Those postal blues
I was amused to read “Paperless government revolution on the way” (June 22).
Here in Modi’in, we must be trailblazers. It is now over two weeks since we received mail.
I’m awaiting the arrival of several letters from the UK that were posted over a month ago – including one giving me a password to enable me to go paperless and correspond through emails.
If one goes to the central post office in our mall, it’s wise to take a book and a sandwich.
This newly opened office was meant to alleviate long queues in the sub-branches scattered conveniently around the city – and which are now being closed down. One takes a number and a seat, and after a 40-minute wait, you can send a registered letter. But don’t ask when it will arrive.
We can but hope that even snail mail eventually arrives at its destination.
SHEILA ROSE, Modi’inFootball in Israel
Regarding “Football builds bridges from US to Israel” (Sports, June 22), we were very disappointed at the sparse coverage of the NFL “Golden Jackets” event on Sunday at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium.
It was a very big deal that 19 NFL Hall of Fame players came and met up with football teams and fans here. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and a sponsor of American Football in Israel, also brought James Brown, a major commentator.
Could you not have printed at least one photo of these football heroes? For many, it was their first trip to Israel and they will return home as great ambassadors on behalf of our country.
DANNY and SUSAN TARAGIN, Jerusalem
Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and a great human being, has created quite a stir in sports circles by bringing to Israel 19 NFL Hall of Famers to help promote American football.
I played and enjoyed the game 65 years or so ago in Canada. I was young, strong, full of testosterone and loved the rough and tumble. I preferred defense and was a vicious tackler. But little did we know what awaited us down the road.
For the past 10 years or so, the NFL has had to face up to the growing number of head injuries, particularly concussions, which have made life hell for many retired players. Several have committed suicide; one even shot himself in the heart so that his brain would be whole for medical research.
The NFL players union has forced the league to pay millions in compensation, and the league is spending a lot of money in improving helmets and other equipment, at the same time making changes to the rules to help reduce injuries.
I admire Mr. Kraft, as well as Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
But I think they are remiss in promoting American tackle football in Israel. It should not be encouraged. It should be banned.
On the other hand, flag or touch football should be heavily supported, as it requires many of the same skills as tackle football but is non-violent.
Even our women are playing it and doing extremely well in international competitions.
I. SRUL ZUNDER, Ra’ananaOh so simple
In “After 48 years, let’s end the occupation!” (Observations, June 19), J. Zel Lurie seems to be engaging in a bit of historical revisionism and selective amnesia.
He says the Labor government forbade Israelis from buying land in the territories after 1967.
It was, in fact, a Labor government that established the Etzion bloc of settlements. Even the current Labor Party, now in Knesset as part of the Zionist Union, would never abandon any of the major settlement blocs.
Mr. Lurie’s solution is oh so simple: Just “end the occupation” and sit down together with the Palestinians to sing “Kumbaya.” He seems to have forgotten that Israel tried to “end the occupation” several times (1993, 2000, 2008).
Instead of a joint rendition of “Kumbaya,” we got from the Palestinians bus bombings, suicide bombings, official incitement to violence and thousands of rockets.
Middle-Israel learned that the Palestinians don’t really want peace or even a Palestinian state. They simply want to destroy the world’s only Jewish state. They deny that the Jewish people has any historical connection with any part of this land, be it on the coast or in Judea.
Should we give up Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall? And to whom does Mr. Lurie suggest that we give the Golan Heights? “End the occupation” is understood by most Israelis to be another way of saying end Israel.
LARRY BIGIO, Zichron Ya’acov Outside the tent
Further to the letter from Rabbi Lee Diamond (“Religious freedom,” June 19), I guess I have been naive in assuming that Israel’s president must represent all the people of Israel.
I see Reuven Rivlin’s very visible outreach to Arabs, Christians, Druse and other non-Jewish residents here – and of course, to Orthodox Jews of every stripe.
But not to Masorti (Conservative) or Reform Jewish residents, and obviously not to Jewish children of special needs, who are not accepted for bar or bat mitzva by the Orthodox because they are “imperfect.”
I can only assume that President Rivlin is making a political decision, not a humanitarian one.
So my question is, if the president does not represent all of our citizens, whom does he represent? Obviously not me, a Masorti Jew, or any of my fellow disenfranchised Masorti Jews.
When will the president take us into his big tent – or will he and the religious establishment keep closing the tent when we approach?
JANICE GAINES, Netanya
There have been a number of articles and letters regarding the issue of the bar/bat mitzva ceremony for special needs children, but none has explained the role of the Masorti Movement and the service it provides to such youngsters.
The movement started this program some 20 years ago, and many hundreds of children have participated. It has a staff that is specially trained to work with them, as well as with their teachers and schools. The program is held over four months and, needless to say, the youngsters work very hard to prepare. The actual event is the culmination of all this effort. It is entirely a Masorti project, sponsored and paid for by the movement.
An Orthodox rabbi who has not been involved with the program would not at all be able to conduct the ceremony. One has to know how to guide the children through their participation, and only the specially trained staff is able to do this.
What happened in Rehovot and at the President’s Residence is a travesty. The children were deprived of what they had worked so hard for.
The Masorti movement will continue the program and serve many other youngsters with special needs. It is hoped that those who prevented the recent ceremony from taking place will realize what they have done and see to it that in the future, additional children will not be harmed.
JEROME POLLOCK, Modi’in
The writer has held various leadership positions with the Masorti Movement.Health hazard?
The colorful plastic supermarket trolleys used by many companies are bright and cheery.
And incredible filthy. Are they ever cleaned? Health Ministry, please take note.
MIRIAM WOLFF, Kfar Daniel