A mother’s choices
EDITOR: My chest was ripped open by a beautiful, passionate, straightforward commentary from Gaza City (“Awful decisions I’ve made to protect my kids,” Thursday). Gazan-born, U.S.-educated Wejda Abu Shammala, married to a Palestinian-German, cuts to the heart of a woman’s primal need to protect her children. She wrote eloquently of the “painful contortions” she must endure in deciding how to prevent her children from being blown to bits and living with the consequences of her choices.
She actually has to decide: Should they all sleep in one room to increase the chances of a shell hitting one of the empty rooms? Or, no, better they sleep in separate rooms, so she might only lose one child that night. Of course, if a half-ton bomb drops they’re all dead anyway. Unimaginable choices.
Meanwhile, on the comics page, kudos to Candorville’s Darrin Bell for addressing the issue with smarts and humor. A dialogue between two “bruthas,” invoking the rap war between Biggie and Tupac, speaks to how their “mommas hugged each other and told both sides to cut that (blank) out.” And then concluding that “ain’t nuthin a million mommas huggin it out can’t fix.”
Questions about Gaza
EDITOR: Lila Hansen poses questions about Gaza’s war on Israel (“Questions about Gaza,” Sunday letters). I, too, have questions about Gaza.
Why does Hamas, the military power of Gaza, launch its relentless rocket attacks on Israel from schools and hospitals?
Why did Hamas take the 800 tons of concrete that donors intended for building schools and use it to build terror tunnels from which to launch attacks on Israel?
With a network of sophisticated terror tunnels in place, why doesn’t Hamas allow civilians to take shelter there?
With the overwhelming majority of Gazan casualties being young men of fighting age, why is Hamas claiming massive civilian casualties? Are they pretending their military is civilians because they don’t wear uniforms?
Do you know of another country that is expected to tolerate years of rocket attacks without fighting back?
For years, trucks have crossed the border between Israel and Gaza every day with food and humanitarian aid, even during the current conflict. Is this what you’re referring to as a blockade?
With the slaughter going on in Syria and many other places where Muslims are fighting Muslims, how is it that your only questions are about Israel’s behavior?
An alternative to waste
EDITOR: Last weekend, the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo residents was fouled by animal waste. With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again — this time in our own state.
The problem has become pervasive. Waste from chicken farms has rendered the ocean off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.
Animal agriculture dumps more pollution to our waterways than all other human activities combined. Principal pollutants are animal manure, fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris, and pesticides from feed cropland. Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds microorganisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.