I was born in Israel in 1939. Many Jews, including my father, arrived in Israel long before World War II, purchased barren land legally, and turned it into fertile orchards. One million Jews, pushed out of Arab countries, were absorbed in Israel since 1948. Not one of all the above is living in Israel today as a result of the Holocaust.
In 1947 the Jews in Israel accepted the United Nations resolution to partition the tiny territory between them and the Arab population. All Arab countries rejected that resolution and on May 15, 1948, on the day of its independence, invaded Israel.
While Israel took care of Jewish refugees, Arab countries did not lift a finger to absorb or support their Palestinian brethren.
Furthermore, Israel's population already consists of 1 million Palestinian Arabs who enjoy equal rights under the law. More Palestinians were killed by Arabs than in all the wars with Israel combined. Not a single Israeli teacher teaches his students to kill Arabs.
Eight months ago, Israel was generously prepared to meet close to all Palestinian demands. Yet again, the Palestinians rejected the opportunity. They continue to regard Israel's independence as their holocaust. How much more proof do we all need to realize that their true intention is not the dismantling of a few Jewish settlements but the destruction of the Israeli state?
We are currently witnessing a monumental anti-Israeli propaganda campaign fueled by much of the media and reminiscent of the propaganda perpetrated against the Jews that led to the Holocaust. With some of its articles and letters, The Blade may unintentionally be helping to delay the chances for real peace in the Middle East.
In response to Tom Troy's article on “Tradition takes a hike at local charter school,” I would like to add that “tradition” is not the only thing to “take a hike” in the loosely structured environment of the Family Learning Center. Accountability is absent.
I was at Aurora Academy prior to accepting a position at TFLC. During my term of employment at Aurora I watched the struggling students there take an active interest in their learning process and become independent, self-disciplined young people who searched for success in their learning pursuits. This personal growth was only to become a feeling of frustration and disappointment with the idea that they were being “discarded” by those whom they trusted with their future.
This was their feeling when Aurora ended their senior program and forced these fragile youths into an environment of chaos and disrespect for authority at TFLC. After a day and a half at TFLC I was angered by the prospect that my former students from Aurora would be subjected to this poorly administered concept of education, just a few months from their proposed graduation.
For the last seven years I have worked with at-risk adults who have “fallen through the cracks” of society and have observed the long-term effect of what ill-prepared individuals suffer through when not given the proper preparation to become productive members of today's ever-changing society.
A call to attention is warranted by our educational leaders and parents to demand accountability from the growing number of charter schools led by inexperienced and idealistic administrators.
EILEEN J. MITCHELL-LAKE
South Reynolds Road
Take a look at Toledo's public high schools and you will find the “days of segregation” that you “doubt Toledoans would prefer to return to.”
It's no accident that the school with the highest percentage of African-American students (Scott High School - 96 percent) is also the school that represents the lowest reported median income of all Toledo's public schools ($10,405 annually, according to census data).
It's also no accident that the high school with the highest percentage of white students (Bowsher - 73 percent) has the second-highest median income ($31,505).
Where children attend school depends on where they live. While the discriminatory real estate practices you listed may no longer occur, members of historically marginalized groups are pushed even further into substandard housing when searching for adequate homes.
You hit the mark when you stated that where people live depends on their socio-economic status, but you failed to draw the connection between that and skin color. The outward “angst and resistance that once characterized race relations” has been replaced by insidiously racist practices organized to serve the dominant culture.
Your humanistic approach to explaining race relations fails miserably at addressing the larger national problem. Simply living next to someone who is racially different does not guarantee full cultural understanding and acceptance of an entire group of people. Amending the historic race relation woes in the United States requires more than just sharing a fence with someone who looks different than you.
JILL E. POSTA
On April 12 our area of Oregon experienced strong winds. The utility pole in front of our house was blown down. When the transformer hit the pavement it ruptured. Oil spread over the road, the road shoulder, and into our grass near the road. Toledo Edison responded rapidly and set a new pole. Someone came later and spread some material over the oil on the road.
Because it was an older transformer we were concerned about PCB contamination. We called Toledo Edison and were put in contact with a representative in Akron who apparently handles inquiries about transformer oil. He referred us to a lady in Toledo.
Several days later she informed us the PCB levels were within “acceptable” limits. We asked for written assurance. She told us that it was not company policy. We later spoke to the Akron representative and again asked for test confirmation in writing. Again, “not company policy,” a well memorized script.
We later received a call from another representative from Toledo - same story - “not company policy.” No one could give us a rational explanation of why it was not company policy to assure customers, in writing, that PCBs aren't contaminating their property.
Are we just to trust their word about the test results? To whom are the PCB levels acceptable?
LINDA and CLIFFORD SMITH
A recent article I saw told how the company that makes the drug Claritin is spending big money on various congressmen. With gifts, use of private jets, paid vacations, and more, it is attempting to influence their decision on extending the patent on the drug. It is due to run out, which would mean that someone else could make a generic for around 80 cents a pill.
The article told of the enormous profits this drug made for the drug company. They want to continue this.
Congress has rolled over many times for other drug companies, so they will probably do it again for this one.
Let's hope attempts to make these drugs available to the people who need them will be successful, and at a decent price.
Gasoline price spikes nothing new
The headline on the Friday before the holiday weekend read: “Some honor memory of cheap gas on holiday, Drivers vent as price (of gas) soars about 18 cents.” What is so newsworthy about gas prices soaring 18 cents on Thursday in the Midwest? A table comparing how much the prices soared on this Thursday one year ago would have been more informative so everyone would realize just how long they have been the victims of this ridiculous price-fixing scam.