Israeli policy breeds hatred
i am a member of the israeli group Yesh Gvul. I would like to thank you for Untruths We Weave, by Ellie Kirzner (NOW, April 11-17).
I am quite disappointed by the failure of so many North American Jews to distinguish between sympathy for Israeli victims and support for the Israeli government's policies, which include the use of lethal force against civilians, the destruction of homes and sources of livelihood and the denial of basic utilities.
This policy is both morally unacceptable and useless, since it breeds hatred and deprives the current generation of young Palestinians of any hope.
Speaking in one voice and riding the nationalistic wagon is the easiest thing to do. But those who are still interested in a deeper insight into the current turmoil can only gain from Kirzner's article.
Ofer Neiman, Jerusalem
Kirzner's mad logic
i've perused my share of non-sensical pieces in my lifetime. But after reading Untruths We Weave I had to rub my eyes with incredulity.
Ms. Kirzner, you are either the most ignorant, ill-equipped and partisan journalist alive or you are Plato's form of the self-hating Jew (in my estimation, both).
To suggest that "there's no difference" between Arab homicide bombers and Israeli soldiers who target symbolic infrastructure is to posit a logic so twisted and confused that a child could see through it.
I can assure you, Ms. Kirzner, that those in the Israeli army do "give a damn." If you would only just stop to think, you would realize that!
Unlike their neighbours, Israeli children have not been socialized to believe that murdering Palestinian babies is a brave and glorious act. They have not been socialized to believe that slaughtering innocent Palestinian women and children will win them an all-expenses-paid trip to heaven.
Those who hold those views, Ms. Kirzner, are the people you're defending.
Josh Brull, Ottawa
A powerful thing of beauty
a friend forwarded your article Untruths We Weave. It was powerful! Beautiful! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for having said this. I stood with the Women in Black in front of the Israeli consulate on Bloor several times last year, and will be back in May to do so again. Keep up the good work!
Visiting professor of Asian Studies,
University of Hawaii, Honolulu
What of Israeli children?
my friend faxed me a copy of your article Untruths We Weave.
As a Jew, I have always generally supported Israel, realizing that this support cannot be blindly given.
But when you are being directly attacked by your neighbours, your first worry cannot be them, but rather yourself.
Israel has chosen to cut off much of the West Bank and Gaza, not out of cruelty, but rather as a tactic to survive, not just to demoralize the Arabs.
You speak of the children who will survive this conflict, children who will grow up with parents who have died. What of the Israeli children who will grow up knowing their parents were murdered in bombings committed by their neighbours for defending their homeland and right to exist as a people?
Paul Hewitt, San Francisco
Response to right-wingers
every issue you have two or three letters from people yelling at you for not providing Israel's side of the story. And then proceeding to provide it themselves, claiming that Israel is defending itself from these lunatic Arabs.
Why don't you respond to these people and point out that since you seek to provide an alternative viewpoint to the right-wing orgy of mainstream news outlets, it doesn't make any sense to print the same articles pulled off the same news wires.
Point out that since you're writing from a social-justice point of view, you're trying to make it clear who is actually the victim in this situation, and that Israeli racism, Western imperialism and pressure from America to keep easily controlled right-wing dictatorships in the oil countries are the real reasons Palestinians, like countless other Arabs, feel the need to kill themselves and others for freedom.
Israel isn't responding to Palestinian attacks; Israel is responding to a Palestinian uprising against Israeli attacks.
Chris McConnell, Toronto
i can sympathize with ryan patrick's superficial reaction to lighter-skinned black women with certain physical characteristics (Whiter Shade Of Black, NOW, April 11-17).
Personally, I prefer tall drones -- oops, I mean men -- with massive, throbbing genitalia. Perhaps it's my Nordic ancestry troubling me again. Or is it the mainstream media?
Wait a minute, if it were the mainstream media, I'd be after a weedy little man in sagging jeans and a sports jersey. What I have found works to counter these unconscious preferences is actually giving a crap about what's in my lover's mind .
Stephanie Hall, Toronto
How pointless race is
i'm in love with ms. darkskin.
I'm talking about that "mellow-toned" Caucasian female, that golden-brown, honey-covered, caramel-coated object of my desire, that "Mediterranean" skin tone that looks sumptuous when intertwined with my own semi-translucent alabaster hue.
Admittedly, there is something to be said about a silky-skinned, ivory-covered sister. But I'll concede that if I had to choose between an attractive, intelligent light-skinned woman and an equally capable "desert tanned" female, it's probably the snowy sister who'd be out in the cold.
See how pointless it all really is? Thanks for another groundbreaking and incisive article.
Darren Raye, Toronto
Dealing with poachers
thank you for an enlightened and interesting article on how poachers are running amok in Ontario forests during the current OPSEU strike (NOW, April 11-17).
As a conservation officer, I'm dealing with these frustrations every day.
Scott Wilson, Owen Sound
Message to Eves
dear mr. eves: now that you are premier, it's time to let Ontarians know your views on the environment.
I am one of many people who are fighting to save the Ballycroy Moraine at the headwaters of the Humber River. This very vital natural core area of the moraine is under siege by developers who wish to develop a mammoth resort and golf course.
If they succeed, they will ravage the land by cutting down acres upon acres of trees (to build) a golf course that will be liberally soaked in pesticides and a 250-unit hotel and conference centre that will pave over acres of the moraine.
This is not what the people of Ontario want! They want to clean up our rivers of the pollutants that now poison them, not add more.
It is our health that is at risk.
Stop driving, I'm dying here
you may think the recent change in the weather is pleasant.
But since early April, the stench of car smog drifting up from the Don Valley Parkway has woken me each morning in my Dundas and Broadview home.
I can't describe the panic I have felt at being unable to take a breath that didn't smell of vehicle exhaust while trying to eat my breakfast.
Please, Toronto, stop driving! I can't breathe. I'm holding a rag over my face to type this. Please!
S. MacDonald, Toronto
Afraid of advertisers?
is it just my imagination, or has NOW not spoken out about the Marc Hall vs. Durham Catholic School Board issue?
It appears that you're more interested in the rights of people in other countries than in the rights of people in your own backyard.
I don't think the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will be taking out an ad in your adult personals section any time soon. What's the story?
Derek Vincent , Toronto
Fairport's rich history
a reviewer's opinion in a concert or record review is one thing. If writing about your subject's history, shouldn't you provide the reader with information that doesn't read like it was just cribbed out of a copy of The Rolling Stone History Of Rock & Roll?
Elizabeth Bromstein's Fairport Convention review (NOW, April 11-17) would have better illustrated the band's rich history by mentioning founding member Richard Thompson, one of the best British guitarists and songwriters ever.
Ian Matthews? Do that many people care about a guy whose biggest hit was a cover of a CSNY song that was in itself a cover of a Joni Mitchell song?
To top it off, she shows surprise at the fact that Dave Pegg, also of Jethro Tull, is also in the band. Pegg's been in Fairport for years (when he's not otherwise busy with Tull). What's so surprising about that?
I might not like Tim Perlich's opinions, but at least he knows his stuff.
Mark Goldberg, Toronto
Style with some oomph
finally -- a my style feature (now, April 11-17) about someone who a) has had a bath and b) didn't select his or her outfit from a trash bin two minutes before running into the NOW photographer.
John Woodrow, Toronto
Just to clarify
thanks for cameron bailey's and Debra Friedman's very flattering portraits (NOW, April 11-17). I need to make a correction, though: I coordinate the Centre for Media and Culture in Education at OISE/UT.
We're next hosting a talk by Trinidad-based multimedia artist Christopher Cozier on Wednesday (April 24), 5 pm, room 3-140. His work is fabulous, and he's never been to Toronto before.
Centre for Media and Culture in Education,
University of Toronto