LETTERS: Israel consul general in Chicago glosses over reality

SHARE LETTERS: Israel consul general in Chicago glosses over reality
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Palestinians burn a poster of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest in Bethlehem on Tuesday. Trump forged ahead Tuesday with plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite Arab, Muslim and European opposition to the move/ Mahmoud Illean/Associated Press

It’s difficult to understand how President Trump’s recently announced plan to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could possibly “jump-start” the peace process, as Aviv Ezra, the consul general of Israel to the Midwest, argued in hisrecent op-ed. On the contrary, it serves only to make a greater mockery of a truly equitable two state solution.

Ezra exhorted Palestinians to “negotiate directly with the Israelis,” but they did indeed do precisely that during the Oslo Accord talks — a period in which Israel dramatically increased its settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israel has been expelling Palestinians from East Jerusalem throughhome demolitions,revocation of residency permitsand theconstruction of the barrier wall.

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While Ezra claimed Israel has always been willing “to sit down at the negotiating table,” it has clearly sought to determine the final status of Jerusalem unilaterally by creating its own demographic facts on the ground.

Ezra condemned Palestinian violence yet remained curiously silent on Israel’s brutal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. I was particularly astonished by Ezra’s claim that Israel has “never once called for violence,” using only its “pens, voices and advocacy” in this conflict. In the end however, the real issue at hand is not rhetoric, but rather the institutional, systemic violence Israel has been committing against Palestinians for decades through a brutal military occupation.

Aviv Ezra’s cynical words do not speak for me or for the growing number of American Jews who seek a truly just peace in Israel/Palestine.

Brant Rosen

Co-founder, Jewish Voice for Peace

Where is the bias?

Listening to Republicans whine about the liberal bias in the news media is laughable because it is conservatives who actually control most of the media. “Fake news,” “Main Street media,” “liberal media” and “biased media” is how many on the right describe the outlets that make up the media.

In fact just the opposite is the case. For example: Fox News has dominated the ratings for years, and 91 percent of all talk radio stations are conservative. A majority of all newspapers in the country support Republican policies and candidates. So where is that liberal bias in the media that Republicans say exists?

A robber baron’s tax bill

The GOP tax bill is the latest boot stamp on the face of the American people by a group of economic terrorists obsessed with the destruction of the American dream.The beneficiaries of this bill already enjoy every imaginable advantage in life, but that’s no longer good enough; they now have to make other people suffer for their opulence.

The GOPare robber barons masquerading as politicians, continually looking for new ways to frame old issues to distract from the theft-in-progress. Facts are optional, critical analysis is dismissed as partisan, and the opposition party is more concerned with manners than matters of conscience.

Ross McHale, Wicker Park

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