- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2002

Anti-Semitism column all wrong

Jack Kemp never ceases to amaze me with the many different ways in which he gets things wrong. The latest example is his remarkably confused column "European-style anti-Semitism" (Commentary, May 22).

He overlooks the crucial fact that present "European" anti-Semitism is, in fact, Islamic anti-Semitism, brought to Europe by the kind of mass immigration of unassimilable aliens that Mr. Kemp advocates for this country.

His most offensive misfire is his slander of our British allies in the current war against global terrorism. The reality is that Britain struggled mightily between the world wars, under a League of Nations mandate, to keep the peace and maintain a balance of justice between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

Mr. Kemp also opines that deaths from pro-Zionist "armed resistance" in those years were "accidental." Perhaps he has forgotten the incident of the King David Hotel only the most blatant of the many acts of deliberate terror carried out by the terrorists of the Stern Gang and Irgun.

Mr. Kemp represents, however clumsily, a segment of American opinion that believes Israel can do no wrong. Our support of a legitimate and just resolution in the Middle East, however, cannot be advanced by such a poor understanding of history and current events.


RICHARD T. HINES

Alexandria, Va.

Deterrence and national security

You report that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said, "The terrorist networks have close linkages with terrorist states, the states that are on the worldwide known terrorist list Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea" ("Rumsfeld says terrorists sure to get nuclear arms," May 22).

Although we are trying to dismantle the terrorist networks before they can attack us, in the past week we have been warned by the secretary of defense, the vice president and the director of the FBI that being attacked with weapons of mass destruction is a virtual certainty.

Why haven't we considered using deterrence, the concept that prevented nuclear exchanges with the Soviet Union during the Cold War?

President Bush said, "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." We should make it clear to the leaders of the terrorist states and the citizens of those states that our intercontinental ballistic missiles are aimed at their capitals, and if the United States suffers a nuclear attack, we will retaliate immediately and decisively against the states providing the weapons used to attack us without regard for public opinion polls or the views of the world community.

We can no longer afford to abide by our self-imposed constraints of limiting collateral damage and civilian casualties. If we cannot eliminate the terrorists by surgical strikes, we must destroy the states supporting them.

We must make these terrorist states understand that they will incur massive retaliation if they facilitate a nuclear strike against the United States. This must be an explicit and unambiguous policy.


D.E. BALL

Annandale, Va.

Banks green-eyed over credit-union perks

Predictably, a banking executive quoted in your May 23 story on area credit unions gaining market share complains that it is all because of credit unions' exemption from federal taxation ("Cashing out: Bigger banks lose customers to smaller rivals, credit unions," Business).

Bankers either fail to recognize or won't admit that credit unions generally offer consumers a better deal because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by their member-depositors. Excess earnings are returned to their members in the form of better rates and lower fees instead of being paid to an outside group of stockholders. Also, credit union boards of directors also drawn from their membership serve voluntarily.

Simply put, credit unions' member-owned, not-for-profit structure is the reason for our tax status. It's also the reason an independent Gallup survey has ranked credit unions first among financial institutions in consumer satisfaction for 17 straight years.

If banks want to stop paying their directors, give their profits back to their customers and serve a specific field of membership rather than the public at large, they can become credit unions, too, and quit complaining in the bargain.


DANIEL A. MICA

President and chief executive officer

Credit Union National Association

Washington

False witnesses' against NEA won't go away

Your front-page story about a recent determination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) perpetuates gross misstatements about the disposition, the consequences and even the parties to the case ("NEA ordered to end hassles," May 21).

The National Education Association (NEA) was not ordered "to stop violating the religious rights of members who disagree," nor did the EEOC charge NEA with that or anything else. On the contrary, EEOC called on one of NEA's affiliates to end an administrative practice that the commission considered inappropriate.

In the minds of most reasonable observers, the commission's finding of an "unnecessary delay in accommodating the charging party" is a far cry from what Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, calls "systematically persecuting people of faith."

In the same way, most people see a distinction between the commission's intent to "eliminate the alleged unlawful practices by informal methods of conciliation" and your characterization that the agency "said it would sue the nation's largest teachers union if it did not stop forcing teachers to undergo annual written procedures."

We are confident that our affiliate will find a means of accommodating the aggrieved party in this case. We also long for the day when organizations acting on behalf of religious objectors stop bearing false witness against their neighbors.


BOB CHASE

President

National Education Association

Washington


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