It's definitely time to bring Alan Gross home from Cuba. Plus a workable two-state solution and more on the president and polarization.
It Definitely Is Time to ‘Bring Him Home’
It is now over three years since my friend Alan Gross was arrested and placed in an 8-foot x 10-foot cell in Cuba, as mentioned in your editorial (“Bring Him Home,” Feb. 14). Alan went to Cuba to try to improve Internet access for the island nation’s Jewish community.
Alan’s wife, Judy, has created a petition to ask President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro to negotiate to release him. Alan’s attorneys are trying to get 100,000 signatures and much help is needed. The petition can be found by going to: www.bringalanhome.org.
Lenny Levy | Gaithersburg, Md.
Here’s an Actual Two-State Solution to Ponder
Now that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is once again waving the slogan of a “Two-State Solution” — and never mind that he was re-elected by voters who were convinced he had completely abandoned that delusion — I thought the time was ripe for reiterating my proposal for an actual Two-State Solution. This is the only such solution that is feasible, and one about which all Israelis from all parts of the political spectrum will support. It is truly based on two states for two peoples.
It goes like this: The Jews keep their one state, controlling all the land west of the Jordan River. The Arabs then give up 21 out of their 22 states. They retain just one out of those 22 states, which will be centered in the Arab homeland, Saudi Arabia, ending their occupation of all other lands belonging to other peoples.
That leaves two states for two peoples. Simple!
Steven Plaut | University of Haifa
‘The Most Polarizing President in History’
President Barack Obama recently won the fiscal cliff war with Republicans in the same way he’s dealt with those who opposed him during his first four years. His technique goes like this: “I’m right, you’re wrong, and compromise means making you aware of this fact.” Using such a strategy means that, in the short run, the president walks away looking strong and decisive; but in the long term, he walks away weaker and unable to work with his embarrassed and angry opponents.
Obama is the most polarizing president in the history of this country. He’s pitted the “rich” against the “poor” and minorities against whites. He’s demonized Republicans, bankers, businessmen and doctors, all to attain his immediate political objectives.
Obama won his tax increase on those making over $450,000, while quietly increasing taxes on us all. At the same time, he completely ignored the massive deficits that he and his party have accumulated and signaled an inability to even admit that it’s the huge spending and runaway entitlement increases that are driving us into the Greek economic doldrums.
Some people hoped that this president was realistic enough to change direction after the election and become a real leader in his second term. That would involve an honest appraisal of the massive problems that we face — and a willingness to deal with the Republicans in a fair and respectful manner in order to solve them.
Obama faced the choice of acting like a statesman or remaining a rigid, left-wing ideologue. Unfortunately, for his country and his legacy, he chose the latter.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.