letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - I am saddened and perplexed by the very few national flags I've seen displayed on our cars and homes. Is it only here in Jerusalem, or in other parts of the country too?
We have just celebrated 58 years, not only of survival in our ancient homeland, but survival against all odds. And we have accomplished amazing things in that short time.
If this current reluctance to display our national symbols is a political statement, we should remind ourselves that governments come and go, and we are not celebrating them. We are celebrating the miracle of our being here - for ourselves, and for those others who choose or need to come.
Had there been an Israel back in the time of the Nazis, so many Jews, among them my mother's entire family, would have found a safe haven in it.
This is our time to remember, to celebrate, to be proud, and to put our joint effort into improving our still very young country.
Flying the flag is part of it.
Sir, - Bravo to Cpl. Hananel Megged, who courageously refused to shake the chief of staff's hand at a reception. We need to be constantly reminded of the tragedy of the Gush Katif withdrawal, particularly as a new government is sworn in, with similar plans for more unilateral settlement withdrawals.
We also need to be constantly reminded of the thousands who are still homeless and jobless as a result of this summer's madness ("Honored soldier refuses to shake Halutz's hand," May 4).
Sir, - This soldier acted as any brave, proud and patriotic Jew expelled from his home by unprincipled authority should act. One does not shake the hand of those who kick you out. And if, God forbid, the time comes when one is punished for such behavior, we shall know that we are no longer living in a democratic state.
Sir, - Our sages teach that to embarrass someone in public is not the Jewish way. As an observant Jew, this young soldier should have had that uppermost in his mind, despite his natural feelings of anger regarding the pullout; and his grandfather's death, which occurred so near that time.
Sir, -There were two huge failures that led up to the criminal act in our Great Synagogue ("Petah Tikva synagogue desecrated," On-Line Edition, May 4).
First is the problem of education. For months, religious Jews have been harassed in Petah Tikva; the authorities should have gone into all the schools after the first incident. Children must be taught the importance and sanctity of the Jewish religion and its buildings and ritual objects.
The second failure lies with the city's police, who must have had an idea of which groups were responsible, yet did very little. They need to crack down - now - on the hooligans in the city. It is already almost too late.
Sir, - Any neo-Nazi-inspired attack is despicable, but to experience this inside Israel is simply shocking.
Sir, - Re "Oy!" (Letters May 4): about the noise of fireworks on Independence Day: We need fireworks - they're beautiful, and everyone should see them. We should thank God that we have something to celebrate.
Please do not teach our children to be afraid of their own shadows. Have some fun!
Sir, - Fireworks: I love 'em. Call me childish, but my jaw drops open and my heart soars up to meet those bursts of color and light!