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March 30, 2006
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Agency Works Hard to Aid Needy Palestinians Jonathan Tobin appears content to regurgitate hackneyed allegations that have been proven wrong many times over (A Matter of Opinion: "Pull the Plug on UNRWA," March 16).

Countries funding UNRWA rightly scrutinize its expenditure very closely, and external reviews and audits take place continuously, including by the U.S. General Accounting Office.

Far from being a "fiasco," UNRWA is considered by its funders as a success story of the United Nations, providing humanitarian assistance and human development to millions of Palestine refugees, as well as basic education to 500,000 pupils. It handles 8 million health visits a year in its clinics, empowering refugees through micro-credit and micro-enterprise loans, and provides significant emergency assistance when needed.

Asking for the agency's "decapitation" is not only tantamount to incitement, it also exposes Mr. Tobin's lack of political understanding of, or worse, his ill intentions toward the currently unfolding situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The author appears to welcome the humanitarian disaster that "pulling the plug on UNRWA" would entail.

Fortunately, the government of Israel understands what's at stake, and has asked U.N. agencies, in particular UNRWA, to maintain and strengthen humanitarian operations.

I consider myself fortunate to lead an agency comprising 25,000 able and committed staff members. 
Karen AbuZayd 
UNRWA Commissioner-General 
Amman, Jordan
 

Freeze Aid Till Authority Comes to Its Senses

Jonathan Tobin's strong piece about an agency's failures (A Matter of Opinion: "Pull the Plug on UNRWA," March 16) could have made another point about the dangers of diverting funds from Palestinian Authority subsidies to "humanitarian" causes.

The P.A. is one big "happy family." It allocates money to Hamas terrorists and Palestinian schools out of the same pot. Every dollar the rest of the world gives to help the people of Palestine frees up a dollar that Hamas can spend on explosives, arms and training.

The only solution? Freeze all money transfers to the P.A. until it comes to its senses! 
Henry Kaye 
Tel Aviv 

Profile Arab States? Fine. After That, Then What?

Concerning Jonathan Tobin's suggestion about Arab boycotters of Israel (A Matter of Opinion: "Profile the Boycotters," March 9), how about "profiling" every Arab state with policies hostile to Israel?

And then what? We'll stop dealing with them? Maybe stop buying their oil? Try selling that one to Christian America!

Why not add to our profile list those nations that don't give women or gays equal rights?

Tobin's position is nothing but a brave intellectual exercise, unless we get the answer to "then what"? 
Al Richter 
Philadelphia

Do Their Sermons Really Teach Tolerance of Jews?

Michael Livingston's article (Opinion: "Follow the Golden Rule," March 16) is a wonderful example of "love thy enemy."

How warm and accepting of Livingston to give us lessons on how to play nice with our Muslim American brethren.

Why insult our intelligence and morality to assume that we Jews look at all Muslims with suspicion and disdain?

Thank you, Mr. Livingston, but I think we're a little more advanced than that !

I do, however, challenge him to document the sermons being taught in mosques that teach tolerance and love toward Israel and the Jews. 
Eric Solomon 
Ambler 

Discuss Islamist Danger; Don't Ignore It!

Just say "no" to Islamophobia (Opinions: "Follow the Golden Rule," March 16)?

Livingston says we should be uncomfortable with a Jewish group holding a lavish dinner to discuss radical Islam. This statement reflects the author's ethnic stereotypes and racial prejudices. Would it be more acceptable if non-Jews met to discuss this danger over coffee and doughnuts?

The point is that radical Islam is a problem, and is the greatest threat facing America, Israel and world Jewry.

Holocaust survivors did not teach their children to hate non-Jews, nor did they promote terrorism in order to randomly kill non-Jews. That's what today's radical Muslims do with respect to non-Islamists.

As Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum has written, "militant/radical Islam is the problem; moderate Islam is the solution."

There is nothing racist or prejudicial in this statement.

It is a sincere expression of a hope for the future of moderate Islam, and is, in fact, quite consistent with "The Golden Rule." 
David Edman 
Radnor 

Obligated to Be Critical of Behavior in France

Arnold Keiser condemns the Jewish Exponent for an editorial critical of France for its anti-Semitism and anti-American posture (Letters: "Trouble in France? Let's Mind Our Own Business," March 16).

I'm afraid he speaks through a prism of the American left and its apologists for all those who are quick to condemn America, Israel and the Jews for all that's wrong with the world.

The oft-quoted thesis that France is - and has always been - a friend of Americas is hard to support. During the past 30 years, the French have moved to distance themselves from Israel and align themselves with despotic Arab regimes. That included being a willing partner with Sadam Hussein in the oil-for-food scandal.

We have been asked many times in the past to pull the French chestnuts from the fire, and may again be asked to do so if the emerging Islamic problem continues as it has been, with the French still in denial about the dangers within their own borders.

With current acts of Jewish hatred within the boundaries of France, we as Americans and American Jews have not only the responsibility - but the obligation - to be critical. 
Phillip Remstein 
Lafayette Hill

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