This is in response to "Debate over the Holocaust" (March 21). In the article, David B. Wolf, vice president for academic affairs at Los Angeles Harbor College, said that problems with the campus newspaper could have been dealt with "quietly as an internal campus matter" if I had not "gone public" with demands for strong measures against the newspaper's opinion editor.
Ironically, on Nov. 8, 1984, Wolf, speaking to a meeting of the Southern Area Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation Council, said that the issue might have been resolved much sooner if the Jewish community had been more outspoken. Which is the real David Wolf?
If we displayed anything, it was too much patience.
On April 20, 1984, we wrote to Dr. Leslie Koltai, chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, asking him to investigate the publication of "gutter anti-Semitism" in Harbor College's Hawk newspaper.
Approximately 10 days later, several members of the college faculty and staff sent a memo to the editor of the Hawk expressing their "horror and dismay over the bigotry and hatred in the articles in the Opinion section of the student newspaper."
Between Sept. 21 and Dec. 6, we wrote a total of five letters to Harbor President James Heinselman and Chancellor Koltai in the hope that they would deal with this ugly situation.
During that period, we met with David Wolf and provided him with documentation concerning plagiarism which he assured us would enable the district to resolve the problem. Nothing happened until the student editor "fired" Joe Fields as opinion editor for reasons unrelated to our many complaints.
At no point during this entire controversy did we issue a single news release, though we did respond to questions put to us in mid-November by Bob Williams of The Times.
Speaking of the patience of Job. . . .
More distressing to us is the ridiculous notion which David Wolf holds that the way to deal with Holocaust revisionists is to debate them "to let reasonable people hear both sides." Would Harbor College teach civil rights to its students by arranging debates on the question of slavery between sociology professors and KKK leaders? Absurd.
HARVEY B. SCHECHTER
of B'nai B'rith
Issue Taken With 'Rightist' Label
In reading reporter Bob Williams' account of the controversy surrounding the Holocaust discussions at Harbor College, I am troubled by supporters of the so-called revisionist position being called "rightist." On what basis are David McCalden and his type properly described as rightist?
We are told nothing about their views on economic policy, foreign policy or international relations. We do not know, for example, whether they are more hostile to Judaism than the present government of the Soviet Union; or whether they are in sympathy with the socialistic backers of the Palestine Liberation Organization, whose aversion to Jewish survival in a national state is actively articulated (but who are nevertheless better described as leftist).
Would reporter Williams so readily describe the deniers of the Armenian genocide as "rightist" as well? The hostility to Jewish existence implicit in the denial of the Nazi-produced Holocaust may spring from a variety of motives, but calling them rightist without any supporting information does a disservice to all--to "liberals" to "conservatives," to anyone who seeks to comprehend current events in terms of meaningful categories.
IRVING L. SELK
Solving Avalon's Sewage Problem
Back in the good old days, before Avalon had a sewage treatment plant, and all of its attendant problems, our sewage was pumped directly into the ocean via a large pipe. This pipe, several hundred yards in length, reached the outer edge of a shelf with a drop of 200 feet. Our sewage dropped down over the edge and harmed nothing.
Then the Environmental Protection Agency decided our sewage was polluting the ocean and deemed it necessary that Avalon have a sewage treatment plant. This was done at a more than tremendous cost. This plant was both poorly planned and improperly designed to meet the needs of our community. The maximum input capacity of this plant is 500,000 gallons of waste a day. During our tourist season, our sewage will occasionally reach 800,000 gallons a day.
After the plant was completed and in operation, a further study proved our sewage had not been contaminating the ocean waters but, rather, was even somewhat beneficial.
Now, does it seem plausible that our City of Avalon should be required to spend an additional several million dollars to enlarge and upgrade this plant?
Would it not be much more feasible to maintain our present plant in top operating condition and allow the capacity input into the plant and divert the excess waste directly into the ocean via a cutoff valve, just like we used to?
QUINTIN A. LEONHARDI