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Upset by vicious
This letter is in response to a vicious cartoon that appeared
in your paper last week. The cartoon shows a man with a large
nose, supposedly Ariel Sharon, happily building a wall around
a bird of peace. On the wall is a flag with a Star of David
on it. The cartoon was drawn by a Shan Wells.
From Mr. Wells’ cartoon, one would assume that Wells
believes that the security fence Israel is building is the primary
obstacle to peace. He has a right to his opinion, but as a political
cartoon, he and the Telegraph overstep the boundaries.
While editorial cartoons are meant to satirically summarize
current events, they are expected to be based on FACT. They
also are not expected to promote religious or racial stereotypes.
I’ll take it that Wells is an expert on the Israeli/Palestinian
issue. Why else would he be so brazen as to draw such a cartoon?
I see that Mr. Wells is quite upset by the security fence that
Israel is building. I also get offended by walls and fences.
But ONLY when they are meant to keep people IN, not out.A0A0A0
This is where the cartoon is inaccurate. The wall does not
encircle the West Bank or Gaza. It does not enslave the Palestinians.
While the fence does restrict Palestinian entrance into Israel,
such entrance is not a right, any more than entrance into the
United States from Mexico is a right. I’m sure Wells’
next cartoon will show his anger over the ditches, barbed-wire
fences, border-crossing checkpoints and guard dogs that America
uses to curtail illegal immigration and drugs from crossing
our borders. I doubt it 85 .
It is wrong to portray the fence as a roadblock to peace. It
was built only after an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism,
which in less than three years has killed more than 800 Israelis
and maimed thousands – some as they slept in their beds,
celebrating holidays, eating at restaurants and many riding
buses. Many of these targeted woman, elderly and infants! Does
not every country have the self-evident right to determine who
or what will be allowed entrance to its homeland? Does Israel
have any right to protect its citizens from crazed homicide
bombers while the world supports the theory that any type of
Israeli defense “upsets” the Arab world? And while
the Palestinian Authority does absolutely nothing to reign in
Hamas and the other terror groups it harbors, Israel must act
to protect its citizens. Mr. Wells, if there were no Palestinian
terror war, there would be no fence!A0Unless of course Mr. Wells
feels that Israel is a fraudulent country and has no right to
exist.A0Which brings us to Yassar Arafat 85 .
Absent from the cartoon is any sign of Arafat. Wells lays total
blame on Sharon and Israel. Does Mr. Wells know that Arafat
is the other reason the security fence is being built, and thatA0Arafat
is the biggest obstacle to peace? Let me explain to the cartoonist.
Forbes magazine (March 17, 2003 ) estimates conservatively
Arafat’s net worth at $300 million. One of his main money
sources has been foreign aid meant for the Palestinian people,
which he has diverted to his own accounts. To back this information
up, the International Monetary Fund recently disclosed that
between 1995-2000 Arafat diverted $591 million from the Palestinian
Authority to a special account under his personal guidance.
In 1998, the European Union audit disclosed that $20 million
in Egyptian funds meant to build low-income housing was instead
turned into a luxury apartment complex that was given to top
PA officials and Arafat’s pals. A control he keeps with
his puppet government.
Why do I bring Arafat’s financial records up? Because
he preys on his own people. He pockets the money while keeping
the Palestinian people in squalor. Substandard schools, hospitals
and daily services are the results, while placing total blame
for this on Israel. Kind of keeps the pressure off Arafat. I
guess this information has slipped by Mr. Wells’ expertise.
The money is used to fund terrorism. The support goes to Hamas,
Islamic Jihad and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. They don’t
make a move without Arafat knowing about it. Arafat’s
goal is to make terror a part of political negotiations. The
security fence will close off that strategy. A negotiation weapon
Arafat cannot afford to lose.
Bottom line: By ignoring the fence’s justification as
an anti-terror measure, the cartoonist shows an utter lack of
context. But in the media today, you don’t have to justify.
The only credential you need to be an expert on the mid-east
is animosity toward Israel (see NPR, Pacifica Radio, the BBC
). And the gap between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic is
Which brings me to the most blatant disregard for sensitivity
in the cartoon. Wells portrays Ariel Sharon with a large nose
that does not resemble his actual profile. The profile used
is one that evokes anti-Semitic cartoons popular in Nazi Germany
and in the Arab press. Would Mr. Wells be as insensitive toward
Native Americans, African Americans or any other ethnic or religious
group in his cartoons? Would the Telegraph print it? The hurt
that this newspaper has put on many in the Jewish community
is just disgraceful. By publishing this stereotypical caricature,
the TelegraphA0promotes a vile and tastelessA0expression of
hate. Is this what you represent?
Truthfully, I expected better from the editors and staff of
this “enlightened” newspaper. Give yourselves a
big thumbs down.
– In hope of peace in the Mid-East,
Shelly Perlmutter, Durango
Reflects poorly on the paper
I am surprised and disappointed by your cartoon showing an
individual with a big nose, building a wall around a dove in
distress. Surprised because the cartoonist is obviously ignorant
of the issues causing the wall to be built, and obviously racist
in using stereotypical features more suitable to the Hitler
era. I am disappointed that someone with these qualities could
be employed by your publication. It reflects poorly on the quality
of your paper.
– Gerald Sheldon, via e-mail
One-sided liberal propaganda
It is regrettable but not entirely unexpected to find the Telegraph
echoing the anti-Israeli bias common to much of the left wing
media. The cartoon by Shan Wells in the Oct. 9 issue is representative
of the one-sided, anti-Western, pro-Arab propaganda that’s
much of the liberal press has chanted since the Six Day War
The fact that, since its creation, Israel has fought four wars
for its very survival and has endured acts of terrorism against
its citizens that no other nation in the world would tolerate
is conveniently ignored.
The obvious mistake in Mr. Wells’ cartoon is the bird
being enclosed by the “Sharon Wall Co.” Instead
of a worried dove with an olive branch in its mouth, it should
be a velociraptor whose beak and talons are dripping blood.
– Sincerely,Michael Lubin
Back in the Saddle: Leo Meegan enjoys
an afternoon Tuesday along the Animas River
on his recumbent bicycle, which allows for a
more relaxed position./Photo by Todd Newcomer.
Playing ball in the courtroom
Kobe’s defense team might have “scored” a
few points at the preliminary hearing but psychologically it
was more like a gang rape by the legal system headed by Pamela
Mackey (Kobe’s defense attorney). Nevermind the concrete
evidence regarding the victim’s blood on Kobe’s
T-shirt; and tears, rips and lacerations suffered on the jaws
and genitals of the young woman (19 years old is still a teen-ager,
no less!). Nevermind the obvious social and physical power differential
between Kobe and the damsel crying out in distress, (yes, Kobe
carries an aura of super-heroism that many females will understandably
find tempting to flirt with). Nevermind that it took a mere
90 minutes for the married Kobe to meet, seduce and rip a new
one on one of his female, starstruck, teen-age fans. Now the
young woman is being further brutalized and unprotected as a
result of her name mentioned SEVERAL times by Kobe’s defense
attorney. Even after the judge admonished the attorney (Mackey)
for breaching the confidentiality of the accuser’s name,
Ms. Mackey continued to identify the accuser’s name several
more times! (Come on .. .it’s a blatant bully intimidation
tactic). Nevermind that pictures of the young woman’s
torn genitals were paraded in the courtroom and talked about
like the weather in the media. Nevermind this young woman took
some courage to press charges on a big national basketball star
who, by the way, has a reputation of scoring points by hogging
the game from his own teammates and piggishly didn’t care
about his own wife’s physical safety when he chose NOT
to wear a condom with his quick extramarital tryst. Nevermind
that the accuser’s courage is now being framed by the
defense team as her “tattling” subsequent to getting
a good “lay.” Nevermind that Kobe’s picture
is still on my favorite chocolate spreadA0appropriately called
Nutella, which now, interestingly enough, leaves a bitter taste
in my mouth. Nevermind that Kobe’s wife stands by her
man when 85 oh, nevermind.
Kobe is now having to put his money and power where his balls
are, and I’m not speaking the basketball variety. His
conscience regarding this whole incidentA0has bigger holes than
Sure, I believe Kobe should be defended in the best way, but
dirty pool seems to be the tactic of the defense team. This
covert attitude that, “boys will be boys” and because
Kobe is a friggin’ good basketball player should somehow
disavow or minimize his sexual violence is pretty startling.
His fame and wealth make HIM more likely to prey on women rather
than making him a likely target for a bogus lawsuit where a
teen-age accuser must endure rips to her genitals. Yeah, right,
gimme a break. ...oh, nevermind.
– Pamela Hurley,
Some finer points of grazing
Thanks for the excellent grazing story. There were two points
we covered in our interview that didn’t appear in the
First: The areas that are currently hardest hit by livestock
are the low-altitude, arid ones. These, in my opinion, would
benefit most from the removal of livestock, although the mountains
would certainly be better off cow-free, too.
Second: The Grazing Permit Buyout Bill is entirely voluntary,
which was not mentioned. This is a crucial feature of the program.