- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2002

Reader doesn't buy ad

As a very loyal reader and supporter of The Washington Times, I can express only shock at the ad that appeared on Page A12 of yesterday's paper, titled "HOLOCAUST: FINAL JEWISH POGROM?"

I couldn't believe my eyes and reread the ad placed by a person named Samuel M. Poist of Baltimore several times before asking my wife to confirm my understanding of it. Given my confidence in The Times' perspective and sensitivity, I must assume that the ad was cleverly worded andslipped by your review process.

Employing the quote "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matthew 27: 24-25), the ad seems to blame Jews for Jesus' crucifixion, thus explaining why "this unfortunate group [has been] subjected to such widespread, diversely-located and seemingly unrelated punishment." Surely an ad that seems to justify the persecution and murder of Jewsduring the Holocaust indeed, throughout history has no place in a responsible paper such as yours.

The right to free speech and expression ends when incitement to hate begins.


NEIL F. GREENBLUM

Silver Spring, Md.

The White House's questionable strategy to woo Hispanics

As one of the articles in the "Border War" series indicates ("Legal problems," Page 1, Sept. 27), presidential adviser Karl Rove's strategy to endear the White House to Hispanic voters by advocating amnesty for illegal aliens is deeply flawed and an insult to Hispanics.

There is, first of all, no evidence to suggest that Republicans gain Hispanic voters by backing amnesty. In fact, Ronald Reagan's Republican-backed "one-time" blanket amnesty in 1986 was rewarded with a 7 percent decrease in Hispanic support for Republicans in the next general election.

Furthermore, Hispanic Americans who believe in the rule of law are insulted by pandering politicians who think the best way to attract the Hispanic voter is to advocate amnesty for foreign lawbreakers. The offensive position staked out for Republicans by Karl Rove fails to take into account that support for amnesties in the Hispanic community itself is quite soft. A 1999 Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times poll showed that 40 percent of Florida's Hispanic population was in favor of the U.S. government spending more time and money to prevent illegal immigration. Exit polls in California have shown that one in three Latino voters opposes limited amnesties of the kind President Bush advocates. Nationally, Hispanic support for amnesties is roughly split.


CRAIG NELSEN

Director

Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement

Omaha, Neb.

Playing the race card in Maryland

The headline of the article "Black votes seen key to Ehrlich win" (Metro, Tuesday) explains precisely why Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has resorted to extreme and polarizing racial demagoguery in her effort to win the governor's race in Maryland.

As was recounted in the article, during her debate last week with Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Mrs. Townsend referred to "slavery" and "lynching" to bolster her position that affirmative action should be based on race. Instead of engaging Mr. Ehrlich in a positive exchange on the issue and stating her position in an intellectually productive manner, she chose to use divisive language meant to elicit a visceral reaction from the majority black audience.

Mrs. Townsend, like Gov. Parris Glendening, seems to have no compunction about using the race card when confronted with possible defeat. Whether through extreme racial imagery or complete distortions of their opponents' records, both Mr. Glendening whose campaign resorted to labeling Ellen Sauerbrey a "racist" and "bigot" toward the end of their contentious race in 1998 and Mrs. Townsend are perfectly willing to fuel whatever racial divide exists through their incendiary language.

Because the most populous counties and jurisdictions in Maryland also have the highest percentages of blacks, these tactics on the part of Democrats will continue until they are shown not to work and are seen for the intellectually lazy and racially divisive efforts they plainly are. It's a shame Mrs. Townsend and other Democrats lack the true conviction in their positions that is necessary for an intelligent debate.


MANUEL J. RIOS JR.

Rockville, Md.

Imams among the few Saudis who enjoy free speech

After reading Arnold Beichman's column "Sermons from the mosque" (Commentary, Tuesday), I agree with his point that the hatred-filled sermons by imams in Saudi Arabia are part of that country's problems. I was pleased that Mr. Beichman pointed out that these imams adhere to the Wahabi sect, which in the humble opinion of this American Muslim is an intolerant form of Islam.

However, Mr. Beichman should have provided the background context of one imam's quotation from the Koran: "Prophet Mohammed said: 'I have brought slaughter upon you.'" This pronouncement was made when a Jewish tribe broke a specific agreement of mutual defense and joined in an attack against Mohammed. The statement was not a general edict against the Jewish people.

The Saudi government may allow the hateful opinions of the Wahabi imams to be expressed, but it allows little other freedom of speech. We should advocate in Saudi Arabia that great American value called freedom of speech. Only then will more moderate Islamic ideas begin to be expressed. Look at what the repression by the Shah of Iran brought about in 1979. The need to advocate political freedom in the Middle East this is the conclusion one ought to draw from Mr. Beichman's column.


ISMAIL KENESSY

Bethesda, Md.

D.C. response to low Orioles attendance: BOO

I must admit I read "O's attendance hits Camden low" (Sports, Tuesday) with equal parts glee and amazement.

My glee is attributable to the successful efforts of Boycott the Orioles Organization (BOO!) to recruit D.C.-area baseball fans by the thousands to boycott baseball games at Camden Yards. After suffering more than 30 years without their own team, these frustrated fans finally caught on that the most effective way to bring the national pastime back to the nation's capital is to stop attending Orioles games. The reported 13 percent decline in Orioles' home attendance merely reflects BOO's success in spreading its boycott message.

My amazement comes from the Orioles' persistent refusal to acknowledge that message, which only further exposes the big lie being spread by Orioles owner Peter Angelos: that a baseball team in Washington will rob his team of attendance. As the D.C. boycott of Orioles baseball is making painfully clear to Mr. Angelos, you can't lose what you never had.

Baltimore Orioles Vice Chairman Joe Foss lives in a dream world if he thinks people are buying his reported claim that he expected the drop in attendance. He can come up with all the excuses he wants to explain the continuing downward spiral in Orioles attendance, but D.C.-area baseball fans are shouting load and clear the real reason for the decline: BOO.

Maybe Orioles executives finally will stop denying the unpleasant truth when BOO reaches its goal of an additional 15 percent decline in Camden Yards attendance for the 2003 baseball season. Then again, the truth hurts, especially when it is D.C.-area baseball fans hammering it home with all the subtlety of a Frank Howard blast to deep center field.


JEFFREY A. SIMENAUER

Founder and president

Boycott the Orioles Organization

Garrett Park, Md.

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