Oppression in Israel is still very real

? “Pro-Palestinian ads misrepresent apartheid,” Opinion, Thursday

Oppression in Israel is still very real

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Meshoe has a point about not linking apartheid and Israel, but his analogy is not complete. I learned about South African apartheid in the early 1980s at a church service where Desmond Tutu gave the evening’s sermon. Years later, I found myself in apartheid South Africa, where over the course of two years I watched the cruel system finally crumble. Israel may not be a comprehensive version of South African apartheid, and the comparison does, as Meshoe says, “trivialize” the viciousness of South African apartheid. South African apartheid’s ultimate goal, however, was to segregate people into nominally independent but heavily manipulated, dependent and starved homelands.   

Sadly, the West Bank and Gaza, and the treatment of the Palestinians that reside in these territories, in many ways resembles the homeland policies of apartheid South Africa. Perhaps it was this aspect that Tutu had in mind when he made the connection.

Monty Agarwal
San Francisco

? “New health department initiative highlights lack of housing affordability in S.F.,” The City, Thursday

S.F. housing impossible

I would just like to praise Rebecca Bowe on her article. She did an excellent job on executing the issue. I am a San Francisco native who got pushed out of San Francisco because of the outrageously high rents. I love how she opened it with, “To cover rent on a two-bedroom apartment at fair market value in South of Market, a San Francisco minimum-wage earner would have to work 7.4 full-time jobs.”

If The City doesn’t act on making affordable housing a critical issue, it should pay attention to the health concerns that Cyndy Comerford, from the Environmental Health division of the Public Health Department, stated in the article: “Unmet housing needs in San Francisco can result in significant public health concerns.” It pushes tenants into substandard and overcrowded living situations up against highways, making them more susceptible to noise, traffic and air pollution. She noted that substandard housing also makes lead or mold exposure more likely, possibly triggering serious health issues over time.

Although I put up with other problems like mold growing on my bedroom walls and the windows seals, I thought that I was lucky because I loved the neighborhood, the weather and the conveniences of living in San Francisco, such as the best transportation, the great restaurants and urban living.

I’ve moved to Oakland and still remain a resident, but my heart remains in San Francisco.

Perry Perry

? “Muni has success with transit-only lanes on Church Street,” The City, Monday

Leave drivers alone

So Muni wants to permanently remove the two middle lanes from auto traffic?

History reminds us that this is the second attempt by Muni to handcuff drivers in an area that is already very difficult to navigate, with many one-way streets. The first time was around a decade ago when they tried to put in a raised-bed roadway in the same place with similar restrictions. This time they are trying to sneak in the same thing with colored paint but even more fines and penalties. The last time, the community quickly organized to halt this plan. I also highly question the accuracy of their supposed time-saving improvements.

I ride the J-Church line all the time, and I don’t notice anything different after these extreme changes were made. This is yet one more attempt by the Muni control freaks to make this area a bottleneck for anything except Muni and cabbies, which only pass by about 5 percent of the time.

This hardly justifies handcuffing local residents 95 percent of the time.

Doug Shader
San Francisco

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