LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

THE BALTIMORE SUN

With U.S. aid, Israel terrorizes civilians

The United States' failure to insist on an immediate cease fire in the Middle East crisis has been an outrage. Our nation has the power to do so and should have strong leverage with at least one of the warring parties, Israel ("Israel halts airstrikes," July 31).

If we insisted that Israel stop its military action, we would find very strong partners to help us stop Hezbollah.

In the eyes of much of the world, Israel's disproportionate response to the current crisis and its slaughter of innocent civilians makes it little different from a terrorist organization.

Please spare me the explanation that Israel does not mean to kill civilians.

The Israelis know exactly what they are doing and apparently they find civilian deaths and casualties "acceptable." This is deeply disturbing.

The American unwillingness to do anything meaningful to stop the killing is equally disturbing.

To give tacit approval to Israeli actions is essentially condoning acts of terror.

To many objective observers, we are just as responsible for the carnage as the "terrorists."

We give billions in aid and military hardware to the Israelis and they engage in "targeted killings" and slaughter innocent civilians.

Syria and Iran give aid and arms to Hezbollah "freedom fighters" and they engage in "targeted killings" and the slaughter of innocent civilians.

What's the difference?

The difference is we give more aid to Israel than Iran and Syria give Hezbollah and the Israelis kill more innocent people than Hezbollah does.

So who are the terrorists?

Bill Gillespie

Baltimore

Hezbollah's tactics cause the carnage

What is the world's reaction when innocent Israeli women and children are killed by Hezbollah rockets? Not surprisingly, it is not outrage but deafening silence ("Israel halts airstrikes," July 31).

Clearly, Hezbollah rockets have been targeting Israeli civilian population centers to terrorize and indiscriminately kill as many civilians as possible.

Where's the world's condemnation? Oh, yes, that's reserved only for Israel.

Hezbollah operates in the heart of population centers, fully aware that it is endangering the lives of innocent civilians.

The civilian casualties which result add to the world's unjustified outrage against Israel.

And undoubtedly, they are welcomed by Hezbollah as much as Israeli civilian casualties are.

Civilian deaths are regrettable but they are totally Hezbollah's responsibility.

Hezbollah should not be allowed to benefit from their policy of hiding behind civilians.

Israel's survival depends on eliminating Hezbollah as a fighting force.

Never has the picture been so clear. Why does it still seem that it is too cloudy for much of the civilized world to see?

Deborah Land

Baltimore

U.N. troops needed to patrol Lebanon

The Sun deserves a vote of thanks for publishing Thomas Sowell's column "Cease-fire calls ring hollow in light of WWII history" (Opinion

Commentary, July 27). He really spelled out clearly what might have happened during World War II if the allies would have agreed to a cease-fire of the kind that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan suggests now between Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

No one wants to see civilian casualties.

However, as the terrorists are often hiding rocket-launching bases in the midst of civilian villages, and shooting those rockets at Israeli towns, the response to those attacks often affects Lebanese civilians.

The United Nations passed a resolution six years ago, after Israel pulled its forces out of Lebanon, calling for Lebanon to have its troops take over patrolling that country's southern border and disarm the terrorists.

But little was done about this by the Lebanese government, thus allowing the terrorists to re-arm and grow stronger, until now.

A multi-national U.N. force is needed at once in Lebanon to fulfill the earlier U.N. resolution before any peace can occur.

Donald Sussman

Owings Mills

Blue-collar heritage is Pigtown's pride

As an ex-Pigtown guy from many, many years ago, it pleases me that some people are trying to rehabilitate the neighborhood ("A Pigtown by any other name would please some," July 26).

However, I would like to remind the current Pigtown-Washington Village rehabbers of that old adage: "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" - and add, so why try?

My mom grew up on South Poppleton Street near Washington Boulevard, and I lived in and around Pigtown for 17 years until late 1949 - an experience I would not trade for any other.

The area was decidedly blue-collar, but solid. Except for some obvious seediness, it looks much the same today.

If the Pigtown rehabbers want to revitalize and solidify the area, they should never reject its blue-collar history by even thinking about bringing in vegan eateries or embracing a wimpy, upscale name like "Washington Village."

I don't just tell people I grew up in old Pigtown; I brag that I did.

C.B. Nieberding

Baltimore

Pigtown produces genuine affection

Kudos to Jill Rosen for a delightful article on Pigtown ("A Pigtown by any other name would please some, July 26)." In these grim times to find something to smile about on the front page is a treat, indeed.

Pigtown is one of the many areas of Baltimore that endears itself to residents, some of whom remember when animals were driven through the streets on the way to the slaughterhouse.

And The Sun's editorial "Sooey Generis"(July 27) reinforced this writer's feeling that, as The Sun remarked, Pigtown, while not upscale, "carries authenticity and charm."

Velva Grebe

Towson

Delightful reflection on charm of Pigtown

Each morning I open The Sun with anticipation, not only for its excellent reporting of the news but for the chuckles provided by the person, or persons, who write the headlines.

Thursday morning was no exception. And the editorial, "Sooey generis" (July 27), which was chock-full of information about Pigtown, was delightfully presented.

Many thanks to the person who shared his or her humor and vast knowledge with the readers.

Edith Maynard

Cockeysville

General Growth invests in the city

General Growth Properties, which bought The Rouse Company, is to be commended for its commitment to redeveloping Mondawmin Mall ("Shoppers food boosts Mondawmin," July 21).

This surely will be a boon to Baltimore, and to the neighboring residents who have faithfully supported the mall despite its continuing deterioration.

It is a shame that, instead of investing in Baltimore, senior executives at The Rouse Company chose to sell the company.

Bruce Rothschild

Ellicott City

The writer is a former general counsel for the Rouse Company.

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