Sir, - After Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, Palestinian terrorists murder at least five innocent Jews in Hadera - in retaliation, they say, for the killing of one of the worst terrorist murderers, responsible for deadly attacks on innocent Jews in Israel. It is time for Israel to stop worrying about international anti-Israel sentiment and finish the defensive barrier ("5 dead in Hadera market suicide bombing).
CHRISTIAN VAN NIEKERK
Sir, - A suicide murderer strikes in Hadera and you publish a picture of his sister mourning him? (October 27). What were you thinking?
Sir, - Thank you for publishing the picture of the suicide bomber's devastated sister, who seems to have at least one foot in reality. Last I heard, the bomber's father had been arrested for possible involvement in the crime, and there was a jubilant rally in his village supporting the killings. She seems to understand that her brother's death served no purpose.
It's terror, stupid
Sir, - In response to "It's Zionism, stupid" (Letter, October 24): James Adler clearly lives in a blissful state of ignorance. I am sorry to disturb his convictions, but the correct and obvious response is: "It's terrorism, stupid!"
Sir, - James Adler is right, but he should go back to the Middle Ages. If the Jews had disappeared a few hundred years ago, there would have been no pogroms in Europe and, in Russia in particular, no Jew hatred, no Nazi movement and, for sure, no Holocaust.
Worse than terror
Sir, - Haredi demonstrators on Highway 6 being viciously attacked by hired security thugs is more than disturbing ("Double standards," Editorial, October 26). Those responsible for this sort of action must be brought to justice immediately. This type of reprehensible behavior is far more damaging to the Jewish State of Israel than any terrorist attack perpetrated by our sworn enemies.
HAIM M. LERNER
Sympathy all gone
Sir, - Re Shlomo Spiro's "Where are the secular Zionists?" (Letter, October 27): Anyone who moved to the Gaza Strip and thought they would stay for always needs to come down to earth. I have family who were there for nearly 20 years, but always knew there was a possibility - even probability - that they would have to move one day. Other considerations aside, it was not possible to occupy a piece of land with 1.5 million Palestinians and protect 8,000 settlers there forever. When the decision was made to evacuate I too sympathized with the poor people who were being forced to leave their homes, and felt they should get very generous compensation.
The matter had been under discussion for some two years and the settlers had at least six months' advance notice. A special authority called Sela was established to register all residents' details, to calculate their compensation in accordance with set criteria and try to establish where they would like to move. But when it tried to distribute the necessary questionnaire forms some settlers, influenced by their rabbis (who told them there would be a miracle and there would be no evacuation) tore up or burned those forms. They resisted until the last day, when they had to be physically removed.
Without the cooperation of these settlers, advance accommodation arrangements could not be made. Nevertheless, the Sela authority ordered several hundred "caravillas" to be erected in the Nitzanim area. Apartments were leased and hotel reservations made.
Those who had completed the forms moved into the caravillas, or other places of their choice, and are content with their temporary arrangements. However, people who did not cooperate, like those camped in the Yad Mordechai area who refuse to move until they have villas erected on the seashore between Ashkelon and Ashdod, are probably destined to remain where they are until they get real and drop their ridiculous demands. Many apartments and hotel rooms remain vacant while Sela pays the rent.
My sympathy, and that of the secular Zionists, for these people has dissipated. They should be left to make their own arrangements within the compensation provisions available.
Sir, - Concerning the letter from Don Berry about "shoving the Holocaust in our faces" ("Enough is enough," October 26), I lost an entire branch of my family in the Shoah. Not only did I never get to meet them, my cousins never got to be born.
It is never "enough," and I will never be numb.
Source has no sanctity
Sir, - Anshel Pfeffer defends "the sanctity of source protection," deploying the standard pro-journalistic arguments that are always given prominence by media whose raw material is tittle-tattle, gossip, rumor and speculation while at the same time trumpeting their privileges ("Revealing sources," October 21).
Isn't it time to explode the myth that the media has privileges in law which are higher than those open to the ordinary citizen? Let the press defend what it publishes - and be damned if it doesn't get it right. And as for the sources, let them keep their mouths shut if they can't stand by what they say.