Letters to the Editor

Readers write about whether Obama is putting Israel at risk, how Pakistanis view the world, electric vehicles, and why the death penalty must end.

Need for balance on Palestinian-Israeli issues

Regarding the May 10 Opinion piece, "Obama puts Israel at risk": This commentary is a perfect example of the kind of one-sidedness that is rampant from so many on this issue.

The argument against settling millions of Palestinians in Israel because Israel is "the size of New Jersey" is the same argument that Palestinians made against out-of-control Jewish immigration before the state of Israel was founded – an argument that was rejected by the world at the time. The cited number of people killed by terrorist attacks since 2000 is roughly the same as the number of people killed in just a few weeks during the recent Israeli engagement in Gaza.

It is important to keep the realities of everyone involved in the conflict in mind if we are to develop some sort of plan which can be agreed to by all. In this light, I would ask the author to look at the requests made of Hamas and Fatah at the end of the commentary and to think about what kinds of political, economic, educational, social, cultural, religious, historical, psychological, and sociological changes would have to occur for those goals to be realized. They certainly won't occur by simply waiting, or by giving one side bigger bombs, which the author seems to imply.

Rush Cosgrove
Dillon Beach, Calif.

Pakistanis' worldview is molded by false ideas

In regard to the May 12 article, "Poll: Pakistanis worried about Taliban, economy": The reported survey of Pakistani opinion has produced, not surprisingly, a jumble of contradictions.

On matters of religion and politics, it is my belief, borne out by the experience of nearly half a century of journalism, that religious attitudes are molded by lifelong (albeit variegated) Islamic indoctrination and uncritical acceptance of the word of the mullah. Education, both social and political, is largely nullified by falsified history. Their political awareness is doctored by politicians doggedly following the long-discredited "ideology of Pakistan," which links, however obliquely, the creation and continued existence of their country to a vaguely understood Islamic purpose.

The poll you refer to produced nothing really credible.

Maruf Khwaja
London

Replace cars with other transport

In regard to the May 5 editorial, "A yellow light for electric cars": As I sit stuck in traffic for an hour and a half each day, I try to imagine the changes to my life that a zero-emission, 1,000-miles-per-gallon vehicle would bring – and I find that I'll still be stuck in traffic.

The philosophy that got us into this mess is based on driving too many cars. Let's find some other way to move people about.

Dan McClure
Pearland, Texas

Whatever the reasoning, the death penalty must end

Regarding the May 12 Opinion piece, "The new case against the death penalty": Though this commentary makes a good case for the monetary reasons for opposing the death penalty rather than the moral reasons, who cares? It still takes something ugly off the books.

I am personally against the death penalty because I can't imagine how horrifying it would be to spend years in prison for a crime committed by someone else. And how many people have the financial resources to hire an experienced attorney, let alone conduct an expensive investigation?

Sarah Murnen
Kalkaska, Mich.

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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