Journalist Dan Raviv seems to have taken leave of his sense of critical analysis. He sets up a dichotomy of American Jews who worry about Israel’s future [“Decision time for Israel, its leaders,” Opinion, Sept. 3]. One side says Israel should “make peace with the Palestinians a top priority and grant them their own sovereign state.” The other tells Israel to “stand firm and tell Palestinians that they will never get independence unless they abandon violence and recognize the Jewish state.”
I believe he favors the former. He states that most American Jews are liberal and agree with that position.
Hello, Mr. Raviv! Israel is a sovereign democracy. Its voters are capable of choosing the government they want in the Sept. 17 election. They don’t need advice or interference from American Jews, right or left. Are we concerned about foreign interference in democratic elections only when it’s Russia and the 2016 victory by President Donald Trump?
Benjamin Netanyahu has been Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, chosen in multiple elections. And clearly, Israelis agree with him that making “peace with the Palestinians” is not a top priority unless they abandon violence, as Raviv wrote. Israelis are far more concerned about a nuclear Iran. Since it’s their lives on the line, it would be best for American Jews to keep their unsolicited advice to themselves.
Alan A. Mazurek,
Editor’s note: The writer is vice chairman of the national board of the Zionist Organization of America.
Cuomo’s policies impeding progress
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s policies to block energy infrastructure projects are squarely to blame for the lack of new access to natural gas. Consumers and small businesses across the metropolitan area are feeling the pinch of these poor decisions [“Business groups urging Cuomo to approve gas pipeline,” News, Aug. 29]. Blocking the proposed Williams Co. gas pipeline under New York Harbor and enacting unrealistic policies do not reduce the fundamental need for affordable energy access.
New York was the fifth-largest natural gas consumer for electricity in 2017, with the fuel meeting nearly 40 percent of the state’s power demands. Yet, gas-supply constraints are one of the primary drivers of New England having the highest average electricity costs in the continental United States, according to federal data. In Pennsylvania, where natural gas is used to generate electricity, cook food and heat homes, consumers are saving an average of $1,100 to $2,200 a year.
Pipelines are the safest way to transport energy and are closely regulated by federal and state agencies. Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas resources can help achieve climate goals and create economic opportunities. As demand grows, it’s high time for Cuomo to allow New Yorkers to realize the economic and environmental savings that Pennsylvania-produced natural gas can deliver.
Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade organization.
Let Southards Pond in Babylon flow again
The cyanobacteria accumulating in Southards Pond in Babylon has perfect growing conditions, as do all of the other 18 ponds with toxic algae [“Suffolk plagued by algae,” News, Aug. 30]. Southards was dammed by farmers who had large farms and herds. Today, there are no farms or cattle. Removing the dam would let the Carlls River flow again. Eventually the pond bed would evolve into a meadow.
Editor’s note: The writer, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, has participated in several ecology restoration projects, including at Southards Pond.
Saladino Facebook posts are divisive
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s behavior on Facebook has caught the attention of a civil liberties advocacy group, as he has been quelling free speech by deleting comments and blocking users [“Violation of First Amendment alleged,” News, Aug. 30].
Saladino has little tolerance for dissent and uses the page to sow division among constituents. Recently he went after U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The day before, he attacked Democrats in the State Legislature. In July, he tried to scare his constituents into believing the absolute worst about immigrants, implying that only Republicans will protect Americans from “illegal aliens.”
His rhetoric is divisive and beneath the office. To me, the message is clear: He is not here to serve all his constituents, only those in his party. Oyster Bay deserves better.
Editor’s note: The writer has been a campaign volunteer for local Democratic candidates.
Reduce plastic bottles at school events
One commends the efforts of students to initiate environmentally friendly actions by their schools [“Students push schools to go green,” News, Sept. 3].
However, an obvious issue not mentioned is how athletic teams hand out plastic bottles of water to students at sporting events instead of having each athlete bring a reusable container to be refilled at the field. The number of plastic bottles used by teams is staggering. Buying water this way is expensive and sends the wrong message to students about scarce resources.