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Russia, Israel, the US

The article "Behind Israel's reach to Russia" (April 16) could have readily transposed the US official's quote criticizing Israel into a critique of the United States. The quote, as printed, reads, " 'It's not necessarily wrong to warm relations with Russia,' says one US official, 'but do they have to do it in the period when the US has the worst relations with Russia since the end of the cold war?"

Instead, the paragraph could have read,

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" 'It's not necessarily wrong to warm relations with Palestinians,' says one Iraeli official, 'but do they have to do it in the period when the Israelis have the worst relations with the Palestinians since the intifada?"

Unilateral tendencies to perceive the peacemaking process from a strictly American-interest perspective remains a major problem in trying to further and consummate a conclusive Mideast peace. The other actors have specific interests too, which need to be considered and dealt with realistically. "What is good for the goose is good for the gander."

Bernard Schechterman Coral Gables, Fla.

Principals' accountability

Regarding Marie Shervais's opinion article "Distrusting educational 'accountability' " (April 19): What a well-stated position about the love of learning rather than high test scores. I taught first through fifth grades for 30 years in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland public schools. Many new principals nowadays, unfortunately, are hired to carry out all of this preparation for testing. Many have not "done their time" as classroom teachers.

Martha Barkley Charleston, S.C.

Kudos for college protesters

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The article "1, 2, 3, 4: We don't want your global warming" (April 4) was great news. Hopefully, such student protests will spread to all university and college campuses in the United States.

Money is the one language big corporations seem to understand best, so the students are definitely on the right track by "pressuring their institutions to divest themselves of financial holdings in companies allegedly responsible for global warming." These same students are also, hopefully, working at convincing their parents that any retirement investments they may have are invested in socially responsible companies.

Rudy Ramp Arcata, Calif.

Giving Wences his due

Jeffrey Shaffer may not have appreciated Seior Wences and his remarkable puppets, but lots of us did ("S'OK? S'awright," April 30). I always laughed at the antics of Johnny, and Pedro in the box was funny to me. While I enjoy most of what Mr. Shaffer writes, I feel he could have more properly acknowledged the contribution to early TV of Seior Wences.

Karen Leitz Colorado Springs, Colo.

Childhood chores and allowances

It was interesting to read the article on chores and allowances for children ("How much? What age? Chores?" April 14). It is a shame so many parents think their children are entitled to an endless stream of activities and classes, for which the parents pay, and which keep the children so busy that a weekly chore is not practical. It also seems wrong to pay children to help around the house. Don't they live there, and doesn't their work help to make it a home? And an allowance that is given so children can learn to handle money also seems to teach that money comes for no effort.

We don't need more people who think they are entitled to live in luxury without hard work and who need to be entertained.

Carla M. Stein Bradford, Mass.

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