Reader asks open question about abortion march

To the Daily:

I too went to “The March For Women’s Lives” to
see what kind of women would march in a parade to support
abortion.

Standing on the sideline, I heard the word “choice”
chanted over and over again — as if the marchers were trying
to convince themselves that the choice they demanded did not
involve the life of a baby.

When I tried to tell some women that the choice was not what
color they wanted to color their hair, but whether they would kill
their baby or not to kill their baby, I was verbally assaulted. In
one case, I had water thrown on me.

I would like to ask University students the same question I
asked some of the marchers: “What kind of woman is capable of
murdering her own child by abortion?”

Don Spitz

Alumnus

 

Risch offers valid commentary; fails to achieve
balance

To the Daily:

First, on the lighter side, I found it amusing to read the part
of Jessica Risch’s viewpoint (Who cares about Israel? I
do.
, 05/04/04) in which she referred to hummus, falafels and
kabobs as “Israeli delicacies.” I’m assuming that
she means to say that Israel has adopted these foods as popular
delicacies because, in reality, hummus and falafels are both
Arabic, while kabobs are a dish that the Armenians picked up from
Turkish invaders.

This, of course, has nothing to do with the gist of
Risch’s piece. I just thought it needed to be noted that
these dishes are no more Israeli than potatoes are Irish. In truth,
Risch’s piece deals with a subject of far more import than
mere dietary nationalism.

She addresses the daily psychology of Israelis, and it is a
subject which has been pushed aside for far too long by the more
flashy arguments about government policies, international
philosophies and the sophistry of tit-for-tat vengeance. She
touches on the long-term effects of living in what amounts to a war
zone, the mind-sets that are formed on the Israeli population by
being forced to live under such conditions. I give her high marks
for addressing this often ignored reality.

However, I must then ask about the other side of this coin. What
is the experience of Palestinian people living under the occupation
of Israel, which, in 2004, has still not honored the treaty she
signed in the 1960s? Risch mentions the killing of children, and
that is certainly a tragically valid subject. But between Oct. 2000
and March 2004, there were nearly five Palestinian children who
died at the hands of Israeli soldiers for every Israeli child who
died in attacks by Palestinians. The numbers game may, in the final
analysis, be a totally invalid reference point, but it does grab
your attention.

I commend Risch for the direction of her piece. I only wish that
she had carried it to its logical conclusion by making it balanced.
I realize that such balance can be hard to maintain, sometimes
painful and often unpopular. Frequently, those who try to show a
balanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict are slammed with the
misnomer “anti-Semite,” but that’s incorrect as
well.

Semites are, or were, conventially considered to be those
of Arabic, Aramean, Babylonian, Carthaginian, Ethiopian, Hebrew and
Phoenician heritage. While most are pretty well out of the mix
these days, we’re still left with the Arabs, Ethiopians and
Hebrews. So, when people start slinging insults and names at each
other, they might want to be a bit more careful. After all, since
Palestinians are “Arabs,” and “Arabs” are
Semites, it’s possible that we might find ourselves in the
interestingly ironic position of having to admit that some of the
anti-Semites just happen to be Jewish.

Allen Curry

Resident, Ann Arbor

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