Army’s campus visit was enlightening
Ben Lumpkin’s article on the visit of the U.S. Army’s $3.2 million Armor Adventure Van to the Berkeley High campus was comprehensive and well done.
I know because I took two short trips through the van myself and spent two hours around the van. I was flying a United Nations flag, handing out a homemade UN leaflet and carrying a “spur-of-the-moment” sign reading, “reach beyond your/our limitations — work and pray for peace and the United Nations.”
A few brief conversations with students, staff and Army personnel were interesting and satisfying. I was especially interested in the one staff Sgt.’s saga from birth in Korea, moving to the U.S., joining the Army, returning to Korea in the Army and spending three months in Africa as a UN Blue Beret.
I was also pleased to see copies of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors leaflet “Warning: Joining the Military is hazardous to...your education...your future...people of color...women...your civil rights...your health...the environment...our lives.”
Israel has a right to defend itself from hostility
Unfortunately, “Ralliers Protest Inhumanity of Mideast Conflict” (Daily Planet, April 1) is filled with many incorrect statements.
Saying that there were “100 activists” at Tuesday’s protest is a gross overstatement. There were clearly no more than thirty or forty, and in fact, at the beginning of the protest pro-Israel demonstrators outnumbered those from the Palestinian side.
Second, and most alarming, is Amy Gerber’s statement that “There’s been 52 years of brutal occupancy.” While the West Bank and Gaza have been occupied for 53 years, Israel has only done so for the past 34. Until 1967, Palestinians were occupied by their Arab “brethren.” Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Egypt Gaza. In many cases, especially Gaza, Palestinians were submitted to much more deplorable conditions than under Israeli occupation.
Finally, Israel has offered to end its occupation, just as these groups demand, under one condition: Peace. When the Palestinian side is prepared to stop its violence and return to the negotiating table there will be justice for all. Until then, Israel, just like every other nation, has the right to defend itself against constant sniper fire, mortar shelling, and terrorist bombings against innocent civilians.
UC Berkeley student
Sunshine removal, Nextel antennas connected?
“Sunshine Ordinance pulled from agenda” (Daily Planet, March 30) was a disquieting headline. Given recent experience with the Nextel stealth application to install 12 RF radiation emitting antennas on the roof of the Oaks Theater I am led to raise some questions.
I ask if Council Member Polly Armstrong’s action in removing the ordinance is coincidental in light of her action on the Nextel application. She was the only member of the Council who voted against holding a public hearing on the Nextel application after it was brought to light. She seemed to be suggesting that there was something about the process which allowed applicants to expect approval and that it was somehow owed to them. I wrote and asked her if she knew of any Government official, either staff or elected, who had led Nextel to believe, prior to completion of the application process, that the application would be approved. She didn’t respond. This raises a question about why Councilmember Armstrong has not shown the minimal respect due a citizen raising a legitimate question. I wonder why a politician would do that.
I first began to seriously wonder what is going on, early in the process of community opposition to the Nextel application, when a threat against the use of my own property was made by a ranking zoning official involved in the Nextel application. This led me to wonder what kind of pressure he was under in the matter.
How did a finding, absurd on its face, creep unnoticed into the Antenna Moratorium Ordinance which weakens the Solano Avenue Ordinance? How did the Solano Avenue Ordinance apparently get amended without community knowledge to allow antenna siting on the basis of an administrative use permit in violation of other sections of the ordinance requiring a public hearing?
Armstrong, and perhaps others, say they oppose the Sunshine Ordinance because it might make government process more cumbersome, inefficient and costly. Baloney! Since when has an informed electorate been an impediment to government — or perhaps I should say honest, open and democratic government.
Protest doesn’t represent entire Jewish community
There has never been a monolithic voice in the Jewish community about any political or social issue.
That is the essence of Judaism.
Therefore you must realize that the small group of people who protested the buying of Israeli matzah only represented themselves, not the entire Jewish community.
The headline, “Israeli Matzoh Boycott Reveals Rift in Jewish Community” (Daily Planet, April 2) is not true.
Organization bought land after campaign
I am writing this letter to correct statements made about myself and the property at 2517 Sacramento St. (formerly the Outback Clothing Store).
In her letter, “Conflict of Interest” (Daily Planet, March 27), Ms. Merrilie Mitchell erroneously states that Affordable Housing Associates, or I, was the owner of the 2517 Sacramento Street property that City Councilmembers Margaret Breland and Maudelle Shirek used for their campaign headquarters from September through November 2000.
Affordable Housing Associates wants to make it clear that we were not the owners of the property during this time. AHA closed escrow and became the owner of the property on December 6, 2000. As such, we had no involvement in however the previous owner made use of the space before this date.
Since we were not the owners of the property, we disagree with the charges of unfair campaign practices and/or conflict of interest in regard to the use of the former Outback Clothing building.
Ali R. Kashani
Affordable Housing Associates