Shed no tears over killing of Hamas chief The Sun's...


August 01, 2002

Shed no tears over killing of Hamas chief

The Sun's July 24 editorial accuses Israel of "Taking the low road" by killing Salah Shehadeh, the leader of Hamas' military forces and the very man who encouraged, trained and sent out suicide bombers against Israelis.

It is regrettable that civilians were killed, but I applaud Israel's action.

Israel is at war. Does anyone think the United States would pass up a chance to kill Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar in a similar situation? I doubt there would be much internal criticism in our country if bin Laden were killed, even if there were collateral civilian deaths.

Mr. Shehadeh knew that he was a major Israeli target. So naturally he shielded himself in civilian neighborhoods. Did his family blithely ignore the fact that he was a leader of Hamas? Did his neighbors not know they were at risk?

Perhaps they assumed Israel would not take a chance at harming civilians, despite the fact that harming Israeli civilians is Hamas' primary function. But Hamas is to Israel as al-Qaida is to the United States. In a war, an enemy can run but cannot hide.

Mark Hotz


Let us shed no tears for Salah Shehadeh, the Hamas commander killed by Israel. Mr. Shehadeh was responsible for many deadly attacks against Israeli civilians ("Military leader of Hamas killed by Israeli airstrike," July 23).

And while it is regrettable that Palestinian civilians were also killed in the attack, there is no equivalence between these Palestinian casualties and the many Israeli deaths over the past two years at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

The Palestinian casualties were the result of an unintentional error on the part of the Israeli military (similar to the recent Afghan casualties from American bombings), while Palestinian terrorists intentionally target Israeli civilians.

Jay Lewis


When a bombing isn't `terrorism'

It occurs to me that recent incidents in Israel and Palestine, specifically the bombing of a civilian Palestinian apartment complex by Israel, have offered a clear definition of what "terrorism" is and is not.

It appears that an explosive attack against civilians is not "terrorism" as long as the explosives are clearly labeled by the word "bomb" or "missile."

Should the explosives be simply strapped, unlabeled, to someone's chest and detonated on a bus -- that's "terrorism."

But by the standards set by Israel's attack, if those same explosives were labeled a "bomb," the explosion would not be a "terrorist" attack.

I thank our lucky stars those explosives dropped by military planes on unsuspecting civilians (who were in their apartments because they were obeying a curfew law, by the way) were labeled "bombs."

Otherwise, under the 2001 anti-terrorist legislation passed by the Congress, our military would very clearly be forced to execute attacks on American manufacturers and military installations that provided those bombs to Israel.

Joe Berg

Bel Air

State doesn't run Social Security

I see Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is warning seniors that "we need to preserve Social Security," implying that they should vote for her or risk losing their benefits ("Townsend says she'll focus on Ehrlich record," July 25).

That's funny, I always thought Social Security was run by the federal government, not the state of Maryland.

Robert J. Dvorak


Carroll sports fee is just a hidden tax

The Carroll County government has done it again. It has found a creative way of increasing people's taxes without calling it a tax -- the school board's decision to charge a $60 fee to each high school student for each sport he or she plays is simply a way of increasing tax revenue for the schools ("Parents accept new fee for sports," July 28).

Schools are funded by the property tax. And every time a house is sold in Carroll County, the property assessments seem to increase. Where does all of this extra money go? Apparently not to the schools.

Calling this tax a "fee" does not change what it is -- a way of imposing selective taxes on Carroll County citizens.

Wilson C. Adkins


I'm concerned, as are many others, that imposing fees on students who play sports is the start of a bad trend.

Many families simply can't afford to pay such fees but do not qualify for federal aid. And, unfortunately, a lot of students count on athletics to achieve their goals in life.

Ryan Wayson


All city principals deserve support

The Sun's editorial "A matter of principal" (July 19) correctly recognized that schools need outstanding principals to thrive, and mentioned two such leaders of Baltimore public schools as it welcomed three top administrators from other subdivisions.

However, we must recognize that our system is now on the rise after a few years of reform activity.

Change, it should be noted, requires three to five years to become evident.

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