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Transport for terror?
Sir, - Re "Petition demands easier access for W. Bank Palestinians to east Jerusalem hospitals" (August 27): Endangering lives through delays is not the idea behind the restrictions the army has put in place. Making sure that an ambulance is not a "Trojan horse" is.
All the petitioners' demands to simplify the transfer of patients in severe condition through checkpoints in order to reach a hospital seem very reasonable - if only we could trust those who dispatch these ambulances not to use them to transport arms and/or terrorists intent on doing damage.
What we have learned so far is that we can't.
Churchill wasn't embarrassed
Sir, - During WWII, when Winston Churchill was faced with bombings, rockets, etc. that endangered the lives of British schoolchildren, he arranged to have them moved away from the front line until such time as he could provide the safety every government owes its most valuable asset. No one saw Churchill's action as weakness in the face of the enemy.
We, the people of Israel, have no moral right to expose the schoolchildren of Sderot and the surrounding area who are in danger to reckless risk.
We do not require any advice from any minister telling us that children should remain at risk, nor do we need any minister to give any ridiculous written undertakings!
Our enemies will not earn any points if we do what any sane government would. Churchill was not embarrassed - why should we be? ("Sderot parents set out their terms for sending kids to school," August 24)
AMIT cares for kids
Sir, - I was thrilled to read Dina Feuchtwanger's story about the role of youth villages in raising Israel's children at risk ("When families fail," August 7). However, I was disappointed to see no mention of AMIT, which has been involved in this area for over 80 years.
At our AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled in Jerusalem, AMIT Kfar Batya in Ra'anana and AMIT Kfar Blatt in Petah Tikva we house, educate and nurture over 2,000 children a year. While some of the students receive AMIT's services as external (daytime only) students, we are most proud of our family unit model, where our children are loved and nurtured and form close life-long bonds with their AMIT families. Kfar Blatt also boasts a wonderful graduate house so our graduates have a place to come home to while serving in the army.
AMIT has an exemplary track record of educating Israel's children. In the coming year we will be reaching out to over 20,000 students - from kindergarten through junior college - at our 77 programs, schools and villages throughout the country.
Our children who live in AMIT residential facilities, while representing only 10% of our total, are the heart and soul of our educational network. The AMIT family extends well beyond the staff at our facilities; these children and their potential as future leaders of Israel are supported by volunteers and donors in Israel, the US and Europe.
ELLEN R. HELLMAN, Chair
AMIT Israel Executive Committee
For better breeding
Sir, - Re "The breeding of Israeli louts" (Larry Derfner, August 7): When I grew up, we were taught decent behavior by our parents and educators. Respect for others was a golden rule. Parents parented, and teachers educated. Freedom came with responsibility.
What went wrong over the years? Did parents and educators loosen up because of their stricter upbringing? Why do moms and dads today brag about being their child's friend rather than their parent? Why is there such bedlam in our schools?
Let us begin, at home, to renew the old values. Let educators teach our children kindness and respect for others in daily lessons. Let us give them the tools from the beginning to help them become nicer people.
Sir, - W.J. Strauss urges Jews to resist the urge to acknowledge the known genocide of the Armenians ("Jews must stay away from this controversy," Letters, August 26). He claims that denial of the Armenian genocide for political gain (or to avoid perceived political damage) will prove that Jews and Israel are not guided by self-interest. Quite the opposite; and Strauss's logic is the foundation of the current crisis in the ADL's credibility.
The only countries to ban Franz Werfel's epic about the Armenian genocide, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, were Turkey and Germany. Werfel was initially criticized in Jewish circles for not making use of Jewish history, instead choosing an Armenian experience. Yet the relevance was fully realized by heroic resisters in the ghettos during the Holocaust.
Sir, - I disagree with world-class athletes carrying the burden of being spokespeople for human rights ("Olympians must speak out on China," Peter Ganong and Daniel Hemel, August 26). They need to focus on being the best athletes they can be and not mix politics into sports. The international focus on the China Olympics gives human rights organizations and the international media such as The Jerusalem Post an opportunity to investigate Chinese human rights abuses with a fine-tooth comb.
I also believe that as an artist, it is my job to create beauty in the world and elevate the soul. Art is the universal language of healing.
Heed the experts
Sir, - Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said there were four ways in which he hoped to make roads safer ("NIS 150m. returned to road-safety budget," August 27). There was no mention of reducing road speeds.
On the English TV news one day earlier, Prof. Eli Richter presented incontrovertible evidence from other countries on the remarkable success of such speed reductions, stressing particularly the need to further reduce speed limits for heavy vehicles, so often involved in fatal road accidents.
When are our politicians going to start accepting advice from recognized authorities on road safety?
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, - In the discussion of means to reduce traffic accidents, one senses a lack of urgency and alarm on the part of government agencies. One can only imagine how the country would be galvanized if a sudden outbreak of cholera resulted in fatalities numbering only half of our highway deaths.
FRED GOTTLIEB, M.D.
Sir, - One simple thing to prevent drivers going through red lights is a law that cars must stop at the amber light before the red one comes on. In the US and UK, as far as I know, this is the law. Why don't we demand it?
Sir, - To back up my letter of August 20 on flashing lights and road behavior: Last Friday I spotted two big powerful motorcycles and followed them. They were policemen from the Netanya motorbike unit. The two blue lights on each bike were flashing, and I scooted behind them for about a kilometer and a half. Wow! There was marvelous behavior from all the drivers behind me. Not one irate idiot tried to overtake - so you see what flashing lights can achieve!
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