Christie must learn

to put Israel first

Late in March, Gov. Chris Christie and other Republicans seeking the 2016 presidential nomination made a pilgrimage to the Venetian resort in Las Vegas to attend a closed meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Presiding over this assemblage of presidential hopefuls was Sheldon Adelson, the rabidly pro-Israel multibillionaire owner of the Venetian. Adelson poured close to $100 million into the 2012 elections, so Christie and his competitors were surely keen to stay on his good side.

Unfortunately for Christie, he made a serious mistake in his speech by referring to the West Bank as the "occupied territories." He found out rather quickly that this term did not sit well with a conference room full of zionists. Even though most of the planet is well aware that the Palestinian territories have been occupied for more than 60 years by the Israeli army, you just don't use that term if you want to hold national office. Maybe Christie's audience believes the Palestinians built checkpoints, barrier walls and strung the barbed wire themselves.

According to one of Adelson's senior executives, Christie apologized privately to Adelson, saying he "misspoke." But if Christie wants to count on hundreds of millions of dollars from Adelson in 2016 he'll have to do more than clean up his vocabulary. He'll have to convince Adelson that he's willing to put Israel's interests before our own, even to the extent of using the U.S. military to attack Israel's enemies. That's a steep price to pay, but I think he's up to it.


Ocean City

Keep the 'W' tree

in Wildwood logo

Regarding the April 7 story, "Wildwood kills off 'W' tree from logo": I was sorry to read of the decision to change the logo for the city. The "wild" in Wildwood refers to the jungle of holly trees that once were Wildwood. We should do whatever we can to keep history alive and not let it fade away.

I realize the logo is about 100 years old and could be re-done in a more modern version. An art competition could be held for schoolchildren, and they could learn about the "W" tree at the same time. I hope officials will reconsider and try to find a way to do something to keep the famous "W" tree representing Wildwood.


Sanibel, Fla.

Drug-treatment article

left out Seabrook House

The April 6 article, "Region short on sites to treat addicts," incorrectly said there are no inpatient addiction-treatment services in Cumberland County. Seabrook House, in Bridgeton, is a pioneer in the treatment of opiate addiction. We have 146 licensed patient beds, including 37 patient beds in a detox building under the leadership of a physician medical director.

Seabrook House has been helping addicts and their families find lifelong recovery since my parents founded it 40 years ago. We are the largest private, nonprofit provider of addiction services in South Jersey.

The greatest challenge is not available beds, but the limitations insurance companies place on an individual's benefits. As your article suggests, the availability of treatment through the public health system is underfunded in relation to the scope of this epidemic.



Seabrook House


Obamacare's 'burdens'

are not burdens at all

Regarding the April 2 Lanhee Chen column, "ACA makes real reform easier":

Chen, who was Mitt Romney's policy director, says health care could be based on self-insurance with government subsidies and would be cheaper once the regulatory burdens of Obamacare are removed.

Those supposed burdens include allowing young people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' policies, forbidding the cancellation of coverage for those with pre-existing illnesses, requiring free preventive services, and providing tax credits for small businesses that provide health care insurance for employees.

Under Chen's proposal, premium increases will be at the discretion of the provider, there will be no competition through market exchanges, and the government will realize no reduction in costs. Medical expenses, the leading cause for bankruptcy, will continue to skyrocket for those with no insurance. The Republicans should clarify the results of their health care obstinacy so Americans can make an informed decision on the alternative to Obamacare.


Egg Harbor Township