Rachel Corrie and the Israeli occupation; Duplicity revealed; Victims of catastrophe need to be understood; Gather for peace; Pedestrian safety an issue on Grandview; Signatures needed for November initiative

Pedestrian safety an issue on Grandview

This Thursday, the city of Ashland Transportation Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers, 1175 E. Main St., to address pedestrian safety on Grandview Drive (between Scenic Drive and Sunnyview Street).

This street is used not only by the residents on and above Grandview drive, but by many walkers, joggers and cyclists on the way to Hald-Strawberry Park or in a scenic loop of this part of Ashland. I would like to invite the many people who enjoy this beautiful route to take part in shaping its future. Please join me on March 18.

Mona J. McArdle

Ashland

Teachers' must-read

I urge all the teachers of our children to pick up the book "The Ascent of Humanity" by Charles Eisenstein and read pages 304 to 330, subtitled "Yes or No." It is an incredible reminder of who our children are and could be and how important your role is. Thank you for your effort to do this.

Jill Iles

Talent

Signatures needed to renew state funding

Want to help Oregon water, parks and wildlife? Just sign a petition to qualify the Water, Parks and Wildlife Initiative for the November ballot. This initiative renews the current dedication of 15 percent of Oregon Lottery revenues for providing clean water and maintaining/ constructing parks, healthy fish and wildlife habitats.

Overwhelmingly passed by Oregon voters in 1998, without another vote of the people these funds will expire. For more than 10 years these funds have been restoring habitats, acquiring natural areas, creating and improving state and local parks, land trusts, and funding local watershed councils. Our Table Rocks, U.S. Cellular Park, Lone Pine Park, Lane County's Armitage Park & Campground, coastal cleanups and the new Stub Steward State Park are a few of hundreds of examples — all with no increase in taxes and no cuts to other vital services, while providing jobs and creating nearby, affordable recreation.

At least 60,000 signatures of Oregon registered voters are needed by June 30 to place the initiative that renews Oregon's only funding source dedicated to water, parks and wildlife, on the November 2010 ballot.

Commit to Oregon's future by signing a community volunteer's petition or by volunteering to gather signatures. For more information, contact Robert Garnell, Jackson County volunteer coordinator, at rcg@seanet.com, or volunteer Gaylene Hurley at gaylenehurley@charter.net.

Gaylene Hurley

Medford

Rachel Corrie and the Israeli occupation

Tuesday was the seventh anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death. Rachel was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home that had young children in it. Since Rachel died protesting Israeli injustice, it is a fitting time to review what's changed in Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Sadly, not much has changed. Israel still administers Palestine as an apartheid state. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls Israel's abuses "the ethnic cleansing of Palestine." The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, which recently published a legal study of Israel's Occupation, calls it apartheid.

In order to salvage Palestinian human rights, save Israel from herself and help sever our own complicit connection to Israel, people worldwide, including numerous Israeli and American Jews, have adopted the same strategy used to defeat South African apartheid, that is, boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The thinking is that the occupation won't end until Israel sees that the cost is too high.

The South African boycott actually started in 1959 and took 35 years to reach its goal. BDS against Israel started in 2005 and is already making waves. We're sure to hear more of this in the coming years, despite our media blackout of anything detrimental to Israel's image.

Lastly, on a personal note, on one of our trips to Israel/Palestine, I was with five Jewish American physicians meeting with six Israeli mental health workers. After debriefing them on our trip and hearing of their own difficulties related to the occupation, one of the Israelis took my hands in hers, looked me in the eyes, and said with tears streaming down her cheeks, "You have to support the boycott. It's the only way." Another Jew against Israeli apartheid.

Gene Robbins

and Bonnie Brodersen

Ashland

Duplicity of Israel's politics revealed

This week has at last revealed in arrogant detail the duplicity of the Jewish state.

The politics of Israelis may vary, but the state of Israel has consistently moved to gouge as much water and land away from the "potential" Palestinian state as it could get away with.

Without the unlimited blank checks from the U.S., the Israelis just might have learned long ago the value of getting along with its neighbors, instead of cheating them at every turn.

Jerry Nutter

Ashland