Israel didn't trigger

latest Gaza violence

The Nov. 17 front-page Associated Press article, "Hostilities escalating in Israel," said, "Israel triggered the current fighting by assassinating the military chief of the ruling Hamas militant group." This certainly made it sound like Israel initiated the recent violence. It is only on Page A5 that the story said, "The sudden attack came in response to days of heavy rocket firing from Gaza." In contrast, CNN quoted President Barack Obama saying, "Rocket attacks into Israel were the precipitating event for the fighting under way now."

Reports of civilian casualties in Gaza are in every article. But it would be accurate to note that Hamas military leaders are located in buildings where residents live. It is impossible to target two or three floors in a building without affecting the entire building.

And why are there only a few lines devoted to Hamas rockets hitting near Jerusalem? Jerusalem is the holy city for many religions. Very little is written about how destructive such rocket attacks are to worldwide religions. What kind of leaders would instruct their military to bomb Jerusalem?

The timing of Hamas' escalation was interesting. Worldwide focus will now be on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is well-known that Hamas is backed by Iran. This current fighting deflects worldwide attention from the continuing progress Iran is making to develop a nuclear bomb.

ROBERT PASAHOW

Margate

Obama supporters

are not the fools

Regarding the Nov. 15 letter, "Obama re-election shows power of fools":

Well, there were 61 million of us fools who voted for President Barack Obama. The letter writer's accusations that we are depraved fools is as thoughtless and insensitive as Mitt Romney's criticism about the 47 percent of Americans who don't count. Arrogant accusations by the letter writer and unjust criticism by Romney show who the fools really are.

ANTHONY DELAGLIO

Little Egg Harbor Township

How can the CRDA

give casino $45M?

Regarding the Nov. 21 article, "CRDA approves $45M for Harrah's center":

Just drive through Atlantic City and what do you see? I see an old town in need of new roads. I see streets with dilapidated housing. I see trash in the streets, and the Boardwalk stores scare me.

So my question is simple: Why is the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority giving a giant company such as Caesars Entertainment, which owns Harrah's Atlantic City, any money when the town is in such bad shape? And I ask the state the same question regarding the tax break it gave to Revel.

Shelters and food banks are running out of supplies, and the CRDA is giving money to companies worth billions? Does the city really need another convention center?

MINDY BANCHERI

Northfield

After Sandy,

dunes' value clear

It is clear from the ongoing assessment of Sandy's damage that recently replenished beaches and maintained engineered beaches and dune systems provided significantly better protection to homes and coastal infrastructure than adjacent unreplenished, nonengineered beaches.

The cost savings to businesses, insurers, municipalities and the state and federal governments show that these engineered beaches are worth their weight in gold. As Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters reported, "The beach and dunes took a beating, but the dune structure did what it was designed to do and kept the ocean out."

Beach restoration and nourishment projects act as a buffer between the pounding surf and towns, businesses and infrastructure along the shoreline. As Professor Jon Miller, at the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology, has said, "The goal moving forward should be a comprehensive system which includes engineered beaches and dunes, along with structural and nonstructural alternatives including the adoption of hazard resilient planning and building practices."

Recovery from Sandy will be an arduous task, but we will come back.

MARGOT WALSH

Executive Director

Jersey Shore Partnership

Red Bank

Blame union

for bankruptcy

It is with a heavy heart (no pun intended) that I bid adieu to an American icon - the Hostess Twinkie.

At first blush, the likely bankruptcy of Hostess Brands Inc. looks like just another case of union greed. I know union officials will say they had already made concessions, but that really doesn't hold any water. The facts are that one union - the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union - went directly against agreements reached by other employee unions and caused this action by the company.

I really don't want to hear that company officers got raises, as if they should never get increases. All I know is that almost 19,000 people and their families will now join the ranks of the unemployed. Maybe the union officials will paint me as un-American, but I just think this is wrong.

DON KANE

Millville

Bush tax cuts

started the problem

Regarding the Nov. 13 letter, "America has turned in a sad direction":

I think we started in a sad direction when George W. Bush cut taxes on the rich and when he went to war with Iraq.

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the tax cuts continued, and our debt started to climb. Then, as the economy worsened, the tax cuts continued because it was thought that the economy would get even worse if they were repealed.

Along came Grover Norquist, the lobbyist who convinced many Republicans to sign an oath never to raise taxes.

Signing such an oath goes contrary to the oath they swore when they became members of the House of Representatives and Senate. By signing Norquist's oath, they ignored their allegiance to the Constitution, and they evaded honest appraisals for the good of the country.

The Bush tax cuts have been part of the race toward the plunge over the fiscal cliff. The clock is ticking, and with every tick, the debt grows larger and nearly impossible to overcome without unbearable sacrifices.

We must repeal the Bush tax cuts.

GEORGE EDWARDS JR.

Northfield

Obama a symptom

of what ails U.S.

The danger to America is not just Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with not just one term, but two. It may be far easier to limit and undo the follies of the Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The republic may survive Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president yet again.

JAMES McCUSKER

Somers Point