Israel's actions don't compare to the Holocaust The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 30, 2002

Israel's actions don't compare to the Holocaust

The Holocaust was a unique event, unparalleled in history, and to relate it in any way to the current trouble in Israel is not only unconscionable, but reveals ignorance ("Jews must fight Israeli atrocities," Opinion

Commentary, April 21).

Israel is fighting a war against terrorism, not intentionally terrorizing innocent civilians. It is a war against "soldiers" who don't fit the usual profile. They don't wear uniforms, and often not only look like but are children.

Israel is holding territory it won in a war launched by Arab neighbors who sought to destroy her. It would not have these territories if it had not been brutally attacked.

Also, Israel didn't ignore Saudi Arabia's proposal for full Arab recognition. But with all of the suicide bombs going off, it has had some more pressing matters to attend to.

The wars against Israel have not been because it "occupied" Palestinian land, but because it occupied its own.

And if the Palestinians have been ghettoized, this was done by the Arab nations who failed to take care of them.

Jack Zager

Baltimore

Fran Buntman demonizes Israel for "besieging a ghettoized population" and compares its actions to those of the apartheid and Nazi regimes.

Let me suggest that Israel could have taken the same approach the United States did in Afghanistan and bombed terrorist hideouts to keep its own soldiers out of harm's way. Instead, it opted for house-to-house combat to avoid casualties to Palestinian civilians, at significantly higher cost to Israeli soldiers.

Ms. Buntman chastises Israel for "all but ignoring" the Saudi proposal to recognize Israel. The fact is the Saudi proposal requires Israel to retreat to indefensible borders, which is a non-starter in Israel.

President Bush has recognized Ariel Sharon as a man of peace and Yasser Arafat as a terrorist. Israel has no choice but to defeat an enemy that has refused, time and time again, its offer of peaceful coexistence.

Larry Feldman

Pikesville

Sharon's deeds show he's no man of peace

When I read that President Bush defended Israeli occupation of the West Bank, calling Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a "man of peace" who is trying to bring "killers" to justice ("Bush defends Israeli troop occupation," April 19), I found myself thinking about one of my heroes, Simon Wiesenthal.

He was the quintessential man of justice dedicated to bringing killers to justice. But I do not remember this great "man of peace" bulldozing entire towns to find "killers."

I don't remember him blowing up ambulances, killing reporters, watching little children die rather than allowing them medical treatment or just shooting them, plowing down centuries-old olive groves, hospitals and elementary schools, cutting off water, food and electricity to tens of thousands or detaining any German male between the ages of 12 to 65.

So is it me or are our leaders trying to put a square peg into a round hole when they call Mr. Sharon a "man of peace"?

Locke Tiffin Harvey

Baltimore

Ancestral claims have little relevance

If historical claims give Jews from Baltimore and New York the right to displace Arabs from their homes in Palestine, then the Piscataway Indians should be able to reclaim their ancestral home - Maryland.

Nearly all of us non-Piscataway Marylanders would be transferred to other lands, our valuable properties would be confiscated, our towns leveled and renamed; many would be killed in the process. To ensure that the new state remain Piscataway, we would not be allowed to return to our homes.

Realistically, in 2002, does it really matter who lived in Palestine thousands of years ago? If the deepest ancestral claim determines who rules the land, then it should go to the descendants of the Canaanites. Who are they? Arabs? Jews? Does it really matter?

And where else in the world does this logic apply? Certainly not in Maryland.

Paul Baroody

Baltimore

Evidence eliminates boot camps' appeal

It boggles the mind that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich proposes that Maryland's Department of Juvenile Justice return to the dark days of boot camps ("Ehrlich says he would resurrect boot camps," April 23).

Not only have Maryland's children just lived through the scandal of abuse and humiliation in its camps, but the states of Arizona, South Dakota and Georgia have all closed boot camps in recent years because of deaths of children and other harsh abuses in their boot camps.

Indeed, a raft of recent research showing that boot camps are a discredited model caused them to be dropped from major federal juvenile justice legislation that the House of Representatives approved last September.

Vincent Schiraldi

Washington

The writer is president of the Justice Policy Institute.

Gun laws not shown to raise crime rate

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