Letters to the Editor

Vashon residents respond to hate crime | Letters to the Editor

Hate crimes

The parish stands in solidarity

I’m confident that all parishioners are with me in standing in solidarity with our Jewish brethren on the Island who have suffered the damages and painful insult of a hate crime that desecrated the most sacred part of their synagogue. We deplore this crime and the hatred that spurred on the criminals, and we pledge to do what we can to bring the criminals to justice. They need to be held accountable for the evil they have perpetrated.

Meanwhile, our sympathies are with our Jewish brethren. In knowing we are concerned for their well-being and share their desire that our community on Vashon be free from hate, we hope they find some comfort.

— Rev. Richard R. Roach, S.J., St. John Vianney Catholic Church

Newspaper helps guide the way

The Anti-Defamation League applauds the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber for its support to both the Jewish community and the larger community on Vashon. A hate crime affects us all, irrespective of what group is targeted. The dynamics are the same for any type of hate as well as for healing.

The community that stands together to say no to intolerance and yes to respect will suffer fewer hate crimes, promote more diversity and prosper from the spirit of acceptance and community that tolerance engenders.

Your editorial helps guide the way.

— Ellen Bovarnick, regional director, the Anti-Defamation League

Goodwill gesture does little

I appreciate attempts by Vashon residents to support our Jewish community. Unfortunately this gesture of goodwill will not solve this problem.

If we want an end to prejudice, we will have to end the hypocrisy that feeds it and commit to ending injustice wherever we find it.

Many of our soldiers in Iraq refer to the people they are required by international law to protect as “hajis” and “ragheads.” Sadly, they were taught to hate the people they were honor bound to protect. I’m not blaming them, even though perhaps a million innocent Iraqis have been murdered and millions more displaced.

Now we are threatening to attack Iran, which hasn’t attacked another nation in more than 100 years. We can’t seem to stop thinking up ways to make war on innocent people, undermining their hope for freedom, stealing their resources.

Many Americans don’t believe their government does these things. They really don’t want to know. The rest of the world knows. The rest of the world knows that the Palestinian people live like prisoners in their own country... tortured, mistreated and betrayed by Israel and America.

Our relationship with Israel is counter-productive and can only lead to Israel’s destruction and our own if we dont fix it. George Bush and his criminal associates should have been impeached long ago. They should be standing trial in The Hague along with Radovan Karadzic.

We now live in a country where the truth is often unwelcome. Putting a Jewish star in your window is not going to fix this. Our Middle East policy betrays everything good about what our founders tried to do for us. Our Constitution is in tatters, and most Americans are still silent in the face of treason. Many Jews and Christians blindly defend Israel’s failures. And we wonder why some of our children might be confused. We are all confused. If we don’t wake up soon there will be no place to hide... for Jews or anyone else hoping to live in peace as a decent human being, free from tyranny. Even on Vashon.

Mark Goldman

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