Letters to the Editor

Readers debate pros and cons of a binational 'Isra-Pal' state, criticize racial preferences, and advocate hydrogen-based fuel

A binational Israel-Palestine: Good for all, or for none?

In response to Ali Abunimah's May 14 Opinion piece, "A political marriage of necessity: a single state of Palestine-Israel": This Opinion piece has one fatal flaw. It assumes that binational states work.

Even with peace and prosperity, some of the most successful countries involving multiple ethnic or linguistic groups, the United Kingdom and Belgium, show that this type of state is always at risk.

Some in Scotland are gearing up once again for a devolution resolution.

The French- and Dutch-speaking parts of Belgium are constantly bickering over language and other matters.

If those countries still face problems, then what would a binational state in the Middle East look like?

Surely keeping Israelis and Palestinians separate but equal makes more sense than forcing them together.

Pray for a future peaceful enough to establish a binational state in the Holy Land, but let's keep our eyes on reality.

Daniel Schwartz
Los Angeles

In response to Ali Abunimah's May 14 Opinion piece on Israel/Palestine: Cheers and hooray for the great Opinion piece on the Palestine-Israel question. Rarely do I ever see articles like this.

We might consider "Isra-Pal" as a name – that way it would be in alphabetical order.

It's a brilliant comparison with South Africa. That crisis was similar because of the apartheid situation, although the de Klerk government did not build a long wall to separate groups of people.

Now that we have a huge agreement between the Irish Catholics and Protestants, why not keep up the momentum and work on Isra-Pal?

What is remarkable about South Africa and Ireland is that conflicts there were resolved by other countries and interests within and without – and not by the United Nations. But without the UN, the process took longer.

If UN members would only give more power and funds to the UN, crises could be resolved sooner and with much less bloodshed.

Henry G. Rutledge
Davis, Calif.

Regarding Ali Abunimah's May 14 Opinion piece on Israel/Palestine: Talk about rewriting history!

The non-Jewish population of what is now Israel left in 1948 at the behest of the surrounding countries so that they could wipe Jews and Israelis off the map, to drive them into the sea.

They failed in that attempt, and in all subsequent attempts, and now keep Palestinians in refugee camps as a propaganda device.

Phil Landsberg
Euless,Tex.

In response to Ali Abunimah's Opinion piece on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from May 14: What a joy and a pleasure to come across this excellent Opinion piece. Thanks for publishing a Palestinian perspective.

It really is quite reasonable and compassionate to call for one state for all its citizens – with full and equal rights for all, regardless of religion.

I agree with Mr. Abunimah's statement that, "The case of South Africa shows that a unity government can succeed."

Anne Selden Annab
Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Time to end racial preferences

In response to your May 11 editorial, "A leg up for minorities on campus": Proponents of preferential treatment justify having different sets of standards because the so-called critical mass "enhances education and prepares graduates for the workplace and society."

They should mention, however, that the mass differs for each group.

For example, as Peter Wood notes in the National Review article, "Diversity Revisited," 100 was the right number for a critical mass of black students at Michigan's law school.

But half that number was appropriate for Hispanics, and a "mere 15" native Americans was sufficient to better the community.

Such superficial, artificial engineering does not help anyone. Individuals are inherently unique from conception.

Claiming that having a certain number of minorities "enhances" an environment and "prepares" others is disrespectful to those students.

Race has historically played a major role in our society.

It is now time for our nation to move beyond noticing such trivial things as melanin levels.

A good way to do so is to abandon preferential treatment in favor of giving all Americans a better K-12 education.

Alex Yang
Statesboro, Ga

Use hydrogen, not enemy-owned oil

In response to the May 10 article, "Fuel economy back on US agenda": Congress should strongly emphasize hydrogen as the alternative fuel of the future.

Car manufacturers say they can make cars that burn hydrogen, and fuel cell technology seems to be available.

But the politicians keep holding onto imported oil as if it is the only way of the future.

These politicians could mandate that all new cars built in three years burn hydrogen.

Why do they instead keep supporting dictators, jihadists, and other types of people who hate the United States?

Jeff Cleveland
Miami Beach, Fla.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, 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. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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 Op-Ed.

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