An unsolvable problem?
EDITOR: Dan Vrooman (“A just peace,” Letters, Friday”) suggests that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one state. He’s dreaming.
Trying to describe the history of the conflict in a letter is impossible. Furthermore, there is certainly enough blame to go around. Interested readers should research it for themselves before believing protagonists.
I believe that, from Israel’s point of view, they don’t believe they will obtain security with the Palestinians as negotiating partners. This is an existential issue. For example, at the Camp David Summit of 2000, the Palestinians were offered the Gaza Strip, a capital in East Jerusalem, 73 percent of the West Bank, increasing to 90-94 percent after 10-15 years and financial reparations. Yasser Arafat turned it down, without a counteroffer. There have been other such developments before and since, including the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, with the forced evacuation of Jewish settlements.
Hamas has consistently denied the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.
Under these circumstances, and in the face of repeated military attacks from both sides, how would a one-state solution work? One simply has to look at other countries with divided ethnicities for examples. Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt come to mind.
Perhaps this conflict, and the greater Middle East problem, offers no reasonable solution.
JEFFREY A. RAPP
Immigration and housing
EDITOR: The Press Democrat continues to beat the drum for more development, which is great for investors and contractors but not so great for traffic and the environment. Here are a couple of inconvenient truths:
There are 3,500-4,000 illegal immigrants in Sonoma County. There are slightly more than 3,000 homeless people in the county. Do I have to connect the dots?
Evidently, because every homeless person represents pent-up demand for housing that the banks and developers would be only too happy to meet, although we might have to tax ourselves to subsidize them.
Larkfield water rates
EDITOR: California American Water Company has filed rate case A.16-07-002 seeking an increase in Larkfield District water rates of 12.44 percent for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. While more modest than most recent requests, it still far exceeds that of the Consumer Price Index.
One of the main drivers of the request is reduction in water consumption in the Larkfield District. Larkfield residents have, in fact, done a magnificent job of water conservation.
Since 2009, ratepayers have paid for the water that they did not use due to conservation and all other causes through the Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism surcharges on their water bills. If an increase due to reduction in consumption is granted, then the surcharges should be terminated to avoid double payment.
The California Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a public participation hearing at 6 p.m. today at the Mark West School multipurpose room.
This will be the only meeting concerning this rate case to be held in Larkfield. All other meetings will be held in the Public Utilities Commission offices in San Francisco. This meeting will be your best opportunity to state your views.
JAMES M. BOULER