December 11: A first good step

December 11 A first goo

A good first step... Sir, - Obama received the Nobel peace prize for his pronouncements on a world free of nuclear weapons, among other things ("Nobel Prizes honor Obama, digital imaging pioneers," December 10). We can all endorse that here in Israel. However, a good first step toward that noble goal would be to totally eliminate the nuclear threat from Iran as soon as possible. MARK FEFFER Jerusalem ... To prevent the worst Sir, - The headline reads, "ElBaradei: An attack on Iran is 'absolutely the worst thing that could happen. There is no military solution'" (December 8). I disagree; there is something far worse: an attack by Iran. MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem No room for doubt... Sir, - The very title "When in doubt, shoot" by Larry Derfner (December 10) misrepresents the unfortunate killing of a deranged Israeli man as he tried to climb the fence into Gaza. In a war zone, the orders to the men on guard duty are very specific so that the soldiers' reactions are immediate and there is no room at all for doubt on their part. These include orders such as: "Open fire on anyone in the area of the fence." It is not the guards' responsibility to determine why a person is trying to climb over the fence into Gaza at 2 a.m. He could be a spy carrying sensitive information, which could lead to a terrorattack; or he could be carrying weapons parts into Gaza. This incident was sad and unfortunate. Tragedies occur in wartime. This, sadly, was one of them. P. BERMAN Shoham ... Or more operations Sir, - In 2005, the State of Israel underwent an amputation. We cut off Gush Katif, threw out all the Jewish citizens and destroyed their homes and sources of income. We were told that this amputation would somehow be good for the country. But tragedy sometimes follows an amputation. Instead of peace and good health, we got the infection of Hamas and its missiles. And we had to undergo another "operation" - Cast Lead - for which we are still paying. Now the international community says that this was not enough. They want us to amputate our arms and legs out in Judea and Samaria. No matter that the body of Israel barely survived the trauma of the first operation; now they want to perform a bigger one. It is now clear, once and for all: Successive amputations are not enough. They want the very heart of the Jewish people: They want Jerusalem ("Two capitals for two states for two peoples," December 8). No living organism can survive without its heart. But perhaps that is exactly the point: They want us to cease to exist. With Hanukka approaching, it would behoove us to remember Judah the Maccabee, who stood up for the Temple and Jerusalem. THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva Out of the mouths of babes Sir, - Teachers and other women workers who take extended maternity leave are role models for the younger generation ("Not all mothers teach," Letters, December 8). Perhaps those teachers could be encouraged to visit their classes from time to time and teach their pupils the values of good mothering and infant care. Letting children view the monthly development of small babies is just as valuable as good grades in arithmetic. WENDY BLUMFIELD Hon. president, Israel Childbirth Education Center Haifa