Israel's DangerEditor: It seems that Robert Freedman...


Israel's Danger

Editor: It seems that Robert Freedman has very neatly solved the Israeli-Palestinian problem in his Opinion * Commentary article Sept. 1, "Time for Israel to Offer a Deal."

Using the current threat that President Saddam Hussein of Iraq presently poses in the Middle Eastern arena, the learned doctor suggests that Israel now take advantage of this situation and make a deal with the Palestinians by giving them their own independent state on the West Bank.

Building logical blocks into a neat pattern, he has it all settled into a perfect shape by which the whole edifice is joined together on a foundation of "woulds," "shoulds," "may" and "coulds."

Unfortunately, the learned doctor has failed to take into account reality. I mean the real emotional tensions that have currently come to the fore. Dr. Freedman has dealt with academic possibilities but the theories of academicians don't always jibe with the reality of the situation.

The truth of the matter, as reported in the American news shows, both television and radio, is that the majority of Palestinians have supported Saddam Hussein's rape and plunder of Kuwait. Furthermore, close to 60,000 signed up in Jordan to be part of Iraq's conquering army.

As stated on public radio when interviewed, a certain Palestinian stated, "We should not be fighting each other. We should be killing Israelis." There is a huge amount of hate. More than the Arabs despise each other, they hate Israel and still view themselves as eventually continuing the fight against that country.

Saddam Hussein typifies this hate and thus marshals his invective and threats against Israel with a view to appealing to the grass-roots Arabs who, deep down, agree and support him totally.

If we have learned anything from this crisis, it is that the creation of an independent state of Palestine on the West Bank would be the greatest act of suicide Israel could have committed.

Feeding on their hatred against Israel, Saddam Hussein could have quite easily used that as a basis to have marched through Jordan, joined up with this new state and directed his armory of poison gas reserves, tanks, etc., against Israel -- which, to do from Iraq, does present some strategic difficulties.

Dr. Freedman uses his veneer of academe to constantly argue for a way by which Israel maps out its own destruction.

It is an argument stated with ease by an academic resting in the safety of Baltimore who does not have to live with the results of his argument.

Luckily for Israel, its government with its ability to understand much better the pulse and the tensions of the area and its enemies, is more concerned with the continued survival of the state, not its destruction.

Rabbi Chaim Landau.


Ban is Wrong

Editor: School officials in Anne Arundel County were wrong in banning the entertainer Barry Louis Polisar on the basis of "unsuitability as instructional material."

Mr. Polisar's singing and goofy, literate lyrics are a friendly invitation to children to write their own songs and rhymes. In context, his songs carry common childhood fears to humorous extremes, helping children to put their real concerns into better perspective. They are no more risque or dangerous than most of our familiar school yard rhymes and camp songs.

My nine-year-old daughter and her classmates have found Barry to be tremendously entertaining. His music is played in our home and we have never found any reasons to censor it.

Steve Wildberger.


Mencken at 110

Editor: Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Henry Louis Mencken -- "the sage of Baltimore." A debunker, a curmudgeon, an iconoclast -- call him what you will, the fact that he was a master of wit and sarcasm cannot be denied. His constant and vigorous defense of the freedom of thought and word -- as in the "Hatrack" affair or his defense of Theodore Dreiser -- is often forgotten. He made clear his objectives: "to combat, chiefly by ridicule, American piety, stupidity, tin-pot moralism and cheap chauvinism in all their forms."

Happy birthday, Henry, wherever you are!

J. Bernard Hihn.


Irresponsible Talk

Editor: Ever since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait there has been irresponsible talk about a new energy crisis. Voices on the left and the right have called for massive increases in gasoline taxes, windfall profit taxes and for wasteful synthetic-fuel subsidies.

The real reason why we have troops in Saudi Arabia is not that we don't have enough oil. The problem is that while we have the oil, we are not allowed to drill for it.

To decrease our dependency on foreign oil, domestic producers ought to be able to drill wherever there is oil to be found. This includes deposits of oil and natural gas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The United States also has vast amounts of coal which could be used if portions of the proposed 1990 Clean Air Act were changed. Furthermore, if France gets 70 percent of its electricity from nuclear power and Japan 30 percent, why can't we do the same?

In short, the United States shouldn't have to deploy a single soldier in the Middle East because we have plenty of energy resources here at home. Voters should remember this and favor politicians who have the backbone to stand up to environmental extremists.

After all, what is more important, the lives of Alaskan caribou or the lives of our brothers and sisters in the Persian Gulf?

Gary P. Bunker.

Glen Burnie.

Identity Loss

Editor: Earlier this year, the owners of the Orioles announced that they had decided to drop "Baltimore" from the team's name. Apparently, Eli Jacobs and Larry Lucchino wanted to make Washington-area fans feel that the Birds were as much their team as ours. As a Baltimorean, I felt insulted and irritated that the city's name was dropped from the title.

As it turns out, many D.C. residents don't want to share our city's team, they want their own. In fact, some baseball fans around Washington are downright hostile toward the Orioles organization. Mike Littwin's Aug. 26 column states that "a would-be Washington ownership group" has accused Mr. Jacobs and the Orioles management of blocking their efforts to acquire a team. Whether or not those charges are true, they reflect some measure of jealousy and enmity toward the Baltimore club.

Perhaps the Orioles management may learn something from all of this: rather than courting Washington baseball fans, they should be cultivating and maintaining the support of Baltimoreans. They certainly have not done that by dropping the city from the team's name.

Baltimoreans are among the most loyal fans in baseball. We have supported our team with outstanding attendance even through losing seasons such as 1988. We don't deserve to have our city's name discarded by the Orioles. By all means, let Washington have its team, but let us have ours as well.

Eric Salehi.


It Takes Forever

Editor: Now that it has been finally announced that the building of the National Cathedral in Washington is complete, is the construction of Cold Spring Avenue bridge over the Jones Falls Expressway going to be designated as the next eternal national construction project?

Eric Ostergaard.


Asian Lesson

Editor: I have recently returned from five countries in Asia. I was astounded to hear upon arrival there a commentator speaking about Mayor Marion Barry. He stated that the verdict of his trial was a disgrace to the entire world. For that day, I must admit, I did not advertise the fact that I was an American.

Their laws are very clear and concise. If you are caught with drugs you will be executed. Therefore, no drugs, no violence, no problem. The United States can learn a valuable lesson from them.

Sylvia Baskin.


Jackson's Trip

Editor: Jesse Jackson may think that he is impressing Americans with his political "influence" or "clout" by traveling to Kuwait during the Persian Gulf crisis, but he is wrong. His blatant disregard for our political structure and official diplomatic efforts demonstrates most clearly his love of showmanship and sensationalism and lack of sound political thought and good judgment. He had no right to meddle in international affairs, especially with the threat of war on the horizon. Obviously, he has no respect for the political system he is so intent on leading.

Lisa M. Airey.


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