Don't rush to judgment of IsraelThe riots that took place...

the Forum

October 25, 1990

Don't rush to judgment of Israel

The riots that took place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Oct. 8 were a tragedy, and we deplore the innocent loss of life; we said so in a release to the media the next day. We also argued that a rush to judgment without benefit of the facts would be unfair. Unfortunately, our concerns were not shared by The Evening Sun on at least two occasions. In an editorial Oct. 10, "A Tale in Two Sentences," you obviously came to the conclusion that Israel is guilty until proven innocent.

While it may eventually prove to be the case that the Israeli police acted improperly in their handling of the incident that left 21 people dead, that is a decision the independent commission appoint by Prime Minster Shamir has to make.

The editorial also claims that excessive force is virtually government policy in Israel and then uses as evidence for this "fact" the assertion that one Palestinian has been killed every day for the past three years on the average. Yet the editorial neglects to mention that close to one-half of those Arabs killed were by other Arabs in their internecine struggle for power.

If the point of the editorial is to imply that other governments have handled peaceful resistance without bloodshed, so be it. But in Israel, the resistance has rarely been peaceful! Handling of mass violence by a democracy is always difficult. It has not been difficult for the authoritarian Arab states surrounding Israel, which are guilty of numerous atrocities.

Equally disturbing is a "news" article appearing only two days later with the headline, "Jews dance near site of Arab killings." Here again, only part of the story is told, compounding the distortion of the headline. The report implied that Jews went out of their way to celebrate the deaths of Arabs, much as terrorist attacks against innocents in Israel generally set off celebrations in Arab capitals. There was no mention of the fact that the Jews all over the world were observing the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah, which has been marked by dancing for over 2,000 years. To convey the notion that this group of Israelis turned out specifically to celebrate the deaths of Arabs is not only inaccurate but offensive.

Arthur C. Abramson, Ph.D.

William H. Engelman

The writers are, respectively, executive director and president of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

The Rescue Mission

The article on the Baltimore Rescue Mission (Other Voices, Oct. 5) was quite different in focus, spirit, intention and impact from the one I wrote. In fact, I did not recognize the writing style as my own.

I don't think the mission should be helped for its sake, but for ours, for Baltimore's. I know many of the women living there as friends and I know the spirit of Christ that inspires the people who care for them.

What I wanted the readers of The Evening Sun to know is tha there are people in our business community who have made sacrifices to help the mission. Turner Roofing has put the new women's shelter roof on without charge. Terrapin Fire Protection installed the sprinkler system at cost of material. The contractor, Ray Ritter, has saved the mission about half a million dollars. I think it's of more value to our community to know what they've done than it is for them to receive publicity. That wasn't their motive.

Lastly, people should know that the mission has no government funding nor entanglement of any kind. Separation of church and state is necessary today for the protection of religious liberty, not for protection of people from religious tyranny.

Sue Priest


Mr. Sports

I hope that on opening day at Memorial Stadium on April 8, 1991, Chuck Thompson will be the person to throw out the baseball for the last time at our stadium. Mr. Thompson has been for over 40 years Baltimore's voice of sports for both baseball and football.

The sad thing about people is that they forget the ones who really brought a lot of exciting moments and play-by-play action. Mr. Thompson is an extraordinary individual with so much enthusiasm and love for the game that it disturbs me that he has not even been considered for the Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

I hope someone in the media will take some positive steps to honor a great man for his dedication and achievements in over four decades of devoted service to our fans.

Barry King

Baltimore In this era of emphasis on physical fitness, dieting and body beautiful, why would anyone want to wear a fur coat? Why bother with all the preliminaries, only to end up putting on more pounds?

The pelts of 20 or 30 animals are heavy. Anyone who does not believe that should weigh a fur coat. It is dead weight, and there is no warmth in death.

Dorothy Tegeder


Cut the military

Nuclear weapons do not create national security. Despite its surplus of nuclear weapons, the U.S.S.R. suffers from political instability, economic stress and social privation.

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