Letters to the Editor

Rating: NNNNNIsraeli side of the equationit would be unfair to ask that your coverage be pro-Israeli, but for the love.

Rating: NNNNN

Israeli side of the equation

it would be unfair to ask that your coverage be pro-Israeli, but for the love of God, can’t you at least make the effort to present a facade of being balanced (NOW, April 4-11)?

If people read no Mideast coverage but yours, they’d think some murdering band called “the Israelis” were running around the peaceful meadows of the Arab world slaughtering poor Palestinians without cause.

Your articles present so many half- truths and operate from so many false presmises that I hardly know where to begin! Human shields, human bombs — all OK, I guess, so long as they’re protecting Palestnian interests.

There’s never going to be an international monitoring force in Israel. When you figure out why, you’ll understand a lot more about being a democracy surrounded by dicatorships. Darndest thing that there haven’t been any bombings since Sharon “failed to curb his hawkish ways.”

It sickens me to think that there might be some people who actually base their opinions on the ramblings in Now. How can you consistently and constantly ignore the Israeli side of the equation? They are dying, too.

David Fleischer, Toronto

Mindless portrayals

while your recent articles depicting the current hardships of Palestinians in Ramallah are touching, what about Israeliswho have lost loved ones as a result of daily suicide bombings? Or the countless Israelis who are too terrified to leave their homes to buy milk for fear of becoming the next victims?

When Palestinians are confined to their homes, you jump right on the story, mindlessly portraying Sharon as a demon. Have your writers ever heard of research?

Shawna Cohen, Toronto

The pressure on Arafat

the pressures on yasser arafat are enormous. He cannot denounce the suicide bombings any more than could DeGaulle renounce the Resistance or George Washington the Minutemen.

Branding as “terrorists” those Palestinian sons and daughters who make this ultimate sacrifice as their only remaining form of protest against Israel’s continued occupation of their land is to engage in the same delusionary self-deception that the Nazis did in France in 1942.

It is surely modern history’s most tragic irony that the Jews, victims of Nazism, have themselves become perpetrators of a tragedy on the people of Palestine by wrongly espousing its expansionist illusion of Eretz Israel.

Sharon must be stopped before he drags us all into another world war.

Hans Modlich, Toronto

Moral equivalents

i wonder about the pathology of people who call suicide bombers who kill Israeli civilians “terrorists,” but call those who kill a far greater number of Palestinian civilians “soldiers” and then say that “there is no moral equivalence.” No, there isn’t.

Naseer Ahmad, Toronto

Last hope for the Mideast

i want to say a few things to the parties involved in conflict in the Middle East.

To the Palestinians: Don’t make peace with us if you are not willing to be self-critical about your attitudes toward us. (We have to work on that, too.) Don’t fear normalizing relations with us — we are so insecure and so few that it is certain your culture will be the dominant one.

To Europe: You are the consciousness of the world. You gave us birth, but when we flexed our muscles a little upon reaching adolescence, you criticized us when we were only trying to prove to the rest of the world that we are a nation.

To America: This is a great opportunity to show the world you are willing to spend your money on moral as opposed to capitalistic principles.

To my fellow Jews: We face yet another moment of truth.

Can we say no to a peace proposal that might end our independence war and grant us equality in the league of nations? The answer is obvious. We can’t fight an independence war forever .

Lior Sitkovsky, Toronto

Alliance comes of age

the canadian alliance must have done something right at their recent convention in Edmonton to cause some high-level Liberals to foam at the mouth.

Just two days into the event, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Stephane Dion declared that Stephen Harper’s “right-wing, slash-and-cut policies” make him unfit to be a national political leader.

I might have agreed if it weren’t for all those young people, women and minorities I kept bumping into at the convention. Alberta’s reputation for narrow-mindedness would surely suffer if word slipped out.

In fact, my own constituency came dangerously close to electing a fine 26-year-old man of the Sikh faith in the last election. Not being a Liberal, I will leave the politics of division to those who do it best.

Ron Thornton, Edmonton

A lesson for right and left

deep in the entrails of the eviscerated left there is a message for anyone seeking to unite the right.

It’s simply this: the politics of ideology are the past, a Cold War artifact without relevance to the present world or the contemporary voter. Whether left or right hardly matters.

To the voter, the ideological left and right are irrelevant, even repugnant. The Tories should not submit to “uniting the right” — libertarian, ideological neo-con politics resonates only with extremes. It has no appeal to Canadian voters or Canadian conservatives in any majority. This is the Liberal party’s best lock on government.

Brian D. Marlatt

White Rock, BC

Crying wolf on race

i can’t understand how Adonica Huggins can complain that the phrase “the kettle calling the pot black” is racist (NOW, April 4-10).

If she would think for one second and stop her ethnocentric navel-gazing, she’d understand that this phrase has nothing to do with race. Huggins should save her moral indignation for more appropriate situations.

Crying wolf, as she does here, merely dilutes the message for the times when it actually matters.

Jeffrey W. Tighe, Toronto

Crap Indigo puts up with

i am an employee at indigo downtown. Robert Arthur’s uninformed rant (NOW, March 28-April 3) was obviously not the observation of someone who truly knows the company.

There is no “systematic removal of seating” in our stores. Some stores removed some sofas from their premises. It is their prerogative, especially after having to clean up after the worst of the regular customers.

I can think of no independent bookstores that offer any kind of seating at all! No other retail establishment, independent or commercial, would ever tolerate the kind of shit from customers that we do.

Emmett Marland, Toronto

City’s public space sellout

we read in now that under the guise of “controlling clutter,” the city plans to drastically limit our right as citizens to publicly exhibit posters as a means of communication (NOW, March 28-April 3).

Meanwhile, we are assaulted every minute of our lives with commercial clutter on our buses, streetcars, transit shelters, ferry boats and garbage cans for the conveyance of commercial messages.

Anne Hansen, Toronto

Jumping through hoops

many humans have a more difficult time surviving than do circus animals (NOW, March 21-27). Many people would gladly jump through hoops for food and water just to keep themselves and their relatives from dying. We humans are constantly jumping through hoops we hate, because that is the way things are.

Name withheld by request

Look a little harder for gays

glenn sumi’s question, “where are all the gay comics?” (NOW, April 4-10), should be rephrased as, “Where are all the gay comics I like?”

My sketch comedy duo, Glyph, with big gay Dave Tomlinson, put up two successful home stands of our show, Dark Side Of The Rune, at the Tim Sims Playhouse.

The show was poorly reviewed by Mr. Sumi, but regardless of his tastes, it is still super-gay. So gay.

Both Dave and I have been Tim Sims Encouragement Award nominees, and we were just nominated for the very- not-gay Canadian Comedy Awards. Showing up dressed as a cloud and a Russian paperboy should have garnered us something in Straightsville.

Then there is Strange Sisters, an enormously lezzie cabaret that goes up twice a year at Buddies.

Gay and lesbian comedians also have a pretty active working schedule outside of these special events. One just has to look a little harder.

Lex Vaughn, Toronto

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