The March 19 lead editorial (“A cynical campaign tests U.S.-Israeli ties”) about the Israeli election was misguided on so many points. First, it castigated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his “cynical” campaign. Israel’s 8 million citizens, 2 million of whom are voting Israeli Arabs, weighed the merits of all sides and decided that the national security of the country was paramount. A solid majority voted for Likud and its allied parties because they feared what might happen if the opposition came to power. As for Netanyahu’s supposed “histrionics” about a surge in Arab voting, Israeli Arab representation in the Knesset grew from 10 to 14 seats as a result of this election. Show me an Arab state in the Middle East that allows so much as one Jewish citizen the right to vote.
The editorial stated that “Obama must continue to defend America’s key ally.” Yet we learn that the Obama administration is already signaling its intent to no longer support Israel at the United Nations. In fact, it is lending support to the creation of a Palestinian state with Israel confined to its 1967 borders. Wonderful. The West Bank, like Gaza, becomes a launchpad for Hamas, ISIL and Al-Qaida terror attacks on a nation already under siege by hundreds of millions of neighboring Arabs bent on Israel’s annihilation. It may be too difficult for members of the Star Tribune Editorial Board to comprehend, but our president has cast his lot with Iran and those equally eager for Israel to disappear.
Mark H. Reed, Plymouth
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So the people of Israel have spoken. They voted to continue to deny themselves and the world a two-state solution that could have brought about real peace in the Middle East. They voted to continue to take Palestinian land for their own settlement expansions. They voted to continue to upend the international diplomatic nuclear talks going on now with Iran. They voted to continue strained relations between their country and the United States.
But of course, they’ll continue to expect and accept billions of U.S. dollars in aid each year.
Nancy Nichols, St. Louis Park
MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOL ‘FLIGHT’
Headline text reinforced myth that charter schools are private
With charter schools originating in Minnesota more than 20 years ago, many Minnesotans know that charter schools are public schools. But there is reason why one-third of Americans believe the myth that charter schools are private schools. The media, unfortunately, contribute to that.
A subheadline in the March 19 front-page story “Mpls. fights school flight” reads: “District struggles to stem outflow to suburbs, charters, private schools.” What does that imply about charter schools?
It is not accurate to distinguish charter schools and public schools. They are charter schools and district schools. Better yet, they are charter public schools and district public schools.
Language is important. Using inaccurate language gives rise to myths and controversies. I encourage the Star Tribune to use the appropriate language in the future and set the standard for other media in our region.
Ember Reichgott Junge, Minneapolis
The writer is a former state senator.
They go up — because of market forces, not government
Target Corp. has followed Wal-Mart in the wage market, raising its entry wage here in Minnesota to $9 per hour, well above the mandated minimum wage.
This a clear example of the marketplace at work. Labor is a product that every company needs to operate, and that product is no different from any other essential needed in terms of its value being dictated by market forces.
Like any other product that a company purchases, the price of labor proves to be a private transaction between that company and the person offering the labor. Both sides of the transaction are participated in voluntarily.
When the market is left to dictate prices, be it for goods or for services, the correct price is discovered — the price both sides agree on. The best product can demand the best price, and the best price buys the best product. And this all happens without any government interaction, such as a minimum wage, whatsoever.
Dale Vaillancourt, Burnsville
VETERANS AND HIRING
‘Two-way street’ letter was an insulting, shameful selection
In response to a March 18 letter that continued an earlier discussion about veterans and jobs (“Hiring is a two-way street, so be a well-presented candidate”), the problem exhibits itself precisely in the writer’s prevailing attitude and ignorance. Veterans do not need a pedantic checklist, because they receive it from the military upon discharge. The military requires the veteran to attend the Transition Assistance Program, which includes résumé writing, goal setting, personal budgeting and skills translation. The letter writer’s final sentence insults the intelligence and character of a veteran where he asks a veteran to “show some initiative.” Veterans do not seek special preference but a fair assessment of the soft skills such as leadership, communication and writing, compared with the lack of specific translatable civilian technical, yet trainable, skills that one may have missed out on due to serving the nation, quite often, in a combat zone. The editor and letter writer owe me and my fellow veterans an apology for such a shameful statement that only raises the hurdle for a veteran job seeker.
Erik D. Sutcliffe, St. Paul
Legislator’s proposal isn’t ‘meddling’ — it’s beneficial
It is disappointing but not surprising that the Star Tribune Editorial Board is tone deaf to state Sen. Jerry Miller’s concern for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system campuses (“Legislature shouldn’t meddle in MnSCU,” March 20). Maybe the editors are susceptible to the same centralized systems-think foibles as the MnSCU system office they defend. Miller’s bill does not weaken the diversity of voices in hiring campus president candidates. It does remove the MnSCU system office leadership from the role of chairing and steering the search committees, and it increases campus community input. Unfortunately, the MnSCU system office’s control over searches today adds little more than a reminder to presidential candidates that they will be working for the system — and not the campuses that educate our students and contribute more than $8 billion per year to the state’s economy.
Miller’s bill also challenges the idea that the benefits of a centralized higher education bureaucracy are preordained. Is it really unnecessary meddling to have MnSCU work with the campuses to identify what works best on the campuses and what works best coming from the system office in St. Paul? Shouldn’t MnSCU trustees want this information?
Darrell Downs, Winona, Minn.