A friend of Israel criticizes its policiesLast month a...

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May 09, 1991

A friend of Israel criticizes its policies

Last month a 33-year-old Palestinian shopkeeper, the father of six young children who had no criminal record, injured an Israeli soldier in a traffic accident. Another soldier shot the Palestinian driver eight times, killing him on the spot.

If that was the end of the story it would be another in an endless stream of human tragedies that occur daily in the West Bank. But the Israeli government and the army completely sealed the dead man's home, and now intend to demolish it. The army claims the incident was not an accident and that destroying the residence of the dead man's family will serve as a "deterrent."

This policy is unconscionable, illegal, immoral and counter-productive. How can the family and neighbors of the deceased not feel outraged and filled with hate? How can anyone justify, legally or morally, punishing a widow and her children for acts they did not commit?

Since the Palestinian uprising three years ago, the Israeli army has sealed or blown-up an average of three Palestinian homes a week. These barbarous acts are painful to those of us who care about Israel, its people and the enduring values for which they stand. Ends do not justify means and loyalty to Israel should give us the courage to support those Israelis who are fighting for more humane and effective long-term solutions.

The United States, the world community and all friends of Israel need to speak out. Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Battered women

Davis Raurk, the Wicomico County state's attorney, said it perfectly in the Feb. 20 article in The Evening Sun on Governo Schaefer's decision to grant clemency to eight battered women. "We would just like to have been heard from," he said, referring to Schaefer's contacting him and other prosecutors involved in the cases prior to making a decision.

Can you see the irony in that statement? I certainly do not condone what these women have done. However, these women were not allowed to be heard from themselves in a court of law. Did you ever think that they would have "just liked to have been heard"?

It angers me that women in Maryland were not allowed to talk about the abusive relationship during their trials. This is not justice! Blind judgments were made. [A new law passed by the 1991 General Assembly now] allows these women to speak in court about their abusive relationships. After all, that is what drove them to the actions they took. The jury [will now] see the whole picture so it can decide on an appropriate sentence.

Theresa Hemp

Baltimore

Deadly games

It is worthy of pro-Nazi Austria, which elected a lying Nazi as its chief of state, to invent and promote a video game extolling and rewarding players for "efficiently running their death camps" (The Evening Sun, May 1).

Those promoting sales of these games and those playing them should know that there are not enough "Jews and Turks" to satisfy their lust. They will have to start killing and gassing each other.

Henry H. Cohen

Baltimore

Farewell, Fain

I was disappointed to read, at the end of the April 30 column, vTC "The imperial presidency" that Jim Fain is retiring. His name on an article, like that of so many of my favorite Evening Sun columnists, is the attraction to read it. Not just as entertainment, but a learning experience.

Jim Fain, like so many of the editorial page regulars, such as Russell Baker, Germond and Witcover, Sandy Grady, to name a few, are thought-provoking as no abbreviated TV news can possibly be. Besides, you can't reread a newscast, thereby losing the important essence of the message. If the "media is the message," the term must refer to the written media.

I hope we shall not be permanently deprived of Mr. Fain's wit and wisdom, but that like James Reston his work will occasionally reappear.

Sylvia Bliss Mandy

Pikesville

Managerial sins

The articles "MNC loses trust suit," and "Layoffs to reach hundreds," appearing adjacent to one another in the May 2 Evening Sun, serve to reveal an overlooked truth that may yet come to the forefront of public consciousness.

As we seek to assign cause to the irreversible erosion of American industrial vitality, it is becoming clear that incompetent management plays the leading role. Throughout every level in American business and industry are individuals in decision-making roles who are utterly unqualified by talent, training or temperament to control people, finances or technical decisions. Yet they reign with impunity.

Instead of allowing employees to find and maintain their optimum location in the workplace, American business has a tradition of ratcheting people from jobs they do well into jobs they botch. Then, stupidly, the system attempts to cover this mistake by plowing these hapless employees through in-house management "charm courses" designed to mold these sows' ears into silk purses. This, and the concurrent dole-out of six and seven-figure salaries, are supposed to be the answer to mediocrity in American business management.

Steven R. Pedersen

Baltimore

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