Refugees or not...
Sir, – For once I agree with Hanan Ashrawi (“PLO’s
Ashrawi: Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries are not refugees,”
September 2), There are no Jewish refugees.
That’s because they settled
in Israel, which welcomed them with open arms, whereas the Muslim states closed
their doors in the face of fellow Arabs, a fact she well knows.
is both mendacious and disingenuous to assert that the Jewish refugees all came
They were forced out of every Muslim country. I suppose she
thinks that leaving with a gun to your head is voluntary.
It is also
worth noting that there were as many, if not more, Jews who were displaced than
there were Palestinians.
ALAN B. KATZ
Meliville, New York
Sir, – The
Arabs did not live in the Land of Israel for “thousands of years,” as Hanan
From the Arabian peninsula they conquered and pillaged
all the way to Spain in the 7th century.
They built over our Jewish
heritage, like the Temple Mount and biblical Shechem, so that they could later
claim them as their “ancestral” lands.
Collectively the Arab countries
have an area about three times that of Europe, with half the population. Many of
these lands are floating on oil. Instead of developing their abundant blessings
they present themselves as poor and wronged by “outsiders” and “infidels.” And
just look at what they do to each other.
Hanan Ashrawi is right: Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries are simply
people who, at the time of or after Israel’s War of Independence, decided to
board ships and go on a holiday cruise, and then to step off in Israel. It was
all a conspiracy!
...help the new ones
Sir, – It is now
estimated that there are more than 200,000 Syrian refugees living in temporary
camps on the Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian borders, and more are flooding in
each day (“Jordan inundated with Syrian refugees,” August 20).
international definition of refugee is one who leaves or is forced to leave his
or her country, there are now only a handful of genuine Palestinian refugees.
Their children and grandchildren are not refugees, and the funds given to them
are a scam that perpetuates the Arab-Israel conflict.
I suggest that
UNRWA take some of the millions donated each year to so-called Palestinian
refugees and use the funds for genuine Arab refugees who are suffering under
Poles on the cheap
Sir, – With
regard to “Ski-pole without snow to better your health” (Health, September 2),
I’ve been using my Chinesemade walking poles extensively for the past three
years and they cost less than NIS 100. There is no need to pay exorbitant prices
for a well made, extendable pair of poles.
Crossing a line
Sir, – Edward Goldstein, the lone sympathizer for Rachel Corrie
(“Rachel Corrie, “ Letters, September 2) admits that she “put her life on the
line.” If she did, she had to know the possibility that this “line” could indeed
Goldstein’s naivete is as tragic as Corrie’s willful
MARSHA GREENBERG MOTZEN
Englewood, New Jersey
Sir, – Rachel
Corrie’s death wasn’t inflicted on purpose, but it seems to have come out of a
callous, inhumane and negligent value system. The judge’s perspective – that
Corrie made the choice to put herself in danger and could have easily distanced
herself from it, like any reasonable person – shows terrible bias and an
Are peaceful civil rights demonstrators around the
globe not behaving “reasonably?” In Mahatma Gandhi’s India, Nelson Mandela’s
South Africa or Martin Luther King’s South? In Lech Walesa’s Poland or Erich
Honecker’s East Berlin? In Lebanon, Libya or Syria? Should civil rights
activists around the world stay in their homes? Is that what is “reasonable?”
Sir, – With regard
to”Finally, an effective, realistic education plan” (Comment & Features,
September 2), there is no doubt about the world’s admiration and envy of our
“start-up nation” and our economic success and stability, which is a direct
result of our education system.
Part of the “Diaspora syndrome” is our
love of self-deprecation and the tendency to judge ourselves through the eyes of
others, in this case international educational tables. Dov Lipman’s support of
Yair Lapid’s paradoxical suggestion of decentralization, mayhem and the removal
of exams in order to succeed in another type of test is Chelmlike.
other countries, Israeli schools are full of children who have their eyes on the
army, not post-high school education, and uniquely can later improve their
scores after graduation. One can only ask: Why is Lapid barking so loudly up the
MAURICE MOSHE ERNST
Sir, – With the media full of
back-to-school pieces, it is appropriate to once again mention the burden of
textbook costs on parents, who must shell out thousands of shekels in
As a product of New York City schools I can testify to the
benefits of the lending system. We received textbooks on loan for each subject.
At the end of the term we returned our texts. Parents paid only for lost or
ruined books. The following year the same books were given to new
In Israel, education is tailored for the publishing companies
to reap unwarranted profits, and heaven help those parents with three, four or
How fortunate we are to have “free”
From 2 to 4 legs
Sir, – Regarding
“Egged: We will not use any people on bus advertisements in Jerusalem” (August
29), how about photographs of animals instead? Dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and
residents of the biblical Zoo? Also, how about asking people not to abandon
their pets when going on vacation abroad? The importance of neutering pets and
teaching children not to throw stones at street cats? Of course, all pictures of
our furry female friends would show them modestly dressed.
Sir, – We all owe a debt of gratitude to Greer
Fay Cashman and veteran astrologer Miriam Binyamini for heralding the joyous
news that a war between Israel and Iran will not take place in the foreseeable
future (“War with Iran? Not in the stars,” Grapevine, August 29).
defense forces and home front can now relax and breathe a deep sigh of relief.
The many strident opinions voiced by politicians, security personnel,
theologians and philosophers surrounding the Iranian issue can now be
However, despite our gratefulness to astrologer Binyamini for
the above glad tidings, I feel she was morally remiss for not also activating
her star-gazing skills for a matter of lesser importance, but still rather
hurtful, when she failed to alert us to the rise of the dollar against the
Good news however, by any means, is always welcome!
CORRECTION The Ma’aleh Hazeitim complex (“Right-wing activists seal
room in east J’lem home,” September 3) is supported by Ateret Cohanim, and not