Letters: May 21 – May 27

Gabriel Martinez/Special to the Daily Cal
Gabriel Martinez/Special to the Daily Cal

Anti-Israel ad breaks trust, propagates lies

Seeing dangerous lies in a paid display ad (The Daily Californian, Monday, May 21) breaks the trust of the reader in the newspaper’s judgment as a whole. In this case, an especial red flag should have gone up in taking money from anti-Israel activists.  Alison Weir, whose organization If Americans Knew is mentioned in the ad, is a full-time hater of Israel, a task of constant malice.

For example, the ad states flatly that “In 1967 Israel attacked and gained control over the final remnants of Palestine.” Folks, in 1967, everyone, in the older generation at least, knows that Israel was attacked by all its neighbors. It emerged triumphant only through a miracle. There was not, and never has been, a state of Palestine. The so-called “West Bank” of Israel was controlled by Jordan before 1967. The rest of the  delusionary “history” given, for the purpose of destroying America’s support for Israel, is just as malicious and ludicrous.

Think about how many you know who have been manipulated by this destructive venom. Yet compare Israel to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, where death sentences are executed upon those who sell land to Jews. The proposed state of Palestine is supposed to be “judenrein,” or Jew-free, as Gaza, which Israel gave up in 2005, virtually is today. We have heard this rhetoric before.

When you want to kill me/us, it’s not just about tolerating a difference of opinion. Iran declares regularly it wants to wipe Israel off the map. Iran is funding the bombs from Gaza. It is time for the media to tell the real story, not what the Israel-haters want you to believe.

— Thyme S. Siegel
City of Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission

Ad illustrates essence of anti-Semitism, lies

The ad by Justice First Foundation “Palestinian Land Stolen,” in your May 21 edition, has clearly illustrated the essence of anti-Semitism. It is a lie, a fabrication, an intentional misrepresentation of the facts. The ad claims that “In 1967, Israel attacked and gained control over the final remnants of Palestine.” So far, even most ardent enemies of Israel have not dared to name the Jewish state as the aggressor in the Six-Day War. And immediately after the war ended, Israel suggested returning the conquered territories in exchange for peace. In response they received the infamous Three NO’s from the Arab side: NO negotiations with Israel, NO recognition of Israel, NO peace with Israel. These are the facts. But they don’t fit the anti-Semitic agenda.

— Vladimir Kaplan
San Mateo

Gay rights is future of Civil Rights Movement

This year, we are officially celebrating Harvey Milk Day in California. Harvey Milk is truly a gay icon and a political trailblazer. Equally important in my eyes was his commitment to labor issues, racial equality,
seniors, women and fighting poverty. He was a consummate coalition builder who challenged the status quo by empowering community organizing on issues large and small.

As we celebrate Harvey Milk, I cannot help but think of all the history he should have been here to see. I am bursting with pride that we have a president who not only ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but also has evolved to support marriage equality. Civil rights have frequently been won through protest, advocacy and in the courts. Usually, public opinion and politicians come along later. To have our highest elected official, President Barack Obama, affirm our equality gives me hope. He was affected by knowing openly LGBT people who worked for him and by “out” parents of kids in school with his children. Harvey Milk pushed us to come out, and, as we do, we are really touching the hearts of those we know.

As an African American, I am even more deeply touched that the venerable “oldest and boldest” civil rights organization, the NAACP, has validated that marriage equality is indeed a civil right as well. I have always known that fact in my own mind and in my own heart. But just as the NAACP helped win legal and public acceptance of black Americans, today they are helping win acceptance of another part of who I am. It seems to me like a natural evolution for a group of freedom fighters who keep continuing on and know that marriage equality is indeed a civil right as well.

Harvey Milk did not die in vain. As an African American myself, and as a woman, as a baby boomer and a lesbian, I know Harvey Milk stood up for people like me. It is a beautiful testament to the evolution of our
society that California now celebrates a day for Harvey Milk. I look forward to the day when America accepts marriage equality and celebrates Harvey Milk Day. In the meantime, let us all give ourselves and
our friends encouragement to be the Harvey Milks of our generation and support the upcoming Harvey Milks of this exciting time.

— Brendalynn Goodall
East Bay Stonewall Dems President

Correction(s):
A previous version the letter “Anti-Israel ad breaks trust, propagates lies” stated that Alison Weir’s organization, If Americans Knew, paid for the advertisement. In fact, Weir’s organization did not.