Letters for the week of August 6-12, 2003 

Troyce was key at Eli's; St. Clair bad, St. Clair good; the Iraqi Jewish struggle; and a hodgepodge of other stuff.

Page 2 of 2

"Bush League," Film, 7/9

What would the Knights say?
James Robinson resurrected Starman, not Hawkman.
Amaha Kassa, Oakland

Kassa is right. We stand corrected.

"Impossible to Forget," Film, 7/16

Iraqi Jews have a sad story
I haven't yet seen Forget Baghdad: Jews and Arabs -- The Iraqi Connection, so I don't know exactly how much history it covers. However, since Kelly Vance describes Iraqi Jews only as being "sought" by Israel to boost the Jewish population of the new state, I'd like to fill in the apparent gaps in his knowledge of why they left a country they had lived in for thousands of years to take a chance on a small and struggling Jewish state.

In 1941, riots against the Jews of Baghdad killed 180 people, and subsequent violence continued throughout the 1940s. Between 1949 and 1951, almost 125,000 Jews left Iraq, many secretly. In 1952, Iraqi Jews were denied the right to leave the country. In 1963, all Jews remaining in the country were required to begin carrying yellow identity cards. After 1967, property was confiscated, businesses closed, and Jews were jailed on false charges, tortured, and executed. It was not until the early 1970s that most of the remaining Jews of Iraq were permitted to leave. In 1948, the Jewish population of Iraq was 150,000, with a history dating back to Biblical times. At present, it is less than fifty.

The story of the nearly 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab nations who settled in Israel and elsewhere during the second half of the twentieth century has too often been ignored, denied, and misunderstood. I'm pleased that the Jewish Film Festival is offering work on the complex experience of these communities.
Charlotte Honigman-Smith, San Francisco

"Exile in Whinerville," Music, 7/16

Help me, Gina, please
Just read your article on all the Liz Phair album criticisms. Amen. Amen. Amen. I wrote a record review for one of the local Los Angeles papers that was a mere fraction of what you said. You definitely said it much better than I. Congratulations. And thanks.
Chris DeLisle, Sterling Heights, MI

"Little Miss Murder," Feature, 7/9

Glad to see Katie get some hype of her own
You did an excellent job on the front page story of "Little Miss Murder." With all this hype about Laci Peterson, other pertinent news is virtually lost by the mass media's stampede to saturate us with the same tired story day in and day out.
P.A. Alvarez, Santa Rosa

"The Golden Fleece," Feature, 7/16

Some rules make sense
I find it incredibly stupid (and arrogant) that a lady would, after being told about and led to a treasure, say "I found it for you, here it is." I wonder if the United States would allow Ecuador to drill (for oil, treasures, or anything) off our coast and then just sail off into the sunset.
Chester Oby, Berkeley

"From Canada with Drugs," Cityside, 7/23

Physician, heal thyself
I was amused by the FDA's argument against importing drugs from Canada in that they cannot assure quality and safety of imported drugs. The fact is that they cannot assure the quality or safety of drugs in this country.

There is no drug-tracking system or requirement for such. Many pharmacies and pharmaceutical distributors are quite happy to buy drugs off the street, stolen from hospitals or other distributors. Sometimes the "drugs" are well-packaged fakes with little or no active ingredients.
Vincent Osman, Berkeley


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