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Published: 2/15/2008

Letter writer distorts truth about conflict

I find it amusing that Yuval Zaliouk writes in his Jan. 27 letter in the Readers' Forum about "Arab propaganda," when his own Hasbara Handbook is a propaganda tool written by the World Union of Jewish Students, disseminated throughout universities via the well-financed Hillel Foundations.

The Zionist project, which Mr. Zaliouk so vigorously defends, was built on lies, originating with the false "A land without people for a people without a land."

It is simply not true that Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands, as he would like readers to believe. On the contrary, it is well documented that prior to 1900, Jews lived in peace and security with their Christian and Muslim neighbors throughout the Middle East. Just ask Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. It was only the introduction of Zionism that caused conflict.

Mr. Zaliouk also distorts the intent of U.N. Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine without consideration of the folks already living there. Even granting the questionable authority that the U.N. claims it had, it by no means authorized the murders, massacres, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Jewish gangs in 1947-49.

And U.N. Resolution 194 stipulates the right of return for all Palestinians removed from their homes in 1948, again in 1967 and ongoing today, back to those homes in Palestine, not in any other country. This right is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and remains unalienable.

So much does Mr. Zaliouk want his Jewish state that rather than truthfully confront the actual history of Palestine, he brings additional falsehoods to the fray: It's not an "expulsion" of Jews from the West Bank that he would like readers to believe. It's a return of that land to its rightful owners.

Henry Herskovitz

Ann Arbor

As a senior citizen who grew up in South Toledo, I recall the feeling I experienced when the Southwyck Shopping Center first opened. To have a whole village of stores under one roof was a new concept to me and my contemporaries. What has been allowed to happen to Southwyck in recent years is a disgrace. I can certainly identify with the frustration over its deterioration and concern over its future architecture.

That said, I wish I had been one of those interviewed by a Jan. 24 letter writer at the Shops at Fallen Timbers. When the mall was first opened, I walked through the entire layout, loving the fresh air, the music, the attractive shops, the gardens, the lake, the fire pit, the neighborhood feel of it. I stopped to talk with others who were seeing it for the first time, and we agreed that it was welcoming and enjoyable. Sometimes I go there just for the exercise, and I come away refreshed. Shortly after Christmas, I went there with my daughter and grandchildren, and they loved stretching their legs and exploring Main Street and its shops.

It's difficult to walk anywhere outside when the weather is foul, but parking lots behind the shops provide close access to the individual shops, and if one doesn't want to brave the windy walk from store to store, one can drive from one group of shops to another.

I urge the writer to return to the mall in the spring and walk the grounds simply to enjoy the sights and sounds available. Bring some children. Visit the lake. Sit at the fire pit. And meanwhile, I join him in hoping for a fresh facade at Southwyck mall that pleases almost everyone.

J. Umlauf

Waterville

The Founding Fathers could not imagine how American capitalism would unfold but did know from history some pitfalls. They wrote in the Constitution that money would be comprised of gold and silver, even though the revolution was financed with paper currency.

They couldn't anticipate events like the Panic of 1873, the robber baron era, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. As these and other capitalist excesses unfolded, Congress and sitting presidents enacted legislation to prevent future similar events. Some of the measures included anti-trust statutes, regulations, and a progressive income tax.

The present economic mess may be the result of changes made since the 1980s. Regulations have been progressively removed, mergers and acquisitions have been encouraged, and the tax rates have been tweaked to favor accumulation of great wealth and worse power. Economic history has been discarded in favor of new slogans and old destructive ideas.

I hope we catch ourselves in time and demand that the powers that be make decisions good for the country as in the past.

Bob Kranz

Westbourne Road

In response to the letter in the Reader's Forum by a Toledo Public Schools student regarding the Ohio Graduation Tests, I have had 14 core-class teachers over the past three years and each one was focused on preparing students for these tests.

To say teachers don't care about the tests and having their students pass them is foolish. In fact, I am of the opinion that some teachers care too much about having the students pass the tests and not enough about preparing them for college.

As the letter writer stated, pointing fingers will not get the test scores higher. In fact, blaming teachers is just scapegoating. The material that students are quizzed on for the OGT can all be found in their books. Therefore, even if the teacher does a poor job of explaining something, the students can read the material a second time and still pass the OGT. If they still have trouble, there is after-school tutoring, which many schools do free of charge. I can only vouch for Start High School, but we have classes that students can request that are specifically for preparing students for the OGT.

I don't see why we (the students) can't accept some of the responsibility instead of blaming the teachers. Students shouldn't put the blame on someone else because they don't want to do the little extra work necessary to succeed. Learning doesn't stop the moment students walk out of the classroom; some of the preparation needs to come from their desire to do what is needed to pass.

Joe Burmeister

Revere Drive

Why are there no stories written and pictures taken of the Toledo Youth Orchestra and the Ohio Music Education Association District I High School Honors Festival performances?

The TYO performed Jan. 27 at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle at 2:30 p.m. while the OMEA District I performed at the Stranahan Theater on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The OMEA District I was the High School Honors Festival. Participants came from more than 40 schools.

Here is a positive example of what junior high and high school students are achieving in our area, an example that is too often ignored in today's newspapers. This is a wonderful example of what financial support is capable of achieving in education, backed by well-educated and caring directors.

And let's not forget individuals and organizations that make financial and time-consuming efforts to support this program, which was founded in 1924.

The OMEA is one of the largest of the 52 affiliates of the MENC, the National Association for Music Education.

Doris E. Meek

Craigwood Road

Now that the powers that be have decided to make Toledo a little safer by placing motorists on not-so-candid cameras, here's a suggestion. Put cameras on the crime-ridden streets, and in the alleys, city parks, and school playgrounds. And I wouldn't mind camera coverage of my home, especially at night or when I'm not there.

Or, is safety via video technology the city's concern only when a speedy buck is involved?

John Walczak

Warsaw Street

I enjoyed The Blade's story about paczki, but I am compelled to set the record straight. "Paczki" is plural. "Paczek" is singular. To say "paczkis" is similar to saying "mices" or "feets" or "orangeses."

Andrew Babula

Sylvania



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