letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - With everyone excited about Shahar Pe'er's great success, I was reminded of a chance meeting I had with a dentist after the Yom Kippur War while on reserve duty. His name was Ian Froman, and during our conversation he told me about his dream of bringing tennis to Israel "in a big way." His passion made a lasting impression on me.
Today we know him as one of six people responsible for establishing the Ramat Hasharon Tennis Center, and in 1989 he received the Israel Prize. President Chaim Hertzog said, "You have created a virtual social revolution throughout Israel."
At this historic moment in Israeli sports I feel it only fitting to remember the founders, the ones really responsible for this triumph ("Pe'er makes history Down Under," January 22).
Less than glorious
Sir, - What is wrong with our police force? It has arrested a farmer for protecting his farm from thieves and allowed a shackled criminal to escape from the courthouse steps. However, it has protected mafia members from attack ("Palestinian youth makes daring courthouse escape," January 22).
For a viable Palestine
Sir, - "Israeli NGO vows Amazon boycott over Carter review" (January 19) revealed a huge gap between fact and fiction. ICAHD, far from being a one-man NGO, had nothing to do with the petition. As a private citizen, I certainly signed it, as did 12,000 within three days. Nor, by the way, does Prof. Halper support a one-state solution. We warn, with [Jimmy] Carter, that a two-state solution is dead due to wanton settlement expansion, for a viable Palestine cannot be attained. This leaves the Palestinians and Israel to work seriously for a serious alternative to bring peace and security to all.
Regional confederation, perhaps? Jerusalem as a neutral Vatican, perhaps? We do not presume to tell Palestinians what sort of state they should advocate for. But Israeli infrastructure reveals Israeli policy. And it undermines peace, and promotes apartheid.
Action Advocacy Officer, ICAHD
Sir, - How amazing that when Amazon.com prints a review of Jimmy Carter's new book as being one-sided and in his book Carter lambastes Israel as the demon and the Arabs as the good guys, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions comes to his defense.
Quote from the Torah: The worst enemies will come from within.
Sir, - "Poll: Lebanon war was 'breaking point' for Arab Israeli patriotism" (January 18) reported that "only 45% of Israeli Arabs intend to encourage their children to stay in Israel." A counterweight to the Arab claim to the right of return?
A unified community
Sir, - As a resident of Homat Shmuel (Har Homa), I read with interest "Rushing the mountain" (January 11). Primarily about the rising cost of land, it was misleading in a few critical ways.
There are no ultra-Orthodox communities in Homat Shmuel. The current make-up of our neighborhood is 50% national religious (the entire spectrum) and 50% non-religious/traditional. The atmosphere is family-oriented, and during Shabbat and community events everyone is out in the parks and at the community center. Homat Shmuel is unique in its openness and cooperation between different groups and synagogues.
Though prices have risen somewhat, this is still an affordable area for people who want to stay in Jerusalem but cannot afford Katamon or Baka. It is a 10-minute drive to Emek Refaim, the Jerusalem mall, the zoo and the Begin highway.
Many residents call the neighborhood Homat Shmuel out of respect for the former deputy mayor, Shmuel Meir. Potential residents can check out our neighborhood list: email@example.com
Sir, - I was deeply distressed to read that the leaders of this country go for counsel concerning matters of state to astrologists, diviners and practitioners of witchcraft and the mystical arts, whose activities are strongly condemned and strictly forbidden throughout the Bible ("The magic touch: A charm or a curse for Israeli politics?" January 12). It is written in Proverbs that whosoever despises the word of the Bible shall be destroyed, whereas he who fears the commandments will be rewarded.
At a time when the threat of enemies such as Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas has never been greater and Israel's very existence is threatened, surely our trust should be in the Bible and God, and not in the forbidden arts of Babylon, Chaldea and Egypt.
Can't believe it
Sir, - I saw in your newspaper yesterday that both HOT and YES are broadcasting Jews for Jesus material. How is it they have space for this on their networks, and not for BBC Prime or Eurosport? ("HOT, YES running Jews for Jesus ads," January 22.)
What's the fuss?
Sir, - I've been following the TV companies vs consumers war, and am confused. Sure, HOT and YES are bad for many reasons, but screaming about BBC Prime? Channel 3 has Boston Legal. Xtra HOT carried the beginning of the wonderful Life on Mars. YES's Channels 11 and 19 have The Gilmore Girls.
And here's some news: You can get a great adventure, comedy or drama, keep it as long as you need, fast forward or reverse easily, and view it how and when you want. Search the Internet under "book."
Don't begrudge us our normality
Sir, - I wonder how typical Desmond Stonely's impression of life in Israel is among those living overseas (Letters, January 14). While the expellees from the Gaza Strip and those in the North during the summer war may find life too stressful to worry about their TV programs, most of us, most of the time, do the same things people do in other countries - go about our daily business, relax in front of the telly, go out to dinner or a show, play sports or take a holiday.
We are aware of the dangers to Israel as well as of our domestic problems, but we aren't consumed by them. So please don't begrudge us our normal existence. Life in Israel is, after all, really pretty good.