Letters to the editor, March 31, 2006

Kidding the nation Sir, - This election's campaigning was outrageous, the different parties' tactics infantile. If they had been used in any high school presidential campaign, those who did it would have been disqualified from the electoral race. Campaigning by bashing your opponents is completely unsportsmanlike. Any little kid in T-ball will tell you that! ("Olmert-Netanyahu rivalry gets personal over loyalty to state," March 26.) SARA COHEN Jerusalem Unglue those pants Sir, - I was more than delighted to see you publicizing the strong movement in favor of electoral reform ("Remedy or reform?" March 16). No citizens' complaints about the undemocratic, self-promoting behavior of all too many of our supposedly representative members have a chance of being satisfied until there is a complete change in the system making all MKs answerable to the citizens they represent - and not to the party hacks. If we have any reason whatsoever to be dissatisfied with any MK, out he or she should go. No glue on the seat of their pants! PHILIP BENSON Netanya State of play Sir, - Many invitations await Ehud Olmert as soon as he forms a government. He must be pleased to have such worldwide recognition, so soon. This would be the time for him to speak about the lack of control at the borders of Israel exhibited by Egypt and the international community, and to underline that he means what he says about Israel defending its citizens. No one feels safe visiting Ashkelon at the moment, nor Sderot, Netivot or other front-line kibbutzim or moshavim. Since there can be no policy disagreement about these areas, Mr. Olmert should be able to express himself in no uncertain terms. It can only do us good for the world to understand that Israel is a sovereign state and not a political football ("Pushing the peace process," March 30). TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem Loudly, loudly Sir, - Albert Jacob justifies the "softly, softly"approach of the British Board of Deputies by the fact that London Jews are too few in number to influence any election (Letters, March 30). But what stops them from organizing mass demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, with open criticism of the anti-Israel actions of prominent Jews such as Prof. Steven Rose and MP Gerald Kaufman? The Board should accept that these actions encourage the anti-Jewish statements of Mayor Ken Livingstone, and that international TV coverage of protests will achieve more than the "softly, softly" approach. MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond Home at peace Sir, - Shmuley Boteach's touching "Shalom in the home" (March 30), in which he recounts how as an eight-year-old he tried to figure out ways to keep his "fighting parents closer together," coincided with the latest edition of the esteemed Psychotherapy Networker professional journal, which focused almost entirely on such problems. Among the issues were "Couples on the brink - to stay or not to stay." Shalshelet Marriage Guidance and Counselling services are now also working with couples referred by the divorce court. Too numerous to imagine, many have simply gone to file for divorce, unaware of other options. Easing the pain of each innocent child has been one of the motives of our counseling services in enabling couples to strive for shalom in the home. Shalshelet counselors are in the forefront of preventive/educational projects, and they would do more, were funds not so severely restricted. A huge movement should be established devoted to preventing unnecessary breakdown of marriage and the suffering of innocent children. Let Shmuley head it, and doubtless we will all follow. PESSY KRAUSZ Founding Psychotherapist Shalshelet Jerusalem