Letters to the editor | Nov. 2 edition

Readers write in about the Israel-Gaza crisis and the school board election.


Ceasefire needed

“Calling for a cease-fire should be considered a mainstream, normative position.” (From a pediatrician at the massive Jewish Voice for Peace protest, Grand Central Terminal, NYC, Oct. 28.)

And it is mainstream! A majority of Americans across the political spectrum are in favor of an immediate ceasefire. (See Oct 18-19 poll at portside.org)

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a ceasefire on Oct. 27. Unfortunately, at the Security Council, where it really counts, the U.S. and Russia trade vetoes on their respective ceasefire resolutions — in other words, dithering while Gaza burns.

The families of the hostages certainly want a ceasefire. Most importantly, the people of Gaza need a ceasefire. Nothing in recent history or ancient history justifies the slaughter that is taking place in Gaza right now. This feels like pure revenge for a despicable act. And the Hamas attack was a horrific crime. And now, we are watching the disproportionate response by Israel — collective punishment — a crime according to international law, one that is turning very quickly into a genocide.

Please call our elected officials and demand that they sign on to the resolution in the House calling for an immediate ceasefire. Rep. Jayapal has finally done so after intense constituent pressure. Senators Murray and Cantwell must feel the groundswell for a ceasefire. Biden must stop calling for ever more military aid to Israel.

Call every day… until the violence stops. Please. Only then can we begin to forge a path toward a solution, one where both Palestinians and Israelis can live with the “same right to the same rights” as the Israeli hostage negotiator, Gershon Baskin, said recently on “Democracy Now.” Then peace will be possible… from the river to the sea.

Jessica Lisovsky, granddaughter of victims of the WWII Holocaust.

Clarification about candlelit vigil

Last week, Barry Grosskopf wrote a letter to the editor about the vigil for peace at the Havurah. He said: “The agreement during the candlelit vigil was to avoid speaking directly about the situation, as dialogue could easily tear people apart with passionately divergent opinions.”

Some have been confused and took this to mean that the Havurah decided we should all avoid speaking about the situation in general. He was referring to the vigil itself, where we read poetry and sang prayers and songs rather than opening up the floor to discussion. Please know that Havurah would never put a mandate on people’s lives and how they should approach discussing world events.

Suzanne Greenberg, president of Vashon Havurah


Election endorsements

As an educator, a parent of a Vashon school district grad, and a community member, I am excited to endorse Vashon School Board candidates Kaycie Alanis, Angela Marshall, and Juniper Rogneby.

I left a recent candidate forum inspired by each of these candidates’ ability to relate to all stakeholders, reminding us that they are us. They understand that must represent diverse interests with humility, transparency, and a steadfast commitment to learning about the issues that matter most to students — by listening to the community, teachers, parents, and pre-K through 12th-grade students themselves. I urge you to read their words here and here.

You can also read numerous letters sent in over the past few weeks endorsing these three.

I urge you to pay extra attention to Angela Marshall’s race.

Angela is the candidate we need at this time in position #3. I’ve witnessed her response to difficult questions with a depth of understanding and a deep respect for district employees, students, and families.

She is pro-union, and she understands the complex issues surrounding contract law, bargaining agreements, and transparency, having worked successfully with labor and management on both sides.

In these last rough years through COVID, ongoing budget strains, and instances of teacher misconduct, authentic partnership with those closest to the classroom (e.g, students, their families, and their teachers) is essential for the district to thrive. Angela connects the dots between the ongoing work of maintaining systems and structures of integrity and the everyday work of school, as a place of relevant learning and joyful belonging, for every student.

Please vote on November 7!

Jen Lindsay