PLO and Israel
Editor: Kudos to President Bush on his direction of Operation Desert Storm. I'm proud that our great country took the initiative in combating world terrorism.
Now that the allies are victorious, our number one priority with foreign policy seems to be settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, specifically the Palestinian rights issue.
I strongly disagree with the land-for-peace theory for settling this issue. The Palestinians have refused to recognize the existence of Israel as a Jewish state since its U.N.-approved formation in 1948, and do not deserve to govern their own land.
Since the PLO formed, there have been hundreds of reports of terrorism (mass rape, bus bombing, destruction of schools while in session) that have hardly received mention in the press.
Palestinians have always hoped for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state in the Mideast. Palestinians living in Israel live in the only true democracy in the Mideast, but resort to violence, destruction and even bloodshed in their resentment for living in a Jewish state.
Many Arabs live in Israel in peace with Jews, and enjoy the same schools, cultural centers and health facilities that have been constructed after 1948. Palestinians, however, look down on these Arabs and pose a threat to their livelihood.
Aside from the biblical issue over right of territory, the Israelis earned the land designated as occupied territories in the 1967 and 1973 wars in which Syria, Jordan and Egypt attacked Israel. Without the West Bank, Israel would be only nine miles wide.
Let's also not forget that these were the same Palestinians who wanted to volunteer to fight for Saddam Hussein, and cheered every Scud aimed for Tel Aviv.
From both a geographic and a logical viewpoint, it is not fair to expect Israel to relinquish land rightfully its own to brutal terrorists.
Glenn M. Carr.
Editor: Your interesting article on Euro-Disney chief Bob Fitzpatrick substantively understated his role in bringing about a greater recognition of the importance of the Baltimore City Council. Bob was very influential in convincing masses of young 1960s, globally minded activists to devote some of their time and energy to the every-day problems of urban America.
As president of the Second District New Democratic Club, Mr. Fitzpatrick actively sought out speakers to convince his club's membership of the importance of neighborhoods and community action in solving many of the problems of city life. It should be remembered that Baltimore in 1970 and Baltimore today are wholly different cities.
In 1970 the city was still reeling from the effects of the 1968 civil disorders. Even the success of the first Baltimore City Fair was put down by many as a fluke -- perhaps never to be repeated after the 1971 Flower Mart was disrupted by unruly mobs. The national press at the time was filled with stories of the demise of urban America. Cities, it was said, were peopled by the old, the frightened and those too poor to move.
But Baltimore did not read its press clippings. Black and white citizens worked together in neighborhoods throughout the city and began to promote the idea of neighborhood self-help and pride in their community. This message became the theme of then-mayoral candidate William Donald Schaefer and also the interracial ticket of Clarence "Du" Burns, Bob Douglass and Bob Fitzpatrick in the Second District.
Mr. Fitzpatrick and his teammates worked hard to promote partnership and the importance of neighborhoods. I believe Mr. Fitzpatrick's principal contribution was in elevating the status of City Council representation in the minds of many voters.
Today's City Council is largely made up of bright, aggressive people, many of whom got their start working in their neighborhood organizations. This is, in my opinion, an impressive legacy.
'Christopher C. Hartman.
Editor: Re: The Sun's March 13 article on welfare cuts.
Workers get laid off or lose their jobs due to plant closings. Their salaries are cut and many lose their medical coverage. The legislators don't get in an uproar over this and vow to do something to "avoid the cut."
What makes welfare recipients untouchable? Welfare benefits are being cut only a few dollars a month.
Spare me the spiel about single parents on AFDC who are unable to support their children. I've seen first-hand the so called deprived life some of these recipients lead. I've also seen at close range the goodies that food stamps buy and the late-model cars in which they are carried home.
If the welfare system was run properly and only those really deserving people received benefits, maybe cuts wouldn't be necessary.
Patricia W. Krentz.
Editor: I wish to commend The Sun for the stunning replicas of the American flag and the yellow ribbon of patriotism.
I see these displayed in many windows of my complex. My thanks to The Sun for this heart-warming gesture.
Sophia M. Annenberg.
Outrage Over a Beating
Editor: I would like to say two things concerning the beating of Rodney King by the white police officers in Los Angeles.
The first item on my list is a sincere, heartfelt "thank you" to the person who videotaped the incident. I believe if it had not been for this person, the beating would have been covered-up by the Los Angeles Police Department, and no one would have known of this atrocity that took place.
The second is a question I have after listening to Police Chief Daryl Gates' response that the LAPD has controls in place to guard against incidents like this, but that the controls did not work due to "human error."
I am appalled that Mr. Gates considers this a case of "human error." An "error" is defined by Webster's as "An act . . . that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true." My question is: How can a group of officers unintentionally beat a man 53-56 times with nightsticks, as admitted by Mr. Gates in his response, and kick him approximately seven times?
Editor: A multitude of voices have been heard calling for swift and certain justice in the beating of a citizen in Los Angeles by police. And should an investigation and trial find guilt, a reasonable penalty should be assessed.
But where are these same voices when a law-enforcement officer is injured or killed? Is a law-enforcement officer's life worth less then that of the non-police citizen?