Palestinians cause their own suffering One day after 13...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 12, 2002

Palestinians cause their own suffering

One day after 13 Israelis were murdered in five separate attacks by Palestinian terrorists, The Sun had the audacity to publish an editorial that bemoaned the plight of the Palestinians ("Living on $2 a day," Aug. 5).

The editorial details how the tables of Palestinians are no longer bountiful and Palestinian children are chronically under-nourished and suggests the problems are caused by Israeli military closures, the army's reoccupation of Palestinian cities and 24-hour-a-day curfews.

But where is the balance? Where is the call for Palestinians to stop terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians?

Nowhere does the editorial mention that hundreds of Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers and that the restrictions on Palestinians are a direct result of terrorist attacks.

The editorial also failed to note that Yasser Arafat was offered a peace plan two years ago, and turned it down; if he had accepted, this would have avoided the terrible plight of the Palestinians today.

The Palestinians must do more to help themselves out of their predicament.

Murray Spear

Baltimore

The editorial "Living on $2 a day" got it absolutely wrong. Israel is in no way responsible for the alleged malnutrition among Palestinians. Absent terrorism, the Palestinians would have jobs, food and probably a state by now.

Blaming Israel and suggesting that Israel loosen controls on the territories on the very day of numerous murderous attacks by the Palestinians makes no sense and will produce no change.

It would be more instructive to blame the Palestinians for their plight, as it is their conduct, not Israel's, that has produced the painful strictures they currently experience.

The Sun's message should be: Stop the terrorism and positive outcomes will follow.

David Kross

Columbia

Israel is infected with terror caused by Hamas and its ilk, and it is those terrorists who bear the responsibility for the Palestinians' economic conditions, not Israel.

Yet even before the terror has subsided, the Israelis will take the moral high road and bring relief to the children of their enemy. Try to imagine an Arab government doing the same thing for Jews.

Susan Vick

Baltimore

Plight of Palestinians grows truly dire

Thank you for bringing the plight of the Palestinians to the attention of The Sun's readers ("Living on $2 a day," editorial, Aug. 5).

Although Israel has asked the United Nations "to help forge a worldwide humanitarian aid plan for Palestinians," it is Israel that has brought on what amounts to a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

Palestinians have been imprisoned in their homes for more than six weeks with only occasional breaks every few days to try to obtain food for their families. They cannot shop. They cannot work. They cannot go to school.

They cannot get to the hospitals or clinics for dialysis or cancer treatments. They cannot visit family members who live in other towns and villages. The situation is dire.

And adding to the crisis are the thousands of Palestinians who have been made homeless as a result of Israel's rocket attacks and home demolitions.

Karen Russo

Saddle River, N.J.

It's time for BGE to bury power lines

Thousands of people were recently without electrical power because of storms. I was one of them ("Area tries to stay cool, assess storm damage," Aug. 5).

BGE urged people to go somewhere to cool off. Where was I to go for 35 hours without power? My refrigerated food was spoiled. And BGE had only two local sites for distributing dry ice. This is grossly inadequate.

The utility is skating on thin ice, not dry ice.

The storms are Mother Nature's way of telling BGE to bury its antiquated overhead power lines.

Bill Brigerman

Baltimore

Frequent debates serve state's voters

As the race for governor heats up, the biggest service our candidates can provide for us, the voters of Maryland, is to personally debate the issues, face-to-face -- and the sooner and more frequent the debates, the better ("Candidates debate about their debates," July 28).

How could any candidate truly interested in accurately explaining his or her positions disagree with that?

W.J. Valis

Towson

Social Security has to change

Jay Hancock says "Social Security ... for all its problems, is one of the most successful government programs in history -- the way it is now" ("Social Security needs help, but don't start changing it," July 28). This ignores the fact that the program cannot continue "the way it is now."

In 2017, Social Security will begin running annual deficits. Between now and 2075 -- when today's newborns will retire -- Social Security, as it now stands, will rack up a $25 trillion debt. That will have to be paid for with tax increases of up to 50 percent for future workers (which would reduce their ability to save for their own retirement) or benefit cuts of up to one-third for future retirees (which would dismantle the safety net).

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