A nation united...
Sir, – Monday morning at 10 a.m., sirens went off all over Israel for one minute in memory of the Holocaust. For one long minute, people and cars stopped, drivers and passengers standing still next to their vehicles, engines still running.
One long minute to remember and ask, why did it happen? Why in the name of humanity were blameless men, women and children killed, their dignity and self worth taken away in seconds? The father shot in cold blood while his family watched in horror; the abductions of babies nursing from their mothers’ bosoms and thrown hard against the wall; families taken by force from their homes and shot dead in the forest.
Imagine today in New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the police knock on your door at midnight and by force you and your family are dragged from your home. Can it happen in America? I don’t know. Many of those were murdered, thrown into camps or escaped never thought it would happen to them.
There are so many stories of survival. When unconscionable tragedy occurs, we have options – ignore, forget or remember. When you think about these men, women and children who survived the unthinkable, it makes our daily troubles seem small and bearable.
The top headline in The Jerusalem Post was “Anti-Semitic violent attacks across the globe more than double in 2009” (April 12). Lets face it, hate can be found in all countries, against non-Jews and Jews.
As a dual citizen, Israeli and American, I am proud of Israel, a state that stands together in memory of an event that happened before many of us were born. I would love to see one minute of silence in America to honor those who died fighting to keep America free since 1776. Imagine traffic stopping on every street in America for one minute. Such unity!
Can you make a difference? Yes! Speak up. Register and vote in elections. Volunteer to make your city a better place to live. Become proactive before it is too late. Let us all learn from the past to make tomorrow better for future generations.
Sir, – The searing Holocaust Remembrance Day siren poignantly reminds us how, 70 years ago, calculated incitement and indoctrination made possible the most unthinkable atrocities against the Jewish people.
Kudos, therefore, to Fern Oppenheim, who offers a different slant on both practices in evidence today – in particular, highlighting the pernicious effects of indoctrination on Palestinian youngsters (“Monitoring Palestinian incitement is not enough,” April 11).
It seems when former New York Senator Hillary Clinton had to be concerned about an 8.4-percent Jewish constituency, she championed the fight against Palestinian incitement and indoctrination, calling it outright “child abuse.” Clinton even conducted Senate hearings, to which ZOA President Morton Klein and PMW Director Itamar Marcus were invited to testify.
Now that Clinton is part of a less-than-Israel-friendly Obama administration, she seems to have pitifully little to say about what should be a core issue.
Oppenheim is absolutely correct to conclude that Palestinian indoctrination, not just incitement, must be addressed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu if true peace is ever to be attained. A moratorium should be declared on all negotiations until the PA and Hamas desist from business as usual and for a definite, protracted period. If this is truly important to Secretary of State Clinton, she should not object.
Director, Israel Office
Zionist Organization of America
JerusalemCrime and punishment...
Sir, – In the event that the courts do finally agree that those who allegedly gave and received bribes so they could destroy the Jerusalem skyline and the city’s character should be punished (“Uri Messer’s custody ‘mysteriously’ extended,” April 12), let them put things right and not merely make the criminals pay with a short jail sentence and millions of shekels left in their pockets.
Those responsible should be required to buy each and every apartment in the project from their current owners at its current full market value, pay to have all the buildings pulled down, and create a recreational park for Jerusalem residents to enjoy the view from one of the highest hills in the city.
Jerusalem ...and appalling intrigue
Sir, – Anyone concerned with the security and the existential future of the State of Israel must be appalled by the alleged refusal of Uri Blau to return the stolen IDF documents and by the alleged collusion of Haaretz in this sordid tale of intrigue (“Kamm espionage trial postponed to May 12,” April 12).
The argument of defending democracy and the right of free access to confidential and classified documents of the IDF and circulating their contents is a display of gross disloyalty to the State of Israel.
JerusalemThe importance of education
Sir, – David Horovitz’s chilling article on Prof. Dan Ben-David’s findings on the slow slide backwards of a partially educated society in a competitive and technologically demanding world must be acted on (“Downhill by the numbers,” April 9).
Parents must insist that their children attend the maximum years of school and that funds be allocated for all children to continue into higher education. Where parents and grandparents can afford, it they must set up in good time “family education funds” to cover the high tuition fees and multiple additional expenses incurred by students.
This support may push more post-army youth into college courses rather than acceptance of low-educational-level, low-paying immediate work. We have pointed out to our grandchildren at family meetings the relative incomes of manual and non-academic clerical work compared to the higher rates for graduates and those in technology. As grandparents, we have given our support for their obtaining professional tools.
Ben-David’s findings must be widely publicized to all potential students.
DR. JOHN JACOBS
JerusalemNeeded: Turn signals
Sir, – I totally agree with Michael Williams’s recommendations in “Traffic enforcement” (Letters, April 8), but one more thing I believe to be most important is that Israeli drivers do not know how to use their turn signals.
As a diplomat from Taiwan, I have lived in Ramat Aviv for one year and nine months. I drive daily between my home and office, located in Azrieli Center, by the Ayalon Highway or Namir Road. I have to be very careful, as other drivers suddenly cut in front of me without signaling. This situation really shocked me on the first day driving to my office. I always wonder, “Why do Israeli people, who so often travel abroad, not learn to use their turn signals?”
I love Israeli people, the hospitality, the weather, the food and everything here, but I really dislike the driving circumstances. I sincerely suggest the authorities educate drivers on how to use turn signals to avoid traffic accidents and save lives.
SIMON C. HSIEH
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Tel AvivKudos to Khaled
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post
to be commended for having employed Khaled Abu Toameh as its reporter
on activity in the territories (“Gaza-based Islamist group threatens to
slit Abbas’s throat,” April 12). His articles have been unique in
giving clear and accurate pictures as no other newspaper has done.