Israel will have peace when future interests, not past...

Letters to the Editor

June 20, 1998

Israel will have peace when future interests, not past ones, 0) emerge

I disagree with Robert O. Freedman's assessment of Middle East politics ("This land is mine," June 14).

Mr. Freedman complains that Palestinians are too focused on their historical rights to Israeli land and restates the Zionist position. One thing is clear after 50 years of argument over historical rights: There isn't going to be any agreement. Further discussion is a waste of breath.

He posits an Israeli "silent majority" suspended between the reactionary Likud and the knee-jerk peaceniks. These centrist Israelis are waiting for Yasser Arafat to deliver on litmus-test issues before they buy into the peace process. If that is true, they have a long wait.

Chairman Arafat is not likely to subscribe to the Zionist view. It would be suicide for him to do so. Israelis may find dealing with him distasteful, but his successors are likely to be more difficult.

Mr. Freedman obscures how the Likud came to power. Israelis reacted predictably to a wave of Hamas terrorism by choosing the party that promised to get tough. As a result, Israel has the government Hamas prefers it to have, one that has polarized the situation, enhancing Hamas' popularity and strength.

Both extremes know how to push the buttons that prevent cooler heads from regaining influence. The Middle East has become hostage to the most militant elements on both sides.

The solution is for Israelis and Palestinians to build a cooperative and mutually beneficial economic framework. When the two sides are economically interdependent, peace will follow.

Marc Schabb

Reisterstown

The article by Robert O. Freedman leaves out the most important factor leading to 50 years of conflict in the Middle East over land that belonged to Palestinians for 1,000 years before the United Nations decided to give it to the Jews.

How would you feel if the United Nations decided to give Maryland back to the Indians? You would not like it. Neither can you expect the Palestinians to like being pushed away from their homeland of so many years.

The British knew that creating the state of Israel would create a powder keg of endless conflict.

Most of us have accepted the decision of the United Nations because we have been brainwashed by the stories in the Bible, which no doubt motivated President Harry Truman also.

Kalevi A. Olkio

Baltimore

Robert O. Freedman, the Arafat man, has finally seen the light.

H. Shapiro

Pikesville

Right use of nuclear power could ease India's suffering

Kirk S. Nevin's letter to the editor ("India's heat wave deaths not given enough attention, June 16) is compelling reading.

Perhaps his message would be best directed toward the government of India. Instead of directing its efforts toward the development and testing of nuclear weapons, India's nuclear program would be better used for nuclear electric power plants to make available electric power for air conditioning to alleviate the plight of India's suffering people.

Iver Mindel

Cockeysville

Which horse's nose belongs to Belmont Stakes winner?

It sure looked like Real Quiet was the winner in the Belmont Stakes horse race. You could actually see him turning his head to the right to see if he had any company. And then came Victory Gallop.

When Real Quiet finally realized it, he battled head-to-head to the finish line, only to lose by a nose. In the very next stride, it was Real Quiet's nose ahead, but too late.

Yet when you look at the picture on The Sun's front page (as well as most other papers), the caption says that Victory Gallop was the winner (he was), but the picture told a different story.

There was Real Quiet on the rail with his nose out front. Few realized that the winner, clearly shown in the picture, was not the real winner.

Actually both horses were winners. What a great race!

Howard K. Ottenstein

Baltimore

Dashiell cannot reconcile his ties to children, tobacco

Your June 15 article ("Balt. Co. senator faces challenge," June 15) about a challenge to Sen. Delores G. Kelley by Robert Fulton Dashiell in the Democratic primary was very informative.

Over the past eight years, Ms. Kelley has sponsored legislation to enhance education, strengthen families and improve public safety. Mr. Dashiell's only public service in elective office has been his eight years on the Baltimore County school board.

What is so disturbing, however, is the fact that in the past, when Mr. Dashiell was supposed to be protecting the interests of schoolchildren, he registered as a lobbyist in Annapolis for the Philip Morris tobacco company.

Against this background, it is not surprising that he has announced that this campaign will be well financed.

Dean R. Wagner

Baltimore

Pledging with empty words discourages thoughtful ones

Gregory Kane demonstrated courage and clear vision in his support of MaryKait Durkee and her refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ms. Durkee "doesn't believe in God, thinks the U.S. government is corrupt and that American society is too violent," as do I.

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