Sir, – The refusal by the West, especially the United States, to
get involved in any meaningful way in Libya sends some very clear messages
(Gaddafi’s son: We won’t surrender to rebels even if West intervenes,” March
It tells people in the region who seek regime change that they are
on their own. It tells their governments that they are free to crush dissent,
protests and rebellions as they see fit. It tells everyone that the rhetoric of
the US and other Western nations about freedom, democracy and the will of the
people is a sham.
It also tells us that no one will prevent Iran from
pursuing, acquiring and using nuclear weapons; no one will come to Israel’s
defense when it is attacked; no one will do anything about the widespread
persecution of religious and ethnic minorities throughout the region; no one
will do anything about the appalling treatment of women, children, gays and
foreigners; no one will do anything to stop the export of hatred and
Those are some messages, aren’t they? JERRY PHILIPSON
Sir, – While the world media show images of an oppressive regime
butchering its own people, world governments watch, talk and do
There is a lesson in this for us.
We must always ensure
that responsibility for our safety and protection is in our own
Sir, – Israel has a unique opportunity to
capitalize upon the changes taking place in the Middle East and can present
itself as a friend to soon-to-be republics.
The opportunities for
partnership in agriculture alone should soften the hearts of even the most
The prosperity that a partnership in technology
could produce should seal the deal.
Israel must not wait to see what
happens before assessing new situations. It must be proactive now in reaching
the man on the street about the benefits of partnering with Israel for his good
and the good of his fellow citizens.
This window of opportunity must not
be passed over.DUSTIN BUTLER
Mossville, Illinois Keep on keeping on
– “Peace in a volatile region” (Editorial, March 9) misses the
Yes, Ben-Gurion Airport will be within range of shoulder-launched
missiles once a peace treaty is signed with the Palestinians. And yes,
Palestinian militants and terrorists will smuggle weapons into Judea and
Samaria. But does this mean we should not sign a peace treaty or that we should
not try to negotiate one? Your point about the disaster in Gaza also misses the
point. As your newspaper has so correctly pointed out in the past, the disaster
was Israel’s doing. By unilaterally pulling out, we handed a victory to Hamas,
Islamic Jihad and all the rest. By not negotiating an exit from Gaza, we allowed
the terrorist camp to say it was the “resistance” that succeeded in dislodging
Israel from Gaza.
If the “PaliLeaks” showed us anything, it is that
negotiations have progressed to a point where a final settlement is within
reach. Prudence should dictate that we not give up. Rather, we should be pushing
the United States, the Quartet, the European Union and the United Nations to
push the Palestinians to successfully conclude them.
should include serious penalties for the Palestinians if they shoot missiles at
planes flying out of Ben-Gurion, or if Katyusha or Kassam rockets are lobbed
from Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron or Jenin. But the current Israeli position, of
hanging onto every last centimeter of land in the name of security, isn’t going
to bring peace.RABBI CHAIM CASPER
North Miami Beach, Florida Memory’s
Sir, – Judy Montagu’s amusing and interesting column on memory loss
(“Holiday of the Mind,” In My Own Write, March 9) misses an important
For several years it has been recognized in the medical community
that there is a condition that is defined as Mild Cognitive Impairment or
Disorder (MCD) that is intermediate between “normal” absentmindedness and
outright dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. This condition is characterized
by short-term memory loss and a degree of cognitive impairment.
be considered a longterm condition or one from which the patient can improve, or
a way station to a frank dementia.
Recognizing it as a stage of
development of memory problems in aging can help to understand and treat such
Netanya The writer is a retired professor of
pharmacology who has researched the subject of MCD Four-day know-it-all
In “Advice from a leading critic” (Diplomacy, March 4), Swedish Foreign Minister
Carl Bildt says solving the Palestinian problem would enable Israel to make
peace with Arab peoples, not just their rulers. Bildt spent four days here and
in the Palestinian Authority. His expertise reminds me of a joke from the book
Sarajevo: A Bosnian Kaleidoscope
by Fran Markowitz: Two journalists meet up in
the city. One asks the other, When did you arrive? Yesterday. When will you
leave? Tomorrow. Why have you come? To write: Sarajevo: Yesterday, Today and
Beersheba Can of worms
Sir, – The
Palestinian Authority recently reiterated its opposition to any agreement with
Israel that leads to a state with temporary borders (“PA again refuses to
consider state with interim borders, March 3).
“Our top priority is to
end the occupation of our lands and a withdrawal to the 1967 borders, including
east Jerusalem, and a just solution to the case of the Palestinian refugees on
the basis of the Arab peace initiative of 2001,” the Palestinians say. No-one
can say they are not consistent.
Over to you, Mr. Netanyahu. You opened
this can of worms with your inability to withstand pressure from US President
Obama. You have made concession after concession after concession, and it has
brought nothing but condemnation and more demands. Try standing up for our
rights and behaving like the prime minister of a sovereign state.EDITH
Netanya All-powerful tongue
Sir, – Open any Israeli newspaper and the
employment ads are likely to read “Fluency in English and Hebrew required.” Most
EFL (English as a foreign language) courses at university level, unfortunately,
do not stress public speaking. Most classroom sessions are spent on reading
comprehension and some writing.
These are, of course, two very important
aspects of language learning, but in my opinion they pale when comparing them to
the ability to express one’s self in the target language.
A few years
ago, I was lucky to teach a speech class in my college program. The students
were elated and felt confident when speaking in the target language. When one of
my students, Amikam Levy, became ambassador to Vietnam, I realized even more
than ever that putting an English oral communication class into a university
curriculum is crucial.
Over 2,500 years ago, King Solomon understood the
power of speech by stating his famous quote from Proverbs 18:21. “The tongue has
the power of life and death.” Throughout history, this sentence has proven to be
The most recent example is the meteoric rise of Barack Obama,
mainly due to his exceptional rhetoric skills.
I call on the Council For
Higher Education in Israel to reprioritize and make an English communication
class mandatory for receiving a BA. Let my people speak (in English)! JENNY WEIL
Jerusalem The writer is coordinator of a college-level English program