letters 88 NICE.
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Brave new world
Sir, - Sam Ser's excellent "The atoms family" (October 5) was a sobering indication of what we in Israel had better be prepared for in the next few years. It's not only Iran, but many other Arab countries which want to "become nuclear" that Israel will have to deal with, possibly alone.
America is becoming more and more aware of its mistake in invading and occupying Iraq, costing Uncle Sam an enormous amount not only in money and materiel, but in lives. Israel will not be able to depend on American military support as much as it could prior to March 2003; and even if countries like Iran and Egypt do not actually possess nuclear weapons, acquiring them will become less and less difficult.
In addition, the recent chilling front-page story in Yediot Aharonot showing that many of Israel's most sensitive and secret military installations are clearly accessible via Google and other Internet search sites made our vulnerability even more apparent.
It's a very uncomfortable reality we must all face up to. This is the "brave new world" we now live in, like it or not.
Sir, - The SHUVU school system sounds like a dream system ("Fear of competition," October 5). You have religious studies mixed with secular subjects, taught on a very high level with the object of making well-rounded students who will be the future of Israeli society.
This sounds like the type of school system that is needed in Bnei Brak. How wonderful it would be if the haredim who stand behind this revolutionary school introduced it to the young haredi children, who are in many cases deprived of a sound secular education, and if they started a movement that would prepare them for the real world.
Jonathan Rosenblum pointed out that the people of Kfar Saba are suspicious about the motives of this new school system. How do you think the people of Bnei Brak, or people living in the ultra-religious sections of Jerusalem, would welcome such an innovative curriculum? The fact that this school system is being introduced in secular sections of the country is a very good reason to look deeper into the real motives of the founders.
Sir, - Jonathan Rosenblum revealed what some folks in the used car business call the "bait and switch" gambit. Secular parents are enticed by an excellent curriculum to move their children into SHUVU schools with an ultra-Orthodox orientation. But if their youngsters become more observant, it is reasonable to expect that they will be encouraged to switch to more "mainstream" haredi schools where children are ill-prepared to contribute to the larger society.
One question to Mr. Rosenblum: Why not offer haredi children the same education SHUVU offers their secular counterparts?
Sir, - In "Education demands sensitivity" (October 5) Getahum Tizahu pointed out the need for integration and acculturation into Israeli society of the younger generation of Ethiopians. According to my experience at Rogosin High School in the development town of Migdal Ha'emek in the '70s; ORT Israel Vocational High School in Usfiya, a Druse village, in the same period; in high schools in the inner city on the South and West sides of Chicago in the '80s and '90s; and now in two community colleges in the far northern suburbs of Illinois, the schools, whether in Israel or the US, are obliged to address the needs of all students and their families.
Teaching tolerance and acceptance means teaching the humanity of every student - black, white, brown, Jew, Christian, Muslim. The children of Israel - all of them - deserve quality education so they can take part in Israeli society as productive, contributing adults.
PROF. YOEL NITZARIM
Leveling the field
Sir, - In "Not only in Ostropol" (September 28), Sarah Honig was wrong to criticize former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to reveal his consultations with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert concerning Israel's recent incursion into Syrian airspace.
As Honig discusses, Mr. Olmert was, in a very subtle and smart way, using the ambiguity of the successful strike for his own political gain. However, since Olmert did consult with Netanyahu, he should have, in a gesture of national unity and good faith, signaled that the minority leader had assisted in making this critical strategic decision. Instead, Olmert basked alone in the quiet glow of the IDF's successes.
Netanyahu's statements merely leveled the playing field.