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Voice of the people

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 06:45 AM

We can learn a lot from Israel

As we witness struggle throughout the world in the effort for peace, equality and freedom, it is difficult to find many positive examples of how it can truly work well. With women's rights, gay rights, equality for people regardless of their skin color, ethnicity or national origin, religious freedom and respect and the natural hope for harmony among a variety of groups living together, we can look to one place on Earth that exemplifies this beautifully: Israel.

Israel is a place of genuine diversity. Jews from Africa to Asia to North and South America, Europe and the Middle East have found security here and live together in breathtaking communities. Christians, Muslims, Druze, Bedouin and dozens of other religions find homes here and friends. Gay people dance in the street in pride parades and the Orthodox look on in mutual tolerance. Women live naturally without a thought that their gender would disqualify them from social or professional life.

They all participate in the same activities and enjoy the same abundance Israel offers its citizens and the world. They build this abundance together.

Unfortunately in our world where Palestinians are discriminated against by law in all Arab countries and those suffering oppression throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East struggle to find a place of safety to live free -- Israel is the only place that accepts all and treats all with respect. Security is important not just because of outside threats, but because this beautiful utopia is so essential for true universal peace and unity.

As we pray for a safer, more free world, we must remember there are small gems of hope where humanity works just as it should. Israel is this place, and we can learn a great deal about adversity, hope and true acceptance of diversity from her.

Jacob Waldman

President

Marshall University Jewish Student Association

Do legislators merit a raise for this?

Let me be the first to wholeheartedly endorse Delegate Jim Morgan's effort to increase West Virginia's consumer sales tax by "only" 16.66 percent.

This is exactly what our legislature should do. Along with that, why not vote themselves a 16 percent pay raise considering all the hard work they are doing. Make it retroactive back to the beginning of the 2014 session.

Fred Friar

Lavalette

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