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Letters to the editor 5/16

May 16, 2002

UN's problems

To the editor:

This letter is being written to answer news reports and in response to letters to the editor concerning events in Israel, particularly in response to events in Jenin. I don't need a UN investigation to know that no massacre occurred in Jenin.

I don't need a UN report to know that the Palestinian accusations that began with "thousands of civilians being systematically murdered," followed by the accusation that "at least five hundred" were murdered by the current account of "hundreds of victims" is only the latest in a string of blood libels against Jews and Israel.

Now many Palestinian spokesmen have dropped the massacre language entirely and speak only of "war crimes." I don't need the UN, which is united only when it criticizes Israel, to clear Israel's reputation from a moral stain wholly invented by sponsors and sympathizers of terrorist. If others need a biased international investigation, it says more about them than about Israel.

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I don't need the United Nations to characterize for me Israeli soldiers. They are held to the highest standards of purity of arms. They would unleash force only in self-defense, only against legitimate military targets and with every effort to minimize civilian casualties. Before aiming our moral courage at the attacker The Lawton Oklahoma Sunday Constitution in a op-ed piece asked, "it is worth asking what moral responsibility attaches to the defender to fight in densely populated areas shielded by his own non combatants."

If anything the Israeli forces should be admired for routing out an infrastructure of terror in Jenin at such a heavy price to its own soldiers with so little civilian casualties. If anything the UN should be investigating how it came to be that a "refugee camp" became a hornet's nest of terrorist and suicide bombers, where UN facilities were used to plan terrorist actions. If anything the UN should be investigating the practice of Palestinian terrorist hiding inside a civilian area, exploiting the local population and booby trapping civilians in their homes.

The UN is obsessed with Israel. Where was the outcry when hundreds of Muslims were slaughtered in India this year? Where was the outcry against anti-Semitism in the Muslim world reminiscent of Der Stermer? Cannot the UN distinguish between the deliberate murder of innocent civilians purposely targeted and the tragic deaths of innocent Palestinian bystanders who are living next to a terrorist headquarters?

When, before Secretary Powell's visit to the Middle East last month, Secretary General Anan pronounced that "the whole world is against Israel and that the whole world cannot be wrong," this might have sounded pleasing and logical to him, but to Jewish ears his smugness echoed with haunting cries of the millions of Jews buried in an "enlightened" Europe.

Far better for the UN to save its energy and any moral authority it has left for the much more consequential problems of building democratic and civil societies in Arab lands, tempering anti-Semitism and racism, around the world and winning the war on terrorism. Do this and I would change my mind.

Laurence Sharpe

U.S. Foreign Service (retired)

Smithsburg




Support Mades

To the editor:

To the person who made the cheap shot about Sheriff Mades in the May 8 letter to the editor.

First of all the sheriff might have gotten word you were at the Little League field. After all you have to protect children from characters that make comments in the paper like you did.

Sheriff Mades has and still is sheriff of this county by the vote of the majority of people. This is not his first term nor will it be the last. We the people of the county will make sure of that. When you have a good thing gone, keep it gone. See you on election day, if you make it.

John W. Keller

Hagerstown

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