Sir, – Your headline (“In Amman meeting, Israeli, PA negotiators
agree to keep talking,” January 4) reminds one of Winston Churchill’s famous
quip: “To jaw jaw is always better than to warwar.”
But would it be too
much to ask that our government appoint interlocutors who speak the other side’s
language at mother tongue level? ALAN (SHLOMO) KOOR
Petah Tikva Unseemly talk
Sir, – Noam Schalit displays a stunning lack of personal responsibility in
calling upon the government to deter future kidnappings by threatening the heads
of terror organizations (“Noam Schalit: Deterrence is what will prevent
kidnappings,” January 4).
Schalit is certainly right in that “terrorist
organizations need to know that kidnappings don’t pay off for them.” But common
sense suggests that the recently reported increase in efforts to kidnap soldiers
along the Gaza border is due in great measure to the unconscionable price that
was paid to redeem his son, Gilad.
Schalit justifies that exchange by
saying 80 percent of the Israeli public was in favor. He forgets the carefully
orchestrated campaign by the family and its supporters that vilified anyone
opposing the deal.
We are all happy that Gilad returned home. However,
Noam Schalit’s comments would have been more convincing if they had come in the
context of the negotiations for his own child. In effect he is saying, “I got my
son back, at great expense to Israel’s security. Now it’s time to limit the
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – In response
to “Dutch chief rabbi: Circumcision will be targeted after Shechita” (December
3), as president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I want to state that
while JVNA opposes all slaughter of animals, we also protest when Shechita is
singled out for special criticism.
I suggest that in defense of Shechita
we urge that people read Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz, which points out the
many horrors at non-kosher slaughterhouses where stunning is
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Newman is right
Sir, – Unlike the
letter writers (“Losing his balance,” January 1) who attacked David Newman’s
“Israel and the European Left” (Comment & Features, December 27), I feel the
haredi use of Holocaust symbolism confirms Newman’s position. I’ve criticized
leftist extremists elsewhere for the same reason; such symbolism is always a
The use of Holocaust-linked rhetoric makes
conservative- liberal Zionist and haredi-Zionist discussion difficult. It is too
bad, because the civilized processing of differences seems the only way to carry
on a democracy. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Respectful discussion is the
worst way to air and process differences – except for every other
And for once I would like to congratulate Caroline B. Glick.
In her latest column, “Is Israeli society unraveling?” (Our World, January 3),
she comes out against polarization and emphasizes our common values, both of
which drive this point home.
Sir, – Can’t wait for Fridays.
Great to have Dry Bones back.
Last week’s cartoon is now on my desk, together with favorites from 2002 and
Thank you, Mr. Kirschen.
Pe’er Stenback is the independent monitor for Magen
David Adom in Israel and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and is not an
official of the International Committee for the Red Cross, as was reported in
“No symbols on MDA W. Bank ambulances” (News in Brief, January 5). Also, in
2005, MDA and the PRCS joined the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and not the
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