Song of hope for Israel-Palestine

Your Sept. 17 article "Young Israelis seek solidarity singing old tunes," reminds me of an e-mail from a friend in Jerusalem telling of the "Jerusalem Festival," a week-long program of music, art, dance, and theater in east Jerusalem, with local Palestinian artists as well as visiting performers.

My friend wrote of the joy in the streets they all felt, tempered by regret that relatives and friends from nearby Ramallah and Bethlehem were prevented by curfew and roadblocks from attending. Is it too much to hope that one day those young Israelis could join with their Palestinian neighbors in a united sing-along?
Bernice L. Youtz
Tacoma, Wash.

Jewish contributions ignored

Having just returned from a 2-1/2-year stay in Zimbabwe, I found that the Sept. 17 article "In Zimbabwe, fasting in the midst of food shortages," about the Jewish enclave in Bulawayo, rang a familiar note. Robert Mugabe's regime is distorting the country's social complexity by identifying all whites as "the same" and failing to acknowledge Jewish contributions.

In Bulawayo, there is a well-documented record of progressive mayors of Jewish descent who were instrumental in introducing bylaws and welfare regulations that were beneficial to all racial groups.

It is tragic that a well-meaning section of Zimbabweans, such as the Jews in Bulawayo, now feel that its country has turned against them.
Gisela Chan Man Fong
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Terrorism is not the problem

Regarding Godfrey Sperling's Sept. 17 Opinion column "A good political week for Bush": Mr. Sperling concludes that President Bush has "reshaped the issue agenda in the midterm campaign" and wonders what the effects will be. I wish Mr. Bush had the same passion for enforcing UN resolutions against Israel that he has against Iraq. We do not pay our huge debt to the UN, and yet we use it as a pulpit for an agenda of war.

Terrorism is not the problem; it is hate. And until the US examines its attitudes and arrogance on the world scene, we will continue to equate patriotism with revenge, and wonder why others hate us when we march in step only with ourselves.
Ann Hymes
St. Michaels, Md.

Empower UN to handle conflicts

After reading your Sept. 17 article "In Congress, quiet questions on war," I was appalled by the hypocrisy of President Bush's statement to the UN to "show some backbone."

It is time for the US, along with the rest of the world, to start empowering the UN to deal with the many global problems that one nation can't solve. We've been causing worldwide hostility by acting alone.
Deborah Metke
South Milwaukee, Wis.

Hampton remembered fondly

Concerning Ward Morehouse III's Sept. 12 tribute to Lionel Hampton "The joy of a jazz great who left a legacy beyond music": Some 20 years ago I went to hear Hampton play at the Temple University Music Festival. In the middle of the outdoor concert, a storm suddenly erupted, pouring rain onto all of us in the audience. A burst of lightning took out an electric line. All was in darkness.

Members of the audience who had come on motorcycles drove their bikes up to the stage to illuminate it with their headlights, and Hampton burst into a rendition of "Sunny Side of the Street." The concert continued. "Hamp" may have flown on home, but his memory resonates within many of us.
Marcia Welsh
Haverhill, N.H.

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