Israel’s challenge; Our do-nothing Congress; Anticipating racino; Where’s outrage toward tea party?

Israel must work to win the battle for hearts, minds of Palestinians

It seems to me that in the con- flict between the Palestinians and Israelis, Hamas is able to play Israeli leaders like a fine violin because of the ill-advised, wildly disproportional response to Hamas’ provocation by Israeli leadership.

While Hamas’ rocket launches certainly instill fear in the people of Israel, the vast majority of those rockets have been harmlessly destroyed by a very efficient Israeli defense system. With the exception of the tragic death of one man, Israeli civilians have not suffered casualties because of Hamas’ rocket attacks. On the other hand, the response by Israel has resulted in more than 200 Palestinian deaths, including women and children.

As a result, Hamas, with no small assist from Israel, ensures that Palestinian hatred of Jews only intensifies.

Because of the news media’s ever- increasing dependence on video scenes, the heartbreaking carnage in Gaza is a part of every newscast while isolated reports of Hamas rocket attacks in Israel only show people hurrying to bomb shelters. Around the world, newscast viewers seeing injured and dead Palestinian children can hardly be unmoved by the tragedy. Instead of the image of an Israel surrounded by countries that deny its right to exist and bent on destroying it, Israel presents an image of a heartless people who consider the killing and maiming of innocent civilians, including children, as an acceptable cost of demonstrating their military might.

Because of the Diaspora, Israelis, more than any people, should be able to empathize with Palestinian desire for a land of their own. Instead of fanning the flames of hatred by building more Jewish settlements in Gaza, Israel should be working honestly to provide a Palestinian homeland.

That Israel is threatened by anti-Semitic governments is indisputable, as is the fact that with U.S. support, the Israeli military is far superior to any of the hostile nations in the Mideast. But military might is of temporary, limited value if winning the hearts and minds of one’s adversaries is not given the highest priority. The sooner that Israeli politicians learn this lesson, the sooner the possibility of true peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Robert F. Mollic, Liberty

Let us count the many ways that Congress has failed Americans

It’s astounding to watch House Majority Leader John Boehner on the news preach about other people not doing their job. Talk about a reality check covering the do-nothing Congress.Apparently, his strategy not to bring any bills to the floor for a vote has worked for him and his colleagues. It’s quite obvious their only job is to obstruct anything this president would like to get done to move this country forward.

Congress doesn’t listen to the people and doesn’t care to. They said they don’t intend to do anything till after the midterm elections.

My question: What have they done? Nothing.

They tried to repeal the ACA over 50 times (where’s their compassion for millions of uninsured Americans?) Now Boehner’s using a different tactic — sue.

Maybe Congress needs to check the surveys of what the “majority” of people in this country elected them “to do”.

Jobs Bill:Congress says no.

Background checks on guns: Congress says no.

Extending unemployment benefits since last year: Congress says no. I don’t know how Congress sleeps at night on this one; at least Congress under George Bush passed this bill five times.

Raise minimum wage: Congress says no.

Immigration: Congress says no.

The list goes on and on.

The only “yes” vote from the Republicans in Congress was to shut down the government, costing taxpayers $25 billion.

The people who “gripe” about having a smaller government should not take Social Security and Medicare because you can thank the Democrats for establishing those benefits. The Republicans’ future plans: Abolish both.

So as long as the GOP (‘‘Grand Obstruction Party”) controls the House, buckle up; they will continue to take us on this ride down this road of gridlock and obstruction.

Carol Mikita, Hubbard

Looking forward to racino opening

As a close neighbor, I would like to thank Penn National Gaming for bringing a great entertainment center to our neighborhood.

On our daily walk, my wife and I would slip through the woods to peek at how things were going on the new racino. It was fun watching things progress.

I would also like to thank our representatives for their vision and hard work, especially Austintown Trustee Jim Davis for keeping the ball rolling.

As an old horse trainer and owner, I’m looking forward to live racing and the simulcast theater in our neighborhood.

My wife is looking forward to the one- armed bandits and fine dining. Looking forward to opening day. Again thank you.

Glenn R. Garrett, Austintown

3 cheers for 2 churches in Poland

I have been a part of a small but mighty band of Poland citizens who every year plan and conduct what we call “Celebrate Poland”. It is a wonderful and successful community event. This year we were very fortunate to have volunteers from New Life Church and the Poland Village Baptist Church. These good people deserve a great public “Thank you!” for their support.

Barbara Banks, Poland

Where’s the outrage toward racist, vile actions of tea party?

If I have heard the tea party Congress correctly the last few years, then they shouldn’t get a single woman, black, Hispanic, elderly, veteran, disabled, union, middle-class, teacher or college student to vote for them in November. It takes a lot of nerve to go out and ask for someone’s support whom you have been putting the screws to for the last four years. They do have a lot of nerve and a lot of corporate money thanks to the tea-party Supreme Court.

All you have to do is listen to House Majority Leader John Boehner and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and what they are trying to do to this country. If you are not among the rich or super rich, then they don’t care about your problems, and if you think they do then you have not been paying attention.

Have you ever noticed the kind of people that the tea party attracts? Let’s start with their leader, Rush Limbaugh; then we have Cliven Bundy, Ted Nugent, Phil Robertson, Ann Coulter, Glenn Back, and don’t forget the hate mongers at the tea party’s Fox News: Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Huckabee and Chris Wallace. The list goes on and on.

There are a lot of people out there who haven’t got their heads screwed on right, and if they’re listening to all of the racist comments and the lies that are being spewed by these tea-party loyalists, then who knows what they are capable of. Just take a look at the two nuts who killed two police officers and a Walmart shopper. They were at the Bundy Ranch making anti-government statements. Where was Sean Hannity? He said he would stand with Bundy and people like these, but the most sickening thing was the placing of the tea party’s symbolic flag, “Dont tread on me” on the two dead police officers’ bodies along with the Nazi flag. Why would anyone want to attract and bring into the fold people like this? Sorry, I meant to say creeps.

Thank the Lord they are dead and not allowed to spew more anti-American and pro-Nazi garbage. Where’s the tea party outrage? You’ll never see it. They’ll just blame everything on President Obama.

Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa.