No need for brainwashing
re the assertion by matan kaminer that "many Israelis have been brainwashed to think Arabs are their enemies" (NOW, March 14-20).
I don't doubt that there is a lot of anti-Arab sentiment in Israel. However, Israelis don't really need to be brainwashed in order to believe that Arabs are their enemies.
There are a number of clues that might reasonably lead Israelis to that conclusion, such as the declaration of war against Israel by all of its Arab neighbours in 1948, as well as the daily suicide bombings, shootings, riots and other attacks on Israelis.
You don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.
David Palter, Toronto
Third World utopia
matan kaminer says that even after peace between Israelis and Palestinians, there will be strife because a First World country, Israel, will border a Third World one, Palestine, subjecting it to economic exploitation. So what? Look at the friendly relations between wealthy U.S. and poor Mexico.
Jacob Mendlovic, Toronto
Defending Ariel Sharon
i always enjoy reading articles by people who lack understanding of an issue and never bother conducting the research necessary (re Sharon's Trials, NOW, March 14-20).
Israel did not and has not murdered civilians. The actions that you see on a daily basis are acts of pure self-defence.
Sharon was elected Israeli prime minister because Israelis are fed up with the terrorist they have been negotiating with for eight years.
I suggest you write an article on the "democratic" leader of the Palestinian Authority who sends suicide bombers to murder Israeli civilians.
Gali Bar-Ziv, Toronto
Hope for health care
i am compelled to respond to Dana Borcea's Who Cares? (NOW, March 7-13).
While I, too, have heard many horror stories about the quality of care in Canada, I was recently shocked and very pleasantly surprised at the wonderful care my mother received a few weeks ago. My mother was placed in intensive care following a massive stroke that left her comatose. A nurse was assigned to provide round-the-clock care. They answered our medical questions, brought me blankets and juice during late-night vigils by Mom's bed and treated Mom with respect and dignity.
The hospital sent a social worker and a chaplain to offer support. When it became evident that my mother would not recover, the doctor carefully explained all the options and answered our questions as we struggled to make the decision to take her off life support. While there are so many problems with our health care system, this experience has convinced me that there is definitely hope for it.
Jennifer Wiens, Toronto
A pinch will do ya
i very much enjoyed your report on the goings on in Courtroom 112 (NOW, March 14-20).
I'm curious to know more about the dozen or so people who had been arrested for drug possession, had already spent a few nights in jail and were sent back there. How much were these people carrying? You stated that it was for simple possession, so I assume none of them were dealers.
What I really want to know is, what is likely to happen to you if you are popped with a joint in Toronto?
William Kowalski, Toronto
We told you so
it should come as no surprise that the Ontario government is allowing development on the Oak Ridges Moraine that they themselves claim to have "protected."
Earthroots has been sounding alarm bells about loopholes in the government's Conservation Act since it was announced in early November.
NOW magazine championed the protection of the environmentally sensitive moraine and was admirable in raising much-needed public awareness about the controversial issue.
Much of the media reported that the moraine had been saved and then fell virtually silent.
My hope is that NOW will continue providing the public with the information it needs to keep this government accountable. The preservation of the moraine depends on this.
having attended meetings on the subject of the Wychwood Barns for the past several years and watched the process being shaped to be as inclusive as possible, I'm confused that John Sanders (NOW, March 14-20) has been conspicuous by his absence when he seems so petulantly decided on the issue. A lucky man indeed to be able to so clearly see all without so much as asking a question!
I continue to hope for a place where the arts are welcome, with space in it for those who wish to stroll, sit, enjoy the outdoors.
I'm willing to try to overcome my childish impulses for the good of the entire community... unlike my neighbour Mr. Sanders.
Roscoe Handford, Toronto
i had no sooner nestled in to read Sigcino Moyo's article (NOW, February 28-March 6) than I had to go for my dictionary to understand the caption under the photo. I was embarrassed that it had never been necessary for me, a 60-something WASP, to know the meaning of "diaspora." Now I can understand why Jews and blacks share the same bitterness about being dispersed and taken over.
Do I gather that Black History Month is a comfy hook on which whites can hang their insincerities? The undercurrent of discrimination must be exhausting.
Arden H. King, Toronto
All for GM corn
the argument presented in Nasty Niblets (NOW, February 28-March 6) was very one-sided and unsubstantiated.
Did it ever occur to you that we have been "contaminating" maize for millennia? Thousands of years ago in Mesoamerica, cobs of corn were barely the size of your finger, with but a few kernels. Selective breeding over the years has allowed cobs to grow to over 12 inches, with hundreds of kernels on a single cob, allowing greater yields.
Have you considered that the resilience of GM corn may yield yet more bountiful harvests and feed more mouths?
Genetically modified foods are not inherently bad. It is simply an extension of the domestication of nature that humans have carried out since the neolithic revolution.
Zhan Huan Zhou, Toronto
No respect for female sport
this is in response to brian Jedan's letter (NOW, March 14-20).
I am a professed hockey hater, but the way the underdog women's hockey team played has made me care and give the sport a second look.
Jedan's problem is that women's hockey doesn't cater to male sexuality like other female-participant sports.
If women's hockey uniforms included see-through chest plates, people like Jedan might manage to respect this female sport.
Daniel Frank Toronto
Cyclists feel betrayed
we were saddened to read a fellow cyclist's slander of Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (NOW, March 7-13). We want to set the record straight about ARC's position on the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP).
Last summer, ARC sent an e-mail to councillors giving them official notice that certain Toronto streets are unsafe for cyclists and informing them that the city has a duty of care to cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. No legal action was threatened.
While the BMP ignores highly used and perilous routes, it does improve the situation for cyclists in the suburbs.
Nancy Smith Lea and five others, Toronto
Pretty pissed off
re fem cab faux pas (now, march 14-20). You're offended by the "average-sized" woman who sang about her body?
Why weren't you offended by the other woman who sang? What size was she? Some of those Porky and Pissed Off girls, if we follow your apparent classification system, were average-sized. Did they offend you? Please tell me what exact weight a woman must attain before she may express her moral outrage (or sing, or joke) about a culture that judges an entire gender's worth by our bodies. Is it 200 pounds? Less for short chicks?
Sonja Mills, Toronto
The making of Carla Collins
for the past several months, our beautiful city has been littered with posters of Carla Collins. I took it upon myself to deface her face and black out one of her teeth.
I've been diligently patrolling the downtown core. She has now made a TV commercial showing her blacking out her own tooth. And taking credit for my endeavours. It's incredible what a square inch of marker can lead to.
Stephen Elvis, Toronto