Gunter ‘one of us’
I’m writing to thank Sgt. Dale Gunter for being the kind of policeman that every neighborhood deserves ("I have community. I have Durham’ – Sgt. Dale Gunter gives thanks” Dec. 26).
Sgt. Gunter has had a wonderful influence on the Northgate Park residents, always encouraging us to “be a lert” and to be there to help each other out when help is needed. Although we wish he’d never had that terrifying fire, we are grateful that now we have had a chance to repay some at least of all the many services he has provided for us.
You are one of us, Sgt. Gunter, and we are grateful.
Beyond common sense
Mark Davidson (“Trump wrong on Jerusalem,” Dec. 17) shows yet again his hostility toward Israel, the lonely, tiny, democracy in the increasingly chaotic Middle East. Even the USA tiptoes when confronted by hostility from Iran, Iraq and Syria. Yet Mr. Davidson pretends Israel, a country with 7 million Jews, dominates the region, even as they are surrounded by enemies and, as the U.N. vote shows, faces open hostility from many of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims. This attitude is beyond common sense and reason.
But let’s look at the assertions in Mr. Davidson’s letter about President Trump’s action:
1) “It openly disregards the longstanding consensus of the international community that Jerusalem belongs to no single nation.” Wrong: From 1948, when Jordan conquered the Old City, until 1967, when it was liberated by Israel, neither the Palestinians nor the U.N. expressed concern about Jerusalem belonging to a single nation; this in spite of the fact that the Jordanians destroyed the Jewish quarter and killed or exiled the Jews living there.
2) “It endorses the Israeli colonization and ghettoization of Palestinian East Jerusalem.” Wrong again: Jewish governance of Jerusalem dates back before biblical kings Solomon and David. Palestinians have never governed any part of Jerusalem.
3) “Iit extinguishes the last remaining embers of the so-called “peace process” built on the “two-state solution.” Some facts: Two-state plans have been turned down at least four times by Palestinian leaders, including in 1948, when they were offered ~80 percent of what is the current state of Israel.
4) “It abandons the path that seeks a just and lasting peace, choosing instead domination and violence.” Wrong yet again: Acknowledging the fact that Jerusalem is the long-standing capital of Israel gives peace negotiations a framework built around reality, instead of being based on blind hatred of the Jewish people.
Mr. Davidson ends by implying he supports “ an open society founded on equal rights for all.” The Palestinian leadership has stated that their territory will not allow any Jews; it will be ethnically cleansed. In contrast, Israeli citizens include Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, all of whom have the same basic civil rights to freely live, work, and worship as they please. Given these facts, why would Mr. Davidson support an ethnically cleansed Palestinian state? Why wouldn’t he support the Israeli model that respects minorities?
Israel, in contrast
I’m glad there are leaders in Chapel Hill who want to support an “open society founded on equal rights” vs “an apartheid state” (“Trump wrong on Jerusalem,” Dec. 17). Apartheid, which is defined as “racial segregation and discrimination” is wrong to any fair-minded person.
I’m sure the AIME group is distressed by the discrimination against Palestinians by the Lebanese government – that they live in walled camps and are prohibited from most types of work. I’m sure they were outraged when Palestinian homes in Lebanon were torn down earlier this year to build a road. I know they are upset that Palestinians in Saudi Arabia are denied citizenship. I have no doubt that they spend a lot of time worrying about discrimination and religious cleansing of the Christian population in the Middle East. This discrimination has led to the Christian population of North Africa declining from 20 percent in 1900 to less than 4 percent now. Of course, there are too few Jews left in Muslim countries to discriminate against since over 1.1 million were expelled or forced to flee since 1948.
In contrast, Israel is exactly the open society founded on equal rights that letter writers Mark Davidson and Miriam Thompson applaud. Israel is a democracy with a free press and free speech. Israel protects all minorities, including its 20 percent Muslim population, Druze, its Christian population as well. There is complete religious freedom. They protect the LGBT community. Education is encouraged equally for both men and women. All Israelis, including all minority groups, have full basic rights of citizenship.
Given Israel’s open society with equal rights for all makes Davidson’s et al support for Israel perfectly logical.
There once was wealthy man, upon whom the town relied as the preeminent benefactor of its marching band, one that brought much joy to the villagers. He annually paid the rent for all the band’s instruments. The man’s grandson, Bibbs, played lead trumpet in the band.
On one of the big holidays the people gathered downtown to watch and listen to the band as it paraded down main street. When it passed by the viewing stand where the donor sat, it was obvious to all the onlookers that the man’s grandson was out of step with all the other marchers. The crowd began to remark about it.
The wealthy benefactor, seeing this – but not wanting to admit it – yelled: “Will you look at that! Everyone is out of step in the parade except my little grandson!”
When those assembled countered that he might be mistaken, and asked how it could be possible that 99 percent of the marchers were the ones who were wrong, the wealthy man fumed then stormed out, threatening as he went that should any of the band members side with the crowd, he would stop paying for the rental of those members’ instruments.
Holiday wishes to my representatives
I would like to wish my representatives in Congress (Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr and Rep. David Price) and their respective families a very happy holiday and best wishes for a new year. Thank you for your service.
Even though we may not see eye to eye on most topics that come across their desks, I think we can agree that what we want most is to leave a lasting legacy for our, and the nation's, children. What will their legacy be?
This year, I am wishing for peace on Earth and good will toward mankind, and I will continue to resist until things in this nation start to change. And I will persist when they do start to change. I hope they will too. Happy Holidays.
Durham in spotlight
I have exciting news to share. For the second time ever, Durham will be featured on a cover of the 2018 Visit North Carolina Travel Guide. This honor effectively makes Durham a prominent “face” of North Carolina as a visitor destination, introducing the Bull City to hundreds of thousands of prospective travelers who receive the printed guide or view it online. Copies will be distributed all over the world.
The 2018 cover highlights Downtown Durham’s Central Park District, featuring a vibrant photo of the Liberty Warehouse Apartments mural by local artist Darius Quarles. He was on hand at a press conference to share the Durham history that inspired his art...and to sign copies of the magazine. Please stop by the Visitor Info Center, 212 W. Main St. to pick up a copy of the travel guide.
President and CEO
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
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