Sir, – Regarding “Daylight saving time won’t be extended” (March
27), when I made aliya from London six years ago, I rapidly came to the
conclusion that even after 40+ years of relatively safe driving I would not
drive in Israel. It was therefore with a large slice of cynicism and an even
bigger pinch of salt that I read that activists were endeavoring to put back the
annual dates of clock-changing in order to minimize road accidents.
standard of driving in our beautiful country – thanks to the “Me first” and “My
mum told me I’m more important than you” approach of drivers who risk their
lives and continually put the lives of others at risk – is so pathetically low
that it is quite immaterial as to whether Yom Kippur finishes an hour earlier or
I do not know at what stage in life it would be advisable to
reeducate the population so that the carnage on our roads is reduced, but the
subconscious examples set by parents to their kids in the back of the car has to
Jerusalem Minimum residency
Sir, – Regarding
“‘Emigrés are no longer enemies of the state, and Israel should invest in them’”
(March 27), Israelis who reside abroad temporarily and intend to return home to
Israel should be allowed to vote in Israeli elections.
Not so people who
came to Israel just in order to leave again as soon as possible.
stays in Israel for, say, less than four years should not be granted the right
to vote from abroad.HANNA ZLOTNICK
Jerusalem Unwarranted attacks
In “Teaching American kids about Arab culture and Israel” (Comment &
Features, March 27), Abraham H. Foxman continues an unjustified and unsupported
attack on a New York private school, Friends Seminary, that Alan Dershowitz
began last month (“NY Friends seminary plays bait-and-switch on anti-Semitism,”
Foxman, like Dershowitz, criticizes this respected school,
its administration and faculty based on assertions he fails to
The crux of Foxman’s criticism is that Friends Seminary
organized a student visit to Israel and the West Bank that was supposedly
imbalanced because the trip was co-led by a history teacher he blithely asserts
holds “anti-Israel views” and because the group supposedly is not devoting as
much time to visiting people apparently more suited to his perspective. He cites
no evidence for his accusation about the history teacher, much like Dershowitz
failed to offer when he began the attacks against Friends and this
Like Dershowitz, Foxman also fails to provide evidence that he
in fact knows anything meaningful about the Friends visit.
Friends trip could have been planned differently, including more time with
Israeli families and less time with Palestinian families, cannot seriously be
what animates his complaint. Surely Foxman knows that thousands of students
visit Israel every year and the organizers of their trips do not include visits
with Palestinians, yet he has never complained that those visits are
Equally, why do Foxman and Dershowitz equate approaches to
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that they do not like with anti- Semitism? As a
committed and involved Jewish parent of children educated at Friends Seminary, I
know this is an institution committed to justice, fairness and decency,
qualities sadly lacking in Foxman’s and Dershowitz’s campaigns against this
proud and respected institution.JOEL COHEN
New YorkWolves and sheep
Sir, – With reference to “J Street is my street” (Encountering Peace, March 27),
it is astounding how Gershon Baskin argues that by being in the forefront of
progressive politics and defending democracy at all costs, peace will happily
descend upon us.
I wish to disabuse Baskin and like-minded persons by
saying this optimism is totally misplaced.
Sir Isaiah Berlin stated once
that it was easy for people to call upon the Jews to make themselves martyrs,
but history had proved that being a martyr had not helped the Jewish cause nor
the world at large.
Since our emancipation in the 18th century, our
participation in progressive movements has cost us dearly. A homeland for the
Jewish people in Palestine was agreed to by the League of Nations in San Remo in
1920, and confirmed in 1947, in reduced geographical size, by United Nations
Despite this, our neighbors have been in conflict with us
There was no definition of what kind of Jewish state this
would be, and while of course democracy is the answer, there is a fundamental
difference between Western liberal democracies and Israel. None of the former
are threatened with destruction. Since we are, it is the responsibility of the
government to defend this threatened democracy by acting in a manner similar to
the UK or US during World War II. To act in any other manner just to please our
critics is to put the country at mortal risk.
There is no Israeli who
does not dream of peace. However – and this is the crux of the matter – the
Arabs demand only appeasement and to weaken our resolve, since the only peace
they have in mind is one without Israel.
To summarize the matter, what is
the good if all the sheep vote for vegetarianism and the wolves disagree?
Tel Aviv Going... home
Sir, – A group of us were discussing
“Officials: Israel ready for ‘Global March to Jerusalem’” (March 26) and decided
that a better alternative to sending border police and the IDF would be to offer
the demonstrators a “Pessah peace package.”
The package would consist of
the following: Several pieces of matza per demonstrator, plain and no butter;
matzo balls without the soup, made with lots of chicken fat; gribbenes, lots of
it; and lots of horseradish. No prunes or other fruits.
We feel that with
these foods, the protesters, perhaps with a little discomfort, might become “up
tight,” change their minds and go home. We stand ready to prepare these packages
and would welcome volunteers to give us a helping hand.JAN GAINES
Sir, – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. How
true (“A father-son moment,” March 26)! I had tears in my eyes looking at the
beautiful picture of Binyamin Netanyahu with his father on the elder’s 102nd
birthday. I’m sure that most of us seeing that picture were wishing that our
parents could have lived to be that age and that we could have celebrated that
birthday with them.
Happy birthday to you, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, and may
you have many more in good health and with continued naches from your family –
until at least 120! HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem Quite exaggerated
Sir – Reader Roy
Runds (“UK’s situation,” Letters, March 26) is exaggerating when he claims that
Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, is “incredibly naive or guilty of
unpardonable chutzpah in...
totally ignoring Britain’s long historical
mistreatment of its Jews [and ignoring that it] is still a hotbed of
My experience of almost 70 years is that, if anything,
the level of anti-Semitism has declined. When I was a boy it was unthinkable for
a Jew to walk around wearing a kippa or even sporting a beard. Now this is
commonplace and the average Briton does not think twice of it.
“polite” anti-Semitism of snide remarks at dinner parties probably still exists,
but this is a far cry from physical abuse in the streets.MARTIN D. STERN