy first! And send the chicken hawks first.

    Any comments would be welcomed… dachowes@aol.com

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