Letters To The Editor


April 20, 2006

Hamas has shown it merits no aid

The Sun's editorial "Hammering Hamas" (April 17) called for the United States to "reconsider" a cutoff of aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government, despite the fact that Hamas is one of the world's most brutal terrorist organizations.

The editorial appeared on the same day that Hamas openly supported a horrific attack by another unrepentant terror organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad ("Bomb kills 10 in Israel," April 18).

The attack, in Tel Aviv, killed at least 10 individuals while wounding another 60.

In turn, leaders of Hamas spent this past weekend in Iran, where they applauded the Iranian president's call for Israel's elimination amid promises to continue funding the terrorist infrastructure operating on the West Bank and Gaza.

For the United States not to cut off aid would be a signal to terrorists worldwide that it is acceptable to support and commit violent acts so long as you maintain the imprimatur of officialdom.

The logic of supporting such a course truly escapes me.

Lynn B. Katzen


The writer is director of Israel and Middle East Affairs for the Baltimore Jewish Council.

The editorial "Hammering Hamas" suggests that it's wrong for the international community to put financial pressure on the new Hamas-led Palestinian government because such pressure will not force it to recognize Israel or renounce terrorism.

But as evidenced by Hamas' description of the recent Palestinian homicide bombing at a Tel Aviv restaurant as "self-defense," Hamas clearly remains a terrorist organization.

The Hamas-led Palestinian government was democratically elected. Indeed, a Palestinian majority voted for a terrorist government, which rejects Israel's right to exist, engages in terrorism and refuses to accept past agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Under such circumstances, funding to the Hamas-led government should be withheld - simply because it's the right thing to do.

Michael S. Pearl

Owings Mills

Isolating Hamas puts Israelis in peril

The editorial "Hammering Hamas" (April 17) opens by stating: "The West's isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian government better have an end game."

It concludes by calling on the Bush administration to "weigh the consequences of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from West Bank territory on Palestinian life and the politics of the region - and then reconsider the blanket cutoff of aid."

But let's forget the pious claptrap about Hamas recognizing Israel's right to exist. Israel exists, and will exist.

The Palestinian people know that. And only an end game that finally recognizes their right to live in a viable state as well has a chance of ending the violence.

This week's suicide bombing inside Israel is yet another tragic reminder that it is not just the Palestinian people who will suffer the consequences of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from only part of the West Bank, nor are they the only ones who will suffer the consequences of the "West's isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian government."

This is what the Bush administration needs to consider - and reconsider.

Michael Burns


Congress must block bellicosity on Iran

When we hear this administration say that it is not planning to attack Iran, experience tells us that that is exactly what it is thinking of doing ("Direct talks on Iran urged," April 17).

Now is the time for our representatives to stand up and declare that the American people will not grant this administration the power to make such a tragic blunder again.

Thomas Lee


Arrogant president still resists change

The arrogance of the Bush administration is astounding. President Bush seems to disregard all criticism, even when our soldiers are in harm's way ("Bush backs defense chief," April 15).

Even retired generals are asking President Bush to consider replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Yet, as we have seen in the past, Mr. Bush refuses to make needed changes, regardless of the consequences.

President Bush cannot be trusted or regarded as a true leader.

Brandon Levey


More safeguards for mail-in voting

When I read the letter "Voting by mail is best solution" (April 15), I liked the idea but said to myself, based on what was missing from what I read, that I would still not have a comfortable feeling that my vote would actually be counted.

What if my mailed-in vote got lost or stolen in the mail? What if somewhere along the line of the voting office's processes, it got sneakily dumped into the garbage or shredded and never reached its destination, where it would be honestly counted with a group of authorized people watching?

My suggestion to all those districts that go with mail-in voting is to include in the voting paperwork sent to each registered voter a tear-off receipt section, not to be used by the voter, along with a return envelope that has the voter's name and address on it, that confirms that the voter's mail-in vote was received and counted.

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