Inbox — June 30, 2010

What Happened In 1948?
Recent letters have attacked Jonathan Meador because of his one-line defense of veteran reporter Helen Thomas’ comments about Israel (LEO Weekly, June 9). This drumbeat of manufactured outrage suggests some ardent supporters of Israel realize they are losing support in the U.S. and in Louisville, as evidenced by recent peace demonstrations at the Jewish Community Center and the Evangel World Prayer Center.

So what happened in 1948, and why are some of Israel’s most ardent supporters so nasty in 2010? Scholars agree that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion had an arrangement, under which Soviet arms would pour into Israel. In return, Ben-Gurion would help Stalin dislodge the British from the oil-rich Middle East. These Soviet arms allowed Ben-Gurion to win his struggle with the disorganized and ill-equipped Arab states and successfully oversee the exodus of about 750,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homes. It is this forced exodus of Palestinians that is the cause of the ongoing crisis, and Helen Thomas’ recent comments. Many still deny this 1948 tragedy as some still deny the Holocaust.

President Obama’s statement that Helen Thomas’ words were “offensive” suggests the president is either misinformed or too timid to buck the well-financed Zionist lobby.

The issue of Jews going “back home to Poland and Germany” today is interesting. In 2010, one finds a growing and prosperous Jewish community in Germany and a Jewish rebirth in Poland. Back in 1947-1948, Britain suggested the Jews should stay home and be reintegrated into their nations. There were no concentration camps in occupied Germany except those Stalin reopened in his zone. Eastern European Jews and many Christians were in fact fleeing to Germany at that time to enter Displaced Persons camps, hoping to eventually come to the United States. Had the U.S. opened up its immigration laws in 1947, far fewer Jewish “DPs” would have gone to Israel. In fact, many Jews who originally went to Israel in the 1940s have gone “back home” to Europe, fed up with that nation’s constant state of war and increasing intolerance. Over one million Jews also have left Israel for the United States, Canada and Brazil.

The issue of Jews not being on a “leisure cruise” on their trip to Israel needs to be seen in comparison to the very real plight of the 750,000 Palestinians forced to flee. Their trip also was not a “leisure cruise,” but one caused by planned massacres such as that at the village of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948.

The real cause of the nasty letters attacking Jonathan Meador may be that their authors know American Jews are increasingly turning away from Israel and its extremist government.
David Eugene Blank, Highlands

Repair Reparations
Regarding Helen Thomas and Jonathan Meador:

I think it is safe to say that as a nation, we are not in favor of reparations. Discussions about reparations to descendants of slaves have gone nowhere, despite the undeniable fact that our white ancestors committed atrocities against our black ancestors. Likewise, we are not in favor of reparations for Native Americans, who have an undeniable physical and spiritual claim on this continent going back more than 2,000 years.

I don’t understand why, as a nation, we seem to be in favor of reparations for the Holocaust to Jews, and that we believe these reparations should be paid by people who did not even commit the atrocities. Unless it is simply because we aren’t the ones who have to pay the tab. Is it just hypocrisy?

I also don’t understand how pointing out the basic discrepancy makes one anti-Semitic. It makes perfect sense to me that the Palestinians don’t believe they owe reparations to the Jews. So, if you can rationally explain to me why the Palestinians would or should just quietly give up their land (while at the same time you shouldn’t have to quietly sign over the deed to your house to a Native American tribe), please do so. I mean it. Please do so, because I really don’t understand.
Amanda Clark, Germany

Spoiler Story
Dear Paul Curry:

What in the world possessed you to spoil “Toy Story 3” in your June 23 column? Why would you do that without, oh, I don’t know, putting “SPOILER ALERT” in there somewhere?

That was incredibly stupid of you. I’m stupid, too, apparently, since I continued to read on, even after I realized you were spoiling the movie.

?Chapfallen indeed.
Jeff Davis, La Grange

Eagle Props
In the June 16 LEO, you had to take a cheap shot at folks like myself who love classic rock bands. You said: “despite plans to host decrepit rockers The Eagles at its inaugural concert — and the fact that people will drive their SUVs en masse to see them …” EXCUSE ME! Who are YOU to say they/we are decrepit? Bet none of your spiked/multi-hued-haired/multi-pierced/tattooed bands of today will have the lasting power of The Eagles. Give us a break! AND many, including myself, will NOT be driving SUVs to the concert. I’ll be driving my Honda CR-V, parking blocks away, and getting my exercise by walking, thank you very much!
Jean Kreke, Crescent Hill

Herndon for 6th

While the Metro Council is considering all the fine candidates who aspire to fill George Unseld’s shoes, I’m hoping they pay the most attention to who the 6th District voters actually want to represent them. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Ken Herndon came within 2 percentage points of winning the nomination for that seat. Of the 4,074 votes cast, Herndon received 1,981 votes, or 48.6 percent. Unseld achieved his victory narrowly, with 2,093 votes.

Let’s not forget, in the 2010 Democratic mayoral primary, the WINNER didn’t receive 48.6 percent of the votes, he only received 45.1 percent, yet he still gets to go on the general. Simply, since nearly half the Democratic voters of the 6th District have stood up for Herndon already, he clearly is the candidate the District wants.
Curtis Morrison, Highlands

Back It Up

In the June 2 LEO Weekly Guest Commentary, Natalie Harris very nicely clears up John Gilderbloom’s unfounded and uninformed accusations regarding the regulation of services for the homeless in Louisville. Here are a few questions I would like Professor Gilderbloom to address:

What research or study is Gilderbloom referring to that provides evidence depicting Louisville’s shelters as unsanitary, overcrowded and dangerous? Who conducted this research, what was the methodology, and was there a control group? Where can the people of Louisville obtain a copy of this research?

I have never seen any research supporting these claims of filth and violence in Louisville shelters. And without an ability to back up these claims, LEO should reconsider publishing such accusations unless they can be validated.
Pat Smith, Crescent Hill

Asleep At The Wheel

What will it take? As you putter along half miserable in your expensive and massive vehicle, usually oblivious to the fact that your ton of steal can be deadly if you are careless for a moment, oil pours into the ocean, gas prices nose up to new records, a poison (Don’t believe me? Take a whiff) rises out the back of your vehicle. Are you a nihilist? Even if you don’t care, there is no reason you should have the right to make the world dirtier for the people who do care. The reality is that it’s unacceptable for you, and I mean anyone who drives, to continue using your vehicle. It is not morally enough for you to wait for someone to figure out a new way for you to get around. There are alternatives, and without the threat of cars, there can be even more.
Ryan Fenwick, Germantown

Paul Should Stay Put
America’s woes are growing to epic proportions. Our economy, politics and marketplace are broken. We arrogantly believe we are too rich and too powerful militarily to fail. We are not the only pebble on the planet. For far too many, the most cherished freedom is the freedom to be able to acquire great wealth.

Those who believe the business of America is business are the ones who also believe the marketplace is sacred: capable of running the economy, regulating and policing itself without government interference. Needy people on Main Street are being hurt badly by Wall Street greed-caused corruption. Don’t business and bank executives take university courses in business ethics?

Unethical politicians who can be bought by big, special-interest money also contribute mightily to our brokenness. Politicians and businesses should be working for the common good of all our people. As long as we allow greed and selfishness to run our intertwined economic and political systems, our woes will worsen.

Rand Paul said it was un-American for President Obama to criticize BP. Wasn’t it un-American and unpatriotic for corporations to send so many manufacturing jobs overseas? More people would be employed today if those jobs were still here. It will be a huge mistake if Kentuckians send Paul to Washington to be our junior senator.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews