B. Aldanov (letters, Nov/Dec) apparently misunderstood my question to Mary Khass regarding concerns about Muslim fundamentalists or supporters of Syria "taking over" a future Palestinian state. The concern expressed in the question is not mine, but one which has been thrown at me countless times by people who fear that such a state would present a danger to Israel greater than does the existing unjust situation. I was simply asking Mary for her response to such queries, just as I was looking for a personal response when I asked, "what about Jewish fundamentalism?" I never suggested, as the letter writer infers, that the Palestinians should support the "many criminals and fundamentalists whom the U.S. supports," nor that U.S. foreign policy is "quite alright" in that regard.
Readers may also be interested in knowing that Mary, a long-time advocate of nonviolence, has recently opened a Centre for Gandhian Studies in Gaza City. The centre is one of the constituents of the newly-formed Coalition for Nonviolence (along with the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence and several Israeli groups), and provided much inspiration to the Israeli Committee for Changing the Taxation System in Gaza. This committee provides a framework for Israeli and Palestinian lawyers and accountants to effect changes in a system which contributes significantly to the financial deprivation of the people of the Gaza Strip. This system constitutes a disincentive to economic development there. It includes the infamous "living tax," which is frequently levied on unemployed Gazans or the low-income self-employed, with the claim that they must have additional, higher sources of income besides those reported.
Non-professionals on the committee, such as myself, are helping Mary raise funds to purchase school supplies for children in Gazan families whose financial situation worsened after the Gulf war. Israel lets fewer Gazan workers in since the war, making it impossible for many to make ends meet or send their children to school. Readers who would like to help in this campaign may send contributions to Mary Khass, do UNRWA Pre-School Program, Gaza City, via Israel.
Maxine Nunn, Jerusalem
In the wake of another horrifying, do-it-yourself massacre, this time in Texas, the calls for gun control become louder.
Could it be that every nation has, and will continue to have gun control in direct proportion to our willingness to stop selling weapons to other nations?
As a veteran of the Korean conflict and a stumbling Christian, it seems to me that the worst mass shooting in U.S. history constitutes one more massive dose of evidence that we need to take a closer look at the parable of "The Splinter and the Log".
May God forbid our need of more such evidence.
Bruce Doner, Collingwood, Ontario
The chairman of NATO, Manfred Woerner, said that it is true that NATO has lost its enemy. This loss may or may not be due to NATO carelessness. Nevertheless the question should be whether or not this loss will cost NATO.
From past experience we know that NATO's bureaucratic carelessness with taxpayers' money and lives only increased its bureaucratic size. The 40+ years of permanent war economies and military Keynesianism in the West will insure a long life for this huge lobby for the military-industrial complex.
Neil Aberle, Bondhead, Ontario.