What they say
Sir, – Regarding “South pounded by rockets, prepares for more
violence” (August 26), when did Israel become the Warsaw ghetto? There are daily
attacks. We have a defense minister who is admittedly afraid and behaves as if
Jimmy Carter were making the decisions. Our billion-shekel Iron Dome has done
nothing but encourage more barrages of cheap hundred-dollar rockets and has our
South living in fear.
This is what happens when politicians are more
concerned about what people say than about defending our nation. We are long
past due for a public inquiry and perhaps a refresh in the Knesset! WILLIAM LEVY
Sir, – The score is in. Palestinians invaded Israel, killing eight and
wounding more than 40.
In response, mighty Israel bombed some empty
buildings and tunnels. It then pressed for a ceasefire – this, under a Likud
It is over for Israel. When you lose the will to fight, the
enemy will pick you apart. We cannot support you when you won’t defend
Highland Park, New Jersey Sderot is strong
“‘Fear has no scent or sound, but it has a color: Red’” (Home Front, August 26)
is dramatic, full of pathos and human interest – but exaggerated. The impression
that Sderot residents are largely traumatized is inaccurate.
Katz is no doubt a competent psychiatrist, but like many mental health
professionals appears to view normal stress reaction in traumatic conditions as
Careful reading shows that even she talks about
150-200 truly traumatized cases (bad enough) while mentioning 1,500-2,000 out of
the 25,000 residents who consult with the mental health center, a perfectly
proper thing to do given the crazy circumstances.
In recent years, Sderot
has experienced a building boom and a baby boom, as well as improvement in its
education system and public environment.
Residents now share a pride of
place never before enjoyed by the long-neglected development town. That doesn’t
sound like a demoralized or traumatized city to me.
Far more useful –
because it would enable the rest of us to learn from their experience rather
than wring our hands – would be to look at the remarkable “emergency
sub-culture” that has developed in Sderot, which enables the great majority of
residents to lead their lives under impossible conditions.
That is what I
have attempted to do in my recent book, Sha’at Hazahav (Dekel Publishing, with
sponsorship by the Home Front Command).HAYIM GRANOT
Petah Tikva The
writer is a retired professor of social work at Bar-Ilan University and a senior
consultant to the Home Front Command on population problems in
emergencies. His daughter and her family reside in Sderot
Sir, – It would be difficult to dream up a more total recipe for disaster than
Martin Sherman’s wild-eyed call for the military reconquest of Gaza (“White flag
Over Gaza,” Into the Fray, August 26). What makes it worse is that his argument
is not without a sort of misconceived logic.
All attempts at reconciling
Israeli and Palestinian aspirations are indeed thwarted by the fact that Hamas,
irredeemably rejectionist as it is, is the de facto government of Gaza. But how
can the solution be for Israel to embark on a further military adventure with
the unrealistic aim of forcing it to an unconditional surrender? Sherman
mentions “collective civilian casualties” as one consequence of his proposal to
“crush Hamas by overwhelming force.” But surely Cast Lead demonstrated the
virtual impossibility of undertaking a military operation in Gaza City without
inflicting incalculable loss of life, casualties, misery and disruption for
The redoubled military effort he advocates would
inevitably redouble this wholly undesirable outcome. International opinion would
be outraged – and rightly so.
If Sherman wants Israel’s political and
military leaders hauled up before the International Court of Justice, he is
going in the right direction. He may regard with equanimity the prospect of
Israel becoming a pariah on the world stage. I, for one, do not.NEVILLE
Ramat Beit Shemesh Too optimistic
Sir, – Steve Linde reviews Hirsh
Goodman’s soon-to-be-published book The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival
can survive,” Editor’s Notes, August 26), in which Goodman writes that the best
defense against unfriendly governments is for Israel to make peace with the
Palestinians. He believes the price of peace is worth the risks.
Goodman acknowledge the terrible price we paid in Jewish lives since the Oslo
Accords? It takes two parties to make peace and it is clear that there was and
is only one. That is Israel.
It is about time that Goodman listens to
what our negotiating partners say to their own people. The Palestinians want a
one-state solution, and that state will be Palestine, a country free of each and
every Jew, including him. He also believes that peace with the Palestinian
Authority is possible, but not with Hamas. Well, Abbas wants to get together
People get together when they think alike.
We are at
war for the very existence of Israel. In order to win we have to fight,
acknowledge who our enemies are and know they will never be peace partners. This
is the only way Israel can exist.BARBARA GINSBERG
Hirsh Goodman states that “developments on the Palestinian side are encouraging”
for peace. Yet TV programs broadcasted to hundreds of thousands of people in
Palestinian Authority-controlled territory show no evidence that much has
changed in encouraging positive attitudes toward peace.
Below is just one
During Ramadan, PA television chose to visit the mother of Darin
Abu Aisheh, a suicide bomber who blew herself up at a roadblock in 2002,
wounding three Israelis.
The camera focused on a poster of the terrorist
with the following text: “The Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah –
Beit Wazan branch is happy to announce [the death of] the heroic
martyrdom-seeker Darin Muhammad Tawfiq Abu Aisheh, member of the Al- Aqsa
Martyrs Brigades.” The mother spoke with pride of how she received the news of
her daughter’s death, seeing it as her “wedding.”
Perhaps I’m missing
something, but I really can’t see what Goodman finds so encouraging on the
Palestinian side.LYNETTE ORDMAN
Netanya Two sides of Glenn
Sir, – Thank
you to Caroline B. Glick (“Glenn Beck’s revealing visit,” Column One,
August 26) for once again putting my feelings into words.
We were at the
Glenn Beck rally and left feeling so encouraged.
As someone who moved to
Israel from America, I appreciate Americans acknowledging the courage it took to
move here and remain here.
I wish more people like Beck would come – and
bring a thousand visitors with them.REBECCA RAAB
It is not only leftists who find Glenn Beck unpalatable.
This right wing
“settler” finds him hard to swallow, too. In fact, I can identify friends on
both sides of the Beck issue.
This notion has left me scratching my head,
wondering whether Beck is divisive or spans the divide and offers some of us on
both the Left and Right a point of agreement? VARDA EPSTEIN