Letters: Special lady

Readers respond to the latest 'Magazine' articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Special lady
Sir, – Regarding “Confronting cancer” (Psychology, October 31), for years we have read the sound, professional advice of licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Batya Ludman. It seems no matter what the subject, Dr. Ludman is always able to offer appropriate guidance in the most caring, empathetic, down-to-earth manner.
Now she is facing her own personal ordeal. In a brave, modest way she has decided to go public and share her most private, intimate thoughts and feelings for the benefit of her readership and the public at large.
I salute this special lady on behalf of all of us who at one point or another will have to deal with this specific – or similar – challenges.
Dealing with reality
Sir, – Too often, education in Israel stresses memorization and rote learning, which does not engage the heart of the students. Judy Kleinman’s promotion of the viewing of Shakespearean plays, as well as The Wave, for young audiences is a welcome departure from this norm (“The tyranny and fanaticism of high school,” One on One, November 7).
I encounter young people who earnestly study and succeed in their bagrut (matriculation) exams but are often ill-equipped to deal with real-life pressures and moral conflicts they may encounter later in their army service, studies or relationships.
In this vein, Education Minister Shai Piron is attempting to shift the educational system, placing less emphasis on tests and more on personal experience.
The Shakespearean plays prepare young people for dealing with the realities of tyranny and evil through the outplaying of personal and political intrigues.
And the lesson Ron Jones conveyed to the youth with The Wave, in staging a contrived fascist environment, will surely stay with them long after the exam.
Tel Aviv
The writer is a clinical psychologist.
Now’s the time
Sir, – “Can we please stop talking about ‘hasbara’?” (A Dose of Nuance, November 7) is totally misleading.
Ask anyone, including any opponent, how many Jews there are; the response will be tens and even hundreds of millions. Ask how many democracies there are in the Middle East, and you will get an amazing assortment.
Remind people that Israel is the size of Wales or New Jersey, and this reality shocks people.
The above are but a few examples of the lack of hasbara, or perhaps better stated, “putting the case for Israel.” However, why the overwhelming support for Israel in both houses of the US Congress? It’s because AIPAC presents our case on an ongoing basis.
We abdicated after reaching an apex in world opinion in June 1967, and left the playing field to our enemies. We win battles but not wars because we lack the will to fight the all-important media war.
We are the only nation threatened with destruction by its neighbors, but we do not even have an Information Ministry that is adequately funded and eloquent enough to present our case on a daily basis. We leave it to some excellent NGOs, but they lack the status and influence to compete with the Muslim world.
With the Muslim world in turmoil and growing hatred for Islam in the West, never has there been a better opportunity to state our case, and at the same time attack the practitioners of the “religion of peace.”
In order to clarify the position as it is, look at the constitutions/ charters of our most vocal enemies.
If these facts were common knowledge, we would gain untold support worldwide.
Tel Aviv
Two small matters
Sir, – With regard to “‘Middle Feast’ trucks across America, striking food gold” (Start-up Spot, October 31), kol hakavod to our three cooks. But two things niggle me.
Tomer Marudi moved to Israel at age 10 with his Israel-born parents, and returned to America at age 18. What happened to the army? And the sentence “I ‘try’ to keep kosher at home”! What’s to try? Either you do or you don’t.
Kiryat Ono
In the article Disbelieving of his own survival (Books, November 28) the photo printed is of translator Peter Filkins, not author H.G. Adler. The photo was taken by Joanna Filkins.