August 28: Actually, it's...

Get your facts right, Andrew Carew-Morton! ("More than misguided," Letters, August 27.) The IDF does not target civilians.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Actually, it's... Sir, - Get your facts right, Andrew Carew-Morton! ("More than misguided," Letters, August 27.) The IDF does not target civilians. Its targets are the terrorists who are either on their way to kill Israeli civilians or guilty of master-minding such missions. These IDF targeted assassinations are carried out with pinpoint accuracy and, in most cases, are highly successful. It is, moreover, a known fact that such planned assassinations have been aborted when there was too great a risk to Palestinian civilians in the area. As for your reference to "illegal occupation" of land, perhaps you should go back a few centuries - say, 2,000 years - and study the history of who owned this land and how it was illegally taken from them. Read your Bible if you want to learn the truth about "land grab," and the reasons for the Jewish people's yearning to return to what is theirs by historical right and justice. JACKIE ALTMAN Netanya Sir, - Since when is it illegal to settle "non-sovereign land?" Since when are terrorists (innocent) civilians? BARRY LYNN Efrat ...the other way around Sir, - Andrew Carew-Morton provides a wonderful example of selective perception. "The repeated targeting of Palestinian population centers"? Really. The Palestinian terrorists openly use their own people as shields, so attacking the terrorists means going into population centers. Your correspondent seems to intentionally be putting the cart before the horse. Statistics from both sides clearly show that Israel's civilians make up more than half of our casualties, while Palestinian non-combatants are less than half. What's really "deeply abhorrent" is using Orwellian doublespeak to support terror. DAVID TEICH Rehovot Sir, - May I suggest that Mr Carew-Morton Google San Remo conference 1919/1920, with additionally, the Vienna Conference on Treaties 1969/89, Section 70[1]. PAUL HARRIS Tel Aviv About Gilad... Sir, - There is no need to exchange prisoners for Gilad Schalit's release ("Wishy-washy," Letters, August 27). Israel should seal the borders of Gaza. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out until Schalit is returned to us safe and sound. To the "humanitarians" who object to the suffering of the Gazan Arabs, we say: "Go in and bring our Gilad back - we are also suffering." It's time Israel stopped fighting with her hands tied behind her back. MAISH RUBIN Beersheba ...and gestures Sir, - I, for one, am fed up with the non-reciprocal gestures we keep making to Mahmoud Abbas ("Freed prisoners receive hero's welcome in Ramallah," August 26). How about he makes one in return? For example, now that the new school term is beginning in Palestinian schools as well as ours, it would not be unreasonable to ask him to remove just one textbook from the Palestinian curriculum that incites hatred toward the Jews and refers to us as sons of pigs and apes. Just a thought. LEONARD DREYER Ra'anana Those vital others Sir, - Further to "Yad Vashem and Hillel Kook" (July 8): Much of the recent publicity surrounding the work of the Bergson Group in the US during the Holocaust refers to "Peter Bergson and others." I feel a need to give names to these "others" and explain who they were: a remarkable group of Etzel members who worked as emissaries in 1930s Europe, organizing illegal aliya and building political support. In February 1939 the Revisionist leadership decided to send an Etzel delegation to the US to promote political and financial support. The first group included activists Haim Lubinsky and Yitzhak Ben-Ami, the Irish Col. John Patterson, commander of Hagdudim Ha'ivriim in WWI, and Robert Briscoe, the only Jewish MP in Ireland. After a few months, only Ben-Ami, who already during his work in Central Europe had the idea of relocating to the US, continued the task. He was joined by Arieh Ben-Eliezer, who reached out mainly to the Yiddish-speaking population, and Alex Rafaeli, who focused mainly on the entertainment world on the West coast. Hillel Kook (Bergson) was the commander of Etzel activities in the Diaspora and their highest-ranking officer. Shmuel Merlin was the ideologue and historian, and Eri Jabotinsky the experienced rescue organizer. Ben-Ami and Rafaeli joined the American army in 1943 and served in Europe. The delegation members trained as an underground unit and became a coordinated team unified by shared ideals. Aware of the fate looming over Europe, they became a powerful lobby for rescuing Jews and for establishing the Jewish state. They preceded their time and created a unique model. Operating under various names such as the Committee for a Jewish Army and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, they made wide use of the media and built broad circles of public support. The delegation's headquarters in Washington were known as the Embassy. Unhappily, these personalities are no longer with us, but they should not be dismissed as anonymous "others." ESTHER RAFAELI Jerusalem Crisis on wheels Sir, - With news reports this week putting the massacre on Israel's roads since the beginning of this year at a figure of 292 dead, it's fair to say we are in crisis mode. Should anyone ask how this could happen in a civilized country such as ours, I would suggest he walk to the nearest main road and observe the passing traffic. He will see an array of stunts and infringements that defy belief. For example: drivers racing up to the traffic lights to catch the green light; drivers drinking from bottles, shaving, reading newspaper headlines, fiddling with the radio/CD player and turning around to address back-seat passengers. He will see women engrossed in plumping up their hair and applying cosmetics, eyes glued to the mirror. And, of course, mobile phones will be clamped to the ears of both sexes. Is it any wonder, then, that concentration - the essence of car-driving - is dispensed with, leading to mayhem and wholesale death? Our family is in deep shock this week, after our young son's best friend lost a leg owing to yet another road accident ("Four killed in weekend accidents," August 24). DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion Sir, - I would take great joy in breaking the fingers of the very many bad drivers on our roads - every minute of every hour of every day - making it impossible for them ever to drive again. Then, while sitting in jail for the rest of my life, I would reflect on what a good thing I had done.... LOU SCOP Netanya More than gossip Sir, - Your Grapevine of August 27, "Reconciliation through dialogue," was another example of taking a gossip column and elevating it to another level, bringing in politics, philosophy, history, religion and psychology and imbuing it with an insightful take on Israeli life. This Greer Fay Cashman does, giving praise or short-shrift, as she sees fit. Kudos to her for writing a consistently informative and enjoyable column, and to the Post for providing us with this journalistic treasure. ELANA ROZENMAN Jerusalem