April 30: Proof of PA progress?

It would be so good to read about such progress. Is it really happening? Where? When did it start?

Proof of PA progress?
Sir, – Yossi Alpher’s article “Hypocrisy all around” (April 28) stunned me with the statement that “the PA [is] cleaning up its textbooks and Friday sermons.”
It would be so good to read about such progress. Is it really happening? Where? When did it start? What exactly is being done? This issue has been so troubling for so many years, I think any change should be highly publicized. Could Mr. Alpher provide some examples?
Clean tourism
Sir, – I believe Israel would see an increase in tourism if an objective examination of life at street-level were undertaken. Simple measures could alleviate many tourism problems here.
Let us take an imaginary trip to Ashkelon. One will find no consistency in spelling on road signs. The beautiful promenade could be pleasurable if dog owners were made to bag and remove dog waste. And if everyone stopped littering. That includes cigarette butts. Some attractive trash cans and ashtrays would help here (“Ashtrays invite themselves to the beach,” April 26).
It would also be great if public urination were discouraged. This is offensive, unhygienic and, due to lack of rain, extremely malodorous.
And is it a local sport to smash glass bottles on the beach? Broken glass is dangerous, as well as disrespectful to the environment and those who have worked hard to keep the beach and promenade clean and safe. Put some recycling bins nearby. Many places prohibit glass bottles on the beach if education proves ineffective.
These are problems that exist in cities throughout the country.
The landscaping of Israel’s roadsides is beautiful. That beauty can spread throughout every street and beach in Israel if both the populace and visitors are educated to respect this land.
KAREN HARTPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Assimilation and complacency
Sir, – After reading the letter from Andrew Williams, I became quite concerned (“We’ve drifted apart,” April 15). It’s not that I disagree with him. On the contrary, I think he represents too many in the American Jewish community with his beliefs. There seems to be a growing disconnect between the American Jewish community and the State of Israel.
As one who grew up with Israel, I can see the how time has changed the perception of the original Zionist ideals. They have been replaced with something less than idealistic. Reality has become apparent. The favorite or the perfect child is no longer perfect. However, it is our duty as a Jewish family to stick together and support each other. It is our responsibility to try to change for the better.
By living in Chicago, Mr. Williams has the opportunity to become totally assimilated. However, he must always remember the past. Assimilation can develop into complacency, which can lead to annihilation. Beware, for the benefit of your children and grandchildren. It can happen again
LAURENCE MORRELL Maitland, Florida
Proud of our cops
Sir, – Kolhakavod to our fantastic police force, who in the short spanof 48 hours accomplished a remarkable and superb piece of detectiveinvestigation – tracing, tracking down and arresting the gang of threekidnappers and releasing their two victims (“Gag order lifted onkidnap, $3.5m. ransom demand,” April 26).
We can be very proudof their feat. Together with teachers, they play just as important arole in our society as do our doctors, lawyers and engineers.Unfortunately the public does not see it in that light – but it’s timethey did! They earn our gratitude, and our children should certainly betaught from an early age to respect these admirable members of oursociety