Letters To The Editor


April 23, 2004

Israel dictates future to secure its own safety

James J. Zogby sheds crocodile tears about the fact that the democratically elected prime minister of Israel has conceived of a plan that unilaterally defines the borders of Israel ("Sharon's awful victory," Opinion

Commentary, April 18). He castigates the American president for having agreed to and supported the plan, and laments that violence will continue.

But with more than 1,000 Israelis having been blown to pieces by Palestinian suicide bombers - some as young as 15 and 16 - maybe Prime Minister Ariel Sharon knows a thing of two about the continued need for his government to protect its citizens.

And as American soldiers are being blown up by the same means in Iraq, maybe President Bush finally understands what needs to be done to respond to these terrorists, even if that means supporting Mr. Sharon in a plan that clouds the peace process.

So while Mr. Zogby decries Mr. Sharon's policies, and attempts to jump on the bandwagon of a potential criminal indictment against the prime minister, maybe he should wake up and smell the roses and realize that, once again, the Palestinians have not lost an opportunity to lose an opportunity. And the result is that Israel will dictate the political future that maintains the safety of its citizens.

Until there is a partner with whom Israel can talk whose hands are not smeared with the blood of countless innocents, Mr. Zogby and the Palestinians will have to watch as Israel takes the initiative and seeks protection from Palestinian murderers.

Rabbi Chaim Landau


Arabs spurn efforts to broker peace pact

In his column "So much for the U.S. role as honest broker" (April 18), G. Jefferson Price III, as usual, forgets history and remembers his prejudices.

He forgets that President Bill Clinton pushed former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to offer the Palestinians almost everything except the entire state of Israel. Yasser Arafat refused that offer. That is what being an "honest broker" accomplished.

There is no way to deal with the Palestinians other than brute force and take-it-or-leave-it propositions.

Erich Oppenheim


Bush's political ploy a setback for peace

President Bush's approval of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to retain settlements in the West Bank is an obvious political move to secure the Jewish vote (read Florida) ("Arafat denounces Bush policy shift," April 16).

Diplomacy is once again lost on this administration as Mr. Bush flip-flops to gain an edge in the coming election.

By sacrificing Middle East peace for votes, he has given the Arab world more reason to distrust Americans and put our troops in Iraq, and the ultimate success of their mission, even more at risk.

Cynthia Barracca


Racing's real future lies under the lights

Let me explain why young people show up at Pimlico Race Course for the Preakness every year and then disappear: They work during the day.

The sport of horse racing sport is alive. It just needs attention and creativity, not mindless slots ("The uncomfortable facts of slots' defeat," April 16). And let me give you an idea of how to save horse racing without a sucker bet such as slots: evening racing.

When are baseball games? At night. When are bars and restaurants the busiest? At night. When are people doing just about any recreational activity? At night.

Imagine grabbing a beer and crab cake at the track after work. Sounds fun. Missing a day of work to spend at the track: not fun. (OK, maybe every so often.)

Let's stop linking racing and slots just because a few other uncreative states have found "success" this way, and enjoy the future of horse racing - which is bright, if you can see it at night and then get up and go to work the next day.

John M. Pirisino Jr.


Interlopers too late to Odorite's cause

The Odorite Building has languished for years as a deteriorating eyesore. No preservation group came forth with the funds to purchase and restore it. Rather, it seems, the preservationists waited until the property was purchased and then pounced on the new owner, demanding that the building be restored to its former glory. For not complying, the new owner is now painted as uncaring and insensitive ("UB remains deaf to its neighbors," letters, April 17).

Some people describe these groups as preservationists. My granddad would have called them busybodies.

Paul D. Kemp


Land preservation takes another blow

The Sun's article "Environment a big winner in 2004 session" (April 13) highlighted the many environmental initiatives funded by this year's budget, which we should rightly celebrate. However, land conservation continues to take a hit, and more than $600 million has been diverted from Program Open Space (POS) since the program began in 1969.

This year marks the greatest funding diversion ever, with more than 74 percent of the funds from the real estate transfer tax that is supposed to support open space programs diverted, with no plan for repayment.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.