Letters to the Editor Credit: BDN

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

My heart aches

As an American Jew who believes Israel has a right to exist, my heart aches for all the losses on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

I do not think any nation has a right to divide its population into the two castes of privileged citizens who belong and disenfranchise others. The willful, rampant and mistaken conflation that deems any criticism of Israel as antisemitic has made conversation about the Palestinian people difficult or impossible, even among American Jews.

With due respect to those who can’t see Israel in this light, haven’t we seen the result of forcibly evicting ethnic minorities in our own American history? Imagine if our redlining had created reservations and ghettos and internment camps right outside our borders, with blockades that prevented even medical supplies. Imagine that generations of children had been born there with no hope of any but the most wretched survival? For more than 70 years! Would it be incomprehensible that people with no country, no opportunities, no justice would become disposed to violently rejecting their status?

Israel cannot survive in peace under circumstances such as these. All Americans who believe in justice and human rights for all should help persuade our government to help Israel reject the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli fundamentalists and settlers and address the rights and needs of Arabs and Palestinians within and outside its borders.

Dora Lievow


How to make ‘help wanted’ signs come down

Help Wanted! We see these signs throughout the country. With the tourism season upon us and employers looking for help, we need to stop the handouts. The following states have opted out of the extended federal unemployment benefits: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Maine needs to do the same if businesses are to open.

I believe people will sit at home collecting more money rather than working. Stop the benefits and the “Help Wanted” signs will come down.

Susan Lara


Pass the Dream Act

It’s time for the U.S. Senate to pass the Dream Act of 2021. Dreamers contribute to the Maine economy by working, paying taxes, creating jobs, and spending in our communities. They own homes in our neighborhoods, work at our favorite shops and restaurants, and provide healthcare and home support to our aging population. Dreamers are doctors, farmers and carpenters. They are church secretaries, firefighters and volunteer coaches. They work alongside us everyday.

Maine needs Dreamers and the contributions they make to our workforce, our economy and our communities.

The Dream Act would permit select undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain here and continue to work, go to school and/or serve in the U.S. military. It would also offer them a pathway to citizenship. It is a bipartisan bill, introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, and co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.

For the good of Maine’s economy and the vitality of our communities, I call upon Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to support the Dream Act of 2021 and help get it passed without delay.

Gail Leiser

Bar Harbor