No middle ground in Israel/Palestinian conflict

Re: "U.S. military aid to Israel perpetuates oppression of Palestinian people," From Readers, Dec. 12

As an American, George Meek ought to be ashamed of his willful ignorance about Israel and angry that Palestinian propaganda is being peddled as truth.

I, too, have been to Israel and have talked with Palestinians in Jerusalem. They told me they are happy to be citizens of Israel, where they have freedom and opportunity, and that they are far better off living there than in Gaza orthe West Bank.

Israel has many Muslim Arab citizens, including some in the Knesset. How many Jews live without fear in the Muslim world, let alone serve in positions of power?

Palestinian terrorists unleashed the Second Intifada in 2000 with shootings, bombings and rocket attacks against Israel. Checkpoints, which were instituted to protect against terrorist incursions from Gaza and the West Bank, have largely succeeded. Palestinians who feel "harassed" should direct their anger at their terrorist brethren, not at Israel for defending herself.

Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel and is committed to its destruction. Hamas decisively wonthe 2006 elections. Elections have consequences. The regrettable deaths of civilians are the fault of the Palestinians who voted these terrorists -- who embed themselves in civilian populations while attacking Israel -- into power.

Meek's one correct observation is that there is nomiddle ground here. Hamas won't be satisfied until the Middle East is Judenfrei.

-- Jon Garber


Decades-long mismanagement led to school overcrowding

Re: "Fairfax parents balk at expansion of gifted program," Dec. 10

The so-called expansion Fairfax County Public Schools proposes does not include the building of any new schools or facilities. It only creates so-called Advanced Academic Program "centers" within existing schools.

FCPS is overcrowded due to poor planning and facilities management that has occurred for decades. That is why students and staff today attend classes in 900 FCPS trailers -- a "temporary" solution that has ballooned over time and which some schools have endured for 28 years.

Fairfax school board members, parents and teachers who oppose the so-called expansion plan simply want to prevent the rushed adoption of a poorly thought-out solution that would have an adverse effect on the AAP as it exists today.

The cause of overcrowding in FCPS has nothing to do with AAP. Indeed, AAP students and staff are disproportionately relegated to trailer classrooms. Actually building sufficient permanent classrooms would be a most welcome improvement.

-- Laszlo Pentek


Another 'green' company bites the dust

Fasten your seat belts for the next four years. President Obama is economically illiterate.

The latest example: In Redford, Mich., he opined, "These so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

Would an elected state legislator advance the idea of working for less money to his or her constituents? Or did economics and competitive pressures, including the laws of supply and demand, play a part?

In the next county over, we see the real-life effects of Obama's economic illiteracy and its impact on the local economy. Electric-car battery-maker A123 received a $249 million stimulus grant to produce a product that cannot be sold in the marketplace for profit. Pending approval of the bankruptcy judge, A123's assets will be acquired by China's Wanxiang Group at taxpayer expense.

-- David Mugan