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Thursday, August 12, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Letters to the editor


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Politics of hate

President won't stand for passive legitimizing of anti-Semitic agenda

Editor, The Times:

Edward Alexander correctly points out that the Democratic Party has been infected with the poison of anti-Semitism; a poison presidential candidate John Kerry has chosen not to protect himself against ("The Democratic Party's anti-Semitism problem," Times guest commentary, Aug. 9).

While Kerry was glad-handing the Rev. Al Sharpton, former President Jimmy Carter and filmmaker Michael Moore were being chummy in their adjoining seats of honor at the Democratic convention. Perhaps they were discussing Carter's close relationship with Yasser Arafat, or Moore's boycotting of his own movie in Israel.

This nauseating scene stands in great contrast to President Bush's outspoken condemnation of the anti-Semitism that has become fashionable — again — in Europe. While anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C., have been displaying placards equating the Star of David with the swastika, and Bush with Hitler, President Bush has stood firm in his support of Israel's own right to defend itself against terrorism.

One wonders, incidentally, how many suicide bombings the protesters would tolerate in American cities before they deemed it acceptable to fight back.

America's Jews traditionally vote in favor of the Democrats (more than 80 percent of Jews in the last election voted for Al Gore). The question now is this: In 2004, will American Jews stand with Kerry, who stands next to those who defame Israel?
— Britten Schear, Seattle

No reverence for persecuted

I am an African-American female born and raised in Louisiana, have gone through the poorest of circumstances and have had many of the same common experiences as another African American. I am a Republican, however, and I am still amazed at how the Democratic Party continues to brainwash the African-American community into thinking it has such a better chance for a life with the Democrats.

I am sure there are still blacks attaining successes just as in the presidency of Bill Clinton. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson care about themselves and their own social status and that's about it. What was the latest accomplishment for the quality of life for blacks that was sponsored by either of these so-called activists?

Somehow, it appears the struggles of blacks in America should be our only point of interest. The Jewish people suffered an extraordinary tragedy and are no less significant than any other people. I see only self-centeredness in their so-called concern for African Americans to accomplish their own personal agendas.
— Mary Baker, Kent

Substance in the wings

I question Edward Alexander's targeting of the Rev. Al Sharpton and using him as a key example in his commentary. In the Tawana Brawley (rape hoax) case, the Rev. Al Sharpton compared then-Attorney General Robert Abrams, a Jew, to Adolf Hitler! This seems quite silly and gives credence to my belief that Sharpton will say anything, and do nearly anything, to get his name in the papers. I often wonder about Sharpton's credibility, but his anti-Semitism isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

Yes, in 2002, Earl Hilliard's "racist rhetoric did not prevent him from receiving support from 24 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee," but it may have prevented him from winning the election! Hilliard lost the Alabama Democratic primary to Artur Davis. Why didn't Alexander mention this seemingly important fact?

Yes, Jesse Jackson may have called New York "Hymietown" 20 years ago. But since then, he has apologized repeatedly for this remark (of) 20 years ago! If the Rev. Jackson is being targeted in commentary about the Democratic Party and anti-Semitism, could we see more recent examples of this, if there are any?

"Apparently Hollings, during his seven terms, had never discovered that a majority of Jews would vote Democratic even if Yasser Arafat and Osama bin Laden were at the top of the ticket." Am I to (understand) that if an American voter is Jewish, he or she will blindly follow the party ticket?

I just don't think Alexander made good, or even credible, arguments to justify his premise that "... the anti-Semitic upsurge of recent years is mainly a left-wing phenomenon."
— Maureen Carmichael, Kenmore

Advocacy is not bigotry

Can't one speak of Israel's obvious injustices toward Palestinians without being accused of anti-Semitism? It is ever-more difficult for anyone to avoid such accusations if we discuss American support to Israel and its continual injustices toward Palestinians.

It is considered anti-Semitism if one decries those injustices or Jewish pressure that has hoodwinked the United States into providing support (about $3 billion a year) for the invading Israelis. While the Palestinians may not be a highly admired society, they do not deserve the treatment Israelis have given them, with help from the U.S. due to pressure of Jewish-American societies.

And I object to being called anti-Semitic as I look for fair play in the Middle East. Often I wonder which country the Jews in America put first, the U.S. or Israel. And I suppose such a thought stamps me as anti-Semitic, though all I really seek is justice for Arabs whose lands have been stolen.
— Spencer Higley, Edmonds

Elective procedure

Schedule transplant for November

"Stem-cell research: Why Bush is wrong" (editorial, June 25), is even more relevant with the third anniversary of President Bush's indefensible order limiting stem-cell research ("Kerry goes after Bush on stem-cell issue," News, Aug. 8). As a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, my support for such research was strengthened when listening to the moving speech given by Ron Reagan, a Seattle resident.

We owe (our support) to those who now or will suffer from fatal and debilitating injuries and illnesses. Fortunately, Democratic nominee John Kerry supports such research and the appropriateness of heeding science in finding the cures of tomorrow.

In fact, legislation I introduced, Senate Bill 5466, and its companion House Bill 1461, introduced by Reps. Brian Sullivan and Shay Schual-Berke during the 2003-04 legislative sessions, likely would not be necessary if Kerry is elected in November.

Our bipartisan-sponsored legislation would allow stem-cell research to be conducted in our state with important safeguards in place, such as requiring informed and written consent of the donors in utilizing unused embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization. In addition, any selling of unused or discarded embryos would be a felony, and any cloning of human beings would be prohibited, carrying a civil penalty of $1 million.

I have great admiration for Nancy Reagan and Ron Reagan and their work to gain approval for stem-cell research; I'm pleased that John Kerry has shown his commitment to working with the Reagans for progress on this urgent medical priority.
— State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle

We'll always have Paris

Sneers looking at you

Well, you mustn't show flag-draped coffins coming home from Iraq, it's too upsetting. But every time you look at a newspaper, there is Paris Hilton and her inane smirk.

Yeah, I don't "get" why she and her dog should be tax-cut recipients. I must be a Democrat.
— Marilyn Bachmann, Redmond

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