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Please reconsider this decision by eliminating something else that would not be utilized as often by your subscribers.

LAURA BAKER

Healdsburg

Zionism debate

EDITOR: So many in our community are working tirelessly to end hate wherever it raises its ugly head — remembering the deadly prejudices of the past so that they never return to take root in our communities again. It is important that talks on anti-Semitism are listed in The Press Democrat (“ ‘The New Anti-Semitism’ focus of Congregation Beth Ami speaker series,” pressdemocrat.com). I take issue, however, with equating anti-Semitism with speaking out against unjust Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, as one of the talks proposes. Are people anti-Semitic if they are anti-Zionist? Absolutely not. There are many Jews who are anti-Zionist.

It is Zionism, a political ideology, that claims all of Palestine for a Jewish state. It is Zionism, not Judaism, from the 1890s to the present that entitles Israel to “settle” Palestine, meaning ethnically cleansing the indigenous people from land they have lived in for many centuries. Anti-colonialist, anti-racist commitment requires that we speak out against such actions.

It’s curious that so many progressives who are active in major social issues plaguing our world avoid addressing the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Why? Fear of anti-Semitic labeling silences them perhaps? Will these talks set the false association up again?

Desmond Tutu has said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

THERESE MUGHANNAM-WALRATH

Santa Rosa

Fire hazards

EDITOR: No matter how many firefighters, how much warning, how much dead brush is cut away or how fire resistant the building materials, we need to recognize the truth that some fire conditions cannot be adequately controlled or prevented. Warning people with a siren sounds helpful, but what about clogged roads where people are burned in their cars because they cannot get out?

Those who rebuild in known fire disaster areas need to know they are creating deaths traps for whomever will live in these new homes, including future owners such as their descendants.

LUCILLE RIGGS

Santa Rosa

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