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Gaza pull-out will strengthen the terrorists

The two leftist-dreaming columnists on the Aug. 19 Opinion * Commentary page (Trudi Rubin's column "Gaza pullout creates only illusion of progress" and Alice Rothchild's column "Stress, trauma strain Palestinians") seemed to echo each other's sentiments and repeat each other's condemnations of Israel as they suggested that Israel's occupation of Gaza is the root of all the evil that has happened to the Palestinian population.

So, if one can take their logic just one step further, all these evils should disappear when Israeli troops and civilians leave the territories.

But what these dreamers fail to take into account is that once Israel allows the Palestinians free rein in Gaza, especially to run its seaport and airport, tons more military materiel will make its way to the terrorists, who until now have been relying on the myriad tunnels built underground between Egypt and Gaza to transport their weapons.

Now, they can look forward to multiplying their weaponry and creating even greater danger for Israeli civilians.

The world has witnessed the pain and the trauma of both the settlers and the Israeli army members forced to carry out the evacuations.

But mark my words carefully: The world will rue the day the Israelis moved out of Gaza when Gaza becomes a greater breeding ground for terrorist activities and the free world, not just Israel, becomes the victim of even greater terrorist attacks than those that have been already perpetrated against London and Spain.

The story of Gaza is not yet over - and the prospect of any deal-making with these terrorists will only endanger the lives of innocent civilians everywhere democracy reigns.

Rabbi Chaim Landau


Israel must do more to foster real peace

Thank you for running two excellent opinion pieces that put Israel's "disengagement" from Gaza in perspective ("Stress, trauma strain Palestinians," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19 and "Gaza pullout creates only illusion of progress," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19).

While all the attention is focused on the dismantling of Jewish settlements in Gaza, a tiny strip of land that had 8,500 Jewish settlers, let's not forget that Israel continues to occupy the much larger West Bank, where hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers have no intentions of leaving.

The construction of the apartheid-like "separation barrier" that Israel is building - primarily on Palestinian land (rather than along the Green Line) - continues apace, despite the International Court of Justice declaring it illegal.

Jewish settlements are being expanded, not reduced. Jewish-only roads are being built on Palestinian land.

In other words, Israel is digging in for the long haul. Meanwhile, Israel retains control over Gaza's borders, coastline and air space.

The Gaza "disengagement" is hardly the end of Israel's responsibilities in the occupied territories.

Israel has to do a lot more if it truly wants peace.

Joanne Heisel


Showing huge bias for the Palestinians

Once again the pro-Palestinian bias of The Sun comes to light. While Israel was busy ethnically cleansing its own people out of Gaza, The Sun was running columns by Trudy Rubin ("Gaza pullout creates only illusion of progress," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19) and Alice Rothchild ("Stress trauma strain Palestinians," Opinion

Commentary, Aug. 19) on the plight of the Palestinians.

Never mind the fact that the majority of the Palestinians' problems were caused by their corrupt leaders, culture of death and the lack of interest in their salvation by their Arab brethren.

The Sun apparently had to keep the public's mind and thoughts off of the plight of the people who are being uprooted out of their homes, which were legally built and government-sanctioned.

When will the people of this area wake up to The Sun's bias? When will the large Jewish population of Baltimore be offended by the constant negativism about Israel and the pro-Arab stance of the paper?

Edward K. Leventhal


Adding to empathy for Palestinian plight

I write in appreciation of the straightforward and revealing column by Alice Rothchild, "Stress, trauma strain Palestinians" (Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19).

Having served in Gaza years ago with Christian Peacemaker teams, I can tell you the picture she paints of life there is vivid and true.

I couldn't imagine living, without any recourse, under the crushing conditions these noble Palestinian souls faced.

Thank you for promoting understanding.

K. Elayne McClanen

Sandy Spring

Focus on other ways to improve mileage

The Sun did readers a disservice by concentrating on the fuel-efficiency of vehicles as a means to increase gas mileage rather than other immediately available ways to improve mileage such as slowing down ("Despite rising cost of a fill-up, Americans still love their SUVs," Aug. 21).

Simply slowing down from 65 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour increases fuel efficiency 15 percent.

This would turn the majority of American drivers back into law-abiding citizens and would save thousands of American lives each year. And it can be done today, without having to buy a new vehicle.

There are also many other fuel-efficiency tips available to consumers that The Sun should have at least mentioned, no matter how much it wants to emphasize that SUVs are evil.

Jean Palmer


Too late for family to show concern

I guess the article "Marking a time that will never be" (Aug. 18) was supposed to touch our hearts. Instead it got my dander up. Are we really to sympathize with the "grieving grandmother" of Ciara Jobes?

Where was she when Ciara was being tortured? The type of abuse Ciara suffered doesn't happen overnight. It was long-term starvation, beating and isolation. Perhaps if Iva Cruse had taken the time to stop by and visit Ciara, this tragedy would have been avoided.

As for me, I'm saving my sympathy for the people who really deserve it.

Jeanne Feist

Perry Hall

Witcover's words always intelligent

It is unfortunate that Jules Witcover's column will no longer appear in The Sun ("Goodbye, Baltimore," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19). It was always even-handed, unbiased, considered and intelligent.

It is true that he has made revealing comments concerning George W. Bush's presidency; however, they were objective and fair.

What is the reason we will no longer be able to read the words of this impartial columnist in The Sun?

Tylden Streett


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