The Baltimore Sun

Arab intransigence is the real obstacle

The Baltimore Sun's editorial "Listening post" (Jan. 28) claims that "the underlying issues of the conflict - terrorism, settlements, Jerusalem's future - remain obstacles to a negotiated resolution and two secure states coexisting in peace."

At Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001, Palestinian leadership rejected Israeli-U.S. offers of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace. Instead of negotiating these offers, they pursued the terror war known as the second intifada.

Perhaps "terrorism, settlements and Jerusalem's future" are not so much "obstacles to a negotiated resolution" as symptoms of the obstacle.

Perhaps Palestinian leadership has not pursued offers to negotiate "two secure states coexisting in peace" because that is not its objective.

Rather, the underlying issue - as has been declared by Hamas and finessed but not expunged by Fatah - may be rejection of permanent peace with Israel as a Jewish state.

Eric Rozenman, Washington

The writer is Washington director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

Kiefaber owed credit for theater's survival

The editorial on saving the Senator Theatre begins with the statement "Saving the Senator Theatre would be an uncommon gift to Baltimoreans" ("The Senator's future," Jan. 29). Well, if that's the case, then theater owner Tom Kiefaber deserves everyone's thanks.

Despite The Baltimore Sun's accusations that he is "prickly" and that his pitches are "polarizing" and "alienating," I would challenge readers to cite someone who has fought harder for the preservation of not only this singular historic landmark but for the preservation of grand theatrical film exhibition in Baltimore.

It's very easy to stand on the sidelines and throw stones at a man who has devoted 20-plus years of his life to making sure a treasure like the Senator doesn't fall victim to the same cultural malaise that has caused the destruction of countless other important landmarks.

Mr. Kiefaber may not be the greatest businessman, but he loves the Senator more than anyone does and has given more than most to ensure its preservation.

Michael Wilkes, Baltimore

The writer is a former employee of the Senator Theatre.

Resolve ambiguity by protecting life

The writer of the letter "Let the woman decide when life truly begins" (Jan. 24) asserts that there is no "real evidence" to prove when human life begins and that therefore a women should have the right to decide not to carry a fetus to term.

But if no real evidence exists to prove when life begins, there is as much of a chance that life is present in the womb as that it is not. So the possibility of destroying an innocent life through abortion is a real one.

And where such a possibility exists, protecting life should be the priority.

Andrew Todaro, Baltimore

Women still have right to heed their bodies

As the high court has ruled in both Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade, a woman in this country has the legal right to make her own private medical choices.

With so many men using pro-life rhetoric and religion as a way to bully woman into making choices they do not want, it gives me hope to see a man such as the writer of the letter "Let the woman decide when life truly begins" (Jan. 24) explain what women everywhere should be listening to - their own minds and bodies.

Elizabeth B. Hlavacek, Baltimore

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