Your article on Mike Dillenbeck was as eye-opening as it was frightening. To think that a public official who makes his living tearing down trees, paving land and helping to create sprawl could be disheartened at any oppostion is cause for concern.
“We‘re building this through wetlands,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening? “There‘s nothing natural about the river,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening?
I would suggest that IF this bridge is built the powers that be should extract some documentation from Mr. Dillenbeck beforehand relating to the verifiable effects of the construction. If any of what he professes turns out to be false, he should be held legally
accountable. Let him use his models and predictions of no sprawl, “better ecosystems,“ and his promise of “real environmental enhancements“ in his defense.
Rivers are more than their banks, and should be revered as something other than impediments to transportation. It‘s true there are old animal corridoers there, not to mention hundreds of plant and animal species, but what of the sky over the river? Imagine from water level, looking up into the expanse of 200 feet of steel, listening to thousands of cars a day. This project has been fueled by greed and arrogance since it started. It was ugly in the mind at its inception, ugly on the drafting table and will be even uglier in the real world. If it does go up, take notes.
Michael Delp Green Lake Township
Letter from Israel
I just came back from Bethlehem and Nablus, and was slightly wounded by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. He also hit six others in our group, including two head wounds and a very serious stomach wound to the woman next to me, and a news cameraman, as well.
It‘s a long road from the picture portrayed by the media in the U.S. and Israel to the truth, or at least balanced coverage. We tend to see things through Israeli eyes, and even the Israelis tend to have too much faith in what their government tells them. Know any other people like that?
I don‘t think I have ever seen the Palestinian point of view ever expressed in any publication in the U.S., and I have tried to express it and get it published myself, so far without success except for a few letters to the editor. I think it is important to try to see the picture through Palestinian eyes, as well.
Before the creation of Israel, the place was called Palestine, and it was a British mandate, even though the British had promised independence after WWI. The British “viewed with favor the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine“ in 1924, without ever taking into consideration the wishes of the population. Just prior to the creation of Israel, the Jewish population had grown to 33%, or around 600,000, and they owned between 6% and 8% of the total land area. After independence, they had 78% of the land and had expelled 750,000 Palestinian Arabs who, contrary to international law, have never been allowed to return to their homes.
The Palestinians have paid an enormous price for the creation of Israel. They had already lost 78% of their homeland prior to 1967, and they are in the process of losing the other 22%. Israel has already confiscated more than half of the reamaining land, and is continuing its encroachment on the rest. Israel wants the land, but not the people who are on it. That‘s what this is about, and it is known as ethnic cleansing. The subject is taboo in this country.
Surprisingly, the Palestinians have offered to settle for the 22%, and to offer full peace in return. In that respect, they know when they are beaten. But try to find any mention of this in the U.S. press. Why? Because to say so might undermine U.S. foreign policy, which is to support Israel in this crime.
The Palestinians consider suicide bombers to be the only weapon of resistance at their disposal. I disagree, as do many Palestinians, and think that it is counterproductive as well as immoral, but I have to admit that it is probably slowing down the resettlement of Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian territories.
By the way, what is the point of the settlements? They create a security problem rather than solving one. Their only function is to populate an area with Jews which had previously been inhabited by Palestinian Arabs. Is there a better definition of ethnic cleansing? The cost of building the settlements is enormous, along with the road system connecting them to each other and the rest of Israel. However, it is heavily subsidized and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, and offered to Israeli Jewish settlers at ridiculously low rates - some free - to get them to live there. Destitute new immigrants from Russia and Argentina have almost no
choice but to live there.
I haven‘t even spoken of the oppression of the occupation, the destruction, the diverting of 80% of the water resources, the shooting at farmers who try to work their land, the wanton destruction of everything in sight that I saw in Nablus (roughly 300 cars simply run over by tanks in all parts of the city for no reason at all), the chopping up of Palestinian territory into 226 separate areas, each blocked off from all but foot traffic from all others, and even then only by going through checkpoints.
Do we see a different picture here? You bet. How would you feel if the Jewish homeland had been Illinois instead of Palestine?
Paul Larudee San Francisco.