LETTERS

Defending Israel

October 18 1982
LETTERS

Defending Israel

October 18 1982

Defending Israel

LETTERS

Your Oct. 4 cover story, Israel on Trial, made Israel out to be a criminal for a crime it did not commit. The massacres were by Arabs against Arabs. Yet where else but in Israel would the citizens of a country be outraged by an attack against its enemies? The Israeli demonstrations that followed these horrendous events indicate a sense of morality and humanity. It is almost ludicrous to think of Arabs being outraged if ever Israeli killed Israeli—-an unthinkable possibility.

—SHEILA & LEO WYNBERG, Toronto

Religion is the real reason for the monstrous Sabra and Shatila massacres. Thus it was befitting that Palestinian Moslems should be brutally massacred by Lebanese Christians with the tacit approval of Israeli Jews. Before we can hope to demilitarize the Holy Land, we must first demythologize it of sacred covenants, divine rights and holy crusades. —O.G. PAMP,

Here is yet another article on the terrible mässacre in Beirut that would put the full responsibility of the Palestinian deaths on the Israelis. It was the Lebanese who committed the atrocity, not the Jews. — A.C. WOOD,

Burlington, Ont.

Reserving judgment

Regarding your Canada story The Davis Crony and the Sisters (Sept. 27): I do not think Sally Barnes should con-

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sider that there was “almost universal” criticism of her appointment to the Ontario Status of Women Council. I keep up with the news pretty well and I only saw three or four women quoted as being negative, and none of these could be said to represent vast numbers of other women. For my part, I do not know Sally Barnes and will wait and judge her by her work. —HELLIE WILSON,

Ottawa

A conspiracy of silence?

Please accept my appreciation for the news stories and features on South Africa that appear in your magazine (A Theological Blow Vs. Apartheid, Religion, Sept. 13). There is such a dearth of information in other news media that I sometimes wonder if there is not a conspiracy of silence. —DAVID MclNNlS, Ancaster, Ont.

The ‘Dump Koch’ campaign

Regarding your Oct. 4 World article ‘Goliath’ Suffers a Setback, which describes New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s defeat in the state’s race for governor: while you cite important factors that contributed to Mario Cuomo’s nomination in the primary, there is no mention of N.Y.C.’s well-organized, three-yearold “Dump Koch as Mayor” coalition movement involving hundreds of thousands of people. It is true that labor is backing Cuomo (it is the first time in 40 years that labor has backed anyone). And it is also true that Cuomo had held fast (during the campaign, anyway) to traditional Democratic programs. But what is most important is that New York’s poor and working people are saying that it is time to dump a politician who does not represent their interests. That is the real victory of Cuomo’s nomination. —BARBARA SANDS

Toronto

Wheelchair games ignored

During the week of Aug. 21 to 29, Halifax hosted the Pan-American Wheelchair Games, involving Canada, the United States and 15 other countries. The Canadian contingent, while not the overall winners, won more silverware than any Canadian athletic team has ever won. Does this feat entitle the athletes to a page and a few pictures in your magazine? Certainly not. Rather, some anonymous backs are unceremoniously displayed, pertinent only because of the illustrious presence of the provincial premiers {The Premiers Test Troubled Waters, Canada, Sept. 6). I hope your inevitable article on the Expos (when they lose the pennant race) clogs your presses. —LAURA WILLIAM,

Dartmouth, N.S.

Bankers:the main movers

Banker Grant Reuben’s Podium, Please, Don't Shoot the Messenger (Sept. 13) is a typical example of what garbage these arrogant, self-appointed, so-called experts dare to feed the general public. The historical fact is that bankers through the ages were not only part of the events but, in many cases, the main movers (the Medicis in Italy, the Fuggers in Germany, the Rothschilds in Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris and London). And that has not changed one bit. While the banks pocketed ever-increasing profits for loans that did not go into new productivity, we lost our jobs in ever-increasing numbers. Thanks an awful lot, messenger boy.

— S.G. MARTELL, Calgary

Dividing the francophones

While the anglophones in Quebec rejoice over the long-awaited judgment of Chief Justice Jules Deschênes {Back to School in Both Tongues, Canada, Sept. 20), francophones under the jurisdictions of four different school boards in Ontario are undergoing the divide-andrule tactics of their local leaders, who are resisting recommendations to establish French-language entities in the existing mixed high schools. The time has come for francophones living outside of Quebec to test the gutsiness of the new Charter of Rights and Freedoms. —DAVID COMERFORD,

Iroquois Falls, Ont.

Fingerprinting: time-honored

With reference to your Justice article in the Sept. 13 issue, The Charter Goes to Court Judge Maurice Charles overlooked See. 1 of Part 1 of the Constitution. It states: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits pre-

scribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” How can abolishing the taking of fingerprints be considered “demonstrably justified?” Fingerprint identification has been a time-honored method for centuries. —D.J. ALSOP,

Mississauga, Ont.

Fat fee for fat loss

In Fat by the Pocketful, under the heading of Medicine in your Sept. 13 issue, Dr. Lloyd Carlsen, chief of plastic surgery at Scarborough General Hospital, lends his support and indulgence to operations of preventive and curative surgery for obesity. Dr. Rollin Daniel, chief of plastic surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, is nonsupportive of such procedures because of his observation that the patient has little to gain while undergoing a significant risk. How can you classify such operations under Medicine? They are only exercises of vanity for which, at $1,500 a shot, the doctor gets a fat fee in exchange for a little fat loss.

—JACK M. CLARK, Kelowna, B.C.

Risking the scorn of a few

Pope John Paul II has set a precedent. People around the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, know the Pope to be a gentle yet courageous man. So, people ask, is this a man who would sit down with Yasser Arafat, the leader of a group of fanatics that claims responsibility for killing schoolchildren and hijacking airplanes {The Massacre in Lebanon, World, Sept. 27). But these are not ordinary times. John Paul is worried enough about this world and human life and dignity that he is willing to risk the scorn of a few so that many more might be spared the anguish of war in the future. As Bertolt Brecht put it in his poem Change the World, She Needs It: “Wouldn’t the righteous man sit down with anyone that right prevail?” The killing has to stop sometime. The dragging of children away from their toys of destruction and to the bargaining table must start somewhere, or God help us all. —JOHN MILLER,

Ottawa

Inconsistency in wage restraints

Just as the Six-and-Five “solution” is being clamped on those selfish trade unionists {A 6/5 Grounding of Trudeau’s Travels, Canada, Sept. 13), the truly needy members of Canadian society (such as faculty here at St. Francis Xavier University on Allan MacEachen’s stomping grounds) are treated to a raise of between 10 and 18 per cent. Does voting Liberal mean never having to admit you are a hypocrite?

—ANTHONY P. SCOGGINS,

Antigonish, N.S.

High tech medicine

The explosion of high-tech medicine (The New Medicine’s Grave Risks, Cover, Sept. 6) has indeed produced challenges for us all. Whimsical treatment programs, costs of advanced technology and, most important, major ethical dilemmas created by the latter are all part of the physician’s turf. The article did not stress enough, however, the other side of the health-care equation, namely patient responsibility. Reluctant to a degree to practise disease prophylaxis, patients are not being

dragged unwillingly into gastric freezing or coronary bypass procedures. They are demanding access to the latest chemotherapy, CT scanner or whatever and they want it now if not sooner.

— R.P. HUMPHREYS, MD, F.R.C.S.(C), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

As a parent who has had a premature infant who is now a healthy, thriving three-year-old, I can only say that I certainly am thankful for the technology that was and is available to save premature infants. The parents in our group,

the London Parents Prenatal Association, feel that our children have a right to be alive, handicapped or not, and we fully support the efforts of physicians and staff in neonatal intensive care units across Canada. —JOAN ROSS,

London, Ont.

No doubt your article pointed up some very real dangers in extravagant medical costs and hopeless prolongation of life, but I found the overall tone to be needlessly provocative and pessimistic. In mid-May of this year monitors on my chest sounded the alarm when my heart stopped, and, after a three-hour streptokinase and angioplasty operation, I understood and appreciated the need for attached tubes, night-lights and constant surveillance. I am deeply and forever grateful to my surgeon, to the coronary care staff and to the brand-new technology that made it all possible.

—GARY F. GOULSON, Victoria, B.C.

Thank you for your excellent, enlightening article. It enforced my own beliefs. It is time we all took stock of how much responsibility we take for our own lives. Prevention is easier,better and cheaper.

— BOBBEY SAGE, Sooke, B.C.

Your report seems biased against the newer developments in medical technology. And politicians, either at the federal or provincial level, shall certainly be glad to notice that some bright thinker has given them reasons to cut back even further the already underfunded medical facilities across the country. I suggest government fundings could be diverted from family allowances to public education in preventive medicine. The money saved on beer, cigarettes and junk food should offset this loss of income, and the health of Canadians would improve at the same time.

—PIERRE DOUCET, MD, Cardiologist, Valley field, Que.

Sex for its own sake

Do we have to read articles on sex for the sake of sex (A Zone in Dispute, The Sexes, Sept. 20)? So what if some twits write a book about some new erotic spot. Why do you have to lower your standards to print a review on the twits and their book? I might say the same for the People piece in the Sept. 13 issue about Susan Musgrave, who gets her kicks out of sexual failure (other people’s, that is). — A.C. WOOD,

Burlington, Ont.

Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, 1+81 University Ave., Toronto, Ont., M5W1A7.