Sir, – Yonah Jeremy Bob, in “Supreme Court to hear culmination of lawsuit over death of Gaza protester Rachel Corrie” (May 21), did not mention some facts.
The bulldozer never touched Ms. Corrie; it only caused the earth on the mound where she was standing to move, which caused her to fall.
Also, the bulldozer was facing west; it was late afternoon and Corrie had the sun behind her, so there was also a glare that obstructed a clear view for the bulldozer operator.
Sir, – Here’s what your article “Conservative Jewish leader says Israel alienating Diaspora Jewry” (May 19) fails to state: 1. Conservative synagogue membership has contracted by over 14 percent in the past decade, and the rate is climbing rapidly.
2. The average fertility rate for US liberal Jews is about one child per Jewish mother. It’s a fraction of the replacement rate.
3. The quality and quantity of Jewish education is inadequate to develop future synagogue donors. It also produces alienated youth who detest compulsory Hebrew classes instead of basketball or other such activities. They have no idea about Israeli policies.
4. In desperation for finding new funders, Conservative leaders hope to mine the six million Israeli Jews. They have but one generation left.
5. They believe it is only the Orthodox who are a barrier to converting millions of Israelis to their brand. But the fact is, most Israelis find it weird to have a lesbian rabbi who permits driving and TV on Shabbat and also wants them to attend her sermons on their precious day off.
That is why most members of the Israeli Conservative movement are native English speakers.
It’s not the system that’s their problem. It’s their product. But it feels so good to have a scapegoat.
Not much help
Sir, – Why does Peter A. Joseph (“Heading toward a tragedy of historic proportions,” Comment & Features, May 21) feel that “settlement activity” would complicate the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank? Is it because a future Palestinian state should be judenrein and it would be difficult to expel so many Jewish people? The State of Israel includes many Arab citizens and members of other minority groups who enjoy equal civil rights. We value these citizens and they seem to value their citizenship.
Is there a reason for Mr. Joseph, along with US special envoy Martin Indyk and Secretary of State John Kerry, to justify the establishment of an Arab state that would not welcome Jewish people? How exactly would this advance peace?
Sir, – No one expected Maccabi Tel Aviv to win the European Basketball Championship – no one, including the Maccabi players themselves.
(The pure joy of disbelief writ large on the faces of the players told the whole story.) Yet despite an understandable feeling of the impossibility of victory, they entered the game with a resolute will not to be overwhelmed by Real Madrid’s superiority, ready to put up a valiant fight to the game’s end.
This conjured up the mythical image of Sisyphus and the tragic biblical figure of King Saul.
Sisyphus knew full well, even as he pushed that huge boulder up the mountain, that his efforts were doomed. In like manner, Saul went bravely into his final battle despite the certainty of defeat.
The impossible dream and Hollywood ending, however magical and mind-boggling, were not the essence that endowed Maccabi and its loyal followers with a measure of heroism.
Rather, it was their determination to struggle on in the very jaws of an anticipated defeat.
How glorious! Sometimes in this imperfect world, character is rewarded.
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