Beyond the two-state solution
Following the formation of a new government led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late December, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated U.S. support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma. Our longstanding position in favor of two democracies living side by side more or less side by side along the 1967 border reflects the position of the European Union and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
It is doubtful that Israeli Jews will agree to a Palestinian state. Some 40 percent of Palestinians now favor a binational state, a “one-state solution”. Most Israeli Jews are against it. However, David Elhayani, one of Israel’s most outspoken settlement leaders, recently said, “Whether we like it or not, the two-state solution is dead.” Annexing the West Bank and Jordan Valley without giving the Palestinians full civil rights, adding that “anyone who says otherwise is in denial of reality.”
The ultimate solution to this dilemma that has existed for more than 100 years should clearly be determined by Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs themselves. However, now is the time for us to consider alternatives to the two-state solution as U.S. policy.
George W. Aldridge, Arlington
Punishment errors, short-sightedness
Re: “New Israeli government punishes Palestinians – security cabinet withholds millions after UN action,” 7 Jan. news report.
When I read this headline, I expected to hear about rocket attacks in Hamas-controlled Gaza or renewed violence in East Jerusalem. I couldn’t believe it when I read that the real provocation was the Palestinian leader publicly urging the ICJ to issue an opinion on the legality of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. That $39 million isn’t aid; under the 1994 Oslo Accords, it’s a tax collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority — money earmarked for schools, clinics and governance.
Even if the $39 million belonged to Israel, it would be wrong to punish the Palestinians for seeking redress through peaceful, diplomatic means. Mistakes and short-sightedness. The closure of Palestinian hospitals and schools certainly will not prompt Palestinians to abandon their struggle against Israeli occupation. For many, it will reinforce the argument that violence is the only recourse for Palestinians.
Paul Zoltan, Dallas/Little Forest Hills
spend the surplus on school
Texas has a $33 billion surplus this year. When asked, lawmakers have said they will use the money for “tax cuts” and “some education.” These priorities are at odds with what our leaders pay lip service to the importance of improving education.
In addition to increasing teacher salaries, which are crucial, increasing spending per student would go a long way. Are our legislators considering this?
Data from the Census website shows that Texas spends an average of $10,300 per student. By comparison, the rest of the country pays an average of $13,300 per student. Why do students from other states pay $3,000 more than ours?
Besides increasing teachers’ salaries, wouldn’t it be great if class sizes could be reduced? If necessary supplies are provided? Can obsolete facilities be repaired?
Do they really want to improve education? They have money. Let’s see where it goes.
Caki Bennett, Garland
predictions for the future
Yippy yahoo, future generations may never know what 1040 is. Great, no more income tax. Who cares if the FAA shuts down, failing roads and bridges go nowhere, wild west financial and banking regulations prevail, snake oil replaces safe pharmaceuticals, self defense is our only defense, etc. Oh, and Congress doesn’t get paid, by the way. oops!
Sue R. Marnori, Sherman
bravo to rye
Response: “Guest fee for staff benefits under criticism – but Rye boss says 3 per cent charge key to attracting and retaining staff,” Wednesday’s news report said.
Applause for Rye’s decision to provide employee benefits to its servers. It’s a good first step – not only to retain staff – but also to encourage other restaurants to follow suit.
In Paris (France, not Texas), restaurants automatically charge a 15% service charge. The servers are very professional. So, by law, waiters in France get a salary, paid time off, healthcare and a living wage.
Tipping is optional there, and the waiter’s take home pay won’t be affected without an extra tip. I haven’t been to Rye’s yet, but knowing the target of the 3% charge, I’m now inclined to try the food.
Francis N. Baldwin, McKinney
campaign spending ideas
Looking back at 2022, one number stuck in my head: $7 billion, the amount politicians and PACs reportedly spent in the 2022 midterm elections. I have a suggestion.
Candidates are expected to donate 10 percent of their campaign spending to widely supported charities such as disaster relief, veterans and children’s hospitals. This number reached 700 million US dollars. If politicians keep running ads, we can at least see that they know it will do some good.
Philip Charles Civello, Dallas/Northevern Park
put brighter minds on it
Everyone agrees that immigration reform is desperately needed, but achieving it will be extremely complex. No Congress or administration has come close to finding it recently. Worse, it is always more profitable for the party losing power to cast shadows than to offer useful alternatives.
My suggestion is to get some research done by some of the brightest minds outside our government who can think outside the box of political anxiety. I will be patiently waiting to read future articles here. Please don’t skimp – a full page of great ideas will do.
david macdonald, heath
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