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Readers' forum

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Page: P4A
Byline: Not Available

Israel continues Bellotte wishes to depict Israel as a brutal state, responsible not only for the current instability in the Middle East, but also for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Bellotte chooses to ignore the facts - that Israel is a country that has had to confront the threat of terrorism every day for much of its 53-year existence.

Yet Israel continues to demonstrate its readiness to negotiate a better future for Israelis and Palestinians in the context of bilateral negotiations. Despite Israel's extensive concessions on all issues in Camp David over a year ago, the Palestinians have continued their campaign of violence and terrorism against Israel.

Amid this ongoing violence, Israelis can only wonder if the Palestinians are interested in peace and coexistence alongside the state of Israel, or its destruction.

Contrary to what Bellotte may believe about the American-Israeli relationship, the United States and Israel have enjoyed more than 50 years of friendship due to its shared democratic values and strategic interests, including the rejection of the terrorism and violence that has now reached U.S. soil.

Bettsue Feuer Regional director Anti-Defamation League Cleveland Legislature must focus on economy Editor: It's that time of year again. The West Virginia Legislature is in session.

Last year, the session was wasted trying to figure out how to separate lower-income people from even more of their hard-earned money by addicting them to legalized video gambling.

If media reports are to be believed, it appears as if this year's session will be wasted on the stunningly insignificant issue of trying to put coal trucks on a diet. One can only pray the Legislature will avoid this trap and focus on something important.

There is so much to be done and so little time. Please call your representatives and ask them to focus on the real needs of this state, such as economic development and updating our nearly fossilized urban planning enabling legislation.

Jim Wood Morgantown Coal companies ignore obligations Editor: My question to the state of West Virginia is, How much more must we let out-of-state corporations steal from us?

Massey Energy and Island Creek Coal owe the state $30.2 million for workers' comp premiums.

My opinion is that no matter who the subcontractors were, the corporations were responsible for all of the legal obligations.

The workers' compensation laws are clear on the fact that premiums must be paid quarterly with fines being levied for each delay in payment.

With the amount of hills being flattened in this region, the corporations cannot say that they have not mined enough coal to pay for their legal obligations.

What is our state to do whenever the supply of coal has been exhausted? What has the state benefited from mountaintop-removal mining other than the loss of jobs, communities, wildlife and the individuals in the areas.

My main question is, Why do mountaintop-removal sites occur in the poorest communities in the state?

Jamie J. Beaton Weston

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