Holocaust 'debate' is an excuse for hateAt prestigious...

the Forum

September 10, 1993

Holocaust 'debate' is an excuse for hate

At prestigious universities, student newspapers have published full-page ads denying the Holocaust, then juxtaposed the ads with rebuttals and editorial denunciations. But this stratagem does not detract from the outrage or mitigate the damage; it dignifies the notion that this is a debatable issue, that Holocaust denial is a legitimate viewpoint, however reprehensible.

What should be denounced, from all quarters, is the act of publication itself. Free speech, the exchange of ideas, is not relevant here. Holocaust denial is not an "idea" or a "viewpoint" BTC or an "opinion." It is a lie, pure and simple.

Reputable papers do not deal in lies. For serious journalists to publish such a pernicious lie, wittingly or unwittingly abetting the purveyors of hate, is flagrantly irresponsible. If editors at Michigan, Duke, Cornell, etc. -- supposedly the scholarly elite, the future leaders of our country -- cannot make the basic, elementary distinction between idea and fact, then we are in big trouble.

The Holocaust happened. That is a fact. It is not debatable. What is debatable is that universities are training their students to exercise their mental faculties.

Rea Knisbacher


Jewish settlers

Mike Lane hit a new low in vulgarity and insensitivity with his cartoon on Jerusalem's Wailing Wall (Sept. 4). He surely knows that the Kotel is Judaism's holiest shrine. I was left wondering whether he would dare to make such contemptuous reference to the religious shrines of any other denomination.

His indifference to Jewish religious feeling was matched by his evident ignorance of the issues at stake in the Israeli government's decision to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He labels all Jews who oppose that step as "Jewish radicals." If he took the trouble to read The Evening Sun over the past 20 years, he would discover that both of Israel's major political parties encouraged Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

Almost 125,000 Israelis, religious and irreligious alike, trusted their government's word that Israel was committed to a permanent presence in the lands administered by Israel since 1967.

I hope that Mr. Lane realizes that you do not earn the title "radical" because you pour your life's savings into building a home, only to discover that the government, without any kind of popular mandate, will surrender the security of the country to the untested "good will" of a terrorist organization that cannot even control its own members, much less be counted upon to fulfill treaties.

rnold Blumberg


A sane drug policy

I've been reading a lot of letters revolving around the legalization of drugs and quoting Mayor Kurt Schmoke as an advocate of legalization. This is another instance of people hearing what they want to hear. Nothing I've ever read by Mayor Schmoke indicates that he has ever advocated the legalization of drugs except possibly marijuana.

What he is advocating is the decriminalization of drugs. Legalization means that if one wanted heroin or cocaine he or she would walk into a store and buy it the way we buy alcohol and tobacco. Decriminalization means that if you are an addict you can walk into a clinic and get a prescription for it.

There would be exceptions. I don't really think that this will happen with PCP. With decriminalization the addict would still get his drug, and we, the taxpayers, would be eliminated as the middle man. We wouldn't be subsidizing their habits when our $2,000 stereo was ripped off so the addict could get his $50 fix. These clinics, as well as the treatment programs, could be supported by this tax revenue.

Michael W. Hartley


Model facility

As director of the Prince George's County Department of Corrections, I was particularly pleased to read about the opening of Baltimore County's facility exclusively for the treatment of drunk drivers.

Since opening our Drunk Driving Facility in 1985, we have experienced only an 8 percent recidivism rate among those who have completed our month-long program and one-year follow-up.

Since the Baltimore County program is modeled after ours, similar success is within reach.

With the opening of their new facility, the citizens of Baltimore County now have an effective, proven methodology for the treatment of the drunk driver.

The Prince George's County Department of Corrections was pleased to assist Baltimore County during the formative stages of program development and congratulates those who possessed the wisdom and vision to bring the project to fruition.

Samuel F. Saxton

Upper Marlboro

Divine Bette

J. D. Considine's review of Bette Midler Aug. 26, stated that "it almost seemed a shame when she stopped joking and started singing." This is an insult to this multitalented lady, who has been entertaining through records, concerts and movies for over 20 years.

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