Letters to the editor October 21

Letters to the editor October 21

Sestak meets voter’s criteria
The period of political rhetoric is finally coming to a close —and for many of us it can’t come soon enough.
As an independent, I am going back to elementary basics, ABCs, in determining for whom to cast my vote for senator.
My selection criteria include one who advocates for the State of Israel and the Jewish people; is bold in consistently supporting legislation/issues critical to families’ economic security, small businesses, education, older adults, health care, defense and security; and centrist in their political ideology — even at the personal risk of diverting from their party platform/leadership.
Simply stated, Admiral Joe Sestak can best deliver on the agenda items of the ABCs.
As an independent I am voting for an independent for senator, Joe Sestak.
Sybil Schwartz
Garnet Valley, Pa. 
(The author is a former resident of Murrysville.)
‘Stinky’ political ad
I guess all’s fair in love and political advertising, but someone should point out that the full-page anti-Sestak ad run by the Republican Jewish Coalition in the Oct. 14 Chronicle was pretty stinky.
I have read the full text of the letter, only part of which was reprinted, in miniscule type, in the ad.  I could find in it no demand that “President Obama pressure Israel to weaken its defenses or “pressure Israel to relax security measures.” On the contrary, the letter expressly states that “Israel’s legitimate and keenly felt fear of continued terrorist action . . . must be addressed.”
The letter clearly evinces an overarching concern for a peace in the Middle East “addressing the legitimate security needs of the State of Israel and . . . ensuring that the legitimate needs of the Palestinian population are met.”
How else can Israel’s peace and survival be assured? Go Sestak!
Michael Lando
Squirrel Hill
Tired of anti-Sestak ads
The ad against Congressman Sestak, who is running for senator, is very misleading.  I am sick of him being portrayed in The Jewish Chronicle as anti-Israel.
Sestak’s website mentions in detail how he supports Israel. He is the senator we need for many reasons. He supports what happened in Gaza. He is a three-star admiral who was in the Navy for 31 years and he is for the middle class.
This even came from his website:  He “voted for H. Res. 34, recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attack from Gaza.”
He also expresses “commitment to the welfare and survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders and recognizes its right to act in self-defense; reiterates that Hamas must end rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, and dismantle its terrorist infrastructure.” He voted to fund national defense there. He condemned threats as well.  He even met with the Israeli ambassador. 
If he (Sestak) wanted to just get the Jewish vote and did not feel this way he would be less detailed on his website.
I am sick of these ads that wrongly portray Sestak.  I am a pro-Israel, pro-Sestak voter.
Naomi Swerdlow
Point Breeze
(Editor’s note: The Chronicle does not portray either candidate for the Senate seat from Pennsylvania as pro- or anti-Israel. It does accept political advertising, but is not responsible for the content of the ads and is not responsible for their context.)

Don’t ask don’t tell repeal touted

It appears that a federal judge has been able to finally bring about an end to the irrational and bizarre, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which has forced gay members of the military to live a lie, keeping their sexual orientation under wraps lest they be hounded out of the service upon being “outed.”
Until now, repeal of this military procedure had eluded Congress, the military, and Presidents Clinton and Obama, both of whom have repeatedly expressed the desire to bury it.
The judge’s timing is fortuitous, coming as we learn of an increasing number of incidents of harassment and bullying of homosexuals and suspected homosexuals, including in our schools, with some of the targets committing suicide to escape their tormentors.
The lives of honorable homosexual men and women are difficult enough in a world of ignorance, without official government sanction of the baseless discrimination that has been heaped upon them through a policy that implies that homosexuality is so abhorrent and homosexual “sinners” so aberrant that they and their sexual orientation are rendered incompatible with military service.
No one is forced to like homosexuals or their lifestyles.  Similarly, no one is forced to like members of other often-scapegoated minorities like African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and Muslims.  All members of these groups, though, should be recognized as human beings with basic rights that are equivalent to those of every other American.  It would appear that at long last, the military shall be forced to recognize that reality.
In a future in which homosexuals serve alongside heterosexual fellow soldiers as they have for years in more enlightened countries than ours, we will wonder what all the fuss was about over leveling the military playing field.  That day cannot come soon enough, and thanks to the fair-minded U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips, it may have arrived.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair