Letters to the Editor

Readers write about President Carter and Hamas, and reflect on housing relief.

Will Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas be helpful?

Regarding the April 14 article, "Jimmy Carter meets a fuel-short Hamas": President Carter is to be applauded for his diplomatic initiative in meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal.

The United States' policy of boycotting Hamas is clearly counterproductive: By labeling Hamas a terrorist organization with which it will not talk, the US disregards the democratic vote that brought the group to office and shows itself to be hypocritical.

In supporting President Mahmoud Abbas both diplomatically and financially, the US has repeatedly tried to foment civil war within Palestinian society and has blatantly favored Israeli goals, disregarding the gross violations of Palestinian human rights.

Miriam Reik
New York

In response to the recent article on Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas: The fact that President Carter's tactics are causing more harm than good seems not to have any effect upon his cause.

The former president at some point was making his name not on his legacy as president but rather on his humanitarian activities. His legacy at this point risks becoming one of divisiveness.

Stephen Martinek
Three Oaks, Mich.

Thoughts on mortgage relief

In response to the April 4 article, "A Senate deal on housing relief": Although I think it is highly ridiculous that loans can be restructured on yachts but not on houses under bankruptcy proceedings, it is the buyers' own fault that they did not read the fine print on their contracts.

If business education in schools was more thorough, then Americans would not be stuck in this situation. If people knew how to act concerning the most important purchase of their lives, a house, then people would know not to sign a contract in which there isn't a fixed interest rate.

Alyssa Schier
Ballwin, Mo.

Regarding the recent article on housing relief: I believe that bailouts and restructured loans need to be implemented as this would bring justice to the unfair system that targeted racial minorities. As the article says, "Critics charge that the subprime mortgage industry marketed many of its loans to African-Americans and Latinos." These interest rates lured naive families into a system they believed would be affordable and beneficial. However, they were victims of instant downfall once interest rates escalated.

Restructuring loans should be done in order to rectify the mortgage mess where "20,000 families are losing their homes each week." By restructuring loans and improving the way banks find out about a customer's background, there will be a better system that avoids future mistakes like this.

Because the targeted families tended to be ones with little education in owning a home, I feel that by ensuring that mortgage companies invest in educating their customers, homeowners will not make the same mistakes and will not be so easily taken advantage of.

Kalo Semiti
Gaithersburg, Md.

Regarding the recent article on mortgage relief: The fact that most of the homeowners were African-American or Latino was very disheartening to me.

The sellers of these mortgages should have more care for their clients than to mislead them and ultimately take away their lives.

Granted that people should be responsible for their own finances, it's still wrong when someone knows they are taking advantage of another person or group and continues to do wrong.

The judges should allow restructuring of all the loans.

Martin Buchanan
Oklahoma City

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