letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - With "Hizbullah paying terrorists for each Kassam attack" (December 28), an article in the same issue - "Palestinians: Israeli attacks on Kassams will end cease-fire" - is difficult to understand. Rocket fire is not usually part of a cease-fire, and it is not clear why, though the rocket-fire doesn't constitute a violation of the cease-fire, responding to it does.
RICHARD A. ROSEN
Mount Vernon, New York
Sir, - Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated, "We are not talking about secret negotiations (with Israel), but an undeclared channel." He also explained that Prime Minister Olmert had made it clear to him that the release of jailed Palestinians was dependent on the fate of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, but the PM had promised to release some Palestinians on the eve of the Muslim feast of Id al-Adha as a good-will gesture.
Meanwhile, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a wing of Abbas's Fatah organization, has threatened to resume terror attacks if Israel launches attacks on Palestinians who fire rockets at Israeli cities.
We need a Middle-East English Glossary of Terms so these types of statements will make sense to people who understand only regular English.
Wish for 2007
Sir, - A toast... L'Chaim! I have a one-word wish that applies to all people around the globe for the coming calendar year, 2007: Peace. We must find the way, or face terrible consequences. It's as simple, or difficult, as that.
Massapequa, New York
Real peace vs perfect peace
Sir - "Sderot's shattered windows" (Editorial, December 27) was finely honed. However, it is not only Sderot's citizens who are frustrated and talking about taking the law into their own hands. This sense of desperation, resentment, exasperation, abandonment and overriding helplessness must surely be felt by every committed citizen.
Some advice from former US president Richard Nixon: "Idealists long for a world without conflict, a world in which all differences between nations have been overcome, all ambitions forsworn, all aggressive or selfish impulses transformed into acts of individual and national beneficence. But conflict is intrinsic to mankind. We must accept the permanence of conflict and devise policies that take immutable facts of international life into account.
"We must not vainly search for perfect peace but turn our efforts to creating real peace. Real peace is a process... the only peace that has ever existed and the only kind we can realistically hope to achieve."
Let TV do the work
Sir, - "Talk to the Syrians" (Letters, December 28) need not be Bashar Assad talking to Ehud Olmert. Television makes it possible to talk to ordinary Syrians in the street and paint a picture of how, if they had peace with Israel it would improve their lives - in education, equality, agriculture, industry, tourism, etc. Let us dangle before their eyes whatever our public relations people can come up with.
Peace with us has to appear so very attractive to the Syrian people that they will demand it. Who knows, they might forget to ask for anything else.
For the record
Sir, - To clarify some points in "Illinois-based VCs seek Israeli opportunities" (November 15), for which Immanuel Thangaraj and I were interviewed:
I am Managing Partner of Capital Results, not Managing Director; also I am Co-Chairman of the Chicago Israel Business Initiative. Our November 2007 delegation was the third business delegation to travel to Israel, sponsored by CIBI and the America Israel Chamber of Commerce - Chicago in as many years. The Homeland Security delegation's visit was a direct result of our 2006 mission visit, not the other way around. Finally the makeup of the delegation did not include any state representatives, but did include employees of the state and a public/private partnership of the City of Chicago.
We appreciate the coverage in your fine newspaper; however I wanted to set the record straight.
RALPH W. GIDWITZ
Chicago Israel Business Initiative
Scrapping BBC Prime makes my blood boil
Sir, - I have just heard that HOT Television is canceling the BBC Prime channel from the beginning of February 2007 (December 29). One of their representatives told me a marketing survey had shown that "No one watches BBC Prime."
BBC Prime is the only channel showing quality entertainment in English - drama, lifestyle, documentaries. etc. We don't watch much else in our household despite the fact that my husband is a sabra and I have lived in Israel for nearly 43 years and speak perfect Hebrew. I know many people, native and non-native English speakers, who are regulars of this great channel. We watch the Israeli TV channels for the news only, and feel that two channels, 22 and 10, aim at the lowest level with programs of the lowest quality.
I am furious with the HOT directorate, which has decided that we don't deserve quality English-language programming.
Protests may be faxed to (077) 707-8231, or via the HOT Internet. I also called *6900 - but the young lady on the line refused to put me through to a management representative.
Sir, - This week I had occasion to visit the District Court Building in Haifa. Though not as awesome as the court building in Jerusalem, it is large and impressive. I was a bit early for my "day in court" so I headed for the first-floor cafeteria, where I was struck by three things: a no-smoking sign, a large number of people smoking, and a prominently placed cigarette-vending machine.
A court cafeteria is a public place, and the Knesset enacted a law prohibiting smoking in public places. With lawyers, law-enforcement officers and perhaps even judges and law-makers frequenting a public place where the no-smoking law is being openly violated, can we be considered anything other than a society which has rendered the rule of law obsolete?
Sir, - This ex-New Yorker living in Ra'anana has just gone through an acute case of snow envy! In my fantasy Jerusalem had a foot of snow. And a foot of snow stops all traffic, muffles sounds and creates a wonderful glow as lights are reflected by the snow and whatever light there is becomes boxed in by low clouds, making it seem that we are living in a narrow, close-to-heaven Jerusalem world.
Of course when the Jerusalem snow turned to slush, I had a helicopter waiting to whisk me away to Ra'anana.
Sir, - On snowy, freezing Thursday morning, our Jerusalem Post arrived promptly at our door, protected by a friendly white wrapper that wished us a "Good Morning!" Please convey our admiration and appreciation to the delivery staff for braving the cold and doing their job so competently.
ELLEN AND GENE SUCOV