Katz got your tongue?
In all the furor over the Koffler Centre distancing itself from artist Reena Katz's show because of her anti-?Zionist views (NOW, June 4-?10), I have yet to see one word addressing this central issue: if Katz believes so strongly that Israel is an apartheid state, why on earth would she have entered into any sort of association with the Koffler Centre or accepted support from them?
Koffler is funded by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, an agency whose support of Israel is a core part of its mandate.
Israel Apartheid Week has morphed into a hate-?fest on university campuses, where students who are Jewish or supporters of Israel are subjected to abuse ranging from verbal to physical.
As a supporter of this event, Katz should have declined any funding from mainstream Jewish organizations that visibly and vocally support Israel, but that would have taken real courage.
Dissent and be heard
It is extremely sad that a show that doesn't have anything to do with the Israeli-?Palestinian conflict should be forced into cancellation because of Reena Katz's anti-?Zionist political views.
Alternatives to Zionism have been proposed by noted historical figures including Judah Magnes, one of the founders of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Katz cares deeply about her Jewish roots, is strongly affirming of them and simultaneously seeks Arab/Jewish coexistence outside the current political structures.
Her voice deserves to be heard in a Jewish venue.
Letter writer Joanne Cohen claims that "B'nai Brith has long advocated against hate crimes against all minorities, including queers" (NOW, June 4-?10).
This was before B'nai Brith vice-?president for life Frank Dimant began his flirtation with anti-?gay, anti-?feminist "Christian Zionist" evangelicals like John Hagee and Charles McVety.
Dr. Steven Sheinberg, while he was chair of the League for Human Rights, was forced to decline an invitation by Svend Robinsion to testify before a parliamentary committee in favour of his bill to include gays and lesbians in protections against hate speech because, in Sheinberg's words, "Dimant, would not support the bill without protection being given to the speech of anti-?gay clergy."
Independent Jewish Voices
Pot's unsmoked potential
Lucya Almeida and Marcus Hundevad write that marijuana cures cancer (NOW June 4-?10).
There is evidence that goes beyond the research Almeida and Hundevad mention. Scientists were recently quite surprised to learn that the statistical incidence of lung cancer is not elevated in marijuana smokers, even though marijuana smoke contains the same carcinogenic tar as tobacco smoke.
If marijuana smoke contains a carcinogen yet does not cause cancer, it must logically also contain an anti-?carcinogen. So the medicinal use of marijuana may go well beyond what is currently recognized.
Grand theft auto
Alice Klein is correct. Everybody is scratching their heads at the power of the auto industry and the unions (NOW, June 4-?10). What other industry gets that kind of cash?
Wouldn't it make more sense to spend taxpayers' money on giving workers a soft landing rather than endless billions on the crumbling auto sector? Let's support the industries of the future, not the ones that have none.
Andrew van Velzen
Unlike NOW, I fully agree with Criminal Code laws that make soliciting in a public space illegal (NOW, May 21-?27).
As a woman who lives on a street where public solicitation is common, I have too often been assumed to be a product for sale. I have felt too afraid to enter my home.
Walking home in the early hours of the morning, I am often victimized by johns who slow down creepily or pull over entirely.
I've had to call 911 in the middle of the night after hearing a pimp threatening a prostitute again and again just outside my home: "Don't make me do it, (name omitted). Don't make me do it."
Shills for sex advertisers
NOW magazine is really starting to look like a shill for its back-?page sex advertisers.
Your article in favour of legalizing prostitution gave no acknowledgment of the widely documented problems in countries that have legalized prostitution. It hasn't made pros safer.You failed to mention human-rights-?focused laws in places like Norway and Sweden that have dramatically reduced violence without legalization.
Most prostitutes are in the profession because of desperation. Your happy-?hooker shtick reads like capital-?driven journalism.
Hetero versus homo norm
The photograph chosen for the Alt Health column Hooked On Sex (NOW, June 4-?10) is a beautiful, provocative image unfortunately representative of the hetero norm.
Pride shouldn't take place once a year. You received accolades for representing curvy women in your last issue. Isn't it time queers had something to write in about?
Loose lips sink booze laws
Regarding Last call for drinking Laws (NOW, May 21-?27). Who says there are controls of drugs and alcohol? Come to Sherbourne and Dundas and see people walking around or sitting on milk cartons drinking beer out of coffee cups, and crack being smoked in the open.
Oh, I forgot. Those who actually live in this area are a bunch of freeloading welfare bums, so there's no sense giving them a ticket. They'll just use it for toilet paper in the alley because they have no money.