letters to the editor.
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Appeal to parents...
Sir, - Parental responsibility should be uppermost when taking young passengers anywhere by car. The lives of one's children, and of their cousins and school-friends, are entirely in the driver's hands. The spate of road deaths this past month - another occurred on Monday - which involved children and where the driver was believed to have lost control should shock us all ("Two killed, 1 injured in Arava crash," August 21). There are no excuses.
Herb Keinon, writing about his son's induction into the army, said: "You spend 18 years trying to protect your child, and then one day you lose control" ("Induction Day," August 19). A parent should use those 18 years wisely by teaching his or her beloved offspring to act responsibly at all times, in all situations. Most of all, we need to set a personal example behind the wheel.
We in Metuna appeal to parents who care about what happens on the roads, and how it may affect their youngsters: Join us. Only via a concerted effort at all levels and in all directions can we ensure a safer future for our children, in and out of the army.
Chaim Bederech Metuna
...and to the premier
Sir, - Even if Ehud Olmert fires the driver and visits the girl, it won't solve the problem ("10-year-old girl hit by Olmert's convoy in J'lem," August 17). The problem is that when the PM's entourage takes him somewhere, they zoom like madmen on the roads, caring a lot for his safety (not to get shot), but not for the citizens' safety (not to get run over). I've seen them gallop by many times in a paranoid, conceited, inconsiderate frenzy.
Russian support for Iran
Sir, - Your editorial "Pressure Russia" (August 20) followed other worrying press reports which claim that "Russia rules out the use of force against Iran if Ahmadinejad's regime rejects proposals that it scrap its nuclear enrichment program" (Foreign Minister Lavrov's statements to both the Novosti News Agency and Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta).
These reports reflect a London Times/AP Teheran report of May 29 citing Russia's security council head, Igor Ivanov, who told Iranian television "that his country opposes any use of force against Iran over its controversial nuclear program."
Russia's unrelenting support for the Iranian fascist dictatorship is reminiscent of the well-documented support given by Stalin and Molotov to Hitler and his Nazi dictatorship up to and beyond June 22, 1941.
During the nocturnal negotiations of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (August 23-24, 1939) Stalin voiced the sentiment that it was "of considerable advantage to have a strong Germany as neighbor, and in case of armed showdown with the bourgeois democracies the interests of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany would run parallel to each other and Russia would never stand for Hitler's Germany getting into a difficult position." The ceremony ended with Stalin's personal toast "to the long life of the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler."
In view of the world's bitter experience with the consequences of Russian diplomatic cunning, the free media should exploit the upcoming August anniversary of the nefarious Stalin-Hitler compact to stress the consequences that will inevitably prevail if Russia insists on callously pursuing policies which appease Iran in its quest to obtain nuclear weapons.
Sir, - I read Jonny Paul's "UK teachers attend intensive Holocaust education course at Yad Vashem" (August 16) as suggesting that the Holocaust Educational Trust course came as a response to a trend among UK schools to drop the Holocaust from history lessons.
There is no such intent in the UK National Curriculum. Rather, the aim of the course is to give UK teachers confidence in their pedagogical approach, personal understanding and educational resources so that they can deliver this vital topic sensitively and effectively.
I am one of the teachers attending the course at Yad Vashem. It has been a marvelous opportunity to further my knowledge of Holocaust issues in inspiring surroundings, and I am delighted to be one teacher for whom that aim has been met in full.
Letchworth, Herts, UK
Trust is in short supply
Sir, - In "Why Oslo really failed (II)" (August 21) Gershon Baskin submits that what Israel and the Arabs need is an external body to impose binding interpretations on their agreements.
Page one of the same issue reports that having made a decision that turned out to Israel's benefit regarding the tiny Shaba Farms area - not, heaven forbid, that it was Israeli by right of conquest, in self-defense, but that it was Syrian rather than Lebanese - the UN is now inclined to revise that decision ("Defense officials: Changing Shaba Farms border would be dangerous precedent").
What external body, anywhere in the world, are we supposed to trust with decisions that involve Israel's rights as a sovereign state?
Other than the nation of Zion, toward which the prophets predicted the other nations will some day look for the source of truth and justice, what nation would ever consider searching the world for a panel to pronounce judgment upon it?
MARK L. LEVINSON
Must Israel keep...
Sir, - Israel's decision to return the recent influx of refugees from Sudan is sparking heated debate and polarizing Jews from within and without the Jewish state. According to a large segment of Israeli society, as well as human rights activists, Israel is obligated to absorb these (and other) refugees fleeing persecution because ours is a nation that came into being after the Holocaust.
In the potpourri of news reports concerning the plight of these refugees, however, what has been virtually ignored is that many have admitted to paying thousands of dollars to be smuggled across the Egyptian border into Israel.
How do "impoverished" refugees gain access to such huge sums of money? Could it possibly be coming from Arab governments seeking to weaken the "Zionist enemy" by flooding Israel with non-Jews?
SHIFRA HOFFMAN, Founder
Victims of Arab Terror Int'l
...the Sudanese refugees?
Sir, - In Israel, authorities are expelling refugees who escaped horrors in Darfur, may be beaten to death by Egyptian border guards and face possible execution if they are sent home ("Activists slam deportation of refugees," August 19).
In the United States, the Anti-Defamation League refuses to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, firing its New England regional director last week when he broke ranks with the national office in solidarity with our local Armenian community.
As Eytan Schwartz said, sending the refugees back "is against Jewish values." So is denying the truth of the genocide committed against the Armenian people. Rabbi Hillel said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow."
Are we Jews forgetting one of our deepest values, our biblical mandate to be our brother's keeper?
'Beaty' was my name
Sir, - If there is anyone currently in Israel who was at the West Norwood Orphanage, near Brixton, between 1946-1951, I would very much like to hear from them. I was known there as Beaty Shayer. Please reply to Esotours@hotmail.com
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