letters to the editor 88.
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Sense of dread
Sir, - As an American visiting in Israel, I initially thought Michael Freund's "appeal of faith" to President George W. Bush (November 1) was satire, but as I continued reading, a sense of dread rose within me.
Let's be clear about one thing: God did not elect Bush, the people of the United States did (well, even that is not clear-cut). America is still, despite the damage done by Bush and his ilk, a democracy in which church and state are separate. Neither Bush's god, Freund's god nor any other god has a place in national decisions of our nation.
Bush took us to war and a prolonged occupation in Iraq based on lies, not some divine orders. Iran is clearly a threat to Israel and the rest of the world, but let's not sit back and let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's god and Bush's god dictate the future of civilization.
Sir, - It's nice to hear Esterina Tartman and her Israel Beiteinu party come out and say it like it is - the time has come for us to stand against anti-Zionist lawmakers ("Itzik intervenes to stop bill for axing 'anti-Israel' MKs," October 31). We know their position and yet they are allowed to be in the Knesset. It is very important that this bill be passed, so when they do show their true colors, they can be eliminated from their positions.
We do care
Sir, - Salah Choudhury, the Bangladeshi journalist, is facing the death penalty because he is positive about Israel ("Risking his life by speaking out," October 31). We must use all necessary means to get him out of there and show the world that we care about people who are enlightened and courageous and willing to tell the truth to the Islamic people.
Where is the Mossad? Where is the CIA? Where are the UN delegates to speak out against this horrible injustice and for Choudhury. We must make a terrible outcry.
Let's not miss this opportunity to show the Islamic world that we care about a man who tells the truth and are against those who spread hatred for it's own sake. Bring this case before the UN now!
I don't understand
Sir, - Re "High alert for J'lem gay parade" (November 1). I respect everyone's right to his own sexual preferences, which I think are nobody's business but his own.
What I do not understand is the crude exhibitionism of dress and behavior which accompanies the parades, or why they need a parade at all. No other group of people parade through the streets of major towns throughout the world to demonstrate their sexual preferences.
On the one hand, the gay community wants its rights to be recognized and to be accepted into society; on the other hand, gays go out of their way to stand out and separate themselves from society as a whole. They can't have it both ways.
Why a parade?
There's more to the upcoming "Gay Pride" demonstration in Jerusalem than meets the eye.
For years, the capital's gay community has sought acceptance in a city that claims to represent Judaism's best values - tolerance, peace and acceptance of "the other." No segment of Jerusalem's diverse population has faced as intense and sustained assault on its existence as the Holy City's gay community.
For this and other reasons, Jerusalem - more than any city in Israel - stands in dire need of a lesson in tolerance and diversity. This lesson - and not an ostentatious display of sexuality - is the driving force behind the parade.
If men and women are to live in harmony with themselves and others as our creator intended, we must accept the full spectrum - or rainbow - of humanity. This includes people of any and all sexual orientations. Until Jerusalem's "silent majority" welcomes gay individuals as a valid part of their community, there will be a need for Pride parades in the Holy City.
Sir, - Re "Absorption Ministry's new campaign targets 'yordim'" (October 30).
Why does the State of Israel make itself look foolish by doing the exact opposite of what most civilized countries do?
Most enlightened nations try to keep their yordim out and thus strengthen their current population both economically and culturally.
Aliya is not soap or toothpaste, which can be promoted by a sales pitch. Aliya must be sought after by the "buyer." Make Israel more Jewish and the olim - those we really need and want - will come swarming in under their own power.
Why does the government waste money by sending a minister plus a staff to drum up aliya among expatriates? If they do not feel the need to join us, then who needs them?
Sir, - I am writing to address an issue that goes largely unnoticed in the Jewish community, as well as in the mainstream press for that matter. Stuttering affects 1 percent of adults worldwide and about 4% of children at some point during their development. While an exact cause is yet to be identified, much evidence points to both genetic and neurological factors.
I would like to bring to the attention of your readers the Web site of the Israeli Stuttering Association (www.ambi.org.il), which can be accessed in both Hebrew and English. ISA is an outstanding organization committed to helping people who stutter and their families. It offers a wealth of information and promotes affordable treatment for people who stutter.
Also, the Web site of the Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) provides excellent resources. It offers an international listing of qualified speech therapists who specialize in stuttering. Also, it features a fascinating list of "Famous People Who Stutter." Furthermore, the Stuttering Foundation makes available countless books and DVDs for adults, children, parents and teachers; most of the material is sent out free.
The Stuttering Foundation sends its materials to more than 70 countries each year.
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