Letters: Charles Island, Congress, Israel, many thanks, patriotism and heritage

I am a resident of Milford now, and where I was actually raised.

Charles Island is owned by Silver Sands State Park, and I have regretted for a long time that while people come to the park, they are tantalized to walk out on the sandbar at low tide to it, but they are allowed only to walk around it, and forbidden to go into the island itself. There is a fence surrounding the entire island (though it is torn down in places).

It surely is a great scene to look at the island from the beach, but unfortunately lately it has become noticeable that the trees on the island are all dying.

Why is there a fence around the island? Because they have reserved it, particularly for the herons, or egrets, to nest there. There are signs explaining as much. The large white bodies of the egrets can be seen from afar populating the trees.

I had come to the conclusion myself that the egrets are killing the trees. Today, after visiting the beach, I had the notion to look this up on the Internet, and what I found is in confirmation of my previous thoughts — the egrets are killing the trees on Charles Island.

I have even learned that the state has killed deer in order to help protect these egrets. Here is what I found about how egrets kill trees: http://calag.ucanr.edu/Archive/?article=ca.v062n03p87.

Charles Island will soon be a bald island because man has interfered with Mother Nature, unnecessarily. I

t’s embarrassing and a terrible shame. When there is no more trees, then there will be no more birds, and probably fewer people visiting the state park there because the island is such a major feature. I think you have a great story here, and it needs to be promoted in a hurry, because, if you read the link I gave, the soil on the island is now poisoned and will kill more trees unless we take action.

— Robert Sheahan Milford

Now that the election is over and the dust has sort of settled, can we look forward to all those campaign promises coming to fruition?

Is there actually anyone naïve enough to believe any of that rhetoric? I mean all those newly elected people did promise (as they always do) that they were fighting for us.

If that tired old slogan is actually true, then why do we have a middle class that has fallen behind for so many years? Why do we have a state deficit of billions of dollars? Why do we have Congress with trillions of dollars in the red? Why do we have both parties spending millions or billions to get elected when we have so many living in poverty and our infrastructure is falling apart?

Will there ever be an opportunity for elected officials to act in a bipartisan manner, or will they forget their own slogan about fighting for us and return to raising money so they can get re-elected to Congress? Perhaps they “misspoke.”

They aren’t actually fighting for us, but rather they are fighting for themselves in order to secure their own raises, maintain their 75-day work year, and who knows what else.

— Robert O. Blake Sr. Milford

I feel that I must respond to your editorial re: Obama’s Israel foreign policy position even more emphatically than with the spirit in which it was written.

At last, President Obama has shown his true colors in terms of his feeling toward Jews and Israel, the Jewish State.

His antipathy toward Netanyahu has become legendary.

My favorite story concerning that relationship is when the prime minister visited the White House and was offered neither food nor drink while the Obama family retired to their private dining room for dinner.

No guest, friend or not, should receive that treatment. That was just one example of the many slights which Netanyahu experienced from the POTUS. Contrary to my fellow liberal knee jerk, intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them Democratic Jewish community, I wondered from the beginning how someone, espousing Obama’s values, could spend so many years under the influence of one Jeremiah Wright who hates white people, Jews and the United States and not be affected by that venom. And let’s not forget the first lady who admitted that when her husband was nominated that it was the first time she could be proud of the United States.

Times have certainly changed. They both are enjoying the best life that America can provide. Their daughters attend the most elite schools and they have no need for the Jewish vote anymore. Racial tension is worse than ever. Anti-Semitism in our country is on the rise. Missing in action during Baltimore crisis. College campuses are hotbeds for BDS and hatred-fueled violence. What could make him happier? Life is good.

Well done, Wright!

— Alan Cooper Woodbridge

I write this letter in response to the increasing criticism directed towards recent immigrants, particularly how these immigrants have failed to assimilate into American culture.

I come from a family of good immigrants. My great-grandparents came to the United States from Italy to build a new life for their family.

My grandfather served in the Korean War. When I hear and read others arguing that recent immigrants need to forget their mother-country and only identity as Americans, as immigrants did in the good old days, all I can say is Mama Mia!

What country have you been living in? Have you never heard of an Italian cultural festival? Or the Greek Food Festival that New Haven hosts every year?

Have you forgotten that in this country we have an entire holiday dedicated to celebrating Irish immigrants and Irish-American culture?

Patriotism and heritage isn’t an either-or question.

My family proudly waves the American flag. My siblings and I would also proudly pin the Italian flag on our hats for our school’s World Heritage Day (along with every other kid in our school who would celebrate the place their ancestors came from).

On the Fourth of July, we light fireworks. On Christmas Eve, we eat the traditional Italian feast of the seven fishes. My veteran grandfather still refers to my sister and I as “his little pimices.”

When I hear and read about “good” immigrants, I can’t help but think that what people really mean is white immigrants.

I’m lucky that in my life I’ve never experienced racism. I’ve never had someone think that I was stupid or dangerous based on how I look or the way my voice sounds.

But my great-grandparents did. They came to America at a time when being Italian wasn’t accepted. Italians were not white. They faced harassment and lost opportunities.

Recent immigrants face the same prejudices my ancestors faced. So you can bet, in honor of all the sacrifices my great-grandparents made for me, I will embrace immigrants as my equals, and I will do all I can to stand by them. We should all do the same.

Grazie. Dio benedico l’America.

— Natalie Osborne Milford

During the past week, news has been dominated by the failure of the U.S. to veto the U.N. resolution outlawing Israeli West Bank settlements.

Yet what all this reportage (and Obama and Kerry) has uniformly missed is that the settlements are incontrovertibly legal under international law. The principle of Uti possidetis juris states that “emerging states presumptively inherit their pre-independence administrative boundaries” (http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/opinions/us-role-in-israel-un-vote-was-hypocritical-goldfeder/index.html).

So when Israel became independent in May 1948, it inherited the Palestinian boundaries defined by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate — boundaries that included both the West Bank and Gaza.

Thus, under international law, Israel has legal title to the land on which Jewish settlements have been established. In fact, the only illegal occupation on the West Bank consists of the Arab settlements (that no one hears about) being built there with U.N. funding.

Kerry/Obama are equally mistaken when they assert that Jewish settlements obstruct peace. Withdrawing from Lebanon resulted only in the terrorist Hezbollah’s domination of that country. Israel’s removal of Jews from Gaza resulted only in thousands of missiles from terrorist Hamas — not in peace.

So why did this administration ignore and misrepresent the facts capping a disastrous foreign policy with yet another egregious mistake?

— Dr. Rosette Liberman Milford