Deal breakers

When Israel offered statehood to the Palestinians with terms on the partition of Jerusalem and other issues, the Palestinians not only refused to make a counteroffer; they literally fled to avoid responding ("Kerry's not the problem," May 1). Why? They clearly had no desire to make peace and still embrace the twisted dream that they will eventually drive the Jews into the sea. Now Hamas and Fattah, which controls the West Bank, have joined forces. The Hamas charter openly calls for the destruction of Israel. Consequently, further negotiations with the Palestinians would require the Israelis to help orchestrate the death of their own nation. These are the actual realities that dwarf John Kerry's blatantly false assertion that Israel risks becoming an "apartheid state" and Trudy Rubin's fatuous defense of him.

Mike Davis, Wynnewood,

Half full on race

Inquirer editors should focus on the whole picture when defending affirmative action ("Bigotry isn't cured," April 30). The story isn't that there are still some with racially biased views. The tidal-wave response that condemned such behavior is the real reflection of society's character today.

Frank Colucci, Philadelphia

Diamond achievers

On top of Cumberland County native Mike Trout being considered one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball, the county's junior-college baseball team - the Cumberland County College Dukes - has been named number one by the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III. Being top-ranked is no easy task. Kudos to coach Keith Gorman, his staff, and team.

David M. Levin, Vineland

Not ready to quit

At 50, I have been unemployed for almost two years, uninsured, and without a penny to my name. I have applied for jobs even a monkey could do and yet not been hired. Is 50 the cutoff age for employment? Should I crawl under a rock? Nobody wants to train anymore; they want experience or youngsters right out of college. I am among those who keep falling through the cracks, even though I am a talented woman who wants desperately to succeed - not just survive. I need a job. I need a purpose. I need help.

Mary Duval, Telford,

Bad breaks

Though we may fail to provide the semblance of an adequate education to Philadelphia youths, we will give $700 billion in tax breaks that include NASCAR racetracks, rum distillers, film and TV producers, and overseas factories ("Commuter tax break renewal is urged," April 26). Thanks to Sens. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) for their brave support of these tax breaks, including one for commuters. I was so afraid our overseas factories might be at a disadvantage. Or that the price of rum might go up. Or that people might have fewer incentives to commute long distances. The senators truly know where American values lie.

Al Giacomucci, Philadelphia,

Powering jobs

Given the misery inflicted by recent storms, our two organizations believe that the "Energy Strong" proposal is a responsible and proactive approach ("PSE&G plan to boost energy grid advances," May 2). It will strengthen the state's power distribution systems while creating business opportunities for New Jersey contractors, which in turn translate into job opportunities for the skilled men and women in the building and construction trades.

William T. Mullen, president, New Jersey State Building & Construction Trades Council, Clark

Jack Kocsis Jr., chief executive officer, Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey, Edison,