i do not agree that israel is breaking world law, as your headline asserts (NOW, August 23-29). Certainly Israel has gone beyond the normal bounds of law enforcement. Nevertheless, Israel is not dealing with normal crimes but with war, a determined, organized and concerted effort to destroy that has been in progress as long as Israel has existed. Different rules apply. You do not go onto the battlefield and seek to place the enemy soldiers under arrest, duly advising them of their legal rights to remain silent and to obtain the services of an attorney. That approach gets you killed. Israel has, in reality, acted with greater restraint than any other nation on earth would have shown. Far greater ruthlessness and far worse violations of human rights have been committed by Israel's various enemies. But NOW is concerned only with the supposed crimes of Israel. As far as I can determine, the anti-Israel logic is based upon the belief that since Israel has no right to be there in the first place, it is therefore a legitimate act of protest to murder Israelis. However, if Israel attempts to defend itself in any way, that is an intolerable crime that must be met with global outrage and intervention. Is that how it goes, folks?
DAVID PALTER, Toronto
Eating pizza in peace
near the end of his article con- demning Israel's attacks on Palestinian terrorist ringleaders, it's nice of Enzo Di Matteo to mention the Palestinian suicide bombings. While he says "no one would want one-sided condemnation," in fact that is exactly what he seems to want. It beats me how he can say that Israel often escapes censure while in the same article mentioning the 40 countries lined up at the UN microphone to criticize it (and, in most cases, it alone).
The killings Di Matteo condemns are not of "political figures." The Palestinian Authority agreed under the terms of the June ceasefire to arrest terrorists living in areas under its jurisdiction and has refused to live up to its commitment. The result has been the suicide bombings Di Matteo professes to regret. Every measure Israel has taken to protect its citizens has been condemned. Yet unlike the terrorists themselves, none of Israel's actions have involved attacks targeted at civilians. (Imagine the death toll if they had.) If Canada's policy has been weak- kneed, it's been in not standing up for the right of kids to eat pizza in peace.
SHOEL SILVER, Toronto
Why Israel defies world
enzo di matteo writes about is- rael's assassination policy as if it were something new. But since at least the 70s, Israel has been assassinating members of the PLO. The policy actually dates back to the era of British colonial rule. And as Di Matteo shows, this policy is clearly in defiance of international law. But what Di Matteo doesn't address and what is hardly ever discussed in the media is why. Why is Israel seemingly so disdainful of world law? Israel's active disdain for international bodies, their laws and resolutions may have deeper roots of mistrust. After all, no nation (including Canada and the U.S.) or international body gave sanctuary to all the Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler's Germany. And none proved able or willing to stop the Holocaust. Is it any wonder that now Israel wants to go it on its own? Or that it doesn't want UN peacekeepers to interfere with its own policies? The irony, of course, is that Israel is the only country in the world to be voted into existence by the UN.
L.J. LEV, Toronto
Post-abortion grief real
re: choice info, by sibylle preuschat (NOW, August 16-22).
I was interested to see the article on post-abortion healing. This is an important issue that does not get discussed nearly enough, considering the fact that one out of every three Canadian women will have at least one abortion in her lifetime.
While abortion may seem to eliminate the "problem," it also brings with it a variety of psychological symptoms. Preuschat and several of the contributors she lists as experts seem to dismiss post-abortion grief as somehow invalid, blaming it on factors such as a person's religion or parents who are against abortion.
Feeling sadness and guilt are normal reactions for a woman to have at some point after an abortion, whether she has any religious affiliation or not. I realize that there are religious groups who condemn women who have had abortions, but there are many others who are helping women in that situation. Abortion is not a religious issue, although many people try to make it one. It is a human rights issue. It is not a "simple medical procedure" for removing "a blob of tissue." It is the destruction of a human life.
JENNY WEBB, Toronto
For locals only?
Dude from oak street to byron bay and back across the Pacific to Chesterman's, my surfing adventures have shown me the beautiful sport's ugly side. That NOW is acting like a mean little dog in Toronto's newspaper war is unfortunate, but supporting the intimidation and violence that too often go along with fighting for local waves (NOW, August 23-29) is pathetic. With so many areas of multi-user conflict in our city, clearly NOW isn't going to help us learn to live together.
KEVIN McLAUGHLIN, Toronto
Money behind the moraine
earthroots is disturbed and dis- disappointed with the makeup of the Oak Ridges Moraine Advisory Committee recently announced by the provincial government. If the purpose of this group is to create a protection plan for the moraine, why must developers be on the committee at all?
We already know what kind of committee development representatives would like to see come out of this process, and they've had no difficulty getting their feelings heard by this government in the past. Developers with an interest in development on the moraine contributed more than $700,000 to the Ontario Progressive Conservative party between 1995 and 1999.
If the government wishes to create a long-term land-use plan that will truly protect the moraine, it must put the interests of environmentalists and concerned citizens first, not the short-term financial interests of developers.
JOSH MATLOW, Earthroots
Talk to the boots
does ingrid randoja get something from the Blundstone Footwear company by mentioning that she wears them in her article (NOW, August 23-29)? Who cares what shoes she "slips on" when she goes to a movie? Are we supposed to think, "Oh wow, she's so cool, she wears Blundstones"? Your writers are so superficial at times.
WILLOMENA FABER, Toronto
Audi ads that amaze
car ads never cease to amaze. if it isn't SUVs pushing others out of the way with their bullying "Follow me" plates, it's cars that always manage to find -- or create -- empty roads amid stunning surroundings. The latest is from Audi. The text is simple:"Take one out and you'll never want to slow down, let alone stop." The real message seems to be that a beautiful landscape's only purpose is to provide an exclusive track for never-ending speeding toys. Beauty ignored, haunting landscape a blur.
GEOFF RYTELL, Toronto