- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Israel fought for survival not independence

A small clarification is in order for "Rewriting the history book" (Op-Ed, Thursday), in which Suzanne Fields referred to Israel's "war of independence against the Arabs in 1948." As a matter of fact, Israel did not have a war of independence. When Britain withdrew from Palestine in May 1948, the Jews there proclaimed a Jewish state of Israel. Five Arab armies immediately waged war against it. What Israel fought, and won, was not a war of independence there being no sovereign state from which Israel could declare its independence but a war of survival.


GLENN HELMS

Laurel, Md.

China denies aiding Taliban, al Qaeda

I am writing in regard to "China-trained Taliban" (Inside the Ring, Friday), which claims that China's military provided training to Afghanistan's Taliban militia and its al Qaeda supporters.

These allegations are groundless. The Chinese government opposes all sorts of terrorism. Its stance is clear and consistent. Since the September 11 attacks against America, China has cooperated actively in international initiatives against terrorism, which is acknowledged by the international community, the United States included.

Some people in the United States have been intentionally spreading rumors, out of ulterior motives, to defame China and disrupt U.S.-Chinese relations. Such rumors are doomed to failure.

People who uphold justice are urged to expose and oppose the vicious attempts to sabotage international cooperation against terrorism.


XIE FENG

Counselor and spokesman

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China

Washington

Biological vs. social fatherhood

 "'Dads' cleared by DNA fight 'paternity fraud' " (Page One, Saturday) says there is "strong opposition" to a new Georgia law that allows judges to overturn child-support orders when a man is found not to be the biological father. The opposition, it says, comes "from advocacy groups who say that fatherhood goes beyond biology and that disrupting child-support orders will bring indescribable chaos into the lives of children, family-law courts and child-support systems."

These groups base their opposition to this legislation on the belief that social fatherhood the nurturing, loving and raising of children is more important than biological fatherhood. Yet if these same supporters of the family court system attach so much significance to social fatherhood, why are they not up in arms over the way family courts treat divorced fathers: i.e., as little more than sperm donors who can write child-support checks? Indeed, family courts regularly award sole custody of the children to the mother to the detriment of a child's ability to know his or her father.

If supporters of the U.S. family court system really believe society should value social fatherhood over biological fatherhood, they should join those calling for presumptive joint custody following divorce.


IAN WILSON

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Tolerance without virtue leads to spinelessness…or worse

Much was written last week about the Nickelodeon network's special "My Family Is Different," including an editorial ("Nobles and Knaves") Saturday in The Washington Times. As many may know, the show staged a panel discussion among teen-agers who talked about growing up in a gay family. The youngsters on the panel were bright, articulate and thoughtful. Linda Ellerbee, the producer and host, guided them through a series of questions that focused on teasing, tolerance and traditional values.

In defense of the show, it was devoid of two things television normally serves up: graphic sex and violence. On the other hand, it also ignored a frank discussion about the negatives aspects of the homosexual lifestyle. Also, instead of speaking only with teen-agers, who are young and still have an immature perspective on life, it would have been better had the panel included the grown-up children of homosexual parents.

This culture preaches tolerance, which is good, but that is not the only thing we need to teach our children. Tolerance without a deep mooring in virtue and truth can lead to the acceptance of falsehoods. Our children need to have all the facts, and they need to make decisions with their heads, not just their hearts. Gathering together a group of them to discuss their feelings about mom and dad being of the same sex is nice; teaching them to think and not just feel is much better.

Responding to the show's critics, Miss Ellerbee said, "We don't invent the issues kids hear about; we just try to help them make sense of it." It doesn't make any sense to appeal to a kid's heart without teaching him to to be able to evaluate his feelings in light of fact.


LESLIE HEJDUK

Cincinnati




Military segregation helped spur the civil rights movement


In Marc Levin's Wednesday Op-Ed column, "Politically correct cum laude," it is curious that he would state, "When black soldiers fought valiantly for America beside whites in World War II, it helped inspire the great civil rights movement of the 1960s."

The death last week of Tuskegee airman Robert O'Neil should remind us that, yes, black soldiers fought valiantly, but it was the very lack of opportunity to fight alongside white soldiers that helped spur the civil rights movement. Public and private indignation over the armed forces' segregationist policies finally led President Truman in 1948 to outlaw, by executive order, segregation in the U.S. military.


ERIC DUNCAN

Washington

Making a better 'skool'

I remember the T-shirt mentioned in "Homeschooling and its foes" (Editorial, Sunday), which had "Home-skooled" scrawled over a picture of a rundown trailer. I thought it was funny back when it debuted in 1985. That was the year I graduated from a public school where sex, drugs and rock 'n roll were omnipresent, but academic achievement was sadly lacking.

Now, as a mother who "home skools" two of her children, I see that same T-shirt as a discriminatory dig at those radicals, myself included, who value education over indoctrination. Why, the very concept is so old in these modern, so-called enlightened times, it is positively revolutionary.

The Washington Times could not be more correct in pointing out the biased behavior of university officials, Department of Education bureaucrats, et al., who believe nasty home-schooling stereotypes even as the private sector has begun advertising for interns, employees and administrators through the vast network of the home-schooling community. What are they seeing that so many are missing?

They see our children winning spelling bees, math contests and geography challenges.

They see, in Virginia alone, a yearly convention of more than 10,000 persons staffed entirely by volunteers who do a professional job because no one is around to tell them they can't.

They see colleges rejecting our children, and us, in response, building our own.

What they have seen is the indomitable, can-do spirit that refuses to acknowledge or bend to the will of a torpid educational establishment; the never-say-die attitude that will create a door when one is closed; the very traits of what it means to be American, and the will to make it work.


CARMELA HARMON

Alexandria, Va.


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