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Sir, - Thanks so much to Herb Keinon and The Jerusalem Post for the superb "A passing shadow over the 60th anniversary" (May 7). His emphasis on the tenacity of our people in this amazing state in overcoming tragedy, scandal and seemingly insurmountable challenges, and yet continuing to live our daily lives in spite of all the setbacks was right on.
The only Jewish state must have leadership with the highest moral integrity, and if an elected leader does not measure up, certainly he or she can and ought to be replaced without "the sky falling."
Sir, - While I enjoyed counting down the Post's "Sporting heroes for 60 years," I disagreed with your choice for Number 1 - no disrespect to basketball superstar Miki Berkowitz, who would have suited the No. 2 spot just fine.
First place should have been awarded to the 11 athletes and coaches who were murdered representing our country at the 1972 Munich Olympics: true Israelis heroes all, who gave their lives representing Israel ("Israel's top sportsman: Miki Berkowitz," Sports, May 7).
Sir, - The murdered athletes were all champions in their own right. I believe we need to acknowledge those Olympians murdered in Munich in 1972, who never had the chance to fulfill their potential.
Man and Superman
Sir, - Larry Derfner asks: "Why does the truth of Pearl's behavior before he was murdered have to be abridged, 'fixed up' for popular Jewish consumption?" ("Daniel Pearl's last words, uncensored," May 7.)
The last truthful words the journalist uttered ended after he confirmed that he and his parents were Jewish; everything after that was put into his mouth by extremist Islamic terrorists. To give credence to those false statements would have been an insult to Daniel Pearl's memory and a propaganda victory for the terrorists.
If the terrorists had thought for one minute that the words he said came from his heart, they would have spared his life; he would have been an invaluable asset to them.
A confession made under duress has no value. Daniel Pearl's last words were not his, and for that reason were not publicized.
Sir, - Larry Derfner's thought-provoking op-ed about Daniel Pearl's last words read like a companion piece to his superb magazine cover story "Stigma of surrender" (UpFront, May 2).
Writing about Pearl, he asks: "Why does he have to be turned into a Superman? Why can't he be left as a human being who, from the evidence, reacted to the terrorists who kidnapped him more or less like any human being would probably react to being kidnapped by terrorists?"
A similar question may be asked of the POWs who received a bitter homecoming after returning from captivity, often treated with what felt like contempt for allowing themselves to be taken hostage, "like you betrayed your country's values," as one of them told Derfner. Commented another drily, "This country doesn't like live POWs. It prefers that you come home in a coffin."
Both articles, to me, highlighted the view that you're either a hero - or you're nothing.
Why, as Derfner, asks, can't you just be a human being?
It's there, in black & white
Sir, - How strange that James Adler thinks our right to a state is without historical basis ("A state, realistically," Letters, May 7). Disregarding the widespread existence of our ancient cities, agriculture, synagogues and industry from the northern Golan to Jordan and Gaza, he seems to ignore our talmudic lawbook, which details every aspect of national and personal behavior, complete with major and minor judicial opinions, as well as the accounts of the Assyrian, Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine occupiers who recorded and graphically illustrated our settlement, national infrastructure and forced exile from here.
Sir, - It seems that the global epidemic has finally arrived here, reaching even the readers of The Jerusalem Post. Which epidemic? The one where the world gleefully predicts our imminent downfall.
Two readers base this weighty view on the dearth of Israeli flags seen flying from Israeli cars in the run-up to Independence Day ("Flagging behind," Letters, May 6).
Silly? Well, yes. These flags break. They get stolen. If they fly off while you're driving on the highway, they can land on the windshield of the car behind you and blind its driver.
The Israeli public is not stupid. It might even be patriotic. It just needs to wise up about more important topics, like our lack of respectable leaders.
I call you friends
Sir, - Please let me call you friends because these are my feelings right now. I am proud and it is an honor for me to receive your magazines.
One of my dreams is to visit Israel - and a little bit of this dream was fulfilled when I received The Jerusalem Post's new Front Page Israel.
I am interested in every event that happens in your country. The book that I just received is a piece of history, a piece of Israel, and I am very thankful for it.
May God bless you and protect you and all your nation.