A lasting peace

The following letter was sent to Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.):

I have been a follower and supporter of your rise to prominence ever since you were elected to the N.Y. State Legislature from Flatbush. I lived there at that time and you spoke at both my sons’ elementary school graduations. I followed the news of your marriage and the birth of your daughters with interest. More importantly, I have supported your activities, especially in the recent period, in defense of civil rights and for the interests of the working people of our country.

I feel compelled to take issue with your position in relation to the conflict in the Middle East and your defense of Israeli actions no matter what they do. Of course, I abhor the suicide bombings of innocent Israelis. However, responding in kind will not bring an end to it.

As a Jew, my father always said that our history and survival taught us of the need to be concerned with justice and brotherhood for all peoples. That we as Jews cannot survive alone. That Israel cannot survive alone. If Israel is to survive, it must make peace with its neighbors. It must withdraw to its 1967 borders. It must accept a Palestinian state alongside its own with both peoples living together as equals. Expansion of its borders will not make Israel more secure. Destruction of the Palestinian Authority will not make it more secure.

The only security for Israel is a negotiated political settlement with involvement of the international community and the implementation of the latest United Nations resolution. That is the way to a lasting peace.

It is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Israel. No, it is our responsibility as Jews to speak out and be critical when it is necessary. The 15,000 who demonstrated in Israel against the war, and the military personnel refusing to serve in the occupied territories, are taking on that responsibility.

So, I ask you as the Senator from New York to see that our country uses all its influence to seek a cease-fire and support negotiations toward the formation of an independent Palestinian state that would end this long- standing violent conflict.

Esther MorozeNew York NY

Show your power

In hundreds of corporate board rooms throughout our country, small groups of men and an occasional woman sit at meetings that have only one purpose: to increase profits. They know, without any discussion, that the only place to get their profits is from the people who work for them, whether it be directly or indirectly.

Directly, they make efforts at lowering wages, lowering benefits, reducing safety procedures, etc.

Indirectly, they understand the importance of politics. Necessary to their requirement for increased profits is: the law which keeps minimum wages low; the law which relaxes standards on their products despite the many recalls (which occur only when they’re caught) on products from baby cribs to autos.

They want laws to reduce, restrict and defeat unions. They want to elect legislators who will pass Right-to-Work laws. They want to keep women, ethnic and religious minorities, as well as political dissenters on the run, in jail, sufficiently divided and fighting among themselves so as not to be a threat to their corporate bottom line. They know how important it is to have their conservative, right wingers get elected so they can achieve their ends.

However, while they are powerful and have the millions of dollars to mislead, we have the millions of people who can vote. We still have a democracy in which votes make a difference.

Most workers know that the drive for money by their employers is detrimental to the needs of workers. However, the corporate media has convinced many they can not fight city hall, that all politicians can not be trusted, that their vote doesn’t have meaning. Or they get them to vote for a single issue.

It is our job to convince the workers of our country that they have the vote, they have the power, they can demand justice for their families.

This coming election is critical. The people presently in power are ruthless.

The 2002 election affects every social issue, every so called safety net, every civil liberty to a greater degree than I have ever seen. It will affect whether we live in peace or live with a never ending war.

Karl DennisTucson AZ

Stop “Radical Right” tax cuts

I am writing to urge your readers to contact their congressional representative and urge that Bush’s tax cuts NOT be made permanent!

House GOP leaders are expected to bring legislation to the floor this week that would make permanent the entire package of federal tax cuts passed last spring. This move would inflate the cost of Bush’s irresponsible tax plan from $1.35 trillion to a staggering $6 trillion dollars over the next two decades.

Every federal program people care about, including education, health care and Social Security, would be cut to pay for these give-aways to the super-rich and corporations.

We the people have to act.

Marie LawrenceChicago IL