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Letters to the Editor

Convenience' Truth

ONE IMPORTANT issue that was not directly addressed in the Bullhorn submission last week ("Arana Path Would Connect More Than Streets") was that of convenience—the daily battle of will between what we know to be the responsible choice and that which is most comfortable and easy. Of course it is less work to move around when the biggest physical strain is the tilt of one's ankle, but it's easy to forget that it's on the dime of a fuel that is filthy to burn, pricey to buy and injurious to obtain. The bike path through Arana Gulch would make it that much more convenient for those who commute in Santa Cruz to make a conscious decision about how to get around. It is necessary infrastructure for a future that we know cannot be so reliant on the ease of automobiles. Build it, and they will come.

Paul Hempstead,

Santa Cruz

Gil Stein Responds

MEGAN McNamara ("Profoundly Un-Jewish," Posts, March 3) and others commented on my Bullhorn piece ("Cut Israel a Break," Bullhorn, Feb. 24). She states that not serving in the Israeli military can be a disadvantage for Arabs. Arabs are not drafted into the IDF, but they are free to volunteer for military or non-military national service. Arab Israeli members of the Knesset have consistently opposed national service for Arabs, even service within the Arab community. The Druze community in Israel is subject to the draft because its leaders requested that they be subject to conscription so they could serve their country. Equal opportunities should be accompanied by equal responsibilities. McNamara knows full well that medicine and food are entering Gaza. Thousands of Gazans have received medical treatment in Israel during the so-called siege. What is not occurring is the bombardment of rockets into Israel from Gaza. I didn't write that Palestinians should be grateful for Israel improving their standard of living: these are her words, but why won't she acknowledge that their lives were better when Israel controlled the territories compared to now? Perhaps it is because it is easier to blame Israel than accept responsibility. As far as Sami Abed's comments, Rabbi Cooper's talk was sponsored by Temple Beth El members. I am not a member so I don't know what group of mine he refers to. For more information on the Museum of Tolerance controversy I recommend their website to get a different perspective. For comments about apartheid I suggest Richard Cohen's recent piece in the Washington Post where he debunks this racist notion of Mr. Abed.

The issues are complex and passion runs high. But the demonization of Israel and the defense of racist, homophobic, misogynist terrorist groups by these so-called peace and justice advocates will not bring either peace or justice.

Gil Stein,


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