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Sir, - The government here should learn from our amazing national football team: To get the love of England and the rest of the world, all we have to do is play to win ("Israel scores big in UK media after soccer victory," November 19).
MARK J. FEFFER
Insult & injury
Sir, - Two November 19 Post headlines from your Internet Edition read: "Cabinet okays release of 450 more prisoners before Annapolis" and "Army on high alert ahead of Annapolis."
I can't wait for tomorrow's headlines to see what additional "giveaways" our government is planning. To add insult to injury, we don't seem to be getting anything in return.
Sir, - Saturday night's massive rally in Rabin Square demanded a radical overhaul of our shoddy educational system. Pupils, parents and teachers from the whole political spectrum attended, united in the hope that a powerful and deep message would be delivered to our decision-makers. It didn't happen. The major part of the evening was filled with noisy entertainers, and the onstage coordinator was useless. Speakers made irrelevant political statements and the whole event was devoid of significant content. The eloquent high school student from Haifa was the only one who delivered a meaningful and pertinent address.
Every crisis should open a window to new challenges and opportunities, but unfortunately this did not materialize. Smaller classes and improved wages are only part of the problem. Without a drastic revision of the system by serious thinkers and professional educators, prospects for our future are dismal ("100,000 gather in Tel Aviv in support of teachers' strike," November 18).
'What has Pollard done for us recently?'
Sir, - On October 30 a gathering in support of Jonathan Pollard's release was held in the Knesset auditorium. MKs from the far Left to the far Right spoke, all agreeing that the ball was in the Israeli government's court in achieving Pollard's freedom.
Despite the fact that the event ended at 2 p.m., allowing time for it to be reported in the media, not a single word was uttered or written - another example of Michael Freund's contention that our society has become concerned only with "what's good for me" ("Slide toward narcissism," October 24). He could have added, "What have you done for me recently?" After all, what Pollard did happened 22 years ago; and, furthermore, he won't be able to help us in the future. The fact that he is still incarcerated is thus not newsworthy or of concern.
The assembly was predominately national-religious. Yet Pollard contributed to the welfare of all residents of Israel, Arabs included. David Kimche in "The enemy within" (November 2) concurred with Freund that the general public is apathetic; however, he labeled the zeal of the nationalist-religious in our society divisive.
Maybe, but it's nice to know that the survival of Israel is on their agenda.
Catch those burglars
Sir, - Re "Peres, while swearing in judges, decries escalation in crime" (November 16): Vigorous investigation and prosecution of crimes against property have been shown to bring about a decline in overall crime, including violent crime. Violent crime in New York City declined sharply during the Giuliani years, partly as a result of the "broken windows" approach. When the police intensified the investigation of "minor" burglaries, etc., the result was a reduction in violent crimes as well.
Many victims feel that the attitude of some Israeli police officers is that burglaries need not be thoroughly investigated because no one was physically hurt and insurance helps assuage the trauma. We should learn from many other law enforcement agencies that reducing burglaries has a very positive impact on our success in eliminating more serious crimes.
For the record
Sir, - The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) would like to point out that Ra'am-Ta'al has not expressed an official party stance on draft legislation to raise the legal marriage age to 18. In "You're 17? Wait till you're 18! MKs to debate raising marriage age" (November 16), ACRI Attorney Sonia Boulos was inaccurately quoted as saying "Ra'am-Ta'al except for MK Ahmed Tibi" was opposed to this draft legislation.
MK Tibi does support the draft legislation, but the rest of the party - together or as individual MKs - has not expressed a definitive opinion yet.
International Communication and Development Coordinator, ACRI
Beg to disagree
Sir - I wholeheartedly endorse Joshua Halickman's stand on what should be done with the terrorist(s) who threw the explosive device onto the basketball court at the Hapoel Jerusalem-Hapoel Holon game ("Don't punish the fans," November 15). However, I disagree with his position - "freedom of expression" - regarding the booing and jeering that went on at the football match at Kiryat Eliezer during what was supposed to be a moment of silence in memory of Yitzhak Rabin on the secular anniversary of his assassination.
What I saw on television made me ashamed. I believe the episode was symptomatic of the lack of self-discipline that pervades many young people today. Whether or not the match was the proper venue for such a tribute is immaterial; the fact is that it was made so, and if a brief moment of respect cannot be observed, I fear for the future.
Booing Hitler is one thing; booing the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, a warrior who helped make possible the State of Israel, is quite another.
Sir, - I was fascinated to read "Dutch biblical scholar claims ancient seal was Queen Jezebel's. Relic of unknown origin found more than four decades ago in Israel" (October 24) and learn that an ancient seal bearing the inscription "Yzbl" has been confirmed by Utrecht University Old Testament scholar Dr. Marjo Korpel as being most probably that of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab.
Considering this inscription, I immediately made the connection to another article you published a few weeks ago by a language historian, who showed that in the earliest alphabetical writings of the region, the vowels were omitted ("The Jews invent vowels," Simhat Torah supplement, October 3). Instantaneously I thought of Queen Isabella of Spain, who instituted the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, and pondered how her name would have been written without vowels - also "Yzbl."
Could it be a coincidence that two of history's most ardent female persecutors of Jews both bore the same name? I think not.
In "Anti-violence rally in Beit Shemesh reflects religious tensions" (November 6), it was mistakenly stated that Deputy Mayor of Beit Shemesh Shalom Lerner has announced he will run for mayor. Lerner has yet to announce his candidacy.
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