The Baltimore Sun

It's past time to stop arming, aiding Israel

Ten days into the new year, 12 people had already lost their lives to violence on the streets of Baltimore.

By contrast, according to figures on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, it took from mid-July 2005 until the end of December 2008 - 3 1/2 years - before the same number of civilians in Israel were killed by rockets, mortars and sniper fire from Gaza.

Israel, with open encouragement from the U.S., has reacted by slaughtering hundreds of innocents and by attacking aid organizations that embody the principle that people of all nationalities have equal worth. This is madness.

The U.S.-supported Israeli campaign against Gaza violates international humanitarian law, causes justified outrage throughout the world and, tragically, sows the seeds of future violence against Americans and Israelis.

Israel could not continue on this course without the arms and dollars it gets from the United States. It is long past time for the U.S. to stop arming Israel and instead to support a cease-fire, an end to the blockade of Gaza and the implementation of the many U.N. resolutions that establish the rights of the citizens of Israel, the original Palestinian inhabitants of land now part of Israel, and the Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied territories.

Winifred De Palma, Baltimore

Kelly brings history of city to vivid life

I'm a Jewish baby boomer from upstate New York, so my life has been nothing like that of Catholic war-baby Jacques Kelly. That's why I enjoy his columns so much.

I've lived in Baltimore longer than in any other city and yet I find there's always more I can learn about everyday life here. Mr. Kelly's weekly columns bring that everyday existence to life so colorfully that sometimes I think I can smell the cookies baking and even the cigarettes burning.

Saturday's column on Read's drugstore, which is just a few blocks from where I live, drew my attention to a place I've probably been past a thousand times but never actually seen. I know I'll be checking it out soon ("Read's building is far too fine to bulldoze," Jan. 10).

I know Mr. Kelly has been writing about his memories a long time, but I hope he won't run out of great stories.

Beth Woodell, Baltimore

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