- The Washington Times - Friday, June 8, 2001

European Union not engaged in 'Israel-bashing

We regret that Ambassador Zalman Shovals Op-Ed piece was amiss in portraying European Union policy toward Israel ("Anti-Israel bias in Europe," June 5). The EU is certainly not engaged in "Israel-bashing." The EU has everything to gain from peace in the Middle East. We are neighbors and the EU is the most important trading partner for all countries in the region.

The Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Israel, which came into effect in June 2000, represents a deepening of the strong economic relationship between the EU and Israel and grants preferential access for its goods to the EU Israel´s largest market.

Since the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights are outside the territorial scope of the agreement, preferential access to European markets for exports originating in these areas contravenes agreed rules of origin. Therefore, EU customs authorities cannot declare goods coming from the settlements as being of Israeli origin.

EU foreign ministers decided on May 14 that this issue should be treated strictly as a technical matter. The question was discussed at the EU-Israeli Association Committee on May 21. The issue of rules of origin will be discussed again at the EU-Israeli Customs Cooperation Committee meeting towards the end of July.


GUENTER BURGHARDT

Ambassador of the European Commission Delegation to the United States


JAN ELIASSON

Ambassador of Sweden to the United States

Washington

California in need of Washingtonians, Floridians

Will Rogers said it was a good thing when the Okies of Oklahoma migrated to California in the 1930s because it raised the collective IQ of both places. Apparently, California Gov. Gray Davis is determined to provide the clearest illustration yet of why Rogers made that remark.

That the people of California have consistently elected representatives who cannot figure out the application of the law of supply and demand for a crucial item like electricity is pathetic. That Californians would, through Mr. Davis, demand that the rest of us pay for their foolishness via a guaranteed, subsidized electricity supply from out of state is outrageous. Their history of foolishness is bad enough, but now they´ve become shameless moochers.

I suggest that another migration or two to California is needed. Perhaps sizable numbers of Washington journalists and Democratic voters from Florida could be persuaded to move to the Golden State. That way, we would raise the collective IQ of three places. Meanwhile, journalists and Californians can test their economic IQs by answering this question: If Mr. Davis doesn´t like the price of electricity offered by Texans, then why does he buy it?


DAVID T. DOWS

Columbia, Md.

Christian Internet forces form partnership; no merger

In your May 20 article "Top Christian Internet forces merge," you inaccurately reported that Christianity.com and Crosswalk.com had merged and that the agreement had produced "a new parent company, Starwire Corporation."

Both companies remain entirely independent organizations and have simply partnered to share technology and content resources. Starwire is the new corporate name for Christianity.com, and the decision for this corporate name change was made independent of the partnership with Crosswalk.com.

Also, Starwire would like to clarify that Crosswalk.com will be a principal provider of content to the Christianity.com Network, but not the sole provider. There are many partners on this Network, such as CBN (www.cbn.org), Prison Fellowship Ministries (www.pfm.org), and the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org), that syndicate their content on the network for others to post on their sites.

To clarify further, Starwire is greatly committed to the Christianity.com Network a Web site network for churches, ministries, and Christian organizations and will continue serving this market, in addition to its newly expanded business model, which includes network services for Christian and secular companies.


DAVID DAVENPORT

Chief Executive Officer

Starwire Corporation

Hayward, Calif.

Readers find columnist's proposal inhumane

Cal Thomas June 6 Commentary column, "Casualties of the terror coalition," would have been more at home in the Nazi-era publication Der Sturmer than in a respectable newspaper such as The Washington Times. In that column, Mr. Thomas called for the wholesale "transfer," read ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people from their historic homeland.

Mr. Thomas stated: "It should now be clear that Israel cannot tolerate a huge Arab population within its borders, so a political decision must be made. Most Arabs and Palestinians appear to be nonviolent but it can be difficult to tell the difference. Israel should declare its intention to transfer large numbers of its Palestinian residents to Arab nations. Eviction is a better avenue to stability. Will it happen? Probably not. Should it? Yes."

It seems that Mr. Thomas believes Palestinians are a genetically inferior stock that must be prevented from polluting Israel´s racial and religious purity. Mr. Thomas´ racist and quasigenocidal scenario raises some interesting issues. Is he recommending the transfer of his fellow Christians along with Muslim Palestinians? What about the children of a Jewish mother and an Arab Muslim father? Will the "one drop" rule apply? Some of these details could no doubt be worked out by obtaining a copy of Germany´s Nuremberg Laws.

The Washington Times owes its readers an apology.


IBRAHIM HOOPER

National communications director

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Washington




I am appalled that The Washington Times decided to run Cal Thomas´ column calling for the wholesale "transfer" of Palestinians from their land ("Casualties of the terror coalition," June 6).

Your paper should never have allowed itself to serve as a platform for Mr. Thomas´ call for mass deportation an action that would not only be beyond the bounds of all human decency and morality but is also against the Geneva Convention.

Mr. Thomas claims to be a spokesman for conservative Christians, but the views he expressed are more accurately described as Fascist. What a shame that you chose to print them.


EMILY SMITH

Alexandria

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