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Your Views: Settlements undermine peace process
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I just read Charles Krauthammer’s article in the Sunday edition. He details his opinion that President Obama is wrong to insist Israel must honor its Road Map commitments.

Krauthammer suggests Obama is now ready to listen to everyone except Israel. He fails to mention that America has been a consistent friend of Israel since its creation.

The U.S. has always listened to Israel. The problem is that Israel has not listened to the U.S. The official position of the U.S. Department of State is that the settlements are a violation of international law. This position has been clear and long standing.

In spite of this, for the past 40 years Israel has strung the U.S. along with hollow promises, religious dogma, intentional ambiguity and outright dishonesty — all while continuing to solidify it’s illegal placement of settlements in occupied territory.

Krauthammer said Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. What really happened was President Obama insisted that Israel must honor a commitment it has already agreed to.

In addition, Krauthammer suggests U.S. insistence on no exceptions for natural growth is intended to undermine and destroy these towns. This is intentionally misleading. The demand is intended to stop this activity only temporarily. It could resume (in appropriate locations) as soon as a permanent border is finalized. In fact, the only scenario under which this would present a problem is if Israel does not intend to allow a permanent border to ever be created. In any other case, settlement expansion could resume immediately for settlements that remain on Israel’s side of the border.

As these facts on the ground have progressed over the last 40 years, the issue of settlements and their expansion has become a cancer that is killing the peace process.

Krauthammer suggests that Israel can trade land on its side of the 1949 Armistice Line to the Palestinians in exchange for settlement blocs in occupied territory. If this is so, why didn’t Israel build its settlements on that land to start with? When Krauthammer can answer that question, he will have an article worthy of reading.

Bruce Vandiver

Lula

Lawyer takes aim at law enforcement

I’m writing in response to David Kennedy’s latest offering. Kennedy again describes himself as an immigration lawyer by trade. He’s done this in the last dozen or so of these type letters. The letters always say basically the same thing, that the 287(g) program is bad and that anyone who supports the enforcement of our immigration laws are also bad and most letters include the emphasis that he’s an immigration attorney. I think we all understand how he earns his living and the impact on his business if illegal immigrant numbers are refused.

In his most recent letter to the editor, he again uses omissions and a verbal slight of hand to attempt to mislead.

He writes about the high costs of enforcement (which after reading earlier articles and having conversations with the sheriff and his staff) are actually minimal on a local level since the program was initiated and maintained with existing staff. He writes that there are no benefits ignoring the local statistics that have been well publicized and are evident in many areas of our community.

He insinuated that individuals are arrested for simply being here illegally, when he knows that they only find themselves involved with the 287(g) program when they are here illegally and commit an additional offense while here.

And most importantly, he omits the real issue which is immigrations laws themselves. Kennedy earns his living in the practice of law, but instead of addressing the law itself and working to change it, he instead takes aim at and constantly attacks those who work to enforce our laws.

He, like so many others involved in this debate, don’t seem to want to actually debate the issue of immigration, sovereignty, national security and border control.

Instead he chooses to attack anyone who supports the enforcement of our laws, particularly our immigration laws. He chooses to ignore the fact that when the most recent amnesty bill was circulating through congress, that it received such strong and broad bases opposition through out this great nation, that the bill was removed from consideration.

There’s no doubt that something needs to be done regarding the important issues facing this nation and I can’t tell you that I know what will solve the issues, but attacking local public servants in not the answer.

To suggest, as Kennedy did, that somehow the sheriff and other elected officials wanted to "get rid of all immigrants" is as ridiculous as The Times continuing to print what amounts to free advertising for Kennedy.

Victor Dube

Oakwood

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