Letters to the Editor

LTE

Stop Killing People With Our Tax Money

I recently sent a note to Rep. Jim Costa about the bombardment in the Middle East—not a “war” when one side is bombing the shit out of the other side, literally into the Stone Age—more a humanitarian crisis in the making.

In summary, I’m sickened by the Israeli Army’s actions and by my government’s support of them, so I was very disheartened by his tepid response to my rather anodyne comments about not wanting my government, through him, to be encouraging this disaster. He didn’t once mention the Palestinians in a long form response.

I don’t suppose we can find anyone soon to oppose him in the next election, but he needs to hear from others about this outrage. I later also sent a version of this to U.S. Senators [Alex] Padilla and [Laphonza] Butler.

Not that it makes any difference, but I have Jewish blood through both sides of my family, so anyone wishing to call me antisemitic can go to…you know where. I cannot be silent while we support Israel unequivocally and allow innocent civilians to be slaughtered using my/our tax dollars, while pretending to be critical of the indiscriminate use of cowardly shelling.

Never mind the long history of mistreatment of the Palestinians all over Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. If I were an Arab there, I’d likely be fighting the right-wing government of Israel also, maybe not physically, but through some other means.

I’m sure that if we told [Israeli Prime Minister Bibi] Netanyahu that we would not be selling them another fighter jet, etc., if they continued in this manner, tomorrow we would see a rush to negotiate or at least a ceasefire. Really not wanting to sound patronizing, but they are truly the “little brother” to our “elder brother.” In addition, I will shortly be withdrawing my support for AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)—OK, kidding.

My initial e-mail to Costa:

“I DO NOT want my government treading lightly on Israel’s decimation of
the people of Gaza, or any Palestinians. Israel is our little brother and would not have the temerity to pursue its destruction of the Palestinians without our implicit support. STOP IT. Enough! Basta!
“That’s my message to Congress now, through you, my representative.”

Gene Richards
Fresno

MLK

Members of Peace Fresno unfurled a banner near the rally for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Fresno City Hall. It challenged Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno), who was speaking, to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photo by Peter Maiden

Staying Silent Is Unacceptable

The Democratic Party is and will continue to be the Party of the People. I am a proud Democrat and will continue to defend my “Democratic values” and convictions. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say I like that my party is abandoning the core values of keeping agricultural working families together, helping our families to come out of the shadows and pushing for real immigration reform to allow our agricultural families to work legally, pay taxes and contribute to this Great Nation. Why is the Democratic Party not fighting for these core issues of utmost importance?

I was glad to see that [Rep.] John Duarte [(R–Modesto)] had the courage to talk about these crucial immigration issues. Kudos to him for the courage and taking the heat from his own party. Duarte’s campaign flier mailed to voters [in January] was talking about issues that in the past were part of the core Democratic platform.

Politicians need to stop playing it safe; we are playing our politics so safe that our opponents score big political points using our Democratic platform core issues of interest. I would like to see our elected officials from all parties keep the discussion going until real immigration reform action is reached. Staying silent is unacceptable.

I am advocating for statewide immigration reform for all agricultural families to help them come out of the shadows in California and throughout the nation. Our agricultural workers and families deserve better! Our Democratic elected officials at the local, state and federal levels can do better.

One more thing: Please don’t let Democratic leaders and elected officials sell us “Slavery H2A Programs” as real immigration reform.

We want a comprehensive pathway for families to continue feeding America, pay taxes and work legally. Ya estuvo suave (“Enough is enough!”).

Eliseo Gamiño
President, Central Valley Leadership Round Table

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