Finger-PointingEditor: The Sun says that ''it is wrong to...


October 17, 1990


Editor: The Sun says that ''it is wrong to let inmates out prematurely just to free up much-in-demand cells.'' It then blames the public safety department for this policy. Nothing is said about this policy being pre-approved by the General Assembly or by the governor or by the federal court.

It is easy to point the finger at top administrators and a ''bungling bureaucracy.'' The public likes that and The Sun is credited with unmasking the real culprits.

But more honest and responsible journalists would look behind the big story that got the public's attention -- namely, the release of John Thanos prior to completion of his sentence -- and would find the underlying problem of dangerously overcrowded prisons.

Is the public ready and willing to pay the real cost of public safety or will it forever take the cheap and easy way of blaming public servants for the mess that we are all responsible for?

Lawrence B. Coshnear.


Jerusalem Incident

Editor: Let it be said from the outset: We are truly saddened by the recent loss of life tragically having taken place in Jerusalem. The real tragedy also is that Israel is currently in a tinderbox area, given the current Iraqi threat, and any crisis in Israel of such magnitude will have a repercussion beyond that which is reasonable and normal.

The world has verbalized its shock and anger at such an event -- labelled Israel's reaction to the stone-throwing masses as callous and brutal. The political situation has, we are led to believe, caused America to de-evaluate its relationship with the only country in that area to whom it has consistently applied the terms ''ally and friend'' for the last 42 years.

President Saddam Hussein of Iraq has certainly created a

realignment of forces but, as far as America is concerned, all it has done is to trade one brutal leader as an ''ally'' for another.

America supported Iraq in its eight-year war against Iran, notwithstanding Iran's close relationship with the U.S. prior to Khomeini. Now, we sing the praises of Syria's President Assad. When will America understand that in the murky waters of the Middle East, there are no true ''allies'' with totalitarian regimes and dictatorships. There is no Arab democracy to speak of in the Middle East. There is only Israeli democracy.

As in all democracies, unlike dictatorships, we read about the bad disproportionately to its good. And when over one million Palestinian inhabitants have been incorporated into a country like Israel as a result of wars not of Israel's making, we are going to read about a lot of unfortunate incidents on both sides.

Yes, the loss of 20 Palestinians is cause for sadness, but so is the loss of over 150 Palestinians killed by fellow Palestinians on spurious charges of ''cooperating'' with the Israeli authorities; so is the loss of life anywhere sad, be it in Liberia, India, Cambodia, everywhere, for in all armed conflicts, innocents lose.

It must be pointed out that the shooting of the Palestinians followed a mass demonstration whereby Palestinians were throwing stones at Jewish worshipers at the Wailing Wall as well as directing their missiles at the Kotel.

We can say, without any hesitation of doubt, that in acting in such a way, the Palestinians knew they were playing with fire. Israelis don't throw rocks at the holy shrines of the Moslems and Christians. The world would be waiting to condemn in no uncertain manner.

We hope that this event will be seen in the real context of the circumstances which led up to this tragedy, and we would ask the following question: If 20 Israelis had been killed, how loud would the world have screamed?

Rabbi Chaim Landau.


Governor's House

Editor: Since Gov. William Donald Schaefer does not choose to reside in the house which the state provides for him, I suggest that Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg and his family reside in that house. This house should be lived in.

ris S. Oliver.


Faith Lost

Editor: For the last 13 years I have been a member of the board of trustees of the state retirement systems. There is absolutely no compensation and there are no perks. The only reward is the appreciation of the members one serves. I spend an average of two days per month on board business. That translates into 312 days, or one year of my life. For 10 of these years I took unpaid time off from work for this.

I now find myself being sued and accused of encouraging members to switch systems, which is exactly the opposite of what I did. I traveled at my own expense to tell members not to switch and explained why.

Some appreciation.

Malcolm S. Barlow.


To What End?

Editor: Schools which are open 180 days a year are producing frightening numbers of drop-outs, truants and young people who have not learned to read, write, cipher or think. Now it is proposed that we keep these same schools open 20 days longer every year. To what end?

The advocates for this proposal should first insure that:

* Every school has adopted a sound curriculum;

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