letters to the editor.
(photo credit: )
'My' Einstein letter
Sir, - In 1976 we were celebrating the Jewish bicentennial in Delaware and, wonderfully, I had the opportunity to hold an Einstein letter in my hand and learn the story behind it ("Newly released letters cast fresh light on Einstein's fathering, philandering" (July 11).
Albert Einstein was aware that many noted Jewish scientists were stuck in Nazi Germany. The US government would not allow any of them to enter the country unless a US relative sponsored them. Few could meet the criteria so Einstein went into action in 1938, circulating a letter to Federation directors and Jewish professionals in a number of American cities, asking them to find people with certain last names to be sponsors.
In Wilmington, Delaware, Federation director Ben Codor asked one of his members, a Mr. Braunstein, to sponsor a scientist from Germany with the same last name.
After everything had been worked out, Einstein wrote Codor a personal letter of thanks in 1939. Codor's widow treasures the letter - as you can imagine - and it was this I had the privilege of examining.
No case to answer
Sir, - In all the column inches devoted to "Did President Katsav have improper relations with a female employee, or not?" and among the calls for a woman as our next president, one question has been glaringly absent.
The president consulted the attorney-general about an alleged blackmail attempt. How was this leaked to the media? If a businessman, accused by his secretary of sexual harassment and threatened with blackmail, consulted with his attorney and either the attorney or someone in his office leaked the story, wouldn't that be considered a breach of client confidentiality and the bar association get involved?
So far there is the presumption of innocence. No impropriety has been even alleged publicly against the president, and no allegation of blackmail has been made against his former employee. There is thus no case to answer - and if or when there is, it should be considered sub judice.
So let's drop the subject. ("'Katsavgate' renews calls for female president," July 11.)
Sir, - Spectacular boldness by your government and brave troops ("IDF readies for new incursion into Gaza Strip," July 10). You are the envy of the world when it comes to defending Israel.
This Catholic father of six says bravo!
Westlake Village, California
...but stay the course
Sir, - I agree with those who object to the current military action. There should be another way, but there isn't. We all want peace. We get squeamish when we see blood and guts; I understand it only too well, having seen enough in my time.
We need, though, to stay the course. Not only will it be better for us, but also for the Palestinians, who must finally come to realize that Israel is real, and not going anyplace. Then we can have peace.
Sir, - Forgive my simplistic approach, but I always thought that if you don't want to lose some of your real estate, don't attack a nation at peace and you won't have to concern yourself with a problem you brought upon yourself.
From 'kidnapped' to 'captured' in a week...
Sir, - It took just over a week for the international media to change kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's status to "captured." The importance of this seemingly small distinction is equivalent to the difference between being murdered and being killed.
While "captured" implies legitimacy and even lends some glory and courage to the action - for example, a wanted criminal is "captured" - kidnapping is a low, cowardly and heinous crime.
In the case of Cpl. Gilad Shalit he was in his own land, doing border patrol, and not in combat. Thus "kidnapped" is the only correct way to describe what was done to him.
To the media out there: If you are really for justice, don't whitewash the crimes of our enemies.
...and a reward
Sir, - After the creation of Israel we promised ourselves that never again would a Jew die without us doing everything to save him. In that spirit, I offer a $30,000 reward for the safe return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Sir, - For those wishing to pray for the early return home of kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit - by reciting Psalms, for example - Cpl. Shalit's Hebrew name is Gilad ben Aviva.
Fiction squeezes fact
Sir, - It is a shame that Palestinian PR is doing a better job of peddling misinformation than the Israelis are of telling the truth! ("Mashaal: Exchange necessary for soldier's release," July 11.)
Boca Raton, Florida
Be truthful and clarify
Sir, - You quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying he might have released prisoners only to "moderate elements" in the PA. He was apparently referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ("Olmert: Gaza is no James Bond movie," July 10).
But Abbas is no moderate. He was Arafat's top aide for 40 years, co-founder of the terrorist group Fatah, and the author of a Ph.D. thesis and book denying the Holocaust. And now he is publicly supporting the "prisoners' letter for peace," which calls for violence (resistance) against Israel 15 times; the release of Arab prisoners (terrorists) eight times; and the "right of return" (demographically overrunning the State of Israel) four times, while never mentioning Israel's right to exist.
This is a plan that legalizes the murder of Jews. Mahmoud Abbas is an Israel antagonist, and Olmert and others should stop camouflaging the truth: No visible public Palestinian leaders are moderate peace-seekers.
Until there is a new leadership that will finally end incitement, arrest terrorists and dismantle terrorist groups, Israel will have to defend itself vigorously, with no appeasement.
MORTON A. KLEIN
Zionist Organization of America
Sir, - Re "Knesset committee demands inclusion of 'orphan disease' drug" (July 4): Pompe's disease may seem rare, but it is only one of over 50 different genetic diseases that involve a problem in the lysosome, which is like the "recycling center" of a cell.
Taken as a family of diseases, lysosomal disorders have an estimated incidence of approximately one in 6,000 live births, only slightly less common than cystic fibrosis. And many of the diseases that are unusually common among Ashkenazi Jews - including Gaucher, Tay Sachs, Niemann-Pick and Fabry - are lysosomal disorders.
By including treatments for these diseases in the health basket and encouraging more research, Israel will not only be doing a great service to its own citizens but to people worldwide, many of whom suffer because their maladies fall through the cracks of medical research.
STEPHANIE LYN CORTES
The Hide & Seek Foundation
for Lysosomal Disease Research
The photo of Indian students who have come to Arad with the World Union of Jewish Students ("Indian Summer," July 11) failed to point out in the caption that WUJS is now under the auspices of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.