Israel, Hamas demands aren't equal
The recent war between Israel and Gaza has been awful to watch. Hamas has again sent rockets into Israel, and Israel responded by destroying Hamas' rockets and tunnels.
When an army wages war in civilian areas, as Israel's has done in Gaza and as our military did in Iraq and Afghanistan, it receives criticism. But do the critics offer any useful solutions to Israel? What would we do against an enemy that attacked us from civilian areas?
Much of the criticism of Israel falsely assumes an equivalency in the demands by the two sides. Israel wants Hamas to stop sending rockets and terrorists into its territory; Hamas insists it's fighting to end Israel's blockade of Gaza - and many people in the West sympathize with Hamas on that issue. However, the logic is backward.
Hamas has declared war with an aim of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It's unreasonable to demand that Israel, or any other country, lift a blockade when it has a belligerent neighbor. The United States certainly doesn't facilitate our enemies' trade during wartime.
Some assert there's a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas because they each deny the rights and demands of the other. However, there's no equivalency in what they demand.
Hamas holds the key and the power to bring the conflict to a close but refuses to negotiate.
Without someone to a negotiate with, Israel can try to protect its own citizens - but there's relatively little it can do to achieve lasting peace.
Rabbi Jonathan Seidel
Jewish Community RelationsCommittee
Growth boundary plan is a bad idea
I was dismayed to read Mayor Christine Lundberg's comments regarding the proposed expansion of Springfield's urban growth boundary ("Family opposes growth plan," Aug. 14). Her comments portrayed me and my neighbors, the good folks of the Seavey Loop area, as out-of-breath, closed-minded, "misinformed and hysterical."
By and large, we are none of that. We're responsible homeowners, good citizens and concerned stewards of the land who are actively engaged in our community.
What has us concerned is Springfield's plan to absorb the Seavey Loop area and rezone it as industrial land.
We recently sat under an oak tree at Mount Pisgah to meet with state Sen. Lee Beyer and state Rep. Phil Barnhart. It was a very impressive meeting of civil neighbors presenting concerns about the proposed industrialization of our neighborhood and displaying a great depth of knowledge and understanding of the idea.
However, the more we dig into it, the more we're discovering how wrong and inappropriate the plan is. Oregon has a great political history of resisting near-term gains to preserve its precious land treasures for future generations.
I wish Lundberg would cease trying to industrialize the land around Seavey Loop. She should join the ranks of the many eminent and farsighted political leaders who've created a wonderful legacy of preserving land in our state.
Obama should act to free sergeant
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a U.S. Marine who's done two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has been imprisoned in Mexico for more than 100 days. Why?
Why did our president free five known Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo in exchange for U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl? Now they're free to plan future attempts to attack and destroy the United States.
Our president fritters away time on the golf course, speeds across the country in fundraising jaunts and spends time vacationing at Martha's Vineyard. Why can't he take two minutes to make a phone call to Mexican President Enrique Pe[+ or -]a Nieto and ask him to release our military hero? I'm certain Pe[+ or -]a Nieto would comply with such a request to help promote good will between our countries.
We know President Obama hasn't made the call because he hasn't praised himself for doing so.
It's a major failing for Obama to allow Tahmooressi to remain imprisoned. Any military veteran or freedom-loving American is justified in resenting him and any member of the government who's not saying or doing something to end this tragedy.
Remember that in November.
Dale R. Dickson
Don't trust Russian propaganda
The Aug. 19 letter by Jack Dresser about the downing of Malaysian Flight 17 was an example of all-too-frequent quoting from dodgy Internet blogs.
Dresser obviously found a blog that quoted Russian state TV propaganda made for internal consumption. None of it was factual.
The Russian state media are trying to make the case that Russia is faultless and relies on poorly informed citizens accepting its utterances as fact.
The Register-Guard should use more care in vetting mailbag letters that purport to convey factual information.
It might be a win-win for Eugene
How about moving Eugene's abandoned City Hall to center field in abandoned Civic Stadium?
What about the owner's culpability?
I've read The Register-Guard's account of the shooting of a pit bull by a Springfield police officer three times and something seems to be missing from the story ("Dog's shooting sparks protest," Aug. 15).
I'm sure the dog's owner expressed contrition for her irresponsibility in not securing her dog - which enabled it to threaten a 12-year-old boy, a 72-year-old man, two bicyclists and the officer - but the reporter just neglected to mention it.
Pit bull owners are fond of saying there are no bad "pits," just bad owners.
I believe they're at least half-right in this case.
Measure 88 isn't a safety issue
Those of us who worked to refer Oregon's illegal immigrant driver's card bill, Senate Bill 833, to the voters (Measure 88 on the Nov. 4 ballot) expect the name-calling, unfounded accusations and questionable conclusions proffered by Juan Carlos Valle in his Aug. 18 column ("Road safety is paramount in debate on driver's cards").
But are we "bigots" because we want to see our laws enforced?
Nobody I know on our side ever made "unfortunate, misguided and inaccurate portrayals of residents as criminals and lawbreakers." "Residents" are not in violation of U.S. immigration laws.
Valle's central themes are that the purpose of the bill is "road safety" and illegal immigrants should have the same privileges as legal residents.
The safety argument doesn't wash; if it were about safety the Legislature and the governor wouldn't have seen the need to craft the bill largely in secret and the Democrats wouldn't have mounted a cynical, failed attempt to confuse voters by altering the ballot title.
The real purposes of the bill were to appease vocal supporters of illegal immigrants and to help employers who hire them.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles found "no major impact on the rate of unlicensed and uninsured drivers" between the periods when illegal immigrants couldn't obtain driver's licenses and periods when they could. Furthermore, if it were about safety, the Oregon sheriffs' PAC wouldn't have come out against the measure.
It's not about safety, it's about respecting the law. Vote "no" on Measure 88.