Letters in the Editor's Mailbag

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

Drunken camper ruins outing

We all know the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared," and even when car camping it is best to be ready for the unexpected. I was not prepared for what was in store for me during a recent camping trip to a state campground east of Sweet Home during Memorial Day weekend.

Our trip had to be called short after we were harassed and threatened by an intoxicated camper at a neighboring campsite. The intoxicated individual became agitated when the campground hosts asked him to turn his music down. The music was turned down but the intoxicated man, who was slurring and staggering and could be seen drinking throughout the day, began ranting loudly with little protest from the adults and children sharing his campsite.

The intoxicated man yelled loudly that he "had a knife" and waved an ax in our direction on several occasions. I asked the camp hosts for help with the situation but they were unable or unwilling to do anything other than to tell the man that they were going to call the police, which they never did as far as we were aware.

After three hours, around midnight, we had had enough and packed up our three small children and three nights' worth of camping gear and drove back to our home in Springfield.

I would like to warn vacationers that when camping at some of our local campgrounds, it is "camp at your own risk."

Erik R. Bishoff

Springfield

Challenge lobby's party line

Since Craig Weinerman (letters, May 27) revisited the "NO ZOG" license plate story, I'd like to do so also.

What raised my eyebrows was not just the story's peculiar front page prominence but its seamless confusion of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, long a tactic of the Israel lobby to discredit critics of Israel.

I was also disturbed by the crudely dismissive reference to the Israel lobby's undue influence on American foreign policy, well documented by numerous scholars and two independent surveys of Congress.

I am also concerned that the objectionable license plate was seen at "a gathering of neo-Nazis," suggesting a misleading association between white racists and those who work for Palestinian human rights under international law. In fact, advocates for Palestinian rights scrupulously avoid any association with racist ideologies, which correspond in spirit with the ethnic supremacist attitudes of the Zionism they oppose.

When I saw three paragraphs of quotes from an Anti-Defamation League spokesman, everything became clear.

Among Israel lobby groups, the ADL plays fierce defense against any external or internal threat. In a rare moment of candor when challenged by a young Israeli conscientious objector at New York University in 2005 about his right to dictate the "correct" opinions about Israel to Jewish students, ADL director Abe Foxman shot back, "I don't represent you or the Jewish community! I represent the donors."

I hope the reporter's reinforcement of the Israel lobby's party line was inadvertent, but more must be expected of professional journalists than playing stenographer to notorious lobby groups.

Jack Dresser

Springfield

Apply principle to recruiters

Last week parents at Meadowlark Elementary School successfully removed a photo display of multiracial community members from their school because the display included a transgendered person.

They stated that the display was too controversial for a school.

I am very pleased that other parents would like to keep controversial topics out of our schools. And based upon their convictions, I invite these parents to join me in prohibiting another controversial activity in our schools: the admittance of military recruiters onto school property.

Every year these recruiters visit our high schools and encourage teens to join the military. …