Offense Taken

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[Re: Ortiz y Pino, “Letter to the Editor,” Feb. 5-11] In defending the remarks of Council President Isaac Benton regarding Israel’s Operation Cast Lead—remarks that Councilman Benton has since apologized for—Sen. Ortiz y Pino unfortunately reiterates a host of disproven accusations against the Jewish State.

First, the genocide charge against Israel is particularly odious: If Israel truly has such designs, how has the population of the West Bank and Gaza managed to grow from 950,000 in 1967 to approximately 2.6 million today? Contra Mr. Ortiz y Pino, it is totally appropriate to make a big deal out of a false accusation of genocide. That term—coined by a Jewish survivor of Nazism—has no equivalence to Israel’s policies, which two years ago saw Israel unconditionally withdraw from Gaza to allow the Palestinian population self-determination.

Sadly, instead of the lives of Gazans improving, the region became a terror base for Hamas. Behind the tragedy of dead children are Hamas terrorists who choose to launch mortars from schoolyards and hide rockets in apartment buildings, callously imperiling their own people.

As for Mr. Ortiz y Pino’s apartheid charge, it’s worth noting that despite the mendacious title of his 2006 book,
Palestine Peace Not Apartheid , former President Carter actually never claimed that Israel engages in the racist policies of pre-1994 South Africa, which legislated a vision of racial superiority completely absent from Israeli governmental rule. “Apartheid” and “genocide” are no less offensive than “ethnic cleansing” when misapplied to the most religiously and ethnically diverse nation in the Middle East.

While reciting a litany of pejoratives to condemn Israel, Mr. Ortiz y Pino manages to overlook the basic motivation behind Israel’s recent military actions: to halt the thousands of rockets that have been fired from Gaza into Israel, with more than 500,000 Israelis in the direct range of these weapons. Thus, Mr. Ortiz y Pino ignores the most truthful phrase to convey Israeli policy: a country’s simple right to self-defense.

Letters Choo, Choo!

Shame on the Republicans for this petty and immature stance. We are in a freefall the likes of which we have never seen; the Great Depression will seem insignificant compared to the castastrophe that will befall America if this bill is not passed and passed now. The House and the Senate took about one minute to agree to hand $700 billion to fat-cat financial institutions with no questions asked. Please remember that this was before the election, when Congress was still under control of the Republicans. I was unaware that Rush Limbaugh had been elected to lead the Republican Party of "dittoheads.” This train is leaving the station; Republicans can get on board or wave goodbye.

Letters “Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be”

Polonius’ advice does not apply to today’s situation, the crash of capitalism. Let us instead be "bloody, bold and resolute," like Iago to Othello. The "green-eyed monsters," like Limbaugh and McConnell, would like nothing better than to have Obama strangle our future, our grandchildren’s Desdemona. Let them instead meet Iago’s fate, those purveyors of cynicism. Let our greater numbers prevail.

Letters I Don't Wanna Grow Up

I have a hard time understanding people who neglect their children. Our culture seems to be stuck in a vortex of perpetual adolescence and suffocating self-centeredness. To a large extent, it’s a creation of Madison Avenue, but we seem to have bought into it wholesale.

Whatever happened to growing up? Here’s my message to the millions of “Sex in the City” knockoffs: Get over yourselves already; think about someone else’s needs for a change, just for practice if nothing else. Instead of trying to find yourself, see if you can find a helping hand to extend to someone. It will make you a better person, and we’ll all benefit in the long run.

Our selfishness and immaturity lead to such crippling insecurity. We can’t find it within ourselves to discipline our children. We don’t draw healthy boundaries for them or teach them the fundamentals of courtesy and respect for others. As a result, our communities are overrun with plagues of rug rats who are insufferably rude, demanding and entitled. They don’t know how to defer gratification because their parents have no clue. They are too busy playing musical partners and indulging pubescent fantasies to provide adequate guidance and stability for their offspring. It’s not that complicated: If you have children, your first obligation is to care for them and to provide them with the structure they need to develop some social awareness and responsibility. Everything else comes second.

Letters Kudos

[Re: Feature, “Red, White and Black,” Feb. 5-11] Gene Grant and Finnie Coleman were two of the first black men I met when moving to Albuquerque a little over two years ago. I was very happy to find the print edition of this cover story today, and I am pleased that the Alibi is providing this coverage. One suggestion: The Alibi needs to get with the social media movement and place accounts on Twitter and Facebook if you have not already done so. Thanks.

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