Two-state solution

is the right path

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has courageously drawn the only realistic roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as President Obama also observed in his subsequent statement.

It requires a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, with negotiated borders based on where today's Jews and Arabs actually live, not outdated armistice lines. The tragedy is that this solution was agreed to by Israel's Jews in 1948, and often repeated since, only to be continually rebuffed, with deadly consequences on both sides for so many.

It is now up to the Palestinians to show they are finally ready to live in peace in the state that has been so often offered to them, rather than show yet again that they remain, as was famously observed after another wasted chance, a people who "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

John R. Cohn


Slaves freed

earlier in this city

Re: "Focal point of a black epic," Monday:

Stephan Salisbury's front-page article noted that the new exhibit at the African American Museum covers the period 1776-1876, including "the days when the enslaved were a commonplace in households around the city."

Pennsylvania adopted gradual emancipation in 1780, and the first census (1790) identified one of my ancestors, Joseph Williams, as living on the site now occupied by the Constitution Center. He was then free, as were his African American neighbors and most of the African American residents of this city at that time.

The history of Philadelphia is not the history of Birmingham, Ala., and should not be treated as such.

Byron W. Woodson Sr.


School violence

can be reduced

I have worked in the Philadelphia school district for 26 years, as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. It is upsetting to continuously read about how we must place so many students outside of the classroom and mainstream schools because of their disruptive behavior. I know it exists, but I also know that every school and every neighborhood contains staff and parents who do care about students and could make a difference, if given the latitude.

The real solution involves getting everyone to pull together for the same goal. It might sound simple, but I feel it is lacking. We should continue to delve further into why there were 15,000 criminal incidents in the 2007-2008 school year, and why such high numbers continue to exist.

Diane Luffy


Guns in parks

prove NRA's clout

I'm sorry I will no longer feel welcome in the national parks, now that Congress has passed a new law allowing people to have guns there.

I trust that some day the National Rifle Association will no longer rule our Congress. It's even possible that the Second Amendment will one day be repealed.

Greg Barnes


Hold gun shops


Thank you for the articles concerning the acquittal of the 12 brave souls who were arrested for their protests at Colosimo's gun shop to bring attention to the escalating gun violence in our city and area.

I am a strong supporter of the Heeding God's Call movement. I recently reminded my people that our patroness, St. Rita, was an advocate of stemming violence in the 1400s, when people were murdering each other with swords and daggers in the heat of vendetta.

I hope that all of us level-headed people, inspired by the verdict of a commonsense judge, will send a message to our legislators that stricter measures are necessary now, because handguns are too easily accessible for those who kill indiscriminately.

Fr. Joseph A. Genito

Pastor and shrine director

St. Rita of Cascia


Afraid to register

as Democrats

Over the years, I have politely engaged some of the soft Republicans in Delaware County and asked them why they maintain their Republican registration when they are really Democrats at heart.

The answer is usually something like: "I was told if I ever wanted to get anything done, I had to register Republican."

What a shame! Our country has made a major commitment to install a democracy in Iraq, and we have people in Delaware County afraid to register as a Democrat.

I ask them if they are afraid that their trash won't get collected, or that their taxes will go up more than Republicans'. Most of them smile and say no, but that they thought it was wise to register as a Republican, just in case.

Rocco J. Polidoro