- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Neutral term doesn't fit heinous act

In his April 23 Op-Ed column "A red hat for a stop sign," Charles Donovan rightly condemns the mainstream media's habit of looking the other way when heinous acts of child molestation, such as those that have recently come to light in the Catholic church, occur in other segments of our society.

I am concerned, however, with his use of the term "man-boy sex." This is a label that many homosexuals have advocated to replace the more accurate term "child sexual abuse." To them, man-boy sex has a much nicer sound to it. It is morally neutral and gives the impression that the act is between consenting people and, therefore, is something we shouldn't judge. But it is imperative that we not let this term slip into common usage to replace "child molestation." Catch-phrases and popular labels are propagated by the media. Therefore, it is up to journalists like Mr. Donovan to keep criminals from labeling their own crimes.


LEE ANN JOHNSON

Richmond, Ky.

Anti-Zionist demonstrators weren't anti-Semites

Unfortunately, it appears that your editorial staff has difficulty understanding the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism ("Hatefest on the Mall," Editorials, April 22).

Perhaps the most poignant example of this distinction was made in a speech at the main stage of the "hatefest" at the Ellipse on Saturday, by a group of Hasidic rabbis from New York City, who presented what struck me as the most impressive and underreported statement of the weekend.

In the midst of a crowd of thousands of as you would have it "hateful" supporters of Palestine and haters of Jews, these Jewish men had the bravery and conscience to stand (unaccosted) and speak out not against the Jewish faith, which they love, but against the manipulation of their faith by the nationalist forces of Zionism, which they deplore. The message of these Jewish men, scholars of the Torah, was fairly simple: Zionism, the idea that there must be a Jewish state controlled by Jews in the Holy Land, and the Jewish faith are not the same thing. Indeed, in the opinion of these Jewish religious scholars and leaders, they are inimical.

The "hate" you saw expressed Saturday was not directed toward the Jewish people. The placards you noted, which equated Ariel Sharon with Adolf Hitler and the Star of David (as the symbol of Israel) with the Nazi swastika, were not anti-Semitic. They were anti-Zionist, pointing out the parallels between the political ideology of Zionism and the similarly nationalist agenda that was held by Germany's Nazional Sozialismus party under Hitler. Zionism seems to demand the existence of a state dominated by the Jewish people and the use of whatever force is necessary to secure that goal (including the slaughter of innocent civilians). Similarly, Hitler was willing to use atrocious means to secure and consolidate a state dominated by "racially pure" Germans.

The signs carried by the protesters rarely carried a message of hate against the Jewish people. They expressed disgust with the Zionist philosophy. The protesters carried posters with pictures of atrocities committed against Palestinian civilians and the suffering of those civilians at the hands of the Israeli military atrocities committed in the name of Israel.

The message of the courageous rabbis was clear: No one should believe that these atrocities are being committed by the Jewish people. They are being committed by the state apparatus of Israel, so consumed with its belief in Zionism and its desire to consolidate a Jewish state that it does not see that it is undermining the cause of free Jewish people everywhere.

Is it any surprise that some simple-minded people having witnessed the Israeli military's lack of respect for the lives and rights of non-Jewish people are committing acts of hate against Jews because they have accepted the myth that the government of Israel acts in the name of the Jewish faith?

In your editorial denouncement of the anti-Semitism you seem to have seen so prevalently on Saturday, you are guilty of falling into the same trap that has driven true anti-Semitic hatred around the world.

Being Jewish and being Zionist are not the same thing. To be brave enough to decry Zionism, to defend the biblical concept of "love thy brother" and "thou shalt not kill," to believe that Jews and Palestinians are equal as men and women and equally entitled to rights and even perhaps might peacefully coexist under democratic representation within a unified state appears to be heresy to those who cannot think outside of the box created by Zionism and fanaticism.

Such bravery is rare, but it stood courageously on Saturday. It is a shame you could not recognize it, but it gives great hope that there are at least some Jewish leaders who can.


MARK REEDY

Washington, DC.

Terror is no excuse to toke

We thought we had heard every kind of wild policy proposal justified by the war on terror. Now Commentary columnist Deroy Murdock wants to use the war as an excuse to legalize marijuana ("Marijuana campaign lights up," April 17).

Mr. Murdock, who extols toking up to "enhance music, fine dining and long walks on secluded beaches," ignores the human toll inflicted on those who become psychologically addicted to pot and then move on to cocaine, LSD, "speed" and heroin.

Like other media elites, Mr. Murdock can probably check into the Betty Ford Clinic if his own apparent escapades with weed get out of hand. Not so for the millions of people on the edge of society who find it easier to light a joint than to fix the front steps or hold down a job.

Drug dependence fuels a cycle of extended adolescence, shortened attention spans and an inability to think straight. America can only be a self-governing nation if its citizens are in a rational state of mind.

The siren call of drugs is a ticket to more dependency and less self-reliance. In the interests of preserving liberty, you'd think the libertarians would want fewer stoned citizens instead of more.


ROBERT H. KNIGHT

Washington


Robert H. Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

Metro should get serious about no-food policy

Metro's no-food policy is, at best, a joke ("Metro's tough kid gloves," Editorials, April 23). I ride the train to work every day, and it is a rare day indeed when I do not see someone eating in a station or on the train.

What happens when the summertime tourist crowd arrives millions who are not familiar with Metro's rules? They eat and drink at will, and no wonder one has to look high and low to find the signs that say "no eating or drinking." They are overhead in the train cars, in letters small enough that they cannot be read from more than 12 feet away.

If Metro is serious about no eating which it should be it needs to make a serious effort to educate its riders as well as enforce its rules.


CHRISTOPHER B. EARLS

Arlington, Va.

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