Sir, – The play My Name is Rachel Corrie, which Jerusalem’s
Khan Theater – using poor judgment – is including in its summer schedule
(“Controversial ‘Rachel Corrie’ play ignites debate over freedom of speech,”
July 4), is not controversial. It is pure propaganda.
The issue of free
speech has nothing to do with it.
We must be honest and accept the fact
that we are at war, and we must not do that which would aid and abet the
This play would do that.
Plays and movies have been used
many times to promote one or another point of view. We need look no farther than
wartime Germany, where Leni Riefenstahl, a very talented movie director, created
productions for Hitler and his war effort.
Were these films shown in the
United States or other Allied countries? Of course not. In the US, where freedom
of speech is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, they knew
there were limits and that enemy propaganda must be recognized as
Critics have called Riefenstahl’s documentaries masterful, epic and
innovative works of documentary filmmaking, but no Americans demanded to have
them shown in their local theater.
That would certainly have been
Rachel Corrie died while trying her best to prevent us from
protecting ourselves against an enemy. Those who are trying to have this play
shown in Jerusalem are attempting to have her succeed after her death.
must never forget that an enemy’s art is propaganda, and we must not be so
delicate as to demand its local production with the excuse that freedom of
speech demands it. Self-preservation demands that it not be shown.
Sir, – The mayor of Jerusalem is supporting a performance that
promulgates lies and slander to undermine the legitimacy of Israel’s right to
self-defense, and the stupid, politically-correct excuse is freedom of
Nir Barkat perhaps has scored a few empty points with so-called
liberal, democratic politicians abroad. Hurrah! Perhaps he can hold his head
high with those who bow theirs in shame.
Sir, – Stickers reminding parents not to leave a baby in the car are an
excellent idea (“German adopts sticker campaign to prevent forgetting kids in
cars,” July 3). Even if parents get used to such stickers and don’t “see” them
each time, they will save many lives. They should be required by law.
more idea: Just as an alarm sounds when a driver starts the car while somebody
is not yet buckled in, there should be an alarm when the door is opened and
someone’s seatbelt is still buckled. This might be inconvenient for someone who
stays in the car while the driver leaves for a moment (e.g., at a gas station),
but everyone would be ready to put up with this for such an important
Sir, – Someone needs to invent an audible
device to prevent people from locking a car with a baby inside. Perhaps it could
be a sensor in the baby seat that is activated by the baby’s weight and signals
a warning when a car door opens.
This kind of tragedy happens too often
and requires serious thought.
Sir, – From your
editorial “Stickers for life” (July 3) we learn that there have been 160 cases
of children forgotten in cars between 2008 and 2012. A sticker would not have
helped, since what one sees every day does not register.
solution: 1. Clip a clothespin on the tongue of the child’s seatbelt so that the
buckle cannot be closed without removing it.
2. After belting in the
child, clip the clothespin on the inside handle of the driver’s door.
On reaching your destination, retain the clothespin in your hand until you
remove the child. Then clip it back on the tongue of the seatbelt
Hopefully, this simple procedure will avoid future
Sir, – Health and science editor Judy
Siegel’s recommendation for a sticker aimed at preventing parents from leaving
children unattended in hot vehicles is excellent. I am astounded it wasn’t
implemented long ago.
But I believe there’s another issue we must
address, and that’s the distraction caused by speaking on cellphones. A number
of simulation tests in the US have showed that smokers of marijuana are more
alert than those speaking on cellphones! It’s not having one hand off the wheel
that’s the problem. It’s the general distraction of talking on the phone. I
would like to suggest a law prohibiting all cellphone use by drivers in moving
Jerusalem On Israel’s case
Sir, – Gil Troy (“Fight
the delegitimizing lies, don’t embrace them,” Center Field, July 3) highlights
the problems of putting Israel’s case to the world when it is stabbed in the
back by the likes of its own Tzipi Livni.
Most Europeans (and,
regretfully, some Israelis) do not appreciate the strength of this
Some points that need greater emphasis are: • The Oslo Accords made
absolutely no mention of a settlement freeze. When Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu enforced a 10-month freeze as a goodwill gesture, Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not react until the 10th month – and then,
only to walk out again.
• The question of borders is governed by UN
This resolution was very carefully worded and clearly
implies that the 1949 armistice lines are not sacrosanct.
• The 1949
armistice gave Israelis the right to visit Jewish holy places (e.g., the Temple
Mount). However, the Jordanians forbade not only Israelis from visiting the most
holy of Jewish sites, it also barred non-Israeli Jews. Yet in 1967, Israel, in a
gesture of unprecedented magnanimity, handed over control of the Temple Mount to
the Muslims so that even today Jews are prevented from praying at their holiest
• All documents talk of two states for two peoples. Have the Arabs
recognized Israel as the Jewish state?
GABRIEL H. COHN
Sir, – I agree
with Gil Troy when he chastises our leaders who use language that delegitimizes
Israel. However, I take umbrage when he writes that “Jews should no longer live
in places like Hebron, where Palestinians outnumber Jews by more than 300 to
With a world population of about 6.5 billion and, arguably, 20
million Jews, simple arithmetic shows that the planet’s peoples outnumber the
Jews by 325 to 1. Where would Troy have us live, Mars?
Sir, – US President Barack Obama’s recent decision to provide
weapons to anti-Assad forces in Syria (“Obama decides to arm Syrian rebels,”
June 16) is just another of the administration’s huge mistakes that will have
dire consequences for both the US and Israel.
The excuse is that chemical
weapons have been used by the regime of Bashar Assad, and that Obama’s red line
has been crossed. Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin have denied this;
these weapons could actually have been used by the rebels.
merely involve the United States in an uncontrollable escalation, especially
with Hezbollah and the Iranian regime involved.
The US should stay clear
of this conflict. Supporting the Syrian rebels would be a huge miscalculation
and have dire consequences for the security of Israel and the US, as well as for
Silver Spring, Maryland