- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

ADL finds columnists' stereotypes inexcusable

Columnists Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder are wrong to stereotype and disparage "Arabs" as a whole in their criticism of the actions of the Palestinian Authority over the past eight months ("Israel in pieces," Op-Ed, June 29).

Clearly, the serious criticism that the Palestinian Authority deserves can be directed at the organization and its leaders without denigrating all Arabs.


ABRAHAM H. FOXMAN

National Director

Anti-Defamation League

New York

Bahraini laws protect migrant workers

Edmund P. Murray's July 5 Op-Ed column, "Slavery continues in new century," uses the case of Yeshiwork Desta Zewdu, the Ethiopian woman convicted in Bahrain of the murder of her employer, to illustrate claims of wider abuse of domestic workers in the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere.

I would point out that Miss Yeshiwork's trial was conducted strictly in accordance with Bahraini law and legal procedure, and she was represented throughout by an independent defense lawyer. The column correctly notes that the appeals process is far from exhausted, and further appeals, which will include medical evidence as required, also will strictly follow the due process of law.

Mr. Murray asks where the 21st century's abolitionists are in the Gulf. In Bahrain, the authorities continue to enforce (in cooperation with concerned embassies) a range of legal safeguards to protect the physical and mental integrity of migrant workers and remain committed to detecting, preventing and punishing all abuses.


ABDULLA AL-KHALIFA

Charge d'affaires

Embassy of the State of Bahrain

Washington

Success of immigrants dependent on ability to speak English

Wesley Pruden is correct in his July 17 column, "Dooming newcomers to the isolated life," that immigrants should obey the law and learn English. Though obeying the law and learning the language should be embraced as fundamental for living in this country, some see these should-be-standards as unreasonable expectations.

Mr. Pruden's statement, "Restaurateurs are eager for an unlimited supply of poorly paid busboys whose lack of passable English makes them all but unemployable elsewhere," is a sad truth. Without English, immigrants will find it difficult to make anything other than minimum wage if even that much. By not expecting immigrants to learn English and instead making accommodations in other languages, we lessen the incentive to learn English. In addition, by excusing illegal immigration, we only encourage more of the same.


MAURO E. MUJICA

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

U.S. English

Washington

Pakistan cedes authority to U.N. in ethnic dispute with India

Moorthy Muthuswamy's July 18 letter, "Pakistan's 'irrational jihad factory' a threat to global stability," is reflective of the irrational bias that has emanated consistently from the likes of him and Khalid Duran, who wrote the June 26 Op-Ed "Overlooking terrorism," to which Mr. Muthuswamy was responding. Pakistan always has abided by the Charter of the United Nations and, since its founding, has never initiated the use of force in interstate relations. The Pakistani foreign minister, speaking recently at the Carnegie Conference at the International Trade Center, posited the idea of a comprehensive formula for refraining from using force (both conventional and nuclear) that should guide interstate relations in the region.

Furthermore, the government of Pakistan has never harbored any irredentist goals vis-a-vis its neighbors. As far as the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, Pakistan's point of view is in consonance with and reflective of the letter and spirit of U.N. Resolutions 47 (of 1948), 51 (of 1948), 80 (of 1950) and 96 (of 1951). These resolutions explicitly instruct both India and Pakistan to accept the principle that the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be determined by a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. The denial of this fundamental right to the Kashmirian people by respective Indian governments and gross violations of human rights by Indian security forces since 1989 have resulted in the decade-long indigenous insurgency against Indian occupation.


ASAD HAYAUDDIN

Press attache

Information Division

Embassy of Pakistan

Washington

U.N. conference not to make treaty on small arms

Your July 13 editorial "Don't be fooled" mistakenly assumes that the ongoing U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects is engaged in a treaty-making exercise. It is not.

Participants at this conference recognize that effective solutions to this problem require the cooperation of all states. The conference, therefore, seeks to achieve a global political consensus on a program of action that describes the problem and identifies various national, regional and global measures to alleviate it. There will be no treaty to be signed or ratified.

The clear focus of the ongoing conference on illicit trade in small arms and light weapons is obvious to all but a small minority. Few of your readers would want to protect or, even less, promote illegal trade that places military-standard small arms and light weapons into the hands of terrorist groups, criminal gangs or drug lords who use such arms to protect their illicit global interests.

It is interesting to note that John R. Bolton, the U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, stated in the same speech you quoted: "Attacking the global illicit trade in small arms and light weapons is an important initiative which the international community should, indeed must, address because of its wide-ranging effects. … Alleviating these problems is in all our interest."


JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Under-secretary general for disarmament affairs

United Nations

New York

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