Letters

By , Jennifer A. Bell and Albert L. Weeks

Disney's exhibit on Jerusalem: a marketing pawn? Regarding your editorial "Jerusalem Mickey-Mouse" (Sept. 24): I was struck by the dashed sentence "that the holy sites will always be open to all Jews, Christians - and Muslims." Somehow that dash loomed large in my mind as a Muslim, as if Muslims were added as an afterthought.

One only needs to read the history of Jerusalem to understand that the only time of peace, harmony, and coexistence among the three faiths was under Islamic rule. In the last 2,000 years, Jews have controlled the city partly or wholly through force and annexation.

Now this Holy City has become a marketing and public relations pawn in the Disney Epcot exhibit, bought and paid for by the Israeli government. This has sparked a worldwide controversy among Christians and Muslims that, along with the de-facto Judaization of Jerusalem in Israel, has made any peaceful resolution to the city's final status difficult. The American entertainment corporation run by a Jewish American, Michael Eisner, was paid in effect to market the Israeli claim to Jerusalem as its eternal undivided capital. The Arabs don't - and shouldn't - object to an Israeli exhibit since Israel is an independent nation. What they object to is Israel's and Disney's complicity in trying to preempt world opinion and ongoing negotiations in deciding Jerusalem's fate.

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Our government, the Vatican, the European Union, and many UN resolutions do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Disney must present Jerusalem in its true historical light by stating that both the Israelis and Palestinians claim it as their capital and that its future is being negotiated. It must also give equal emphasis to its importance to the three Abrahamic faiths and not sell the city for $1.8 million. Jerusalem is not for sale. Mohamed Khodr, Winchester, Va.

L.A. Police Department inquiry I was pleased by your balanced commentary on the LAPD scandal ("Why the police are hard to police," Sept. 27). Nowadays, it is rare to hear leaders advocating a reasoned approach that maintains the balance between "fighting crime" and respecting human rights. So far, all we have heard is fear-baiting and posturing from politicians and police alike.

In a recent article The Washington Post interviewed a white policeman who explained reluctantly why he feels justified in regarding all black males as potential criminals until they are proven innocent. This is the kind of mentality that has swept through this nation - and we are worse off for it.

What kind of a society declares "war" on its people as in "the war on drugs" and "the war on crime?" Jennifer A. Bell, Sacramento, Calif.

KGB secret notes Christopher Andrew's and Vasili Mitrokhin's book "The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB" is a solid, well-sourced volume. However, I was dismayed at Leonard Bushkoff's inept, tendentious review of this impressive work ("KGB revealed from secret notes in a shoe," Sept. 23).

The bias of the reviewer is obvious. Bushkoff has long criticized Western policymakers for their alleged "hawkishness," even suggesting that the cold war was a mere "Bobchinsky-Dobchinsky," two-apes-on-a-tread-mill mock battle kept alive mostly by the US. That he may now be writing a book himself that heaps scorn on the CIA is not surprising.

The security aspects of the cold war are too serious a matter to consign to a reviewer with Mr. Bushkoff's biases. Albert L. Weeks, Sarasota, Fla.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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