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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Sharon shows little interest in making peace

The Sun's editorial "Sharon's peacemaking" (Aug. 10) actually puts forward the idea that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is acting as a peacemaker. The editorial wonders whether Mr. Sharon has "undergone a political transformation" or "transformed the political prospects for peace."

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The reasons given include a release of 334 Palestinian prisoners last week, a withdrawal of some Israeli troops from Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip and an increase in work permits for Palestinians.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sharon ls every bit the same man that an Israeli commission as well as numerous human rights activists around the world regard as responsible for the 1983 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

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For one thing, the gigantic "wall of separation" he is building encroaches on Palestinlan land and is widely believed to be intended to hold 1.5 million people in humanity's greatest prison.

In addition, Mr. Sharon continues to keep the Palestinlans under a brutal occupation that has been continuing for 38 years. He doesn't have the right to install checkpoints, grant work permits, demolish homes, build new settlements and move in troops to the occupied areas.

For these reasons it is disingenuous for The Sun to accept apparent reductions of Mr. Sharon's control over hls occupied subjects as indicating he is conducting "peacemaking" in the Middle East.

Scott Loughrey

Baltimore

Stop pushing Israel to make concessions

As has been the norm for Sun editorials on the Middle East, in "Sharon's peacemaking" (Aug. 10) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is vilified for not moving fast enough to make concessions to the Palestinlans.

The editorial correctly notes that Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has failed to live up to his prime responsibility under the peace plan -that ls to dismantle and disarm the militant groups. However it perfunctorily dismisses this by saying that he needs to improve the daily lives of Palestinians before he can attempt to fulfill his obligations.

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But if the Palestinian Authority would make serious efforts to live up to the agreement and dismantle Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israel Would be more than willing to do what it can to better the lives of average Palestinlans.

Mark Hotz

Pikesville

The Sun's editorial "Sharon's peacemaking" again castigates Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for hesitancy in making concessions to the Palestinians.

This takes me back to a time three years ago when Israel had a liberal prime minister who was in the midst of making untoward concessions in the interests of peace. But what happened? The Palestinians started a war instead.

So why should Mr. Sharon be anxious to accommodate them after all the death and destruction they've wreaked not only on Israelis but upon themselves so needlessly?

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Jack Eisenberg

Baltimore

Calif. voters know what they're doing

As usual, the elitist liberals are telling California voters that they don't know what they are doing.

That may have been true since they were duped into voting for Gov. Gray Davis. However, the voters have apparently brightened up and caught their mistake.

And they've chosen to try to undo the election and replace Mr. Davis, regardless what the elitists say.

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Zev Griner

Reisterstown

Embrace the effort to freshen facade

Baltimore's Design Advisory Panel (DAP) ought to embrace the owners of the Brookshire Hotel and their artist wlth open arms ("Artist would Jazz up Brookshire hotel's exterior," Aug. 11).

The fact that someone voluntarily came forward and offered to spend private dollars to enhance the facade of a mundane downtown building is highly unusual and totally commendable.

I think that the members of the DAP who are questioning the motives of the building owner are missing the point -Baltimore should encourage this type of initiative and make it as easy and rewarding as possible for the bullding's owners to implement their proposal.

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David R. Paulson

Baltimore

Renaming stadium dishonors veterans

I am disappointed to learn that because of a large gift by Jackson T. Stephens, the Navy and Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will be renamed for him ("Naval Academy gets $10 million gift," Aug. 8).

Replacing a name that was a tribute to veterans to honor a $10 million donor demonstrates a very poor set of values on the part of the Naval Academy Foundation and the alumhi assoclation.

Paul Cummins

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Parkton

The writer is a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1953.

Causing schism instead of healing

How sad that the sort of "healing words" Dan Rodricks spoke of taking place 17 years ago are likely to lead to a schism in the Episcopal Church because of the iconoclastic demands of homosexuals ("Healing words of 17 years ago still echo today," Aug. 7).

Why can't gays and lesbians institute a church of their own instead of demanding that the majority of Christians turn their backs on what they believe God's word tells them?

This would not be the first time the Episcopal Church came to a parting of the ways. When America's Revolutionary War occurred, Anglican priests who remained loyal to King George III left America, leading Americans such as our own Francis Scott Key to help re-establish the Anglican Church in this country as the Protestant Episcopal Church.

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Today, it is important to remember that a Christian church is not a democracy, it is a kingship. Those who wish to remain loyal to King Jesus have every right to stand up for their King, just as the Anglican priests remained loyal to King George.

Loretta J. Willits

Baltimore

Episcopal Church did the right thing

I am saddened but hardened to the ethical failings of big business. But I expect a much higher standard for my religious leaders. And as a person in the pews (an Episcopalian), I believe that the church did the right thing in electing a gay bishop ("Hoping openness will draw members," Aug. 9).

It's true that the Bible condemns homosexuality. It also allows slavery and the subjugation of women.

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And since we do not live in the year 100 A.D., we have to interpret Scripture accordingly.

Dorian Borsella

Baltimore

Sanderson's story was a wonderful gift

I wish to commend Sun reporter Ariel Sabar and photographer Jed Kirschbaum for their compassionate and insightful study of Joe Sanderson ("Joe's best shot slipping away," Aug. 7).

What a wonderful gift they have given to Sun readers, and to Mr. Sanderson himself.

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Thomas N. Longstreth

Baltimore


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