Letters for February 26, 2009

Letter of the week
History lesson

Re “Breaking the taboo” by Maggie Coulter (SN&R Frontlines, January 29):

[This article] comes from people who seem to know little of the history of the Jewish state or its relationship with the Palestinians (the same Palestinians who cheered in the streets when America endured 9/11). Perhaps a little history lesson will bring them up to date.

This land belonged to Jews 3,000 years ago. In more recent times, the League of Nations coerced Great Britain to re-establish a Jewish homeland in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Over the years, Israel was forced to give up land again and again, until it became the small state it is today. For 60 years, Israel [has] faced almost constant attacks: bus bombings, bombings of schools and restaurants. Any place where civilians gathered was bombarded. No other country would take such attacks.

The war in Gaza began after thousands of rockets were launched into Israel. It became too much for the government, and action had to be taken. No other country in the world would have waited as long as Israel to respond.

Hamas leaders put children and innocent people in front of their guns to draw fire from Israel, [thus] killing innocent people.

The press does little to let people know that the Israeli army notified citizens of their intentions to fire in central areas, or how the Israeli Army ceased fire to allow humanitarian aid in, or that some tunnels were not bombarded because fuel was piped in through them which would cause more damage and death to civilians.

To these Jews of Israel and the United States who see Israel as the aggressor, I agree with you on how terrible it is to see the killing going on. You should, however, direct your energy to putting pressure on those who want to destroy Israel and those who could live in peace with Israel.

Israel has a great deal to offer the Arab world, having turned deserts to productive lands. Israel would like to live in peace, as most people would. There are however, some who resent a democracy and will go to any length to destroy peaceful nations.

To the so-called “peace activists,” I say research history and write a book that shows who the real criminals are. Your article only encourages more hate and helps the extremists. Shame on you!

Mark Cohn

Whoa, Wanda

Re “Celesbian journalism” by Kel Munger (SN&R Snog, February 19), “Living under Limbaugh” by Ken Magri (SN&R Frontlines, February 19), and “Play local” (SN&R Editorial, February 19):

I enjoyed the piece about not interviewing Wanda Sykes. Not too surprised, however.

Thanks to SN&R for the [Rush] Limbaugh piece, too. What a jerk!

The arts editorial is also good and strong. When I read something like that regarding support for the arts, I always hearken back to an aphorism allowed by the Algerian/French Nobel laureate, Albert Camus: “We have Art in order not to die of Life.”

So, indeed, we do.

Gary Chew
via e-mail

Editor’s note: While Kel Munger didn’t get an interview with Wanda Sykes, her intern did. See this week’s Streetalk (printed paper only) for Sykes’ answer to SN&R’s question.

Still pretentious

Re “Living under Limbaugh” by Ken Magri (SN&R Frontlines, February 19):

In regards to Rush [Limbaugh], I listened to him when he first started just about every day. My excuse is I didn’t know any better.

He was interesting, at first. I called in just a couple times, and I am proud to say I called him “pretentious” on the air. It was when he was briefly playing classical music pieces and would point out to the audiences what to listen for, or how to listen to the music. He soon stopped that.

And as for Morton Downey Jr., until you printed that joke, I never had heard it in full. I missed his show that day and only heard about the “Chinaman” remark. I think he wanted to leave the station and the area and he used that as an excuse, because when I was in the Denver area in fall of 1984, he was there on the radio. I think he had taken over for another radio talk-show host who had been gunned down in June of that year. Possibly that was Alan Berg? Maybe not, but it just seems to fit.

And yes, I do remember the “Rush Rush” song debacle.

Stephen Erlewine
via e-mail

What makes a democracy?

Re “Children of Gaza” by Maggie Coulter (SN&R Frontlines, February 19):

It takes independent, alternative media like SN&R to publish the reality of what is going on in Gaza and Palestine. The U.S. propaganda about “vulnerable little Israel” suffering from attacks by Arabs covers up the continual strangulation of Palestinians by seizure of their lands, homes and water; imprisonment without charges or trials; and outright murder.

And the myth that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”? Does wholesale violation of human rights and citizenship based on religion sound democratic?

The world, and especially Arabs and Muslims, are justifiably frustrated with U.S. doublespeak and financial and military support for another murderous nation. Even some Israelis see the real picture and know that only a just resolution will bring lasting peace. Tragically, what our new president has said on this issue indicates no change in U.S. policy.

Winnie Kaneshiro

Lance is great

Re “Lancestrong” by James Raia (SN&R Feature, February 12):

This was a very well-written article. Lance Armstrong is just good at what he does and has a passion for doing it. While definitely not looking for a popularity contest, he is popular and liked.

I’ve always admired his brutal honesty with everything. The best part about him is he never ever talks negative about anybody, even those who say negative things about him. He’d rather just not go there, you know?

This article is definitely one I’ll be keeping in the archives.

Beth Diebels
Fair Oaks

So much for unity

Re “What price Catholic unity?” by Anne Gonzales (SN&R Sacreligious! February 12):

In the name of religious tolerance, let’s all do our best to forget the fact that the Catholic Church formerly acknowledged Hitler’s birthday and instructed its flock to pray for the Führer’s good health.

Also, let us forget the countless dead Palestinians (one probably shouldn’t mention the likely mythical Midianites and presumably unaffected ancient Egyptian firstborn) at the business end of a blue-and-white-painted [high-explosive] round.

Were it not for the millions of dead innocent children, one would almost find it funny to observe a group of hypocrites accusing each other of the same crime. It’s similarly hilarious to listen to them yammer about who’s repented the most (least).

What’s next? I’m thinking an evangelical convention in Tehran to discuss the finer points of abortion-clinic bombing.

Keep me updated, Anne Gonzales.

Mike Krebsbach


In “Living under Limbaugh” by Ken Magri (SN&R Frontlines, February 19), it was incorrectly stated that Sacramento City Councilman Jimmy Yee called in to KFBK to complain about host Morton Downey Jr. in 1984. In fact, it was Tom Chinn, Yee’s predecessor on the council. We regret the error. This has been corrected online.