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Why only the Right can
Sir, - Saul Singer's excellent "The end of Palestine?" (UpFront May 25) succinctly described the tragedy of Palestinian nationalism and its artificial historical and political base. He implied that Israeli attitudes to this phenomenon are a reaction to it - Gush Emunim against, Peace Now for - but this is only part of the story.
The Right in Israel has always taken the view that we as Jews and Zionists must take responsibility for our own fate and build a state and a society according to our own perceived lights, and that (after 1947) the Arabs should do likewise. They are responsible for their actions and must accept the consequences.
The Left takes a paradoxical and contradictory position: We are responsible for ourselves, but we are also responsible for the Arabs. According to this view, their mistakes, failures and crimes are simply consequences of our actions and behavior. We are the cause of Hamas's success and growth; we "provoked" suicide terror; we didn't "do enough" to "help" Mahmoud Abbas; we weakened the moderates in the Palestinian street, etc.
This world view divorces the Arabs from responsibility for their own destiny. It is at once patronizing and racist. It is the reason why the Left offers no way forward, and why the old cliche about only the Right being able to make peace is actually true.
ANTHONY AND JUDITH LUDER
Communicate is all
Sir, - In "Commuting dads" (Upfront, May 25) Batya Ludman supplied communication guidelines for dads physically absent due to travel. But what about emotional distance? Dr. Ludman provided excellent pointers for many dads - and mums too - who work long hours while geographically The three C's - communication, communication, communication - are the basic glue of relationships. As Dr. Ludman suggests, it includes paying attention to a child by speaking on the phone, sending an SMS or an e-mail, no matter where father (or mother) happens to be. These simple means show interest in the children and help to share ideas for getting together - a rare feast in a culture full of labor-saving gadgets but no time for a family meal.
Where does the time saved go? What are we saving for? What are we waiting for? Keep these excellent Ludman articles going.
PESSY KRAUSZ, Director
Education and Guidance Center
Sir, - I beg to differ with Amotz Asa-El: It is no coincidence that the liberation of all Jerusalem occurred on the 28th of Iyar, the anniversary of the death of Samuel. I remember a tour of the gravesite during my army service, and the IDF guide emphasizing the strategic importance of the prophet's grave, which overlooks the entire city. From ancient until modern times, whoever controlled Samuel's grave controlled all Jerusalem, likewise in 1967: The Jordanian retreat from Givon and the Shmuel Hanavi outlook signified the final return of all Jerusalem into Jewish hands.
The fact that this occurred under the watchful eye of the prophet on his yahrzeit is no coincidence; indeed, one can almost imagine him smiling with joy as this modern miracle unfolded ("What sort of Jerusalem?" UpFront, May 18).