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Mideast crisis stirs emotions

Re: Mideast trouble -- again (Editorial, July 15) The callousness with which the Harper government has dismissed the killing of the Palestinian children by only acknowledging Israel's right to defend itself against useless rockets has left me numb with pain. Why has the Canadian government lost its moral compass?

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I don't condone Hamas rocket attacks -- they are fruitless exercises and bring the fury of Israel's military might reigning down on innocent civilians. I can understand the desperation 60 years of persecution and indifference from world powers can do to the psyche of the victims, where they would prefer to die rather than live.

Israel's fear is also real, for it knows without peace and just resolution its security is in peril. Yet we see no sincere movement toward a resolution.

The innocent victims on both sides, the children, women, the elderly and the disabled are the ones that matter -- they are the ones suffering.

None of us can understand their suffering, their fear and utter helplessness. Neither their leaders nor the world community gets it -- violence begets violence, oppression begets oppressors, and hatred begets inhumanity.

The only way out is to uphold truth, justice and compassion.

Shahina Siddiqui



I strongly object to the article written by Karen Laub and Ibraham Barzak (Gazans fleeing bombs have nowhere to go, July 17).

Hamas attacked Israel -- it's a fact. It was a declaration of war, and in a war, unfortunately, civilians are killed. Hamas has proven time and again they are at war to complete the death of the state of Israel.

As a father of a daughter living in Israel with her husband and six children, it upsets me they have to seek shelter on a regular basis due to the rockets being fired into Israel.

Do the lives of my children and grandchildren deserve the same rights as the warmongers who hide behind the skirts of their women and children?

Barney Charach



Leigh Halprin's recent letter is cruel and repugnant (Prospects of peace, Letters, July 14). To state there will only be peace when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel and its children is morally reprehensible.

It is these unconscionable and deplorable statements routinely uttered to dehumanize the Palestinian people, so those living in North America don't see them as victims of Israel's brutal policies.

It is not the indigenous Palestinian people who must recognize the state of Israel, it is Israel that must recognize the Palestinians' right to exist.

Lawrence Sutherland



Lake's potential disaster

Once again the province has decided to put the residents around Lake Manitoba at risk, rather than those along the lower Assiniboine River, by not decreasing flow in the Portage Diversion.

The dikes on the river are holding at 18,000 cfs and did so all during 2011. Lake Manitoba is above flood level and still rising, and the province will continue to divert more water to it than necessary.

This is exactly what it has done for years, especially during 2010 and 2013. Is the province's Conservation and Water Stewardship department predicting there will not be any wind or rain on Lake Manitoba from now until freeze-up? Or are we waiting for another disaster?

Don Easton

St. Laurent


A culture of mismanagement

As the level of civic dissatisfaction mounts, it is reassuring to know there are individuals working to disclose this pervasive culture of mismanagement that has infected this city (Constant stream of ugly revelations simply maddening, July 16).

Bartley Kives does a nice job condensing some of the gross examples of ineptitude, mismanagement, and the prioritizing of private interests over due process or the public good.

The situation draws associations to the great Peter Finch (as Howard Beale) "mad as hell" speech in the iconic 1976 film Network. The October mayoral election can't come soon enough, and whoever steps into the position will have their work cut out for them, mitigating the mess this current administration has created.

I'm particularly appreciative of individuals such as David Sanders, who have stepped forward amid the dysfunction to voice real critical concern. Sanders, "the self-appointed public watchdog," voluntarily attends EPC and council meetings, proves that a sense of unsolicited civic responsibility still exists.

We might all take note of his example as we collectively work toward fostering a culture of good governance for the future of this city.

Elyssa Stelman


Suburbs strain resources

Re: Union coalition wants big-suburb moratorium (July 12). With the state of Winnipeg's crumbling infrastructure as well as the extra strain placed on an already aging sewer and water system, I'm in full agreement with the Manitoba Building and Construction Trades Council "calling for a minimum 10-year moratorium on major housing developments."

Based on recent events at city hall, Winnipeg is certainly developer-friendly, but a better idea than more suburbs would be to expand the boundaries of greater Winnipeg, or erecting toll booths on major roads into Winnipeg.

A moratorium on major housing developments would be a breath of fresh air.

Kim Trethart


Law encourages trafficking

Re: U.S. politics endangering Central American child migrants (July 14). It appears the major problem here is with the 2008 law passed by the Bush administration. The law purports to protect children from human trafficking as one of its aims, but in reality it may encourage such trafficking.

When parents realize their children will get an immigration hearing once they get to the U.S. border, they will find ways to get them there. Some will no doubt pay handsomely for transportation, which will be provided by those wishing to exploit this situation.

To me, this is trafficking, and defeats the purpose of this law. It would have been far better for the law to recognize family units rather than focusing on children.

The U.S. is ill-prepared to handle the influx of children; instead of asking for billions of dollars to hire judges and border workers, it would be more beneficial to spend resources on building viable communities in areas which are the primary sources of refugee influx.

Don Palmer


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2014 A16

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