Letters the Week of Feb. 26, 2015

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Readers share their thoughts on anti-vaxxers, the passing of a proponent for the disabled and the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Anti-Vaxxers Are Like Child Abusers
The fuss over vaccinations for serious illnesses such as measles, polio and diphtheria is bizarre. (Cover, “Moving the Needle on Vaccination,” Feb. 19)
 
Refusing to vaccinate a child for these diseases is child abuse as surely as is pouring hot water on the child. A “religion” that countenances such child abuse is not a religion; it is a cult.
 
Refusal to vaccinate also puts others in the greater community at risk (unless one stays in a cave). A “religion” that countenances such endangerment is not worthy of any constitutional protection.
 
Junk science as promoted by the “anti-vaxxers” will lead us proudly back to the 16th century. Responsible media should excoriate it.
Richard Saunders | Eagleville
 
Recalling a Trusted Visionary for the Disabled
Michael Elkin’s obituary of Irv Segal (Community, Feb. 19)  — his life, work and devoted family — brought me back to coming to Elkins Park from the D.C. area with my family in the ’70s and meeting Irv. My professional work to that point included statewide planning for services to people with physical and mental disabilities and heading a federal agency that administered disability services throughout the states.
 
Irv introduced me to his friends who ran the Young Adult Group and Guided Tour communities. They also reached out to professionals whose advice they trusted. Irv was on the top of their list. They were living out their lives in a dignified supportive environment. “People first,” Irv said, not “clients.” I’ll never forget this lesson.
Ed Newman | Elkins Park
 
Sharon’s Withdrawal Risks Didn’t Heed Results
Howard A. Cohen (Opinion, “With Elections Imminent, Time to Remember Sharon,” Jan. 29) writes: “You cannot doubt [Ariel Sharon’s] willingness to take risks for peace for the State of Israel.” Nobody doubts Sharon’s willingness to take risks; the question is what lesson should be learned from the results of the risks he took.
 
For many years, peace activists argued that the conflict with the Arabs in Gaza was caused by the Israeli occupation. In 2005, then-Prime Minister Sharon decided to take a huge risk and withdraw all of Israel's soldiers and civilians from Gaza. We all hoped the result would be peace. Instead, the result has been tens of thousands of rockets hitting southern Israel and numerous other attacks on Israel by Gaza-based terrorists.
 
Clearly, the problem for them was not “the occupation.” The problem for them is Israel’s existence. 
Moshe Phillips, President; Benyamin Korn, Chairman
Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia
 

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