With regard to “PA textbooks teach pupils to be expendable ‘martyrs’” (April 3), are you aware that Arab children in Israel are being indoctrinated, too? I teach English to Arab children here in the North. Some of the children go to Christian Arab schools in Haifa. There, they team the children up with a West Bank Arab school.
They bus them to the West Bank, where they spend the weekend, billeted by West Bank Arab families.
They come home with poster- sized maps of our area in which Israel does not exist. All our cities here have Arabic names. If I mention Jerusalem to these children, they don’t know what I am talking about – they know it only as Al Quds! GERALDINE THEMAL
All this talk about peace is very frustrating because the Palestinians are using textbooks that, as always, depict Israel and Israelis as terrible monsters.
Children are taught hatred, and only hatred. Martyrdom is always glorified. How can there be any peace under such conditions? All I know is that no one has obligated the Palestinians to do anything to bring about peace. All the pressure is put on Israel to give away more.
When and if the Palestinians will change their textbooks and teach in their schools that Israel is their neighbor and Jews are human beings, there will be peace.THELMA SUSSWEIN
Need for an update
Your editorial “Agunot in Zion” (April 3), relating to the story of the “Aguna from Safed,” reveals an obvious miscalculation in dates historically.
If the husband referred to had been in a comatose condition when the Halacha edicts were promulgated, he would not have survived one day. So with the progress of medicine that created this situation, the rabbinical interpretation of the get (halachic divorce) must be updated accordingly.
If the rabbis cannot update it, the Knesset should.
Knowing the difference
That Hagai El-Ad can write an op-ed critical of his government’s policy (“The only democracy... right,” Observations, March 31) is by definition a contradiction to his premise – that Israel is not a democracy. Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly – these are the hallmarks of a democratic society.
Democracy is not perfect, and no democracy is perfect.
There is a line, however, between criticism of government or military policy and aiding and abetting the enemy. Inability to differentiate between them is, at best, ignorant and arrogant.BOB YERMUS
I suppose they come in all shapes and sizes. And here we have another Jew in America who has no conception of Middle East politics (“From pro-AIPAC to protester” (Comment & Features, March 30).
Jesse Rabinowitz, who once loved Shabbat, youth programs, Israel and AIPAC, now has become a protester against Israel. Why? Because 1) a ZOA chapter wanted to supply weapons to threatened Jews in Judea and Samaria; 2) he read reports of civilian casualties in Gaza; 3) American Jewish friends of his refused to pray for Palestinian civilians; and 4) Jews with whom he prays, studies Torah and eats Shabbat meals called him Hitler and a self-hating, despicable Jew (though what the latter two have to do with Israel is moot).
Let me remind Mr. Rabinowitz that checkpoints were set up so that Arab terrorists could not blow up Jewish men, women and children, which was and is their wont, and that it does not take hours, but a few minutes to cross them. The loss of innocent lives in a war is a foregone conclusion, but Israel’s percentage is far lower than in the two world wars and in wars fought around the globe.
If Hamas had not fired thousands of rockets into our civilian centers, there would have been no war and no civilian deaths.
An illegal, unjust and immoral occupation? Not only is the whole of what was once Palestine our God-given right, this was acknowledged at San Remo, then accepted by the League of Nations and ratified by the United Nations, meaning the mandate for Palestine is still in force under international law and that we are not an occupying power. So much for unjust and illegal.
Where does Mr. Rabinowitz see the morality in Palestinians refusing to accept a Jewish state when Israel is prepared to give up land to permit the so-called Palestinians Arabs their own state? Not only do they insist it be free of Jews (talk of apartheid!), they see the whole of Israel as occupied land and wish to drive every Israeli into the sea and dismantle the Jewish state.
This one-sided view of things because the writer’s feelings were hurt seems to warrant a more thorough study of the history of the beginnings of the State of Israel, which surprisingly is not taught correctly even in our own schools, and should be rectified.
Rishon Lezion Institutional care
With regard to “Bridling free-market mechanisms” (Think About It, February 27) by Susan Hattis Rolef, the recent news about abuse in nursing homes is so familiar.
Every now and then, the subject comes up in the media; many shout, and promises are made for correction, but the subject fades. Nothing changes.
Having had wonderful and terrible people taking care of me from all ethnicities in all kinds of institutions, I have knowledge of the very widespread abuse of the disabled in this country. It is not politically correct to say, but it is a fact that much of the worst abuse comes from Arab Muslims taking care of Jews.
The sad fact is that for the most part, Jews are not interested in filling the jobs of orderlies and aides in these institutions. Therefore, the positions are often filled by Arab Muslims who have been taught all their lives why they should be angry at, and hate, Jews. The situation is worst when it is known that a Jewish patient worked for the police, military or security forces – their lives are likely to be a hell of abuse that is beyond imagining for most.
It’s not that all Arab-Muslim caretakers are sadistic or cruel, but – especially where there are a lot of young Arab males filling jobs – there will almost always be at least several abusers. Arab staff who might be quite against such torture will not squeal on their fellows to Jewish bosses.
I have had the privilege of having wonderful, kind Africans taking care of me.
Among them was one noble young man who told me much about the horrors inflicted by mostly young Arab men on the residents of institutions (though I already knew it). To his great credit and at risk to his own life, he reported these incidents to the top echelons of the places where he worked. Each time, changes were made to the staff.
If nursing homes are serious about alleviating the hell of their patients, they will bring in many more African caregivers.
These people are often very kind, serious and hard-working. They, as refugees, need the work, and we need them no less!ELIYAHU HOLLEY
The writer is a quadriplegic, husband and father of two.