Upheaval in Ukraine
Sir, – With regard to “Ukrainian crisis overshadows Iran, Palestinian talks as Netanyahu heads to DC” (March 2), many say there are no military options. But they say it because that’s their preference, not because it’s true.
For there to be collective responsibility in our time there must be a collective stand against this type of aggression.
NATO must ready its forces to go into Ukraine as casually as Russian President Vladimir Putin entered.
Putin will not engage the international community in a hot war. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose. Seeing NATO ready itself, he will either remove his forces or engage in urgent diplomacy. In any case, it must be made clear that this aggressive land grab won’t be tolerated and the toughest decisions necessary will be taken to reverse it.
Otherwise, there will be no world order.
Sir, – The crisis in Ukraine is more important for what it says about the impotence and incompetence of US President Barack Obama. Just extrapolate and see how Obama is going to handle Iran when it gets real close to the bomb – and there the stakes are much higher.
Sir, – Hezbollah, evidently devoid of any originality or imagination, has chosen to conjure up from its infernal cesspool one of the most fatigued, hackneyed and malicious accusations aimed at the Jews (“Hezbollah: Hollywood is a Jewish conspiracy,” Arts & Entertainment, March 2). This time we are charged with the heinous crime of inventing Hollywood as part of a nefarious Jewish plan to be used as a tool to “conquer all the world.”
According to the report, Farroukh Majidi, a university professor (at an unnamed university), says his people “also want to take over the world as the Jews do, but are not successful because they do not have the skill-set. ‘They know how to do it, and we don’t.’” I regrettably must beg to differ with the Hezbollah professor and point out that his people have been enormously successful in the brain-washing of millions and in creating the world’s worst group of blood-thirsty jihadists.
Their extreme fanaticism not only sanctions the severing of the hands of alleged thieves, but actively promotes the suicide bombings that continue to take a daily toll of a minimum of 20 lives on the streets of Iraq. The blood-drenched towns of Syria supply incontrovertible evidence to the success of their fanatical indoctrination.
If in fact the Jews control Hollywood, they may be charged with providing the world with entertainment, some good and some poor. Muslim fanaticism, however, has grown into one of the major threats to Western civilization.
Sir, – Dreaming is a beautiful thing. But come on! From approximately 2,700 American Jews annually to 350,000 a year making aliya in the next decade, as has been suggested by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and others (“Liberman to state: Budget $365m. for Diaspora education,” February 19), would require a major upheaval in the comfort of American Jews.
Lets have some more realistic and possibly attainable goals.
Let’s make the goal 100,000 in the next five years. Why don’t we take some of the budget for Diaspora programs, which are very important, and shift it toward making aliya more attainable for many Americans who would love to live here but need help in making their plans come to fruition.
There are so many talented people just looking for an opportunity to come home. We have to start recruiting some of the stars. There are many Stanley Fischers at more moderate levels who can only improve performance in many fields, be it medicine, business or academia.
Entrepreneurship has to be encouraged, even if it is lowtech.
Mirage and misstep
Sir, – While broadening Birthright Israel’s eligibility requirements to include young adults who participated in a teen Israel experience appears to be a worthy development (“Birthright loosens eligibility requirements,” January 23), it is, in fact, a mirage and a misstep. The change has the appearance of bringing more young people, but because the experience will be duplicated, increased participation would be an illusion.
It is not that a second free trip is a bad thing. The misstep is that the precious dollars can and should be used to actually increase the number of participants who have never been to Israel. This would be consistent with Birthright’s goals of getting as many young Jewish adults to Israel as possible.
Lowering Birthright’s minimum age to 16 would dramatically boost enrollment in Israel experiences for teens, especially the approximately 70-plus percent of under-served Jewish teens who are not involved in an intensive Jewish experience, including Jewish overnight camp or a Jewish day school. A life-changing Israel trip before going to college prepares and empowers teens to deal with the rising tide of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred on college campuses, enabling them to stand up to anti-Israel protesters rather than run.
The Lappin Foundation calls upon Birthright Israel to lower the minimum age requirement to 16. This would reverse the trend of declining Israel attachment among young people, as indicated in the recent Pew study of the US Jewish community. The outcome would be a Jewishly stronger and prouder generation that is also more connected to Israel. Jewish continuity will be assured.
ROBERT ISRAEL LAPPIN DEBORAH L. COLTIN
The writers are president and executive director, respectively, of the Lappin Foundation, which describes itself as being “committed to providing the Jewish community of the North Shore of Massachusetts with award-winning and exciting Jewish programs that enhance Jewish identity across generations
Sir, – A few years ago I was given a traffic ticket on a beautiful, sunny day in mid-winter for forgetting to put on my headlights on an intercity road. True, I did not follow the law. But it was sunny and my car was highly visible.
No one suffered any damages.
Still, there was no leniency from the police officer.
The next day was dark, cloudy and rainy. On the same stretch of road – with my lights on – I did not see a single officer handing out tickets to cars without their lights! This was a potentially dangerous situation, yet no one seemed to care. The tickets handed out the previous day seemed to be no more than a money grab, not part of a plan to reduce accidents.
A few weeks ago our car was stopped in traffic. Suddenly, we were rear-ended by a heavy Hummer SUV. Gratefully, we were spared serious injury, but our car was crushed and declared “totaled.”
The police arrived quickly to sweep the glass off the pavement.
Seeing that no one was hurt, they left without interviewing us. No ticket, citation, fine or points were given to the guilty driver. When we went to the police later to report the accident, we were told that the police don’t give tickets. An accident in which there is no bodily injury is only a matter for the insurance companies! We suffer the physical pains and the loss of our car, and the guilty driver gets off scot-free! How can we prevent unsafe driving by ticketing only headlight offenses where there is no damage to anyone, yet not ticketing the truly dangerous drivers?