- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 17, 2000

Palestinian refugee fund not a wise investment

The Clinton administration's proposal of an international fund to resettle Palestinian refugees, as described in the June 7 article "Palestinian refugee fund eyed," is a move to create Palestinian complacency on the refugee issue and seems to reinforce the pan-Arab sellout of the Palestinians.

The proposal does not address appropriately the root of the refugee issue, the right of return. The oft-quoted U.N. Resolution 194 calls for repatriation and compensation for refugees. President Clinton's proposal neglects the integral and necessary role of Israel. Without positive Israeli involvement, repatriation is not an option. Consequently, a refugee will not view this proposal as a solution or a fulfillment of Resolution 194.

Furthermore, it shows that general Arab support of the Palestinians is present only when it is beneficial. The fund presents Jordan and Lebanon with the illusion of lifting the refugee burden, when, in reality, there only will be fresh burdens. Former refugees will struggle to integrate into other Arab societies, their efforts hampered by inherent socioeconomic and political inequalities. This situation is inevitable without the option of repatriation.

American time and money is better spent in final-status negotiations, engineering a real solution to refugee issues. The Palestinian refugee population is roughly equal to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, so it is imperative that refugees have a voice in this action. Additionally, leaders should work to empower refugees for future transition through improvement of their condition. These measures go further in guaranteeing a secure resolution of the refugee issue.

SARAH BRUTLAG

Research assistant

National Defense Council Foundation

Alexandria

Column omits problems with mass immigration

Jack Kemp's column "Immigration with promise" (Commentary, May 22) suggests that America is the ultimate beneficiary of today's waves of legal and illegal immigration. Mr. Kemp does not discuss the fact that current rates of immigration will play a large part in doubling or even tripling our population during the next hundred years.

He also is myopic about the snowballing damage this growth will wreak in terms of urban sprawl, highway congestion, school overcrowding, resource depletion and environmental degradation. The least of Mr. Kemp's concerns is the risk that these multitudes will erase the American nation-state and culture as we know it.

Mr. Kemp is, of course, no fool. Like most of his cronies who are proponents of today's massive immigration, he thinks of America only in economic terms. He sees only the pools of cheap labor wealthy Republicans demand to fuel their corporate profits.

Mr. Kemp may emote patriotically about our need to share the American dream, but in reality, he is simply a cheerleader for corporate greed.

TIM REID

McLean

Proposal to feed world's children is out to lunch

President Clinton's legacy is going to be scandal upon scandal and not the subsidization of lunch programs, in the form of commodities, for foreign children ("Lunch plan would feed world's children, Clinton's legacy," June 14). Even if the United States could afford the costly burden of feeding the world's children, the money should not be turned over to a global organization such as the United Nations, especially in light of possible financial corruption at the global body and no way of knowing the money was used for the intended purpose.

In the United Nations, we have only one vote, no fiscal authority and no clout, yet the United States already pays a fourth (more than a fair share) of the cost of everything the United Nations does. If the United States ever participates in an international free-lunch plan for children, it should be through an American organization responsible to an uncorrupted arm of the U.S. government. (Sorry, I can't name one.)

The proposal for feeding the world's children is the brainchild of former Sen. George McGovern, a liberal. Rather than being pitched as a legacy for Mr. Clinton, it should be viewed as another scandal in the making. Mr. Clinton already has asked Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman if Mr. Glickman is allowed to buy surplus commodities in the market and bypass congressional approval.

The Clinton administration already has given away much of our sovereignty, and now it wants to put U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in charge of purchasing farm surpluses for shipment overseas. One has to wonder if first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to invest in more commodities trading and what other Clinton cronies stand to gain monetarily from such a program.

MILDRED M. FISCHER

Fredericksburg, Va.

'Housewife' column really an anti-male diatribe

The column by Suzanne Fields regarding the urges of young women to return to careers as homemakers was one of the best-written examples of male bashing in recent memory ("Return of the housewife," Op-Ed, June 8).

So smoothly does Mrs. Fields move from the point that women are finding outside work boring, unfulfilling, dangerous and just plain hard, to the assertion that such work is suitable only for men, that I wondered whether her column had been written for her by the National Organization for Women.

Mrs. Fields is no friend of about half of the population when she asserts that men are "spoiled and soft" for aspiring to the very life she promotes for women. She shows contempt for the men in her life by her belief that they are not fit or worthy of the "power to control their time, to feel safe and to reduce tension … to enjoy the civilized aesthetic, not the windowless rooms in a high-rise office tower that aspiring bankers, lawyers and editors live in on the way up."

The genie is out of the bottle, released generations ago by women who were jealous that, somewhere, someone might have a job, career or life that was better than theirs, and then demanded the power to have it all (supported and supplied by men as necessary). Mrs. Fields may differ with feminists in what women should choose as best for themselves, but she is cut from the same bigoted cloth in her belief that men were put on this earth to slave away at the dreary job of making her wants a reality, no matter the cost to their own lives and dreams.

Thank goodness that men finally are beginning to wake up to the idea that they are worthy of having choices about their own lives and priorities.

I look forward to the day when men as a group no longer tolerate women discussing the role of men in society as if we were bystanders who were too stupid to contribute or even understand the discussion. That day is closer than Mrs. Fields thinks.

VICTOR ATKINSON

Baldwinsville, N.Y.

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In "Return of the housewife," Suzanne Fields discusses the phenomenon of the growing number of young, single or married working women who yearn to be full-time housewives. She points out that the struggle to get to the top of the organizational chart is difficult and requires the sacrifice of personal freedom and control. This is something that many men have known for a long time, but that often goes unappreciated by feminists and their fellow travelers.

Mrs. Fields is sympathetic to these housewife wannabes. She writes that some men are soft and spoiled, and may resent taking on the role of full-time breadwinner. She criticizes men for not wanting this role, just as feminists lambaste men who prefer that their wives stay home.

Her attitude reinforces the idea that what women essentially want is a situation in which husbands have the obligation to work full time so that their wives can have the option not to do so.

I wonder if Mrs. Fields is as sympathetic to men who want to be househusbands.

CHRIS HEARD

Nashville, Tenn.

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