Israel should end Palestine occupationThe creation of Israel 60 years ago as a sanctuary for Jewish people is cause for celebration. Israel is a successful nation, which has contributed much to science and technology. It’s fully capable of defending itself with the fourth-strongest military in the world. But Israel is still in jeopardy. Prominent Israeli political, academic, religious, and military leaders believe Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories are an obstacle to peace which is eroding the country’s security and ability to uphold the principles of democracy and human rights. They’re calling on their government to restore Israel’s moral integrity by ending the occupation of Palestine.The original obligation of the Israelites was to contribute morality and justice to the world. Israel was to be a light unto nations. The Torah states: “Do not wrong a stranger who resides with you in your land. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens: you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:33-34). Modern liberal Judaism is characterized by a deep devotion to social equality and justice. In “Human Rights as the secret of Jewish Existence,” Rabbi Michael J. Schwartz writes; “there are things that for the Jew it is forbidden to do … inherit what is not one’s own … ignore the tears of the oppressed … expel one’s neighbors.” Thus Israel’s policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing weigh heavily on the spiritually- and socially-conscious Jew.Because of their strong commitment to human rights, many American Jews object to the U.S. policy supporting the occupation, which offends their conscience and defiles both U.S. and Israeli national integrity. That’s why the American Jewish organization, J-street, is pressing for a solution which provides the right of statehood and self-determination for the Palestinian people and relieves Israel of the moral corruption of tyranny.In celebration of Israel’s birthday and in the spirit of Tikkun Olam; repairing the world, please consider supporting their efforts to restore Israel’s honor and bring peace and justice to the Holy Land. Sue GrayCarbondaleGive Parachute cops a breakI have been really disturbed by the letters and opinions of readers recently about the alleged sex assault involving a former Parachute officer. Everyone is stating “all the good cops are gone” or “the Chief is not doing his job.” Let me say, there are still good cops in Parachute, each one is good in his own way and, the Chief is doing his job. If you don’t like them, stop breaking the law. This is a very difficult and thankless job. There is no real way to determine if someone will rape someone. Despite what some have written, Duncan was not rushed through testing. He was not “Just a warm body to put on the street.” There is no way to know this was going to happen. Give the guys in Parachute a break. They are good guys doing a difficult job. You may hate the guy giving you a speeding ticket, but remember he may have just stopped you or someone else from killing a loved one. The Parachute Police Department is underpaid and at times under staffed. Don’t blame the chief, blame yourself. He can only pay what you the taxpayers and council members will allow. Every time he gets the guys a pay increase, the cost of living goes up. Chief Parmenter has only been chief a short time, just over two years, and he has done more for pay and equipment than any other in that short time. Instead of turning your nose up at them or giving dirty looks, just once, try smiling at one and just say hello, you might be surprised. Police officers are human too, they have feelings.Jeremey HawkinsGrand JunctionTake the time to honor military veteransThank you, Stan Rachesky, for your service to our country and especially for offering your factual analysis on the Iraq War as well as your expression of deep appreciation for the good ole’ USA!And thanks, Post Independent, for publishing Stan’s letter on May 8. It’s refreshing to get views and insight from an Army veteran who simply tells it like it is. Yes, as he stated, “the media and our politicians pick and choose the facts upon which they wish to report.” But, nothing is more meaningful than the real truths from reliable sources rather than slanted generalizations based on biased perceptions.The statistics of war certainly provide interesting evaluations of our recent presidents. In regard to the two Bushes versus Carter and Clinton, I would like to suggest an additional basis for comparison. Which pair would you choose to share a foxhole?The timing, after reading Stan’s letter, proved to be indeed prophetic for me. Later that morning as I entered the VA Hospital in Grand Junction for my annual physical, I was greeted by the following inscription directly above the entrance which reads: “The price of freedom is visible here.” Needless to say, my visit took on significant new-added meaning. Regardless of one’s views on this war, or any past war for that matter, the very least we can do is honor the United States military. Recently at the Denver Airport, I stopped an Army sergeant to express my thanks. We shook hands in a gesture of mutual appreciation. Then, he stated that this was a rare experience for him, prompting both of us to demonstrate the emotion of the moment with tears of respect as we parted company.Stan and I share the same love of country as do many others who simply don’t take the opportunity to express it. We must cherish the freedom that we enjoy and never take it for granted.Enough said, so I’ll conclude with my usual…God Bless America!Richard DoranParachuteTrafficking, violence a product of failed drug policyThe biggest drug bust in Western Slope history, or an exercise in self-aggrandizement by Sheriff Lou Vallario and TRIDENT? Great police work, or one undercover Judas setting up friends for the drug cops?One defense attorney said they spun this “whopper” to justify their pathetic existence.Our problem is the misguided and counterproductive drug laws forced upon us by the Bible thumpers through our big brother government. We have tried to legislate personal morality and succeeded, in imprisoning a greater percentage of our citizens than any other country in the world.Our drug laws create the black market that makes drug trafficking profitable and hence violent. We say addiction is a treatable illness, yet we build more prisons instead of hospitals.As attorney Tom Silverman said, “This incident is a local manifestation of a failed national drug policy.”Without your undercover rat, Lou, you and your narco pals couldn’t catch a cold. Have you been keeping that one-quarter-million-dollar armored tank nice and shiny for the next parade, Lou?Bruno KirchenwitzSilt
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