Letters to the editor, Mar. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

U.S. should stay out of Israel military action

Re: Letter to T&V, “A majority Jewish state necessary for Israel” (Feb. 6)

To the Editor:

A few years ago Noam Chomsky tried to enter the West Bank to give a lecture. Israel wouldn’t let him in because, in Chomsky’s words, “Israel didn’t like the kinds of things I say.” Israel thought Chomsky was going to make anti-Israel comments and, as I have observed, anyone who even remotely suggests a criticism of Israel is considered anti-Semitic. So the Jewish Chomsky must be anti-Semitic as are the many Arabs, also Semites, who criticize Israel.

Unfortunately, defending Israel from every comment, even if it’s true, seems to be a knee-jerk response. While I support Israel, I also believe it is a strong country, made even stronger by our military support, and has proven to the world that it is perfectly capable of defending itself.

If Israel feels threatened by Iran or any other country and decides to go to war, then it must bear the consequences of its decision. It’s time we look for ways to bring about peace. Secretary of State John Kerry is doing just that. Thomas L Friedman wrote in the NY Times that if Kerry’s peace mission fails, it would force Israel into “either unilateral withdrawal from parts of the West Bank or annexation and granting the Palestinians there citizenship, making Israel a bi-national state…or Israel by default could become some kind of apartheid-like state in permanent control over the 2.5 million Palestinians. There are no other options.”

I mention this because a letter by John Giannone tried to warn us that America’s policy towards Israel might drag us into a war that is not of our making and not in our national interest. This letter elicited a response from a writer who informs us that Israel, just like “all nations,” including the U.S., is guilty of committing “actions that are wrong,” as if that excuses the wrong actions. He cites “the eviction of some Arabs from their homeland and certain more recent events.” It’s not “some Arabs,” but thousands who have been evicted and/or have had their olive trees uprooted, thus destroying their livelihood.

Read in The Jerusalem Post what the U.N. Humanitarian Co-ordinator James W. Rawley and the International Committee of the Red Cross have said about Israel’s “despicable actions” towards the Palestinian refugee families and their children, including Israeli soldiers demolishing Palestinian residences and even confiscating the make-shift tents provided by the Red Cross to shield the refugee families from the weather.

The Red Cross no longer can provide these tents because as soon as they are put up, they are torn down. Roger Cohen wrote in the NY Times, “Jews, having suffered for most of their history as a minority, cannot, as a majority now in their state, keep their boots on the heads of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank any longer…. the corrosive occupation has to end and with it the settlement industry.” In other words, committing “actions that are wrong” must stop. Now.

I support John Giannone’s position.

John Cappelletti, ST

Airing out the dirty laundry room

How exciting it was to see the notice posted in the elevator that our laundry room at 420 East 23rd Street would open on February 18.

Of course, the basement is still undergoing renovation, and if anyone asked me, I would have said wait until renovations are completed, but no one asked.

Day one, and I looked in. Everything was clean and new, but there was a MacGray repairman fixing one washer, and two others were not in service out of five. There were six chairs, better than the two old filthy ones from the past, but the folding table looked like a place to rest your elbows, much too small to use for folding purposes. As I continued to look, I saw unused spaces and a realization that this room was not properly planned.

Day two. I entered at 7:20 a.m to do two washes. Uh oh. The beautiful new floor was already dirty, someone’s laundry was left in a dryer overnight, and two detergent bottles were left on a washing machine. Every dryer had its lint filter filled with lint.

Now, the question is who is going to maintain this new facility. That is a big question. Certainly no one was prior to Sandy. We need someone to really clean this room on a daily basis with real detergent not just a wet mop, and tenants, you too have a responsibility for picking up your laundry on time, cleaning filters, and leaving the laundry carts in the room, and for picking up what you drop.

Name withheld, PCV

Low rent

Dear Mr. Hagedorn,

In your February 6 column, you wondered how much the rent was for a three-bedroom apartment in Stuyvesant Town in 1951. I don’t know, but I can tell you that the rent for an original tenant of a two-bedroom was about $70. Plus you were charged $2 a month more for every floor above main and terrace. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Suddenly, 1951 doesn’t look so bad.

Richard Luksin
Minneapolis, MN

Cold snap

It’s Monday afternoon with temps in the 20’s, and there is no heat in my apartment. I contacted 311 online. However, that does not give us the right to break our lease.

Joan Carmody, PCV

8 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, Mar. 6

  1. When did the Town and Village, a local community newspaper, become a forum for discussing US and Israeli relations ? Let’s keep the discussion to ST/PCV, and NYC issues, can we ? and keep geopolitical rhetoric in the pages of publications that are appropriate. Thank you.

    • I totally agree. Nothing wrong with discussing the issue, which is an important one, but this isn’t the appropriate place. I’m surprised at some of the letters that get through that have absolutely nothing to do with all that’s going on here. It seems that they are almost deliberate distractions from the many issues (good and bad, but mostly bad) that we are dealing with in this community. But then, I’m not the editor and I suppose it’s the editor’s call.

  2. Joan Carmody, I have lived in ST for 33 years and I have never been as cold as I have been this winter. I have towels, cushions and blankets pushed over and around my air conditioners and up against the window frames to try to keep out the drafts (bearing in mind we are paying a perpetual MCI for these supposedly draft proof windows which were installed several years ago). I have two space heaters going almost 24/7, but because the heat is turned off for many more hours than it is turned on, my apartment is like a meat locker. Calling Resident Services is a total waste of time because they say they will notify the engineer, put in a work order, whatever, but the heat stays off. I don’t know how they get away with it and why they even want to make us so miserable.

    • Just read the article in the hardcopy T&V. According to management, it’s a matter of perception. We are not really cold, we just think we’re cold. They just have to add insult to injury, don’t they!

  3. Regarding washers, we have permanently broken washers. MacGray just never gets round to repairing them, no matter how often they are reported.

    The porter in my building does a beautiful job of cleaning the laundry room, but sloppy tenants mess it up in no time. Nobody cleans the lint filters after using the dryers and the laundry carts are usually full of festering, stinky laundry that has been taken out of washers and never reclaimed. Damp laundry soon starts to smell nasty.

    It’s a sad situation, but it seems that that is what we are stuck with. Management doesn’t care because they don’t do their laundry here!

  4. Re: Letter by John Cappelieti — U.S. should stay out of Israeli military actions.
    As the conversation continues . . .

    The Liberals believe that humans are capable of improvement — yes; as many Conservatives (whatever that means?) believe than people are flawed so there are limits in the quest for perfection — only modest improvements.

    Then there are the utopians who believe that given adjustments to the societal structure, we can have a Heaven on Earth. And, so this debate has continued for centuries.

    As an atheist/agnostic religiously, I can see the problems inherent in all these metaphysical ideologies and view both the Old and New Testaments as metaphorical poetry. And, there is great wisdom contained in both. The former speaks of the coming of the Messiah as a Savior for mankind; Christians believe that He came — but, they await the second coming for to finally redeem our species.

    Noam Chomsky is and has been one of the most erudite linguistic professors for decades at MIT. Lately he has ventured into the political arena. As a distinguished professor, methinks that his ivory tower background has obscured him from what exist on this planet.

    Yes, Israelis are imperfect, along with all of the peoples and tribes in this world. All people are equal but, some are more equal than others. Politicians and some pundits are at the bottom of the moral dimension. E,g., John McCain who sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran…”; Sarah Palin who knows nothing; Ted Cruz (who is quite brilliant — but, he also behaves as a fascist), Roger Ailes of the Fixed Noise Channel… O’Really? — yes, for sure. All which I have mentioned are vulgarians whether smart or not.

    But, what Chomsky proposes is like Marx, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot proposed in order to bring about a utopian world… But. all as the Pied Piper was grossly imperfect as tried to lead their greatly flawed human beings.

    In 1972, I preferred George McGovern for president. But, I voted for Nixon. Why? Senator McGovern had been a quite intelligent professor and they tend to envision a world that doesn’t and will never exist.. Both Professors Chomsky and McGovern are simply out of touch with reality. They seem to be living in the twilight zone.

    Modest improvements over time.

  5. “GET REAL,”

    Of course!

    We are all are part of the human condition. Once, in grad school, I took a course in ‘intergroup relations that was run and attended by a multicultural group. I became quite close with a Protestant woman from New England.

    One day, I said that the holocaust could happen here in the U. S. because both the Germans and Americans are both humans. She began to cry. She seemed to believe in American “exceptionalism”. and “we” could never do anything so evil it.

    Afterwards, I explained that something like the economy could tank and unemployment and inflation could become the precipitant of an extreme right-wing reaction — including mass killings of a scapegoat segment of the population.

    Good people often project their morality and ethics to others. Very naïve.

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