letters 88 NICE.
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Sir, - Gershon Baskin's "Peacemaking truth and lies" (October 23) must have been an eye-opener to most readers. The operative word is "courage" - courage to admit that the present situation is not viable, and never will be.
I have been involved in one small segment of the many problems in east Jerusalem, and what Baskin describes as third world conditions is absolutely true.
Sadly, though, whatever good-will gestures are made to the Arab population, and bearing in mind that it's "comfortable" for Palestinians with the blue ID card, which gives them privileges, they will never be a part of us. We must stop kidding ourselves and secure a strong Jewish Jerusalem once and for all, even with so-called painful concessions.
Losing lives in conflict is surely the most painful of all.
Sir, - l would like to thank those MKs who are working to keep Jerusalem united and beginning to fight back for our beloved city, entrusted to us by God. l am also doing my little bit here in Nahariya, and have just had a T-shirt printed, stating "Divide Jerusalem? Never, ever!"
Come on lsrael, let us fight together for Jerusalem before it's too late. It's important to stand up and be counted. People power can make a difference, but we must start now, and stand together ("61 MKs sign petition to keep Jerusalem united," October 19).
and the moronic
Sir, - Re "Olmert says Israel doesn't know if Goldwasser and Regev are alive, confirms two-decade-old letter from Arad" (October 23): If after all this time the government does not realize it is dealing with terrorists, with all that implies, Israel has truly become a sick nation. These people are not idealistic revolutionaries fighting for a cause; they are monsters whose agenda is to destroy all civilized behavior.
Hizbullah, like Iran, is Shi'ite and its priority is the destruction of Lebanon. What kind of thinking pervades the Prime Minister's Office? We should have had hundreds and thousands of Arab prisoners who could not be visited or have their families know anything about their existence. Then maybe the other side would be pressured into helping ease the situation for Israeli families wanting to know whether their loved ones are still alive.
The prime minister is rushing to an ill-conceived conference with no demands that can in any way be taken into account. He should have had the guts to say, "There can be no summit if our soldiers are not returned home to us." Maybe then the US would have pressured its Arab "allies" to ensure that Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Schalit are returned to Israel. What has happened to Israel's moral stance?
State of rottenness
Sir, - Hassan Nasrallah does not allow the Red Cross to visit our prisoners, nor do his counterparts in Gaza allow the Red Cross to visit Gilad Schalit, in blatant disregard of the most basic laws of humanity. Even the Nazis made at least a pretence of allowing Red Cross visits. What about the commitments of the Red Crescent, which is recognized by the Red Cross?
If Nasrallah is not a terrorist - as Zaher Mahruqi insists ("Don't think of Nasrallah as a terrorist," October 23) - then perhaps the word is too good for him. Would "subhuman" be more appropriate?
And what about our government, which seems prepared to overlook that insufferable and unforgivable breach of morality and is ready to negotiate prisoner swaps before insisting that this basic principle be honored?
No leniency for Amir
Sir, - In "Amir expresses no regret in chilling tape released by police" (October 23) the misnamed Committee for Democracy calls for Yigal Amir's release. There should be no release for this murderer, who actually committed two murders - one of a prime minister, husband and father; and one of democracy by silencing the democratically elected leader of a democratic country.
This country has, I believe, stretched the limits of democracy by granting him conjugal visits with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, whom your editorial of October 23, "Heal the rifts," rightly referred to as "ever the provocateur." She will soon bear him a son, who, poor mite, will forever carry the stigma of being the offspring of an assassin.
As the 12th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination approaches, all citizens of all political stripes should harden their hearts against any leniency for this murderer. He is in a category of his own and should never be released.
Sir, - HOT cable's intention to replace CNN with Al-Jazeera in English is an insult to the English-speaking audience. CNN ratings may have declined in the US, where there is competition between the networks, but in Israel the only other American news is Fox, which is entertainment news. To continue reputable American news coverage, may I suggest that HOT negotiate for CBS, NBC or ABC ("HOT cable prepares Al-Jazeera deal as it readies to drop CNN," October 23).
Newsless in Netanya
Sir, - Leonard Zurakov displayed his satirical skill in "Worst month ever" (Letters, October 23). For less than the price of a holiday trip to the States, he could have plugged into all the major cable, satellite and Internet news programs broadcast around the clock. These often report on events here. Surely he is not so "shackled" as to prevent him from pushing buttons on festival days?
Sir, - So, Leonard Zurakov, you had no newspaper on the holidays and couldn't watch much on TV? No, you don't have to "grimace and bear it." How about reading a good book - or even picking up the Good Book on the High Holidays? You might find it interesting.
Sir, - Compliments to Mr. Zurakov on his puckish sense of humor.
Sir, - Leonard Zurakov's complaint is that the Jewish state has the gall to act like a Jewish state and suspend TV news on its holiest day, when most Jews fast or take part in prayer services.
Aside from enjoying the weather in Netanya, one wonders what his connection is to Israel. It can't be his Judaism since he urges us to "Rise up and throw off the shackles!
Sir, - Let me suggest that Mr. Zurakov go back to his homeland for the High Holydays and visit Israel each year at Christmastime, thus ensuring he gets his newspapers.
An article in the October 23 print edition was interpreted by some readers as an acknowledgement by CNN that the network has been overtaken in the American TV ratings by Fox News. While Fox News has indeed passed CNN in the US ratings, it has not done so in Israel, and CNN did not refer to the US ratings race in its statement to The Jerusalem Post.
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