By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
"Israel's Missing Link" by Sylvana Foa [January 22] fails to mention that the Arab Israeli population of the Kfar Qara area rioted at the start of Intifada II against Israel. Their violence and obstruction of major thoroughfares resulted in the deaths of at least 13, and many more were wounded. Peace is a wonderful goal, but security is even more vital. When the enemies of the Jewish State renounce violence, only then will Israel take them seriously.
At the moment there is a war going on in Israel. It isn't a minor scuffle. Platitudes about the next generation of forward-thinking and "peaceful" Arab Israelis are simply clichés.
Mevaseret Zion, Israel
Sylvana Foa replies: The deaths of 13 Arab Israelis killed by Israeli police at the start of the second intifada is currently under investigation by a government committee looking into the use of excessive force. This tragic incident is evidence that the link is missingArab Israelis can bridge the gap if they are treated like real citizens with full civil rights.
I have to point out a tragic piece of misinformation in Carla Spartos's January 29 Liquid City column. Ms. Spartos refers to the animal she purchased as a "rescued pooch." This is incorrect. Pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills which, through sub-concentration-camp conditions and forced breeding, produce enormous numbers of puppies. So while Spartos's new dog sits on her lap at some stupid bar, the puppy's mother and father likely lie malnourished, diseased, and slowly dying in a tiny chicken-wire cage in a barn producing litter after litter along with thousands of other dogs. By spending money at the "Evil Pet Store" (Spartos's wordsand in fact, the pet stores lock the dogs in tiny cells partly to save space and partly to play to potential customers' emotions), she enabled these breeders to continue this unbelievably evil practice.
So, what does it really mean to rescue a dog? Spartos only need call the ASPCA or visit buskerdog.com or petfinder.org for references to thousands of dogs that need homes. Without rescue they are euthanizedliterally by the millions. Even though the poor dogs in pet stores deserve homes too, it should be the priority of every conscientious person to help alleviate the problem of homeless animals first.
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA
Regarding Robert Sietsema's statement, in his review of the restaurant Allioli [Counter Culture, January 29], that "Allioli . . . is a misspelling of the Spanish word for garlic mayonnaise": Allioli is a Catalan word for a common condiment similar to garlic mayonnaise. Breaking down allioli leads to "all i oli," which translates as "garlic and oil." It is simple to make. You crush a couple of cloves of garlic in a ceramic mortar. Add salt and slowly add olive oil, grinding the mixture with a pestle. On Sundays Catalonians will have a cookout of lamb chops, chicken, or butifarra (a pork sausage), and allioli is made by two people drinking wine and taking it easy. One person grinds and the other adds the oil. Note that one major difference between allioli and mayonnaise is that allioli does not have any egg in it. Store-bought allioli sometimes has eggs in it, but the authentic stuff claims to be sense ou (without egg).
Tom Robbins asks a legitimate questionof any political partyin his article "Outer Borough Battler" [January 29], about Staten Island bus drivers' union chief Larry Hanley: Can the Working Families Party withstand a "good old-fashioned battle"? The answer is, we think soand the evidence of this optimism is not hard to find. There have been many heated disagreements inside the WFP and we are still standing, even growing.
The Working Families Party didn't start out four years ago to become a cult of personality. This is a party with candidates and issues. We have thousands of dues-paying members and more than 50 affiliated union and community groups. More than 100,000 New Yorkers voted on the WFP line in our last statewide race. We are the only minor party to routinely organize legislative campaigns at the city, county, and state levels. Examples are our living-wage initiatives, which recently were enacted in Suffolk and Oyster Bay, with new campaigns heating up around the state, including in New York City.
We're building a grassroots electoral infrastructure that gets results. In some small measure, the political dialogue in New York State is expanding because of our efforts. Basically, we think we can do more to make New York a decent and humane place to live and work. This belief is widely held by party members and leaders, and will help us survive the inevitable internal disagreements on particular candidates.
Dan Cantor, Executive Director
Working Families Party
I appreciated Sharon Lerner's article on New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to incorporate mandatory abortion training into medical curriculabut I hope this never happens ["Mayor's Choice," January 15].
As a physician who finished training in 1997, I would have run from any medical school that would have forced me to learn how to provide abortions or jeopardize my standing in the school. Why should any prospective physician be forced to challenge the school establishment if their beliefs about abortion don't line up with curriculum setters?