Letters for February 20, 2020

Re: “Disturbingly ironic” by Arthur Carr (Letters, Jan. 30):

I don’t think the News & Review should “scrub the back-pages” for the Women’s Issue. Part of female empowerment is the right to do with our bodies what we please.

Janna Welk

Sacramento / via email

Censorship is anti-democratic

Re: “A display of hate” by Reuven H. Taff (Essay, Jan. 23):

Rabbi Taff wants all organizations to censor any reference to Palestinians as entitled to human and civil rights. He berated the Sacramento Public Library for allowing a small display about Bethlehem and the denial of Palestinian rights. He is oblivious to the fact that in democracy, the response to ideas one does not support or considers erroneous is debate, not censorship. Censorship was, is, and will always be, the response of dictatorial, autocratic systems and personalities. At the very core of the First Amendment is the right to dissent.

Thus, he is within his rights to write an opinion with his opposition to any display that portrays Palestinians as a people. But he is not within his rights to attempt to muzzle others. We all—Israeli citizens included—would be better off if there was a just, peaceful solution for Palestine.

Maria da Luz Alexandrino

Sacramento / via email

A display of distortion

Re: “A display of hate” by Reuven H. Taff (Essay, Jan. 23):

Never mind that Rabbi Taff eviscerates the First Amendment, saying Sacramento libraries should violate it by barring non-inciting viewpoints he dislikes. Never mind that he embraces Trump/Netanyahu nonsense conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

His factual distortions, however, must be exposed: That the West Bank is “under foreign military occupation” and its people “increasingly isolated, suffering land confiscation, obstruction of their economy, and a diminishing future” is indisputable. Not only are trees “planted in areas threatened with land confiscation by the Israeli military occupation and settler violence,” nearly a million Palestinian olive trees have been uprooted, felled or burned by soldiers or violent settlers.

Thanks to Bethlehem Sister City for its educational display and to library director Rivkah Sass for welcoming it. May there be more such opportunities for public education on the denial of Palestinian rights and the need for equality and justice for all.

David L. Mandel

Sacramento / via email

Close fossil fuel plants

Re: “A powerful agenda” by Rob Kerth (Essay, Jan. 16);

I am a Sacramento native. I always valued having a nonprofit that prioritized clean energy and prided itself as a green energy force. I am concerned with the fact SMUD plans to roll back subsides for solar users as well as SMUD’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by supporting electric vehicle consumption rather than closing their fossil fuel burning plants.

To truly bring cleaner energy to our community, SMUD absolutely must shut down its fossil fuel plants and offer full transparency to its constituents. Rob Kerth must be held to the standard he himself promises so that everyone has access to solar and so that we can continue to strive to set the example as having the most ambitious energy provider in the state.

Maggie Estrada

Sacramento / via email