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Letters to the editor - 3/31/03

March 31, 2003

Not all Jews support the war



To the editor:


A few corrections to your article about the Interfaith Taskforce discussion on "Faith and War:" You wrote April 7, but the correct information is: Tuesday, April 1, 7 pm., Frostburg State University Community Room (on the Square downtown). I hope many will attend to share their feelings, experiences and views.

Secondly, I believe one statement attributed to me can be misleading. Your reporter wrote, "Some oppose war because of concern Iraq will fire weapons at Israel, she said."

Actually, I had explained to the reporter that, according to polls, the American Jewish community was divided on support/opposition to this war along the same lines as the American population as a whole, for the same reasons as the American population as a whole.

I'm concerned that as stated, one might get the impression that I said the reason to oppose the war is because Israel might be attacked. I did not say that. Only when the reporter specifically asked me how Israel fit into the equation, did I respond by saying that there were arguments on both sides there, too, and then I listed them.

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I believe the discussions that took place in this country in the months leading up to the military attack were rich and varied. There are many good arguments made by thoughtful and caring people on both sides of the debate.

Anti-Semitism, sadly, is a powerful force, and there are those who like to blame everything on the Jews (a la Virginia Congressman Jim Mornan, who said that it was in the power of American Jews to determine whether or not the US went to war!). The fact is, there are individual Jews who have been active and even leaders in the anti-war movement, and there are individual Jews who have spoken and written in support of military action against Saddam Hussein.

Just as in the Christian community. Just as in the Moslem community. And the division within the Jewish community is for much the same reasons that there is division in the American population as a whole.

Rabbi Janice B. Garfunkel
Hagerstown




Poor equipment



To the editor:


The three "new" ambulances have arrived at the Martinsburg Fire Department. I just want to let you know what you are getting. The "new" ambulances were voted upon by your city council, with the exception of Councilman Baker. He was the only one with enough sense to vote against this action.

All "new" ambulances are 1994 two- wheel drives with mileages ranging from 120,000 to 185,000. Compare this to the "old" four-wheel-drive ambulances, one a 1997 and two from 2001 with less than 70,000 miles combined.

So far, the city council, city manager, and the fire chief have spent $106,000 for equipment they already had on the Ryneal ambulances. The city also just bought a new four-wheel-drive Dodge Durango for the fire chief, which cost almost $28,000.

The cost of these "new" ambulances will be $36,000 in lease fees. Seems like a waste of city money. Ryneal provided state-of-the-art equipment, which was paid for and the City of Martinsburg doesn't want to accept Ryneal's lease agreement.

Will the citizens of Martinsburg suffer from the lack of thought that went into the leasing of this substandard equipment? Only time will tell. I hope that you aren't the patient in these ambulances.

Chris Fincham
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Play is art



To the editor:


In response to the complaint by Amy Myers that Les Miserable is too unwholesome a play to be performed by high school students.

If this is the view we take on art, we might as well hide the students away forever. This is the real world, and Les Miserables is a play about very real issues, including stealing food to stay alive, a woman having to become a prostitute to feed her child and fighting for freedom.

Les Miserables is one of the best musicals ever written. I hate to see people put it down simply because it doesn't follow the word of the Bible. Nothing in this world ever does.

Erin Evans
Hagerstown

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