Band of brothers
Sir, – Ben Hartman’s article, “Anglo lone soldiers talk of
‘daily grind’ in the IDF,” (December 28) was very articulate. Kol hakavod to all
these lone soldiers, as I back in 1969 was one of them. I was in a group of 36
lone soldiers from 13 countries with a mixture of languages including English,
Spanish and Dutch. I can relate to their remarks, nothing changes, but when it
comes to the real test everyone does what they were trained for as Anglo sabras
become a band of brothers under fire. Rosenberg’s statement at the end of the
article – “makes you wonder what the hell I was thinking” – brought back
memories of when I said the same thing during basic training, sleeping out in a
field during constant rain.
Sir, – I would like to take exception to Gil Shefler’s article “Limmud UK
goers fail to break dreidel record” (December 28) The article read, “Organizers
of the event here believed the record stood at 541 set by Temple Emanuel in
Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 2005.
Yet according to reports, the University
of Maryland drew out 603 participants the same year and Indiana University
boasted no less than 713 simultaneous dreidelers.”
My bone of contention
is how could he not even give a very honorable mention to the organizers of
Dreidel Palooza at Yeshiva University, the December 2010 holders of a Guinness
World Record of a documented 618 simultaneous dreidelers that succeeded in
making all the New York City newspapers.JUDITH GUEDALIA
Sir, – PM Netanyahu says that Israel’s unemployment rate is
the “lowest in the Western world” (“PM hails 5% unemployment rate,” December
27), but this number is purely imaginary.
It measures only those who wish
to work but are unable to find jobs. It does not take into account the large
numbers of haredim and Arab women who either do not want to work or are
prevented from entering the work force by social pressure. Also, the majority of
young Israelis are involuntarily removed from the work force as they serve in
the IDF or perform national service.
As the haredi community expands,
those who are employed will find themselves supporting a rapidly increasing
number of nonworkers.
They will become ever more restive and disenchanted
as they recognize that their hard work does not necessarily translate into
improved living standards for themselves and their families.EFRAIM A.
Zichron Ya’acov Plant more trees
Sir, – The JNF awarded a $3 million grant
to re-landscape the garden surrounding the president’s residence (“Peres moving
to rented apartment in David’s Village,” December 27).
According to the
official JNF website it costs $18 to plant a tree in Israel, together with a
certificate of recognition. Do the arithmetic: The JNF could have planted more
than 166,000 trees with that money.
That's quite a forest.
certificates of recognition should be awarded for this.DANIEL ABELMAN
Jerusalem Thoughtful people
Sir, – If the only road to peace is a two-state
solution, then Oren Kessler’s story (“One state, two states? Right-wing
activists, Palestinians brainstorm at improbable Ariel parley,” December 27) is
But if, as many believe, the two-state solution is a recipe
for a Middle East disaster, then his report has a singular importance because it
presents both sides with the revolutionary idea that we can actually talk to
The suggestion of Kamal Nawash (an Israel-Arab confederation
as two provinces within a single state that is based on free movement of labor
and people) may not be the perfect solution but it may be a powerful starting
point because it has the potential to address issues important to both
Kudos to Ariel University for organizing this
Their work proves that, with all the hate in this region,
there are still thoughtful people here ready to think productively.TUVIA