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Agony in Gaza
With the last attack on Gaza, at first I was just thankful that my daughter was safe. After viewing just a part of the carnage where civilians were deliberately targeted, I felt sick and angry.
The horrific situation in Gaza is not an accident. It is fueled by the U.S. and paid for with U.S. tax dollars.
The U.S. taxpayer pays out more to the Israeli military than does any Israeli citizen, (ifamericansknew.org). The continued human rights violations, the ethnic cleansing and genocide, are policies of the Israeli government and funded and fully supported by the U.S government, taxpayers, and consumers. If you feel courageous, read Losing Omar (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ world-middle-east-20466027) Blaming terrorists is easy but fails to questions why terrorists exist.
Remember Columbine! People will react, especially the young, when they have reached a breaking point. When your land is stolen, your olive groves destroyed to build homes for Israelis, you have no means to make a living, when you have no health care, no education, and your children and families are murdered or beaten on a regular basis, with human rights violations that should result in war crimes trials, that breaking point is not far away.
People will listen to the voices of Hamas even though that voice doesn’t offer a real solution. Very few Americans would act with restraint under the same conditions.
It is time for Americans to stop blaming, “those Muslims” and look in the mirror. Stop buying products produced on stolen Palestinian land and labeled “product of Israel.” Join the BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanction). This is the only route to peace.
When Israel is crippled financially, they will stop perpetuating the holocaust in Palestine. The $8.2 million PER DAY sent to Israel with no questions asked has to stop. All of us can find a better place for that money in the U.S.
Barbara Young • Bear Lake
Respect other religions
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship at Grace Episcopal Church has reviewed the decision by the pastor of First Congregational Church to ban the Islamic prayer from the presentation of “The Armed Man - a Prayer for Peace.”
While attempting to be respectful of this decision, we are surprised, disappointed, and shocked. This decision did not convey Christian love and respect for others’ views.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds an annual service to honor and commemorate Michigan soldiers who were killed in the past year. Members of different faiths, including Jewish, Native American, Buddhist, Christian, and Islam, present prayers for peace.
Including all people and faiths as we pray for a less violent world is one way to work for peace.
This work by Karl Jenkins is dedicated to the Kosovo war victims. It is an anti-war concert. In addition to portions of the Mass, it uses words from other sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible, and the Mahabharata; and quotes from Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived Hiroshima.
The concert is an integrated professional work of art, the integrity of which is debased when portions are removed.
Betsy Davidson, Chair - Episcopal Peace Fellowship
We have been waiting way too long for Congressional action on the fiscal crisis.
Excuses: summer breaks, holiday breaks, campaign breaks, and now a “Lame Duck session.” Obstruction and delays are no longer acceptable.
Yesterday, I phoned Congressman Camp and Benishek’s offices to suggest my goals.
-- Simpson-Bowles as a bipartisan framework. Increased entitlement cuts ACROSS THE BOARD: Agricultural (even tobacco growers), energy sectors (oil companies too), -- Defense and all areas. Perhaps in 2103 a 2% cut, 5% cut next year, 8% next, etc.
-- Tighten the belt slowly framework.
Our re-elected President has addressed cooperative action and has been delayed and blocked.
A Benishek’s office staffer curtly advised that I needed to call Camp’s office as he represents our district until January! I thought in a democracy that our views were of interest even if not from the district. Not so according to ‘Federal Law’ she said.
There is a will, there must be a way to act.
Mary Hagan • Empire
Guys, While I applaud your goal of providing the “extra” content to Northern Express through the medium of video clips, all I can say is... you need help!
I realize you may not have much of a budget for this endeavor but at the same time, it shows! Sending someone out with a hand-held camera and talking to people from behind it just doesn’t cut it. Do you have any experience in video production?
I know this is a rather scathing review but you look bad, real bad. The “interview” with Russ Springsteen at Right Brain was not thought out, it was spur of the moment, and as far as I’m concerned was a disservice to his business. There was more footage of The Accidentals than there was of the new brewery. I could go on and on. I apologize for being so critical but c’mon, you can do a better job.
Tom Speers • via email
(Thanks for the tips, Tom. We’ll try to do better. In the meantime, readers can check out our cinema verite videos by subscribing to the new, free Express Extra email publication with a sign-up link at www.northernexpress.com. The Extra includes breaking news and two or more videos in each edition. Or scan the QR code (below) with your smart phone to go to the new Express Video Seen page.
Musicians, arts organizations and activists are welcome to submit their videos to the Express Extra for consideration. -- ed.)