The April 28 article "Peaceful activists caught in fight" provides a very biased portrait of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) that reflects no objective research regarding the claims of ISM and presents disputed issues as facts. It is claimed repeatedly that ISM preaches nonviolence, though on their website they state: "As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle." ISM has never attempted to stop attacks by Palestinians, who almost exclusively target civilians. In portraying the dangers to Americans in Israel, the Monitor fails to mention that many more Americans not involved with armed combatants have been killed purposefully by Palestinians targeting areas where they would be found. And ISM uses nonviolent methods to disrupt activities by the Israeli military to pursue terrorists, hence protecting killers and contributing to the murder of even more Israelis.
"Experts" may see a greater role for nonviolent resistance in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. I am pessimistic on that score. Activists refer to themselves as "internationals," meaning outsiders from other nations. Up until now, they have always believed that internationals had a degree of immunity from the violence visited upon the Palestinians. They have had some justification for that belief: The Israeli military has held fire or allowed safe passage during the rescue of children or the elderly caught in the open. This seems to have changed.
While the Monitor's coverage of the tragic death and injuries incurred by international peace activists in the Palestinian territories reminds us of the bravery it takes to stand up in defense of another, we should remember what is arguably the longest standing act of nonviolent resistance in the world today. By simply refusing to succumb to the desperation brought on by curfews, road closures, institutionalized racism, and settler attacks, the roughly 3 million Palestinians in the occupied territories - the vast majority of whom have never committed an act of violence against an Israeli - have practiced daily nonviolent resistance to Israel's occupation for the past 35 years.
The April 28 article "Overtime-pay system gets an overdue federal upgrade," on what I presume to be the Family Time and Workplace Flexibility Act, bill moving through Congress left out some rather disturbing facts and loopholes that could affect just about every worker in this nation.
The employer is given far too much latitude in deciding who is eligible for overtime, whether that person gets compensated for overtime through pay or time off, and when and if that person can actually use the time off they've accrued through overtime. This is a very corporate-friendly bill that offers very little to the average American worker.
Regarding the May 2 article "Iraqi teen shares her diary": Thank you for showing the readers a child's perspective of this war. I shared this article with my four ponytailed girls, which prompted questions about the US involvement in Iraq. Having never heard the other side of war, they cried, and then added not only this Iraqi family but the Iraqi people to their prayers.
Thank you for helping me teach my children.
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