Chance for peace lies

in single ‘Semitic’ state

Re: two May 12 editorials “Did Obama administration treat Israel with fairness in recent peace talks?”

I was in Palestine in February on a tour and we spoke with a Palestinian Episcopal priest in the West Bank. He feels that any two-state proposal for peace in the region will fail for any or all of five reasons: Jewish settlements in the West Bank, borders, water, refugees and Jerusalem.

The only hope for long-term peace is one state (call it whatever you will) where Jews and Arabs live side-by-side with equal rights for everyone. A Jewish leader at a settlement we visited in the West Bank feels the same way. He does not want a Palestinian state, inevitably controlled by Hamas, on Israel’s doorstep.

This, of course, would not make the one state a “Jewish” state, but rather a “Semitic” state. Both Jews and Arabs can claim Palestine as their ancestral homeland. Both are descended from Semitic peoples. They must learn to live together as equals if there is ever to be peace in Palestine.

Jan McCoy

Retired, Tucson

Feeble protestations flow from Hollywood

Re: the May 19 column “Even compassion can’t cross the partisan gap in US.”

Did you see the Hollywood icons protesting the sultan of Brunei’s Beverly Hills Hotel ownership and his country’s homophobic ways? Is this about the hotel, or is it about the celebrities who want to draw attention to themselves?

Columnist Leonard Pitts explained why there’s such a chasm between conservative and liberal views on subjects such as this. If we really want to do something about the kidnapping of Nigerian girls or the stoning of homosexuals, etc., then we actually do something, not send tweets, hold hands and sing songs. Of course, if you never read anything ...

John P. Slusser

USAF retired, Tucson

Atheists plant seed

of totalitarianism

RE: May 20 guest opinion “Parents cannot be trusted to choose best education for their kids.”

OK Little Johnny, can you say totalitarianism? Wake up, America! This is the exact mindset of the former East Germany and USSR.

Gil Shapiro and his Free Thought Arizona aren’t interested in your free thought. Theirs is the only “free thought” allowed. This is simply the new atheists/humanists laying the foundations of thought that will lead to religious (or any independent) instruction of children by parents being regulated and even prevented by law.

Don’t you know parental instruction is child abuse? Don’t be fooled. This is basically a political movement to remove the remaining traces of Christian moral truth from our culture. Like former atheist/humanist Communist regimes which brought tyranny and destruction upon millions in search of a godless utopia, today’s new atheist uses the same language, and treasures the same hopes and beliefs.

Their methods stop short of physical violence for now. Instead they drive their opponents from public debate by scorn, misrepresentation, smears and firing them from their jobs. Stand up, Americans!

Steve Smith

Dentist, Tucson

Campaign laws keep Minnesota progressive

Re: the May 22 column “The hidden cost of campaign-donation restrictions.”

George Will is a great wordsmith. He can certainly get his points across. What I find disturbing is his complete disregard for factors other than his point.

In a recent column, he wrote about Minnesota’s 10,000 campaign finance laws. These laws in Minnesota reduce the amount of money that can be spent campaigning. This has allowed Minnesota to take politics out of the hands of the wealthy. This has allowed Minnesota to remain a progressive state with Democrats in charge.

How has this worked? Minnesota is second in percent of adults with high school degrees, 10th in percent of adults with bachelor degrees. Its income level of $60,411 for a family is sixth highest in the United States, with the second lowest in percent of people below the poverty level. If these campaign finance laws were changed, Minnesota would be owned by the wealthy and education and income would suffer.

Richard Toenjes

Retired CFO, Tucson