Palestinian Rights and Israeli Loan Guarantees
The editorial "Aiding Peace," Sept. 9, fails to point out that humanitarian concern for the Palestinian refugees around the world who have no right of return to their own land should be a priority for the US as the loan guarantees are considered.The loan guarantee package must be connected with Israel's assurance that it not only "curb its settlement program in the occupied territories" but that it stop its settlement of the West Bank. This is the time to make American aid conditional upon the Israeli government's acceptance of the principle of "land for peace." Certainly we must continue to be aware of the gross violation of human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories and demand that any loan guarantees for Jewish immigrants must be linked with guaranteed rights for Palestinians. Jane K. Koonce Glenview, Ill. The editorial begins: "The resettlement of Soviet Jews in Israel is an issue of great humanitarian concern." Sadly, I must point out that the Palestinian plight is not an issue of humanitarian concern in the United States. The highest priority, I believe, belongs with the tragic situation of the Palestinian people. George Sexton, Miami
Speaking to the world The article Radio Free China' Plan Discussed," Aug. 29, says the mission of the Voice of America "is to tell the world about the United States," and this, the article continues, is why there is discussion in Washington of establishing a Radio Free China. I'd like to correct this misimpression. VOA does much more than just talk about America. Our 45 language services each shape a different program package daily to attract and inform listeners in their target areas. In general, about 80 percent of airtime in these services is given to news and news-related topics. Important local and regional news gets strong play in addition to global news, and nowhere is this truer than in China. Audiences are attracted to VOA because it speaks their language, knows their region, and accurately tells them what is going on. Perhaps the reason our comprehensive world and regional news programming is little known in this country is because by law VOA does not broadcast to the US. And because three-quarters of the VOA Charter is given to how VOA should represent American thought and action, this may be the reason some think that VOA programming is comprised only of textbook lessons about America. Chase Untermeyer, Washington, Director, Voice of America
Free market vs. the environment? The article "Are Americans Really Greedy?," Sept. 6, concentrates on the minor point that Americans are not miserly and ungiving after all, thus managing to sidestep the real issues. Why is there no mention of the fact that our use of world resources is light-years out of proportion to our numbers? And does the author think the S&L crisis flowed from a sense of charity? The fundamental problem is the assumption that the free market system is utterly beyond question, causing us to put the profit motive ahead of such trivialities as the quality of life and the survival of the planet. But it is increasingly obvious to those not blinded by dollar signs that if we must choose between free enterprise and the environment, it is the former that will have to go. Doubtless this explains why business-oriented conservatives - fondly clinging to the fiction that the East bloc's economic failure guarantees the success of our system - are so desperate to ignore the handwriting on the wall. Richard W. Rau, Hillsboro, N.H.