April 22: An Independence Day to remember

letters to the editor (photo credit: )
letters to the editor
(photo credit: )
An Independence Day to remember
Sir, – Lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep. It’s been a long day, so it takes a couple of minutes before I finally doze off. Before I know it, the sirens sound; instinctively, I jump out of bed; 15 seconds to make it to the shelter. Wake up the rest of the family, yelling to them to hurry. Made it just in time with only the two things that matter most to me – my parents. Then we hear the bombs drop – one by one – then silence. My heart beats quickly, but I know I’m safe. I open my eyes to find out that it was all a dream, but the rapid heartbeats are real.
Sunset on Monday marked the 62nd anniversary of Israel – how befitting. For many Israelis, the fear of living under constant rocket attacks is a state of reality. As millions around the world celebrate the freedom of a Jewish state, Israelis can’t help but remember the struggles that they have endured for so long (“Sorrow turns to joy as nation remembers the price of freedom,” April 21). Yet they haven’t given up. They didn’t give up when Israel declared independence and was attacked by five Arab armies, and they didn’t give up in the numerous wars that followed.
Today, when anti-Israel rhetoric is often translated into anti-Semitism and these arguments are at their highest, the Israelis still haven’t given up. Instead, they continue to strive for peace, although these efforts regularly go unnoticed. Israel asks to be recognized as a Jewish state; instead, it is vehemently criticized, and its open arms are met with resistance. The constant backlash against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blurs the real threat as Iran prepares to go nuclear. It’s clear that President Barack Obama doesn’t have his priorities straight; hopefully, he will begin to notice before it’s too late.
No matter what Israel has gone through these past 62 years, Independence Day is a day of celebration. It’s a day when supporters show their pride in the State of Israel and all of its achievements, despite what is often portrayed in the media. It’s also a day when one is truly proud to call him- or herself a Jew.
May Israel honor its next birthday in peace.
Sir, – It’s always polite to thank a host/hostess after a party, so I just wanted to thank Tel Aviv for the amazing Independence Day celebration last night. In one evening I was privileged to celebrate in the best of all ways spiritual and secular. First, beautiful ma’ariv prayers at the Shivat Tzion Synagogue led by cantor Yaakov Motzen, and the Jerusalem Cantors Choir led by Binyamin Glickman. Former chief Rabbi Lau was in attendance and spoke of the religious significance of the occasion.
Then it was off to Kikar Rabin for the mother of all parties. Along with thousands of other people, we sang along with Yehoram Gaon (whose voice, even at age 70, is showing no signs of slowing down!) and Ilanit. There were costumed dancers, video montages of our beautiful land, and fireworks. Fabulous felafel from Hippo capped off an evening I will never forget.
I can’t imagine how you’re going to top this next year, Tel Aviv, but I’ll be back!
MARSHA GREENBERG MOTZENEnglewood, New Jersey/Petah Tikva
Presidential messages...
Sir, – In view of the Obama administration’s barely disguised antipathy toward the Israelis and their democratically elected government in the last 16 months, Mr. Obama’s Independence Day declaration that Israel and the US “share a strong, unbreakable bond” (“Obama: We share unbreakable bond,” Online Edition, April 20) carries the same credibility as Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”
ALAN B. KATZMelville, New York
...and messages to the president
Sir, – Regarding your editorial “62, under a cloud” (April 19), the only way to heal the relationship with the United States is for Israel to stand up to President Barack Obama and advocate its case in the court of American public opinion.
Obama’s anti-Israel hostility is now clear. Nothing will be gained and everything will be lost by appeasing him. That will only be a sign of weakness and encourage further abuse.
Israel is right in this conflict. Obama fails to deny Israel’s historic rights, because its historic rights are undeniable. His failure to acknowledge Israel’s prior sacrifices for peace and its recent substantial concessions are further proof of his lack of fairness, if further proof were even required.
DANIEL R. SCHAEFERHartford, Connecticut
Holy eyesores
Sir, – Well before the unholy Holyland scandal came to light, I shuddered each time I saw this eyesore on Jerusalem’s skyline (“Prosecutor: Hundreds of witnesses in Holyland case still to be questioned,” April 19).
Whatever comes to light as this shameful story unfolds, and whichever incumbents are held responsible, one thing is clear: There must be stricter guidelines for an untainted planning authority to oversee and decide on all future construction in Jerusalem to ensure that our beautiful city will not be despoiled again.
A honey of an obsession
Sir, – Having just changed the new toilet roll (which my husband replaced) to the correct position – paper hanging down the back, of course – I was highly amused to read Judy Montagu’s article devoted to such strange obsessions (“Honey trap” April 21).
This letter gives me the chance to express my great pleasure that we are once more being given the opportunity to enjoy Judy’s witty and literate articles and my regret that we no longer have the benefit of her tasty, practical and no-nonsense recipes.
LOLA S. COHEN Jerusalem
Sir, – Judy Montagu really hit the nail on the head in her column on OCD. My own problem, though, is mainly with signs of OCD that I discern in others. We’ll let one example suffice: Unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Sudoku addict, you’re probably unaware of the strange fact that in every single Sudoku puzzle categorized as “very easy” the number 7 will appear in one of the first three squares in the top left-hand corner!
I have done these puzzles for years, and I know this to be a fact. I also know there is no justification for it (except OCD); I checked this with my brother, the game theory expert. And it is precisely this kind of thing that drives me around the bend.
Sir, – Judy Montagu’s articles are delightful. By the way, I would love to know the drizzle-proof method of spooning out honey.
The letters editor writes:Having asked, we have obtained the following advice: Press the edge ofthe spoon against the inside of the jar as you take it out, so it cutsoff the honey flow (angle it toward the jar so it doesn’t just drip offthe other side of the spoon). Then move it quickly to its destinationbefore it begins to drizzle. It takes practice, but once perfected, itworks.
The photo caption on Page 10 of the Independence Day Supplement shouldread “Ariel Sharon congratulates Moshe Ya’alon at a ceremony at thePrime Minister’s Office in which he formally took over from ShaulMofaz,” and not as printed.