letters to the editor 88.
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Worst foot forward
Sir, - I couldn't agree more with "World Cup mania" (Editorial, May 28). With so many worthier causes begging for funds, how can anyone, especially MKs, justify subsidizing the soccer games?
Sir, - Many subscribers to Yes and Hot Cable TV are going to have to pay almost NIS 500 to watch the World Cup - extortion considering the high price we pay for this service.
I agree that the government should not subsidize the games - there are more important needs for that money, such as drugs for cancer patients - but I do believe in People Power. All Yes and Hot customers should cancel their subscriptions for the duration of the World Cup. That would soon bring the prices down.
Sir, - Though a fan of spectator sports, I have no sympathy for anyone who whines about having to spend NIS 492 to watch the World Cup games. This is considerably less expensive than vacation time, round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations and a subscription for tickets to all the games. Even double the price would be a good value for this luxury.
I would add a 100% surtax to the cable/satellite TV fees for a dedicated fund to be used exclusively for the health basket.
If the MKs and ministers who are wringing their hands about this don't act, they are missing a golden opportunity to raise those sorely needed funds.
Sir, - Mr. and Mrs. TV Budget People: During this four-week period we can do without another eight cookery programs, four news-related shows, and the 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. program that nobody watches anyway. Cutting them would enable you to air, for free, the most important and widely viewed sporting event the world has ever seen.
The next World Cup is in 2010. If you plan for it now, we will not be in this situation then.
Candor & courage
Sir, - David Horovitz's interview with Michael Steinhardt was electrifying ("Michael Steinhardt's maverick Jewish vision," May 26). Steinhardt may be a maverick, but he has the courage to say what a lot of people are thinking. His candor in questioning the relevance of God in this sick world is totally refreshing. I wish him long life to accomplish his goal of bringing Jews back to their people, giving them pride in the values we hold dear.
But he should not lose sight of the fact that our religious heritage fostered these values and thus knowledge of our sources should be an important part of his program. The challenge lies in presenting it in an appealing way. May he find the right people and media for the task.
Sir, - I was reminded once again of the pattern I observed growing up in the US: Generation 1 - traditional observance. Generation 2 - non-observance, but strong Jewish identity. Generation 3 or 4 - children either marry out or return to some degree of observance, often within the same family.
In an open, accepting American cultural milieu that has embraced Jewish values as the basis for its humanistic Western value system, Jewish "identity" isn't something that can be handed down generation after generation. Only traditional observance enables Jewish children to understand what sets them apart and connects them to the Jewish people, back through the centuries, and to their fellow Jews worldwide.
Sir, - Jewish ritual produces strong family support in good times and bad. Respect for teachers, rabbis and learning creates a situation in which the "important" people in the community are educators and not businessmen or pop singers.
It doesn't look good for the future when the family unit and the teaching profession are no longer popular.
Sir, - A big AMEN to Michael Freund! ("Operation 'prayer shield' for Israel," May 24.) Israel has accomplished a lot, but even the most ardent atheist would have to acknowledge that there's something about this country and the success we've had here that defies explanation in purely human terms.
Every Christian and Jew who loves Israel, especially the ones who live here, should pray for this country every day. There is no better use of our time.
Sir, - It was moving to read that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quoted from the Tanach during his speech to the American Congress. However, his speech-writers ought to know that the English translation of Tanach is not "Old Testament," a Christian term, but "Hebrew Bible" ("Olmert's address to Congress," May 25).
Sir, - I had the privilege of hearing the prime minister's entire speech to the US Congress. You should be proud to have this man as your leader. His speech was eloquent and delivered with a sense of moral authority. His reception was warm and appreciated.
May he carry out the disengagement, and may all of Israel live in peace.
Manakin Sabot, Virginia
Why not punish the Palestinians?
Sir, - "US newspapers slam Olmert's plan" (May 28) read: Bush "should not punish the Palestinian peopleâ€¦ for exercising their democratic right to vote." It's a theme repeated endlessly in the press, as if the Palestinians were entitled to have their terrorist, pro-Hamas majority, and, at the same time, receive "humanitarian" help from the EU, the US, and even Israel, the country they voted to destroy by voting for Hamas.
Who says voters cannot and should not be punished? People get the government they deserve.
The Germans chose Hitler, and were punished for it. The Japanese did not choose their emperor, but they chose to follow him, and were punished for it. Why should not the Palestinians and Hamas be punished for their democratic, freely chosen policy of terrorism toward Israel?
Tal Law and reality
Larry Derfner rightly pointed out the injustice of the Tal Law, failing to mention that it attempts, not very successfully, to solve the second of these problems: Not only do haredim not serve in the army, many also do not work legally and pay taxes.
The purpose of the law is to make it easier for those who have no interest in full-time yeshiva study, or who want to work, to join the workforce. The Tal Law is an attempt to deal with reality, and I support it ("A haredi soldier's story," May 25)."
Sir, - It's doubtful that Larry Derfner believes in miracles, but this column was the one and only time I've agreed with him. It inspired me, gratefully, to distribute it widely.
Knesset must reclaim its role
Sir, - Evelyn Gordon has penned a succinct and erudite critique of Supreme Court President Aharon Barak's "outrageous usurpation of the Knesset's prerogatives" ("Welcome to Barak's world" (May 25).
Barak's overriding and contrived concern that Palestinian men married to Israeli Arab women be free to move to Israel, but with no discernible misgivings as to their potential terrorist activity with ultimate Israeli casualties, shows a degree of arrogance and contempt for the safety of civilians not eclipsed by any jurist in the world.
Family unification in the Arab world, where wives are considered chattels and second-class members of society, is a fraud perpetrated on Israel to facilitate the infiltration of terrorists into Israel's heartland.
It behooves the present dysfunctional Knesset to reclaim, irrevocably, its role as arbiter and enactor of laws to the benefit of a beleaguered population subjected to unremitting murderous bombing and rocket attacks.
Lakewood, New Jersey
Good looks looks bad
Sir, - Reading "Last women standing" (May 23) about the popular reality TV show The Ambassador I was appalled that finalist Melody said a great ambassador needs a combination of intelligence and appearance. While I wasn't surprised, because it's common knowledge that nowadays you need good looks for anything, I didn't expect it to be conveyed so blatantly in the context of this show.
Shouldn't the honor of being "the ambassador" go to people with true values and ideals who would do the job well, and to help other people?
Melody's advice to young, aspiring Israeli girls was to recognize how beautiful they are and "keep up with the criteria." How shallow is that? Is someone who emphasizes physical beauty and is so full of herself that if she was as tall as her ego she would rip a hole through the seventh heaven the kind of person who should become "the ambassador"?
Young girls are under enough pressure to be skinny and beautiful without a TV show adding to it.
Are these the role models you want for us teenagers?
ADINA COHEN, 16
Join us now
Sir, - Congratulations to The Jerusalem Post for raising public awareness of the issue of road "accidents," and to your reporters for exposing the roots of the problem.
The response from readers has been exceptional, which proves how many caring people there are in the community. However, with some exceptions, they are not actively engaged in the battle against road carnage.
This is the biggest epidemic of our times! We must stop killing ourselves.
Metuna,the leading road injury prevention organization in Israel, would welcome your call. The more there are of us, the louder is our voice.
"Every life we save is as if we had saved the world." Join us now. Tel: (09) 844-667.
National Membership Director
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