Letters to the Editor

04/22 What You’re Saying: Gabriel Liberty, Elise Dickinson, Julie Bailey, Albert Long

Israel and ICE

Having followed your recent news articles regarding the Durham City Council’s stance on local law enforcement officers being trained by Israeli sources, it seems to me that the council is “shadow boxing” or fighting a non-existent problem. According to the chief of police, there are no plans nor have there been any plans to seek such training. What started all of this and why the sudden attention to a non-existent concern? Shouldn’t training issues be left to those familiar with the field and not politicians?

On another issue; regarding the mayor’s statement of condemnation of ICE enforcement, I respectfully disagree. ICE is enforcing the immigration laws as they currently exist and do not deserve to be condemned for performing their lawful duty. If I wanted to be mayor of the city of Durham I cannot just go to City Hall and sit in the mayor’s chair and be a mayor. There is a process of election which I must follow just as there is a process to enter the United States. Coming into the U.S. in an unlawful manner forces one to be unable to comply with other established laws which perpetuates the problem.

Kent Fletcher


A false narrative

As a Jew, I am deeply angry with those that push a false narrative that the Jewish state has been militarizing the Durham police.

As a Jew, I am embarrassed by the city I live in that would choose to walk hand-in-hand with those that want nothing more than to see the Jewish state disappear.

Gaza is a living prison. The question to answer is why is it a living prison. All the Jews were forcefully removed from Gaza many years ago. Not a single Jew occupies Gaza. Israel by force supplies Gaza with electricity and water. Israel by force sustains Gaza with food. Israel does not want this and would be more than happy that the billions of dollars provided by Israel, U.S., Europe and other countries would be spent on Gaza’s infrastructure, on her people. Once the conflict ends so too will the money. The Gaza leaders would no longer be able to afford the lifestyle they have come accustomed to, living in huge beach homes, driving the most expensive cars. So yes, you can blame the Jews because we have the power, right? We control the world, right? We are the evil of this world which gives you the reason why we shouldn't exist, right? It’s easier to believe the Jews did it then to believe that a group of Hamas leaders who wish to maintain the status quo living an opulent lifestyle did it, right?

One-day Gaza will be an independent nation sustaining herself taking advantage of her rich natural resources. The flourishing West Bank will appeal to Jordan which would be more than happy to re-absorb a 30 percent GDP bump. The peace between Israel, Gaza, Jordan and Egypt will remain. Help make this our new reality for the betterment of all.

Gabriel Liberty


Not a Jewish issue

As a Jewish clergy member, I want to applaud the two local rabbis who refused to sign a rabbinic letter urging the Durham City Council to reconsider a resolution put forth by a coalition of 10 local organizations asking it to formally abolish police exchange partnerships between the Durham Police Department (DPD) and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Contrary to some perceptions, the resolution is not a Jewish issue. It is a plea to resist foreign intervention or exchange that could potentially worsen racial profiling and the militarization of our police force. The resolution is not about delegitimizing Israel. Rather it serves as a condemnation of Israel's documented human rights abuses and a recognition that we do not need any help from any external source whose record is as bad as ours. I do not think the U.S. or Durham police force need training on how to assassinate resistance leaders, beat or kill unarmed Black and Brown protesters, or shoot civilians in the back or in their cars whose only crime is being Black. We do a fine job of this on our own.

And to the rabbis that signed the letter, how can you claim your daily social justice focus if you are on the side of fighting a resolution that protects those least able to protect themselves? Hillel states, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary; now go and learn.” (Shabbat 31a)

Rachel Galper


Blackwood highly qualified

Following a family tragedy in 2008, we were introduced to the remarkable men and women of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, including Charles Blackwood prior to him becoming sheriff.

With his bid for re-election, we want people to know the man we have come to respect and admire. He has integrity, compassion and commitment to the residents of Orange County. He’s a progressive visionary as demonstrated by his support for department improvements, his desire to improve outcomes for inmates re-entering the community and his support for vital initiatives like Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for deputies which protects the welfare of citizens in a mental health crisis and deputies responding to a call.

Last year, Sheriff Blackwood established a new database he named after the nonprofit organization my family created in memory of our son. The Josh’s Hope database provides a method for parents/caregivers of children and adults with cognitive or mental health disorders to voluntarily provide information which is stored and accessible by law enforcement when responding to a call. Details stored can help a deputy quickly de-escalate a situation, insuring safety for all.

I cannot imagine anyone more qualified for the job as Orange County Sheriff than Charles Blackwood and highly endorse his candidacy.

Julie Bailey


Protect Mueller

I hope Sen. Tillis and Sen. Burr are doing everything in their power to protect the Mueller investigations.

I am disgusted and extremely upset that Mitch McConnell has refused to let a bipartisan bill come to the floor to protect Mueller. He is obstructing government and abiding criminal actions against a valid process to investigate crimes against our country and its people! I am overwhelmingly concerned about why Russia is getting let off sanctions and the president seems to think that’s OK.

Mueller needs protection from the president and his dictatorial attitude. Congress must protect Mueller and protect our country!

Elise Dickinson


Get on board, Burr

I wish to applaud Sen. Tillis' proposed bipartisan legislation to protect Special Counselor Mueller from arbitrary firing.

I urge Sen. Burr to support his fellow N.C. senator and support the U.S. Constitution, by advocating for Sen.Tillis' proposed legislation. Protecting Mr. Mueller from arbitrary actions by the president is necessary and urgently needed. It is easier to prevent an unjust firing than it is to attempt to re-instate Mr. Mueller after an unjust firing.

This is not a matter to slowly contemplate. This calls for action now. Consider the orchestrated media and political attacks on Mueller as a Pearl Harbor situation. By analogy, a Declaration of War is required right now. Congress must get moving! Their credibility hangs in the balance. The potential boost in the public esteem for our elected representatives among North Carolinians and the nation awaits their actions. Again, congratulations, Sen. Tillis, for getting this legislation started. It's time to finish the job now.

Howard Partner


Thank you, power workers

Many thanks to those hard workers last Sunday night that braved the fierce winds and heavy rains to restore our power as quickly as they did. A job well done and greatly appreciated!

Albert Long


Speak up

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