I feel compelled to respond to news articles which portray Jewish villages as "provocations" in areas that are predominantly Arab.
It appears to be a generally accepted view among most American journalists that Israelis (read "Jews") should not be permitted to live among Arabs.
How come no one ever asks why the reverse is not true? Why is it that Arabs living among Jews do not constitute a provocation?
Does a minority family living in a predominantly non-minority neighborhood "provoke" attack? Does a woman, by jogging past a group of men in the park, "provoke" sexual assault?
My point is that a Jew living in Hebron or Gaza or Jerusalem is inherently no more provocative than an Arab living in Tel Aviv or Haifa or Jerusalem.
When I visited Israel this past summer, despite all the tension and attacks, I was both pleased and disturbed to see Arab families enjoying themselves in Jerusalem's public parks, apparently free of fear or concern for their safety.
I was pleased, because this is the way it should be. I was disturbed, because the same does not hold for a Jew who happens to turn his car down the wrong street in Nablus.
For as long as Arabs have lived in what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (which is not nearly as long as Jews have lived there), they have attacked Jews.
It doesn't matter whether Jews are weak or strong, independent or subject, many or few, landed or not. Arabs need no more provocation than their simple, unmitigated hatred for Jews.
The real issue is not land, and it is not self-determination. The real obstacle to peace is Arab hatred.
With Jewish blood flowing into the street from the recent bombings, Arab passers-by cheered and celebrated. Is there any more evidence required?
To the suicide bombers in Gaza, a Jew in Gaza is no more a provocation than a Jew anywhere in Israel, anywhere in the world. No matter what Jews do in the name of making peace, it will never be enough, because what the Arabs really demand is for the Jews to disappear.
Norman B. Jaffee
How to Read
I would like to clarify misleading statements made by Baltimore County public school administrators in The Sun article "Alphabet Soup?" (March 19).
A statement attributed to Dr. Paul Mazza indicated that an analysis showed that schools with strong whole-language philosophies were not more likely to post declining scores than other schools. It was not mentioned that in his study 14 whole-language schools were compared to 14 randomly-selected schools, which were likely to have been whole-language schools themselves. His study compared scores among 28 schools in the years 1991-94. The new whole-language curriculum guide came out in 1992, and that is when the majority of county schools were expected to abandon structured phonics instruction.
Therefore, the majority of schools in a random sample from 1991-94 would have been using whole language. His study did not compare whole language schools to skill-based schools.
Administrator Dr. Richard Bavaria stated, ''We're doing what it takes to teach kids how to read. For most kids, it takes the whole range of strategies.'' It is not true that the Curriculum Department endorses or provides the whole range of strategies. It is not true that the Curriculum Department endorses or provides the whole range of strategies. The department has excluded systematic phonics from the curriculum guide and does not recommend its use. This was done despite clear evidence from research that the best of both systematic phonics and whole-language are needed for children to become proficient readers.
Schools that wish to meet the reading instruction needs of their students must go outside the recommendations of the Curriculum Department to provide a program that contains systematic phonics, but there remains the problem of insufficient phonics materials on the county book order list and no in-service training in systematic phonics provided by the Curriculum Department. Individual schools must expend their own limited resources to provide what should be essential materials and training.
In my opinion, the children of Baltimore County and their educators are being hamstrung by a flawed reading curriculum before they even have a chance to get off the first grade starting blocks.
Catherine C. Froggatt
It was very nice to read the headlines declaring the baseball strike to be over. Many of us had been waiting since last August to hear those words, and it finally happened.
I would hope this has taught both the owners and players that a strike gains nothing for either party involved, just headaches for everyone, including the most important people, the baseball fans.
Let's not ever put the fans to this test again, for next time it %% could mean the end of baseball as we know it.
As a Baltimore Orioles fan, it means that if everything goes all right (cross your fingers and toes) Cal Ripken will break Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record on Sept. 6 at Camden Yards.