Home Commentary Letters Letters to the Editor, May 8, 2024

Letters to the Editor, May 8, 2024

Image from Vecteezy.

A Letter for Jules

To the Editor:

I’m writing in regard to your feature about Jules Rabin (The Bridge, April 17–May 7, 2024), whom I have known for many years and whom I consider a friend. 

This letter is really addressed to him and anyone who thinks he shared wisdom when he castigated the Jewish citizens of Israel for committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

First, I want to note that Jules did not mention one single word of kindness or caring for the Israelis who were brutally murdered or are now being held hostage in Gaza.

Second, I’d like to mention that not all Jewish Israelis support this war, and there are many Jewish and Arab Israelis who detest it and detest the present government. 

Third, the Hamas terrorists are right-wing terrorists, and it is they who have a stated message of wanting to destroy the Jewish state, a message of genocide. They have victimized their own Palestinian people by initiating this war. If Hamas would release the hostages, the Israeli government would have no basis for continuing the war.

Fourth, genocide means the systematic and intentional plan to destroy a certain ethnicity. That is not what is happening in Gaza. Though it is terrible what is happening in Gaza.

I grieve for those living in Gaza. I grieve for the Palestinians and the Israelis who are victims of their leadership.

But, Jules, what do you think the nation of Israel should have done when their innocent civilians were murdered, tortured, and kidnapped?

Michele Clark, Plainfield

Response to Jules Rabin

To the Editor: 

I am responding to Jules Rabin’s letter (The Bridge, April 17–May 7, 2024) with infinite compassion for his virtue-signaling on his 100th birthday when he celebrated by serving up the most up-to-date blood-libel against his fellow Jews. I am a quarter-century younger than he, and feeling very vulnerable, even at 75, and appreciate his thrill to be surrounded by youth. But what a shame that he offers lies and horror to his fellow human beings in order to win their admiration.

Jules, where are you getting your figures from? From Hamas, which accused Israel of killing 500 people in a strike on the Al Ahli hospital that, horribly, killed maybe 50, due to a rocket Islamic Jihad had launched, destined for Israeli civilians, that fell short of Israel and landed in the hospital parking lot?

On the day of your birthday, you should be happy to know that the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health figures were revised DOWNWARDS, by one-third, for “incompleteness” of 12,263 of its previously given 33,091? From the Foundation for Defense of Democracies website (fdd.org/analysis/2024/04/09/hamas-run-gaza-health-ministry-admits-to-flaws-in-casualty-data/): Hamas never acknowledges how many of its numbers were armed fighters, estimated to be at least 10,000.

You have been a longtime activist for Gaza. Did you EVER mention that Israel withdrew all its presence from there in 2005, that Gaza’s population has grown since then (never evidence of “genocide” except as a slander of the Jews)? Did you EVER demonstrate against the slaughter, destruction of homes, and capture of hundreds of babies, women, children, and elders, from the “peacenik” communities along the Israeli-Gaza border, many of whom chose to live there in an ecumenical spirit, employ Gazans, and do charitable missions such as driving the people of Gaza who required medical care to hospitals in Israel? Have you EVER demonstrated for the release of these innocents?

Diana Mara Henry, Newport

Consider Privatizing an Elementary School

To the Editor:

Following the stories regarding Roxbury and their small elementary school and the Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools (MRPS) budget votes, it would seem a good time for folks to get started on background regarding privatizing an existing elementary school. 

In response to concerns over what Act 46-related mergers would impose on their local community, North Bennington voted to close its public elementary school and transfer the building to a private organization with a public mission.

There is one obvious difference between the North Bennington and MRPS situation: North Bennington was its own school district.

Start thinking about it now. It doesn’t guarantee any particular outcome, but it will keep folks from being caught off guard.

Rama Schneider, Williamstown

S.258 Bad for Vermont

To the Editor:

Senate bill 258 will change the Fish and Wildlife Board’s authority from rule-making to advisory, put that authority in the hands of the F&W Commissioner, and add two non-consumptive users to the F&W Board, in addition to outlawing the hunting of coyotes over bait or with hounds.

The bill, as passed from the Senate, looks nothing like the bill introduced in January. Following numerous hearings, it became obvious that the original bill did not have the votes to pass. So like the days of the political smoke-filled back room, it passed with no new hearings or a chance for the public to react before the vote. Politics at its worst!

The Fish and Wildlife Department did not ask for it. Vermont sportsmen did not support the changes. But the Senate approved it anyway. 

There are several problems with this bill:

Fish and Wildlife staff are scientists and biologists, they are not policy geeks. The current board listens to the public and gathers scientific information from the staff before implementing any new rules. 

This bill would eliminate hunting coyotes over bait or with dogs. Note that many farmers hunt over animal carcasses, particularly those killed by these predators. The Senate Natural Resources Committee cites relying on science when developing the rules, yet this committee did not receive any science or listen to any F&W staff to support this change.

This board has served Vermont well. We now have a healthy deer herd. The board has overseen the introduction of the wild turkey and the fisher. There are sustainable populations of beaver, muskrats, mink, otters, coyotes, pine martens, and other furbearers. The staff is responsible for ensuring that the North American Game Management protocols are implemented to protect and preserve all wildlife populations, not just game. 

Why would the legislature be required to appoint two non-consumptive users to the board? Currently, there are two members of the board that do not hunt or trap. 

Contact your legislators, tell them that S.258 is bad for Vermont. 

Jerry D’Amico, Roxbury

Hunger Mountain Co-op Needs Your Input

To the Editor:

As a long-time Montpelier resident, I can’t imagine our town without Hunger Mountain Co-op. I love its fresh, locally sourced produce, the helpful staff, interactions with neighbors, and more. Which is why, in talking with employees and with other co-op members, I am concerned about a breakdown in communication and trust between the co-op council (board of directors) and many co-op members, as well as staff members. To address this issue, co-op member-owners and other co-op stakeholders are circulating a petition calling for a neutral party to facilitate council meetings. To my mind, this problem will only be resolved when all co-op stakeholders feel heard and fairly represented. Hunger Mountain Co-op needs your voice. The council holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of most months, with community comments available at the beginning of each meeting.

Neville Berle, Montpelier

Letters to the editor represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of The Bridge. Submit your letter by email to editor@montpelierbridge.com. Preference is given to submissions by those who live in central Vermont, should not exceed 300 words in length, and may be edited for brevity and accuracy.