Regarding your July 29 editorial "Israel's Divisive Fence": It is ludicrous to compare the Berlin Wall to the fence currently being constructed in Israel. Yes, they are both structures intended to separate one side from another, but that is where the similarity ends. The Berlin Wall was built by communist East Germany to prevent its citizens from escaping to freedom. The fence in Israel is designed to keep suicide killers from sneaking into Israel to murder civilians. The fence may prove to be a futile stopgap measure, but it is in no way equivalent to the Berlin Wall.
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I was quite concerned and upset that the short article that was posted in your paper today seemed to skimp on the facts concerning what the Israeli government is calling a "fence." This is not a mere fence but a wall of gigantic proportions. It has already taken some Palestinian farmland and water access, and essentially cut off villages and separated families with gates and enclosures. This must not stand. An informed readership and citizenry is essential to an effective democracy. As an American Jew who is now painfully aware of the enormous suffering of Palestinians, I feel this is merely the latest shocking affront to those of us who desperately want to get the information to our fellow citizens but seem stopped by media "roadblocks" at every turn. This wall is not going to make Israelis safer or provide a viable contiguous region for Palestinians.
That fence, if it saves one grandmother, one toddler, one teenager from the bomb blast of a terrorist, is worth building. Israeli moderates have been its greatest advocates.
New Haven, Conn.
[Editor's note: A letter was removed.]
Regarding Neil Jeffery's thoughtful letter "'Plan Colombia' not going as planned?" (Readers Write, July 25): If Plan Colombia had exceeded expectations, and all cocaine in Colombia were eliminated, the supply in the United States would not be affected. As long as cocaine or any other drugs are demanded, and we are willing to pay a substantial price for them, somebody will produce the drugs and get them to willing buyers. No matter how much money we throw at the problem, the basic economic law of supply and demand cannot be nullified.
Regarding your July 25 film review "'Seabiscuit' swerves off track": My daughter's soccer team attended "Seabiscuit" last weekend. It took serious effort to overcome their desire to see "Lara Croft Tomb Raider." I had noticed David Sterritt's rating of one star in the Monitor's movie section and couldn't quite believe it could rank beneath other movies that are seriously questionable.
The point of the movie is its social context and the ability of the human spirit to overcome obstacles. These were certainly more inspirational subjects than in most of the summer movies for which our children have begged. "Heart" does matter at our house.
Nancy Mayer Allan
La Cañada-Flintridge, Calif.
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