Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Horace Johnson, Lynne Kane, Stanley Robboy and Elyza Halev

Hillsborough and Hunt

I am saddened by the death of Sen. Ralph Hunt. He played an important part in helping Hillsborough get its meals tax.

As a lobbyist for Hillsborough, I appeared before the state House of Representatives and Senate committees to talk about the role of Hillsborough (once the state capital) in America and North Carolina history. Reps. Anne Barnes and Joe Hackney successfully got the tax bill out of the House. At the hearing before the Senate committee, several memebsr groused about another local tax. Sen. Howard Lee made a motion to pass Senate Bill 808 authorizing the town of Hillsborough to impose a prepared food and beverage tax. After a pause, Ralp Hunt seconded Lee’s motion.

On behalf of the people of Hillsborough, we are grateful and thankful for Ralp Hunt’s help in making a big differencein our history.

Horace Johnson Sr.

The writer is a former mayor of Hillsborough.

Middle East mythology

Politically correct anti-Israel stigmas continue (“What you’re saying,” CHN, May 28). Just this week the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) published its report on Palestinian Authority (PA) payments to terrorists and their families, over $1 billion in four years (2013-2016), which is 7 percent of the PA budget, 20 percent of the foreign aid the PA receives each year.

With establishment of the modern Jewish state of Israel, Palestinian leaders have followed Hitler’s advice not to accept the majority land offered as a recognized Palestinian state, just work to destroy the sliver of land designated for the Jews. True, after that, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency established refugee camps for Palestinians who were evicted or fled. What U.N. aid went to the Jews who were immediately evicted from the Arab countries where they had lived for generations?

Jews, though 6 million fewer after WWII, raised money to resettle Jews from Arab and European countries, establish universities and hospitals, build infrastructure. The oil-rich Arabs could have done similar for Palestinians, but their elitist leaders still do little even for their existing populations.

A “right of return” is not even mentioned for any dispossessed people except Palestinians.

Richard Haass, with extensive government experience, confirmed May 28 that resolving the Israel-Palestine issues will not solve the many Middle East problems hidden by this mythology.

Americans seem unaware that the 1967 War was precipitated by Egypt’s military massing for an attack on Israel.

Netanyahu’s political base is the post-1967 settlements, but most wars result in border realignments and population disruptions. The Western Allies reorganized many nations after 1945. Some have changed since then, but only Palestinians simply rejected the land offered.

A Jewish homeland does now exist, but it is not secure. Israel experiences ongoing threats, including from a nuclear-desiring Iran. Yet Israel maintains a democracy and religious freedom, unlike most Middle East Arab countries. Some diaspora Palestinians even dare to say that Hamas kills anyone suspected of cooperating wth Israelis.

Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli extremist, but Rabin’s peace plans would still require Gaza and West Bank spending aid money to develop an economy that can interact with Israel’s instead of Palestinian leaders spending billions to support terrorists and their families.

Lynne Kane

Chapel Hill

What if peace isn’t wanted?

When visiting Israel during the last intifada, we learned of an art class where young Israeli and Jordanian children were asked to draw pictures of whatever was on their minds. Astonishingly, all the children drew bombs dropping on themselves. The children felt scared and helpless.

Judith Ferster’s recent letter (CHN, May 28) misses the mark widely. Peace must begin with the leaders. But what if peace isn’t wanted? she asks “Why hasn’t Hamas rebuilt the infrastructure of Gaza?” stating Israel controls the concrete needed for rebuilding. The concrete reason is that Hamas diverts about two-thirds of the cement delivered, cementing tunnels of terror under the border into Israel, expressly for kidnapping and killing Israelis.

The letter states “a homeland for the Jews exist ... it is secure.” Is it? Hezbollah boasts 160,000 missiles aimed for destroying Israel. Hamas has many also. Imagine if they were aimed at us here in Chapel Hill. Would we feel secure? Doubtful. Hamas, the Islamic Brotherhood and Iran are all more explicit. Their primary directive is to wipe Israel entirety from the map. The Syrian leadership, which thinks nothing of having already killed or maimed a half-million of its own people, also threatens Israel.

The letter acknowledges that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said that “right of return” for refugees is not being requested … but Ferster suggests she knows far more about the needs of the residents of the West Bank than their own leaders. She forgets the Jewish people are returning to their homeland. She also advocates for refugee compensation. But she forgets who are refugees. The Arab countries expelled over 700,000 Jews since 1948 and gave them nothing. Only the Palestinian Authority (PA) compensates; since 2013 it has paid terrorists and their families over $1 billion. Not a bad job to be in security, er terrorism. And the USA foots the bill, through the foreign aid we provide to the PA. Quoting our president in a talk given last week during his visit to Bethlehem, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”

Clearly, Ferster along with some other readers of these pages is fixed in her beliefs. What logic, reason or facts have any impact? What is the best way to educate the public? We would all like to see peace!

Stanley J. Robboy

Chapel Hill

Towing grace period needed

There is a legal form of coercion in town and beware their wrath. Local towing companies are continuing their unethical, although legal, predatory and ugly behavior of booting and towing cars downtown within moments of a driver’s walking away from their car.

Literally SECONDS after leaving my car, the towing company’s henchman had thrown two boots on my wheels, and then demanded $160 cash on the spot to remove the boot or do me a favor and take $185 on my credit card (if a longer time, they’ll add more costs and it may even be towed before one turns around). I did call Chapel Hill police who came out because they’re all-too-familiar with these predatory practices. Ruthlessly, the towing company has defended this shameful business practice all the way to the N.C. Supreme Court. What about a 10-minute grace period? I believe there is a difference in parking in a lot to run in and grab something versus leaving the car there for two hours, while not in the lot owner’s establishment.

I’m sure many of us have our own sob story but the fact remains that owners of downtown establishments hire bullies to keep their lot clear. It was a Tuesday night, and I did park in a private lot, just outside the restaurant while running in to pick up my take-out pizza. I would have been parked for five minutes, instead I was there for an hour trying to sort this out!

It seems to me that it is in keeping with our town spirit to allow a woman five minutes to go in to pick up her take-out pizza without it costing $200 – the most distasteful, expensive pizza we will ever order (though I’d completely lost my appetite)!! While seemingly sympathetic, these restaurants should not hire predatory towing companies; AND every establishment should have at least one parking spot for their carryout customers (at least this one owner told me he would gladly rent a spot for his neighbor to offer that). We want (and went out of our way) to support our local downtown businesses, but it will be a long time before my family and I return to these restaurants due to this mistreatment.

Elyza Halev

Chapel Hill

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