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Letters: Blame game in Middle East

I thank columnist Cathy Young for the courage to state the obvious, namely that Israel gets an unfair deal both from the media as well as the U.S. State Department ["Israel also fights an unfair backlash," Opinion, Aug. 7].

When an Israel missile mistakenly hit a United Nations school on Aug. 3, killing 10 people and wounding 35, the State Department labeled the attack "disgraceful." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared the attack as "criminal." Not surprisingly, neither the State Department nor Ki-moon waited until the facts could be sorted out.

In fact, Hamas has been launching missiles from sites close to or within UN schools, making them in essence human shields. But the State Department and the UN took the words of the Palestinian PR people to be true, and as usual, no apology for their shameful remarks has been forthcoming.

These destructive, hurtful words against Israel need to stop. Jews around the world are being targeted using the most vile and violent rhetoric. The uninformed and ill-informed fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

Words do hurt. We should expect more from those whose words are directly channeled into the mouths of the enemies of Israel.

I can only hope that Young's honest commentary will serve as a measure to which others in the media will aspire.

Judah Ausubel, Oceanside

There's an unavoidable and obvious factor that Cathy Young leaves out: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't have to look far to surmise how this latest confrontation with Hamas would turn out. The 2008 and 2012 Gaza wars were clear blueprints, especially regarding the killing of innocent civilians and children.

Then, as now, Netanyahu says Hamas uses civilians as shields, but that's been known for years. If he had any respect for the lives of innocent people, and his own soldiers, he would have set up negotiations weeks ago instead of repeating the previous disasters.

Israel's military responses to Hamas have been simply reactive. Where is Netanyahu's long-term blueprint for peace?

Anita Sapper, Forest Hills

Winter weather forecast nonsense

Newsday recently published a photo of someone using a snowblower with a story that said "blasts of winterlike air" could be coming in September. Heading into my senior year of college as a meteorology major, I knew that this prediction took the cake ["Enjoy August, because ...," News, Aug. 7].

The article, which was based on AccuWeather's fall 2014 forecast, went on to predict big storms in December and early January.

When talking about the weather, there are so many variables that affect Long Island. Whether it be the gases that come out of New York City, the Atlantic Ocean, the Long Island Sound, or many other factors, it is nearly impossible to give an accurate forecast beyond 60 hours. Trying to predict the future, which is essentially what meteorologists do, is tough as it is, but trying to predict what will happen five months from now is ludicrous.

I hope that I will one day be able to change public perception by giving accurate, truthful and legitimate forecasts.

Eric Brill, Farmingville

Freeport wrecks its music scene

I'm a musician in a rock band that has been playing in the bars and clubs on the Nautical Mile for quite some time ["Up in arms," News, Aug. 4]. Freeport is a hot spot for live entertainment throughout the summer.

Recently, a handful of residents have complained about the volume of the music and have demanded that the village enforce a noise ordinance that seems to continue to get stricter. Some club owners have been given no choice but to discontinue featuring full bands for fear of being fined.

When superstorm Sandy obliterated the Nautical Mile, cries of "We'll be back!" rang out as construction crews worked around the clock to make the Mile better than ever. When Woodcleft Avenue was fully rebuilt, the village did all it could to bring people back to Freeport. Celebrations abounded, and the Mile was hopping once again.

Sadly, the party atmosphere of Freeport summer weekends was soon dampened by the constant presence of the Decibel Police. The moment a band peaks a smidgen above 85 decibels, the owner is presented with a summons. It appears that the little guys are getting targeted and hurting the most.

If the village continues, Freeport will lose its reputation as the place to hear live music. The day the music dies is the day Freeport dies.

John Rullo, Freeport

Graffiti, trash in nature preserve

Having read your article about problems at the David Weld Sanctuary, I must say that those problems are present in the Massapequa Preserve also ["Preserve closed over graffiti," News, Aug. 5].

It's beyond understanding how people young and old can be so uncaring about these small remaining tracts. If left uncollected by volunteers, the trash along the path, in the streams and woods would be knee-deep in no time.

Graffiti exists in areas otherwise serene and beautiful. Even some who walk their dogs will pick up the poop with a plastic bag, tie it off and toss it into the brush. It's mind-boggling.

James Burns, Massapequa Park