Sir, – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (“Top Muslim Brotherhood leader:
US aid cut would give Egypt the right to review treaty,” February 17) seems to
overlook one critical historical fact: The US saved that country in 1973 from
another devastating defeat.
Arik Sharon surrounded Egypt’s Second and
Third armies, and only American pressure on Israel prevented Cairo from having
to swallow an unconditional surrender.
When the Muslim Brotherhood
suggests a review of the peace deal with Israel, it should not forget that
Israel has just as many rights in preserving the very cold peace, and that Egypt
owes a huge debt to the US.DAVID GOSHEN
Sir, – In your
article on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the peace treaty with Israel, you use
the photo of a man you identify as Essam El-Erian, a prominent Brotherhood
Following BBC’s Hardtalk program it appears that the photo is of
Mohamed El-Erian, head of PIMCO, the world’s largest mutual fund, and not as
stated.ROBERT D. RICHARD
Kiryat Haim The Editor responds:
The reader is
right. The following is a photo of Essam El-Erian. We regret the
Sir, – Regarding “Heavily subsidized CFL bulbs now
available” (February 16), the amount of light given off by a light source is
measured in lumens, not watts. The hoax involved in the CFL hype is that this
fluorescent bulb gives off much less light than it is purported to
Expect medical reports of increased eye-strain in the near future.
Of course, by then it will be too late to turn back. Too much public and private
money will have been invested in this sad invention.BRUM BERKOVITS
Sir, – For 25 years I served as a public school psychologist
in the inner-city of Baltimore. I have something to add to Richard Curwin’s
“Rewarding fraud in our schools” (Comment & Features, February
On occasion, a student would be referred to me because his behavior
was completely atrocious. I always found something good to say about this
What always worked was to get him started by showing him that he
had some good traits. I would begin by praising him for any good behavior he
exhibited. After he saw that he could genuinely do something praiseworthy, I
could use all of the techniques Curwin suggests.
I used a daily behavior
chart for all of the teachers to sign and rate. This documented the children’s
behavior for the entire day and served as a historical record. I had much fun
turning these seriously low-achieving students into kids with academic success
and good behavior.THELMA BLUMBERG ABRAMOWITZ
Sir, – Regarding
“Gender separation helps girls in sciences” (February 16), I have taught a wide
range of subjects in both mixed and separate classes for boys and girls, and my
own finding after 40 years is that gender separation helps both boys and girls
in many subjects.
The same as boys think they “own” sciences, computer
studies, technology and possibly even math, girls excel at languages and the
arts. When boys and girls are mixed, boys often shy away from subjects they
perceive as “girl” subjects, as much as girls may shy away from what they
perceive as “boy” subjects.
Here in London, the top-performing schools in
national exams for 16- and 18-year-olds tend to be single-sex schools. They also
tend to be nominally faith schools with a strong traditional
London Who’d show up?
Sir, – Reading his most recent
column (“Hope for peace at a roadblock,” Yalla Peace, February 15), one wonders
why any objective organization would give special recognition to “award winning
columnist” Ray Hanania.
Hanania criticizes Israel’s supposed
“pre-conditions” for peace negotiations without understanding the simple
distinction between opening positions and absolute demands. Unlike the
Palestinians, at no time has Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded that the
Palestinian Authority accept any specific position before negotiations.
simple test proves the vast difference between the two sides: If the US or EC
announced tomorrow that it was holding a wide-open Israeli-Palestinian
negotiating session, which side would be more likely to show up? Hanania also
suggests that Israel’s desire to be recognized as a Jewish state is evidence of
its discriminatory inclination. Perhaps he assumes that Israel acts like the
dozens of Islamic states that refuse to allow anyone other than Muslims to
practice their religion.
He also ignores the fact that 20 percent of
Israel’s citizens are not Jewish yet enjoy full legal rights and benefits, while
the PA has stated emphatically that no Jews would be allowed to live in a
Palestinian state, even if they accepted Palestinian authority.
a much easier explanation for the PA’s opposition to recognizing Israel as the
homeland of the Jewish people: To do so it would finally have to accept the
historical Jewish tie to the land and the right of Jews to live here – something
it (and Hanania?) refuses to do.EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov Shake-up
Sir, – Regarding “Ice cream and conversion” (Candidly Speaking, February
14), haredi control of the rabbinate is a situation that causes considerable
hardship for non-haredi believers, and severely alienates those who are not
believers but who are good Jews and Israelis.
We must remember that
haredim are generally non-Zionist or at times even anti-Zionist, and that this
gives them an entirely different agenda for the enhancement and well-being of
the State of Israel. Therefore, their domination of key religious functions is
something that must be altered immediately.
A prerequisite for
participation in the rabbinate must be the acceptance of Zionism as the national
Renaissance of the Jewish nation. Without this, there can be no understanding of
the basic religious needs of Jews in a modern and democratic Israel.HAIM
Sir, – Isi Leibler deserves praise for his column on the
disastrous situation of the Chief Rabbinate, which is unduly influenced by
non-Zionist haredi leaders, something that is causing a dangerous split between
the majority of Orthodox Zionist Jews both here and in the
Leibler proposes a new Chief Rabbinate that is Orthodox but
Zionist. Such rabbis exist, but this would require political courage on the part
of our prime minister.
Now is the time to modify the electoral system. If
Prime Minister Netanyahu shows strong leadership, the majority will support the
Sir, – Isi Leibler’s excellent “Ice cream
and conversion” very illuminating but extremely worrisome.
The ice cream
issue was both outrageous and stupid. But regarding the conversion crisis,
during the past two centuries many distinguished and famous rabbis have
displayed a very compassionate and liberal approach to prospective converts.
Leibler names but a few of these giants. In contrast, our harsh, intransigent
and compassion- free Chief Rabbinate turns a blind eye and deaf ear to all views
other than its own, which are so detrimental to our society, especially when
Israel so desperately needs Jews – what ever their makeup.URI MILUNSKY