Thank you, Gil Troy
Sir, - My thanks to Gil Troy for focusing on the horrific story of the l7-year-old new immigrant being subjected to alleged police beating and brutalization by other prisoners, after being arrested on a minor offense ("The Galilee 'rape nightmare' tests us all," December 29).
His heartbroken mother asked, "How could this happen in Israel?" Since reading of this travesty of justice, I have asked myself this question as well, and as Israelis - whether new immigrants or not - we should all be asking this question of our government leaders and law enforcement officials. Are we a civilized society or not?
This tragic story highlights the need for reform throughout the police service at the highest level and without delay.
Sir, - When I first read about the shocking treatment meted out to the young man from Karmiel, I could not stop thinking about the boy and his family, who, like my late husband and myself, came to live in Israel with our children, because we strongly believed in actively pursuing Zionist ideals and Jewish values in our own homeland.
I want to thank Gil Troy for pointing out the lack of response on behalf of our leaders and the general public. Our collective silence is deafening.
I wish that there were something I could do or say to this boy and his family that would make their lives somehow bearable after this awful experience, and hope perhaps they will still find a way to remain with us.
MIRIAM (MICKEY) BLUMBERG
Making a distinction
Sir, - It was interesting to see two articles next to each other in the Post: "Iran seeks to separate the sexes" and "Poll: Vast majority of Israelis oppose gender-segregated buses" (December 28). Iran wants to impose religious Muslim views on its entire population, whereas the haredim want only segregated buses. Only a small segment of Israel's religious population has fundamentalist ideas. Thank God for the difference.
Sir, - Since there is such massive discord regarding the gender-segregated buses, I have a modest proposal (with apologies to Jonathan Swift) that should satisfy all parties.
Because the women object to being sent to "the back of the bus" - with all that it connotes - we shall seat them at the front. Ah, but then there would be objections that the men would be sitting in back, viewing all the women. The solution? Have the back seats face the rear, and men will board at the back as women do now. How about it?
Words aren't enough for Carter
Sir, - The only way Jimmy Carter's apology could be fully accepted is if he were to renounce his former statements around the world where he made the original anti Israel comments ("Carter offers apologies to Jewish community," Internet Edition, December 22). In addition, he would have to rewrite his book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Then, and only then, he might be forgiven - and who knows? Maybe in the future there will be streets in Israel called "Rehov Carter."
Sir, - In agonizing over how Gilad Schalit might be freed without compromising the safety of the nation, I found David Horovitz's advice most compelling: "There's no simple decision, but there is a right one. And it's not for the people of this nation, held hostage by Hamas, to take. That's why we have leadership" ("Editor's Notes: A nation held hostage," December 28).
I doubt King Solomon himself could have put it any better.
DR. RACHEL BIRATI
Memories of the 'Exodus'
Sir, - The death of the heroic captain of the Exodus ("Captain of the 'Exodus,' Ike Aranne, dies at age 86," December 24) brought back personal memories of the summer of 1947. When the ship began its voyage in July of that year, my friends and I were at Camp Rutledge, Georgia, for a month of summer fun.
At breakfast one morning, a counselor whose last name was Maslia and whose cousin, a young bride, had just gone to Palestine, stood up on a table so we could all see him. He announced that we, as American Jews, had to show support for those Jewish World War II survivors whom the British were trying to keep out of Palestine. None of us were au courant to the news of the day about this ship, but we thought, why not help them.
After eating, making our bunks and being inspected, we were led out to the ballfield, where all the counselors had put together pieces of wood of all sizes, plus hammers and nails for building. Some people really knew what to do, so after a couple of hours, we had our own own boat. We painted it and labeled it with stars of David in all sizes. The camp truck pulled up; the strongest counselors loaded the boat on the truck, and it was hauled to the lakeshore.
The campers, boys and girls, were sent back to our bunks and told to dress in the worst clothes we had. Next we were marched down to the waterfront, where this boat was floated. Orders were shouted at us: "Into the water, push the boat out as far as you can - return to shore."
Dripping wet, we left the water and heard quite clearly: "You are all free, as we hope those across the ocean on that ship might be" (I did not know the name "Exodus" until the book came out). The song leader grabbed the final moment as she led us in singing "Artza Alinu."
In the end, half a dozen of the counselors and campers assembled there that July did make aliya.
Searching for Capt. Rabinovich
Sir, - I am writing to enlist some help in locating the family of Capt. Alec Rabinovich. I am researching and searching for information to determine the feasibility of making a documentary of this young man's life and death in Gross Rosen Concentration Camp in Lower Silesia in Poland in 1944.
Rabinovich was born in Moscow May 27, 1918. His family were Russian Jews. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Egypt. He was brought up there and was, for a time, a boxer.
When war broke out in Europe in 1939, he joined the French Foreign Legion, then made his way to England. He was wounded and taken prisoner after parachuting into France in March 1944. In September, Rabinovich and 18 of his comrades were driven to Gross Rosen, where they were executed. He was 25 years old.
His parents, of course, are long gone. He must have had siblings, and those brothers and sisters likely had children. It is also possible that some members of the Rabinovich family took up residence in Israel, and I am hoping that if that is so, someone will read and recall his history, and get in touch.