letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni acted in a rather undiplomatic manner in response to the her Russian counterpart's call for restraint in the IDF's actions in Gaza ("Israel rejects ultimatum," July 4).
Rather than chiding the leaders of that great nation for their legitimization of Hamas, it would have been better to ask for expert advice. Perhaps some of the top brass of the Russian army could act as advisers to the IDF based on their vast experience gained in Chechnya.
A good friend?
Sir, - Your editorial regarding the new Human Rights Council at the UN ("Still a farce," July 3) listed a number of nations voting in favor of the resolution to "investigate" Israel's actions every year. Either by design or intent, you neglected to cite India as one of those nations.
Every now and then, we are treated to articles or editorials in which India is extolled as a "good friend of Israel." Can anyone tell me the last time India voted against a resolution which censured or condemned Israel?
Sir, - By this time I'm used to Palestinian leaders who say one thing in Arabic and another in English. Daoud Kuttab, however, seems not to need a second language to pull this trick, as long as his audiences are enough time zones apart ("The problem with arrogance," July 3).
Just this week, Kuttab was interviewed on American public radio, and he repeatedly insisted that Gilad Shalit had been "arrested" by the Palestinians who took him, although those who did so are members of a militant group, not a police force, and refuse to allow a Red Cross visit.
But now, he suddenly recalls that it was indeed a "kidnapping," because he knows to whom he speaks: not a half-informed American public, but Israelis who've been following this news from day one.
Sir, - The great mistake we made was not applying the new overdraft rules to the unauthorized borrowings of the government, local authorities and government-controlled companies from the public by not paying their contracted debts on time or not paying them at all ("Little economic impact seen from new overdraft rules," July 3).
There are huge amounts outstanding and overdue to the public. If only these funds were released, we would see a more vibrant private sector with less government interference, which stifles the free economy and prevents providing employment opportunities.
Sir, - I would like to thank The Jerusalem Post for covering the demonstration against chicken cruelty outside Kentucky Fried Chicken ("KFC diners remain unflappable in face of chicken cruelty protest," July 4).
I most certainly agree with Noam Mohr that by raising awareness, KFC will take steps to eliminate its worst abuses. Public support is extremely important. The passerby who commented: "...You don't think of the lives of food - when you are hungry, you eat," must be encouraged to behave more responsibly.
We humans must speak for the animals. The fact is that forced-feeding of geese has been outlawed. Furthermore, Whole Foods, a large US chain, has agreed to remove live lobster tanks from its supermarkets. I appeal to the public to be more aware of animal abuse.
Sir, - Gerald Steinberg shows once again that the best way to predict events accurately in the Mideast is to be a pessimist ("Israel must control Gaza's borders - all of them," July 2).
For example, while disengagement was being discussed last year, all anyone had to do was to assume the absolute worst-case scenario on any hoped-for arrangement. That way, Israel would never have entrusted a Gaza border to a third party.
Be warned that whenever a well intentioned official, such as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sounds upbeat about a possible outcome, it's always prudent to remember Murphy's Law, and when it comes to the Mideast, to recall that Murphy was an optimist.
Sir, - Yossi Beilin's suggestion to stem the shrinkage of the American Jewish community by simply drastically redefining the term "Jew" ("The American Jewish community isn't shrinking," July 2) makes perfect sense - that is, if one drastically redefines the term "perfect sense."
Losing a child
Sir, - Although I cannot imagine there is anything worse than losing a child, I commend the Israeli government for its concrete stance on not negotiating with terrorists ("Esther Wachsman: It's the same record playing again," June 30).
Most likely, Gilad Shalit will not come home, and I am truly sorry for him and his family; they did nothing to deserve this.
My brother-in-law, Kevin York, was a foreign currency broker who went to work on 9/11/01 at the World Trade Center. He too did not come home. And although I wish his legacy was not sealed that fateful day, I hope that Western civilization will never bow to terrorists and fanatics.
Sir, - Interestingly, last week's Torah portion, Hukat, included events similar to the news in Israel last week. Numbers 21:1-3, with Rashi's classic commentary, tells of an incident in the South in which our enemy takes one Israelite captive and we fight back victoriously against a people we are not exactly sure whom they are.
Also, the parallel Haftara read in Israel this past Shabbat (Judges 11) mentions the name Gilad several times. There we are also successful in our military battle against our enemy. God, please help the IDF and Gilad in the current fight.
Sir, - I am a resident of the West Bank and would like to use this forum to address my fellow citizens across the Green Line.
Hamas and Fatah have now signed their "prisoners' document" and my question is how many Israelis greet this development with some sense of relief. What do you make of the hailing of the document in certain Hebrew dailies as "implicit recognition" and a step toward moderation? In other words, as long as terrorists agree to only target me, then we - the good Israelis - can sleep easier at night. This is the precise definition of "divide and conquer" or, in PLO language, the staged approach to eliminating Israel.
Our ability to meet this threat is very much a function of you, my brothers, recognizing it for what it is and then opposing it.
Proud of Israel
Sir, - As an American, I am very proud of the Israeli reaction to the kidnapping, which has been both strong and well measured.
I am saddened not only for the young victim, but for the Palestinian people who have been the victims of Hamas and Yasser Arafat and all those who failed them, betrayed them and caused them great suffering.
I pray for peace in Jerusalem, but I also pray that the Palestinian people will realize that the delusional violence and terror promoted by their leaders are their greatest enemy.