Israeli occupation didn't start until '67
In the Jan. 4 letter, "Occupation exactly what conflict is about," the author simply makes up "facts" in asserting that Jews carved out Israel from an Arab state of Palestine.
The word "Palestine" first appeared around the year 130 AD, when imperial Rome conquered and renamed the Jewish kingdom of Judea. To remove the Jewish nature of the country, Rome renamed it "Palestine," a word whose linguistic origin means "invader."
The Muslim Ottoman Empire ruled the Middle East until the end of World War I. Israel was within the Ottoman "Syrian administrative district" -- no state of Palestine.
After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate in Palestine -- which included present-day Israel and Jordan. For the first time in more than a thousand years, Palestine was again a political entity. Starting in the 1920s, Arab Muslims attacked and massacred Jews there. Then Jews accepted and Arabs rejected a U.N. vote to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
The "occupation" arose because Israel was victorious in a defensive war in 1967. The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, before any occupation; Their plan: drive the Jews into the sea. Those who hate never let verifiable facts hinder them.
Bratton's style is not what Oakland needs
What a sad statement this paper makes every time reporters fail to acknowledge that there are readers who are completely and utterly against William Bratton and the discredited Broken Windows "justification" for an increased police presence on our streets.
This sad state was not more apparent when in the Jan. 4 edition Matthew Artz goes out of his way -- as a journalist should -- to find and quote opponents of the planned Lake Merritt dog park, yet fails to engage and quote an opponent of the Bratton style of policing.
Stop-and-frisk is not just an "issue in our city" as Bratton quips, but an issue for tens of thousands of black and brown youth across the nation who are tracked into the system of mass incarceration each year. The struggle against stop-and-frisk is growing (see New York City) and will be resisted in Oakland regardless of how Bratton and his overpaid professionals will seek to soften it for our city.
I am hopeful that residents of good conscience of Rockridge and Montclair will see Bratton and his broken theories for what they are: the local versions of Donald Rumsfeld and the Patriot Act that have eaten away at the civil liberties of people of color beyond recognition of what the Bill of Rights guarantees all people in America, regardless of geography.
It is time to do away with the half-baked theories of consultants who continue to profit from the bloodshed in our streets.
Local news great, but report more on crime
I am a regular reader of The Montclarion. I appreciate its focus on more local concerns in the context of events going on in Oakland in particular and the East Bay and even the state of California in general. The profiles on Piedmont and hills residents are also interesting for the most part. They remind us that we live in a diverse community of individuals who have many different talents that can improve the quality of life for all of us.
I liked the extensive coverage of the Rockridge Safeway plans as well as the articles on Blair Park. These provided my wife and me with much needed specifics and thus a better understanding of the overall context in which they were being raised.
The op-ed pieces on the editorial page are usually insightful and well written. Even when I do not agree with what has been articulated at any one particular time I find that it at least stimulates me to consider alternative points of view about community, educational and/or social issues.
There is one thing I would like more coverage on, however: CRIME. The fact that a recent edition had two letters addressing citizen concerns about this issue demonstrates that it is on the top of many other people's list as well. My wife and I moved here in the summer of 2010 from a smaller and thus 'safer' community of maybe 200,000 people where there was much less street crime, many fewer burglaries and auto thefts and very few homicides a year. There have been many burglaries, a couple of home invasion assaults and burglaries and one murder in our immediate neighborhood (Piedmont Pines) in recent months. Thus it has become, and will continue to be, an ongoing concern for my wife and me.
More specifically, I would like more coverage of the efforts being made by Oakland police to cope with, if not try to lessen the incidence of, crime. TV news, etc. and the weekly police reports in your newspapers give enough info about specific events. But more needs to be shared about efforts being made to reduce the incidence of crime.
Thank you for your efforts to move The Montclarion and The Piedmonter into a more community-friendly direction. We look forward to seeing how you continue to do this.