Reporting on Human Rights
Regarding the editorial "Amnesty's 1991 Report," July 14: I believe the Amnesty International annual report on human rights serves a very worthwhile purpose. This report would be much more effective if Americans (those with more heart than greed) were reminded of how their taxes contribute much to the abuses we supposedly abhor.
In reporting on some of the horrible human rights violations listed in the Amnesty International report, the editorial failed to mention the many thousands of Palestinian men imprisoned in Israel without charge or trial, mistreated mentally as well as physically. Amnesty International reports on the oppression of the Palestinians but plays it down for United States consumers.
The US government cannot do much to alleviate human rights violations in most countries, but in the case of Israel, it has unused leverage in the form of the annual and ad infinitum dole of more than $3 billion. William V. Kelly, Austin, Texas Who benefits from property-rights ruling?
Regarding the Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council ruling discussed in the Opinion page article "A Troubling New Ruling on Property Rights," July 16: The author laments that the burden now rests on the state to prove the necessity of regulation. Does he truly believe "the scales of justice" could ever be tilted to favor an individual in dispute with governmental authorities? The state must be held to the most rigorous proofs of necessity when its actions infringe on constitutional rights, be they spee ch, property, or religion. Steven Dreith, Clay Center, Kan. Support for an international court
In the Opinion page article "A First Step Toward an International Criminal Court," July 8, no mention is made of a bill passed in our House of Representatives in October 1990. It is a concurrent resolution "calling for the creation of an International Criminal Court with jurisdiction over internationally recognized crimes of terrorism, illicit international narcotics trafficking, genocide, and torture as those crimes are defined in various international conventions." Our relations with Colombia, Mexico, and Panama really should compel our government to work hard toward encouraging the United Nations to establish this court; the UN has discussed the proposition repeatedly since its beginning in 1945. One problem is that such a court would cost money, and the need now is more for direct conflict resolution. Inga Thompson, Minneapolis
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