New York

Letters to the Editor for Friday, March 29

Your Voice
Criticism of Omar’s comments justified
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has the right to criticize Israeli government policies. However, when she said that U.S. support for Israel is all about Jewish money and subsequently questioned the allegiance of pro-Israel Jews, she deserved the condemnation she received from many of her Democratic colleagues.
Omar’s comments mirror the anti-Semitic accusations found in the infamous early-20th-century Russian forgery, “The Protocols of  the Elders of Zion.” David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, has often adopted the calumny of the “Protocols” in his anti-Semitic rants. Duke voiced his agreement with Omar’s anti-Semitic assertions. In this context, she is not in good company. 
Omar’s defenders argue that she’s being attacked in bad faith as a Muslim woman of color who dares to criticize Israel, pointing out that anti-Semitism on the right doesn’t get nearly this much attention. This defense is without merit, since it doesn’t deny that her comments were anti-Semitic. Moreover, bigotry on the right doesn’t justify bigotry on the left.
Omar has a history of spouting anti-Israel invective followed by apologies. During her campaign, she was evasive about her support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Following her election, she readily acknowledged her support for the BDS movement. Rep. Omar’s apologies have proven to be as disingenuous as was her campaign rhetoric.
The horrific events in New Zealand should be a caution to all that hateful speech can often lead to hateful acts. 
Don Steiner
Taxes rising too fast in the Charlton area
In the past year both of my local school districts have raised school taxes for building projects. The town of Charlton enacted an ambulance tax (Yes, people voted for it.), but it didn’t reduce that line item out of the overall town budget. An urgent-care facility is being planned in town. Will that business pay taxes or will it be tax-exempt? And last but not least, the Town Board is talking about a townwide reassessment in the fall. What’s next, a library tax, highway tax? Yes, we have had no town tax for many years, but all these increases all at once hurt retired people, young families and people trying to retire. We have been a conservative town for the 30 years I have lived here. It would be nice to continue that philosophy for the next 30 years.
Mark Chotkowski
Legal outcomes show need for civility
First President Donald Trump is exonerated on collusion charges. Then Jussie Smollett has charges dropped and the record expunged. 
Two very different individuals who got a portion of their lives back. They both speak of what MLK said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 
Can we go back to just being civil to one another and realize that no one is perfect?
Hopeful I am, foolish I am not.
Oh, and one more thing: The criminal justice system (not perfect either) works no matter who it happens to benefit.
Dr. John Gentile
Join together to help our poorest citizens
Marching in Troy, we got cold.  
We were protesting cuts to budgets that would negatively affect the poorer residents of the city. 
We were part of the Poor People’s Campaign, revitalized last year, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King called for people to be involved. There were marches across the state. Today, with approximately half of New Yorkers either living in poverty or in the low-income bracket, it seems strange that billions of dollars were “found” to give to Amazon. 
I’m not here to debate whether Amazon would have been good for the city, but rather, where did the money come from for that offer when thousands of New Yorkers want such money used to fix their roads, repair schools and add supports to aging bridges?
Also, there is an epidemic of drug use and trafficking of people. 
There are people, many of them children, who have food insecurity. These are problems that need our focus. Yes, our focus.
Unfortunately, not much will happen until we make the legislators nervous. I’d love to view a sea of people marching next time the Poor People’s Campaign calls for volunteers. If you think it’s not your problem, there is now a food pantry and clothes closet at my local school for the kids in need, and we are a nice little village, not a big city. It is our problem. What will we do about it?  Be visible and persistent. Join the Poor People’s Campaign.
Janice Walz
Dems taking Social Security, gun rights
Now the Democrats want to give 1 million undocumented immigrants the right  to vote and get Social Security and all the other benefits that we citizens are entitled to.
This is the first Social Security raise that amounted to anything since I have been on Social Security, and that is thanks to President Trump. All the other years we got 1.2 percent; this year we got at least 3 percent.
Now the Democrats and the far left want to give Social Security to immigrants here illegally. If they could never give us people on Social Security a decent raise, where do they expect to get the money for the immigrants?
Also, I’m sick and tired of Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinking he can do whatever he wants. He’s driving more people out of New York. And now he’s trying to take my Second Amendment right away by stopping the NRA from doing any business in New York state. Thanks to New York City, he keeps getting elected. We the people in upstate New York should not waste our time voting.
Tony Monte

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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