Pfaff on IsraelI am annoyed with William Pfaff's Opinion...


March 18, 1994

Pfaff on Israel

I am annoyed with William Pfaff's Opinion * Commentary column, "Victory to the Extremists," March 7. On the whole, it is seriously anti-Israel and devoid of any understanding of the complexities there.

To shorten this letter, I will cite two items which particularly annoyed me:

1. By omission, he implies that extremists exist only among the Israelis. No mention is made of the Hamas and the other Palestinian extremists who have taken a tremendous toll killing Israelis.

2. He has the chutzpah to dictate what Israel's government should do with respect to the settlements. He states that "the Israel government has been unwilling to confront the issue of settlements," and, "If the Israeli public can contemplate closing them down several years from now, it can contemplate closing them down today."

I would like to know what makes Mr. Pfaff such an expert as to dictate what the Israel government should be during this sensitive period.

We have enough armchair generals claiming to have the answers to this puzzle.

With all due respect, no matter how pure his motives, he doesn't live in Israel. He will never have children serving in the Israeli Army. He will never be in rifle range of Jenin or Katyusha range of Hebron or for that matter in knife range in Jerusalem.

He shouldn't give advice until he has been in the Israelis' moccasins.

Leonard H. Feinroth


'Greed' Benefits Baltimore

I read with great interest and concurrence your March 6 article on Sen. Barbara Mikulski's success in shattering the Senate's glass ceiling for women.

However, I would like to take issue with your characterization of her securing $54.3 million in federal capital funds for Columbus Center as "greedy." Wouldn't a more accurate and objective term be "effective" or "responsive?"

I wonder if you would have characterized Gov. William Donald Schaefer's state support for Oriole Park as "greedy," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's city support for the Convention Center expansion as "greedy," or Senator Paul Sarbanes' support for a city/state/federal initiative to rejuvenate Baltimore's public housing as "greedy."

We thought The Sun, as Baltimore's newspaper, would generally applaud initiatives with great Baltimore and Maryland benefit.

In point of fact, Senator Mikulski's and the entire Maryland congressional delegation's support of federal funding for Columbus Center is leveraging an additional $105.7 million in state, city, and private-sector grants and contributions for the project.

Finally, and as your article quite rightly points out, Senator Mikulski has adroitly balanced the needs of serving her Maryland constituency with the national interest. So it is with Columbus Center.

We represent the nation's largest investment in marine biotechnology and will locate in Baltimore a new national center focusing a critical mass of researchers in molecular biology, molecular genetics and other new technologies on the largely unexplored marine world.

All this comes at at time when the Japanese, citing the enormous economic potential of marine biotechnology, are investing $600 million in the field.

I would respectfully suggest that if Senator Mikulski needs to be characterized as greedy for anything, it is for our country to stay competitive and our work force to find productive and rewarding jobs with a strategic application of science for the 21st century.

Stanley Heiusler


The writer is president, Columbus Center.

Sea Duck Limits

Sea duck hunters of the Chesapeake Bay area have long known that avian cholera strikes about once in five years, as noted in your March 6 editorial. However, no mention was made of numbers or percentages of the three leading species of sea ducks found on the bay.

There were huge flocks of sea ducks up and down the bay and well into the feeding rivers of this estuary this season. Absent were the hunters. Less hunting means greater bird population, increasing each year until another cholera epidemic causes loss of waterfowl sport and harvest of meat.

Sea duck hunting requires a great deal more preparation and equipment than inland or marsh hunting for "dabbling" ducks.

The reason there are fewer sea duck hunters harvesting these birds is not the scarcity of the species, it's the lower limits placed by the Department of Natural Resources. Who wants to invest in all that equipment for so little return? Meanwhile, the flocks get bigger and bigger until Mother Nature says "enough" and removes tens of thousands with avian cholera.

Why on earth isn't the sea duck limit increased rather than decreased in the face of such a threat? What does DNR's Larry Hindman think the we are in danger of losing?

The Department of Natural Resources is herding these ducks into their very own pens and inviting a contagion into the coops to wipe them out.

Larry Hindman says the DNR feels helpless and that the killing of tens of thousands of ducks is only "one of those things that occurs now and then."

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