Letters to the editor, December 25

Evacuees' plight Sir, - Thank you for keeping us informed about those Israelis who were forced out of their homes in Gush Katif. They lost not only their homes, but their livelihoods and communities. For all too many of us it has become a case of out of sight, out of mind. To add insult to injury, the Disengagement Authority, fearing a few spurious claims, is treating all of the evacuees in a demeaning way. How many of us have saved old school records, tax bills or other documents in the event that such a thing could happened to us? This agency does not even seem to have a definite policy on which documents are essential. It is to our shame that we are allowing other Jews, Israelis, to be treated this way. The orange ribbon on my cane is not there to make a political statement. It is a reminder to me, and I hope to others, that this matter is not over, not yet. ELAINE SARID Jerusalem Unfortunate truth Sir, - I must take issue with the point made by Rabbi Chinitz ("Up, with aliya," Letters, December 21). If only he were correct. But the unfortunate truth is that Israel is the only country in the world where synagogues and cemeteries are allowed to be destroyed (and parts of the land emptied of Jews) without it being called "anti-Semitism" but, rather, "unilateral disengagement." ARIEL BROCH Shadmot Mehola Advertising for thieves Sir, - It is shocking and frightening to read about burglaries which seem to be the result of drugs or idleness ("It's a crime," Metro, December 23). The article points out prevention is always better than finding a cure. However, nothing was mentioned about advertising agencies who, in my opinion, are a large part of the problem. Our letter boxes are stuffed full, on a daily basis, with material which most people throw straight into the bin. Even worse are the leaflets and samples that are hung on the front door handle, especially when the front door faces the street. Apparently there is no law prohibiting this practice, yet it can be a clear indicator to thieves that the owners are not at home. HASJA PALMER Haifa Money talks Sir, - There is an old aphorism in the Talmud: "Ba'al ha'meah hoo ba'al ha'deah." Or, as they say in all other languages, "Nothing counts more than money." Apparently unaware of this, "outraged" Israeli politicians charged the Bush administration with "blatant interference" in Israeli political affairs when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Prime Minister Sharon for his acceptance of a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute ("Rice stirs tempest with Sharon testimonial," December 22). If any person or foreign government has the right to voice a political opinion concerning Israel, it is none other than the president of the United States or a member of his administration. The sooner our leaders learn that, the better. SAM COHEN Rishon Lezion Bishara's no Dietrich Sir, - "Bishara's blast" (December 21) was an excellent editorial summarizing his hate for and opposition to the State of Israel and Zionism. The great German actress Marlene Dietrich opposed Hitler and the Nazis. She moved to America and returned her German passport to Hitler. Bishara is free to leave Israel and return his Israeli-Zionist passport to the state. MOSHE IVRY Jerusalem Disengage, and so on Sir, - So Kassam rockets have fallen on a military base in southern Ashkelon ("IDF threatens 'harsh' Gaza operation," December 23). What to do? I have a good idea. Let's "disengage" the base from its current location and move it to north of Ashkelon so that when the Kassams fall on central Ashkelon our soldiers will be out of range and not endangered. We can then "disengage" the residents of Ashkelon northwards to safeguard them, and so on. ZEEV ABRAHAM Hertzliya Pituah Silent 'reformers' Sir, - Much international attention has been paid to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks espousing wiping out the State of Israel and denying the Holocaust. This attention is justified but we should not focus solely on him while forgetting the true danger: the Islamic regime behind him. Nothing shows the true nature of that regime better than the total silence of the so-called "reformers" who, not so long ago, mesmerized decision-makers from Europe to the White House. No reformers condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks. One would think the political rivals of the hard-liners would capitalize on Ahmadinejad's international troubles but the reason for their silence is obvious. There are no reformers in Iran's regime. The only difference between them and Ahmadinejad is their tactics, not their goals. The world must reject this regime in its entirety, actively undermine it while supporting democratic Iranian opposition leaders such as Prince Reza Pahlavi. SHAYAN ARYA Seattle Warning, not 'bashing'Conversion storybeit din (rabbinical court), went to the mikve (ritual bath) and became a Jew. He was told it would take up to a year to receive his certificate. He returned home but was so excited, sending me e-mails about doing mitzvot and reciting blessings in synagogue. But his dream is to live here, yet he cannot make aliya without the conversion certificate. Still, he returned to Israel to learn in yeshiva and finish aliya here. A few days ago, with an appointment scheduled with the Interior Ministry, he needed his certificate. He called to inquire about it and was shocked when told that a rabbi who sat on his beit din was no longer recognized by the Rabbinate. He would have to go through the conversion process again. How can those in charge play with a person's life like this? MARK LEAMAN Ma'ale Adumim