‘One thing is to read, another thing is to see’

“So much of the gulf in understanding that plagues the Middle East has to do with the willful disregard for the other’s point of view.” Thus wrote Newsweek in reviewing Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine, 2012 (English paperback), by Israeli and Palestinian academics.

I experienced this “willful disregard” firsthand during my May trip to the Holy Land. I conversed, two days apart, with a Palestinian Muslim shopkeeper in Nazareth and a Jewish lifeguard at a Galilee kibbutz. Both men expressed intense hatred and distrust of the other side. I barely got a word in edgewise with either man, especially the lifeguard who monologued 10 to 15 minutes about Palestinians.

In response to Samuel White’s June 17 letter, “Israel willing to make peace,” I’d say Israel may have been a “willing partner for peace” at one time, but it no longer is.

It’s significant that “In effect, Israeli Jews are a red state while American Jews are a blue state,” wrote William Galston on June 12 in “The Fracturing of the Jewish People” in The Wall Street Journal, adding: “Seventy-seven percent of Israeli Jews approve of President Trump’s handling of relations between the U.S. and Israel compared with only 34 percent of American Jews.”

“One thing is to read, another thing is to see,” said Dr. J. Daniel Salinas of Colombia as we sat in the Tel Aviv airport June 1 awaiting our departure flights. I urge Mr. White and others to see for themselves what Israel is doing to Palestinians.

Dan Shenk, 


Why no tax breaks for the elderly?

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear about some multimillion-dollar company getting a tax abatement. Why do I never hear about elderly folks struggling to make it getting a tax abatement?

Pete Ostapchuk,


Fight back against false accusations

In reference to Curtis Hill being falsely accused of fondling women at a party, I will never believe it. He has a beautiful family and a history of being a reputable prosecuting attorney in Elkhart County. Curtis was one of the best county prosecuting attorneys we have had.

Why all of a sudden are these women claiming to be molested? These allegations are made against people who have money, are famous or in politics. People who do not have a lot of money and are working regular jobs never get accused of this act publicly.

Curtis Hill being our Indiana attorney general is the reason the allegations are being made against him.

To you, Curtis Hill, keep fighting to restore your good name in Elkhart and the State of Indiana, and God bless you.

And to the people of Indiana, wake up and back this man.

Don Linton,


Support candidates willing to end poverty

There is a move to require recipients of social welfare programs to be employed. In most cases this means taking a job that pays minimum wages, which are not enough to survive. There are many people who are being displaced by automation every day. This gives the service industry an increasing source of labor.

The people who have to take these jobs are exposed to stress, both physical and mental, which could result in a lifetime of disability. Any children share this suffering.

We need to mandate that jobs must pay enough so that the employee is able to afford adequate housing, nutrition and health care. We need to support education so the children can grow up to a better life.

This is our task as voters in the coming election – to support candidates who really believe in bringing people out of poverty.

Thomas J. Rea,

Edwardsburg, Michigan

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