Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a letter requesting recognition…
There's more to a state
Re "A win-win strategy at the U.N.," Opinion, Sept. 30
Barbara F. Walter and Andrew Kydd hail President Mahmoud Abbas' move to place Palestinian statehood on the international agenda. However, this is a case of "been there, done that."
Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestinian cause, issued a "declaration of independence" in 1988. The Palestinian state was recognized by more than 100 countries. A state exists only insofar as it is recognized by others; Palestine meets this and other standards of statehood.
But the perceived enthusiasm for a Palestinian state is, historically, dormant. Conversely, the ground for the state of Israel is as old as the Bible and, in the modern era, has its roots in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the San Remo resolution following World War I.
This is to say that Palestinians must do more than posturing; they must negotiate and spell out their concessions.
Robert C. Gusman
I'm struck by the insight, cogency and thoroughness of Walter's and Kydd's analysis. After years of building a civil society on the West Bank, the U.S. still supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ultra-conservative government, right or wrong.
The U.S. must end its enabling of Israel's land annexation. This is trending toward a Greater Israel, which is not in the service of peace. A true friend points out where the other is going wrong and encourages what is morally good.
Simply stated, I would like Walter and Kydd to explain to the Israeli children and their families how rockets exploding in their bedrooms and schools constitute a "disciplined, nonviolent strategy against Israel." The strategy may exist, but the reality is something very different.
John and Ken, for and against
Re " 'John and Ken' foes talking boycott," Sept. 30
Your article nicely sums up why I stopped listening to Los Angeles talk radio. The KFI-AM (640) afternoon team boils over with race-baiting and hate speech — under the delusion that they are being entertaining.
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou's use of the airwaves to give out the cellphone number of one of their targets proves that they — and KFI management — are incapable of the kind of responsible judgment anyone in broadcasting should have. Will it take violence by one of their fans to change things, or will sensible people just do what I did and seek better programming?
KFWB covers news issues with intelligence and humor, and makes a fine alternative, as does National Public Radio. Plus, the stations that eschew vitriol include more female hosts while losing not one shred of relevance and passion.
Immigrant rights activist Jorge-Mario Cabrera needs to know that this is still the United States and that the 1st Amendment is still alive and well. He has the right to speak up for those who are here breaking our laws, and John and Ken have the right to disagree with him.
As for getting hate phone calls, that goes with the territory. I occasionally get nasty calls when I write a letter to a newspaper against illegal immigration.
Cabrera is a a public figure. If he doesn't want people writing or calling him and telling him what they think, then he is in the wrong business.
I suggest that John and Ken give out their numbers so that their detractors can call them. Cabrera's opinion that John and Ken are "acting like thugs with a microphone" may be more widely shared than the radio hosts understand.
Emergency at the county ER
Re " 'It just doesn't stop,' " Column One, Sept. 30
Your article detailing the situation in which hundreds of patients overwhelm the L.A. County/USC Medical Center emergency room every day helps bring to public attention the desperate situation faced by a large fraction of the American population.
Perhaps it will help to make more people conscious that we must force Congress to bring down the cost of medical care. Most of the funds we pay to the medical industry should go for universal care, and little should go toward salaries paid to executives.
Though The Times' article vividly captured the drama and the heartache of the County/USC waiting room, it failed to grasp the larger, brighter picture. County/USC's is one of the highest rated trauma centers in the country, and its doctors represent our nation's best.
The systems are taxed to the hilt, to be sure, but it is a daily miracle that someone can walk in off the street and receive the level of attention they do.
North Dakota's economy
Re "Despite jobs, not all is rosy in North Dakota," Oct. 2