||Letters to the Editor
In the last issue of Southside Pride Steve Hunegs wrote an article in support of the Israeli actions in Gaza. The piece was interesting for what he didn’t choose to talk about. Hamas did not just take control of Gaza; they came to power because they won a democratic election. The author talks at length about the humanitarian support of Israel for the Palestinians, but fails to mention that during the fighting food and fuel were cut off in Gaza. Apparently in Hunegs’ mind, Israel has the right to defend its civilian population from attack, but Hamas does not have the same right.
He goes on to introduce an analogy of a hypothetical missile attack on the U.S. by Canada. The analogy falls apart because we would expect any retaliation to be proportional and would discriminate between military and civilian targets. Israel ignores this by claiming all their targets are military. This is why hospitals, the Red Cross, and U.N. convoys and compounds have been hit. Forty per- cent of the Palestinian casualties are women and children.
Of course, not allowing foreign journalists into Gaza allows the Israelis to spin the war to their liking.
But let’s be blunt. We can argue about who did what to whom until the cows come home. What the U.S. has been doing on the diplomatic front for the last 50 years has not worked. We need to change the way we look at the Middle East and support only those actions that really are building toward peace. A national dialog that is fair and balanced and led by the new administration would be a very good first step.
Al Veldey ,
In response to Shawne Fitzgerald’s Jan. 5 story “Do our kids get soccer fields?” I would like to clarify the following information.
In August 2008 the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) attended a meeting of the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association held in response to a shooting near the park. As part of the discussion, ideas from the public were brought forward for park improvements. A public meeting to discuss these ideas has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the
Powderhorn Park Recreation Center.
Ms. Fitzgerald claims the MPRB no longer offers fee waivers and that kids in the Powderhorn and Phillips communities are shut out of programs. This is simply not true. MPRB has long recognized the diversity of its park users,
including recreation interests, age, ability, ethnicity and economic status. We offer both free programming and fee waivers at all of our rec centers. For example, Powderhorn Recreation Center offers hundreds of programs annually, approximately half of which are free. For fee-based activities, where fees cover materials and instructors, participants can apply for fee waivers for up to the full cost of instructor fees. Details about the Feb. 25 public meeting and park programs are available at the Powderhorn Rec Center and at www.minneapolisparks.org
Obie Kipper, Jr.,
Minnehaha District Manager,