December 5: Abandonment

The image of little Moishe Holtzberg screaming for his "Ima" will haunt me for the rest of my life.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Abandonment Sir, - The image of little Moishe Holtzberg screaming for his "Ima" will haunt me for the rest of my life. I cannot recall anything that so captures the reality of what Israelis have been facing since their return to the Land. Because, in a way, we Israelis have lost our mothers, too. And our loved ones. Through the agony of a child's hysterical call for his mother, a mother whom we know - but the child does not - will never return to him, we glimpse the real horror and devastation of the victims. Will this atrocity be forgotten, in time, as so many previous ones have been? Perhaps. But the image of a two-year-old abandoned will remain forever. Perhaps it will help us combat future attacks ("Moshe's grandparents: We'll take over Chabad mission in India," December 2). YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL Modi'in Betrayal Sir, - I am perplexed that David Horovitz should suggest that Binyamin Netanyahu ought to reveal whether he is prepared to relinquish the Golan, and where he would draw his West Bank red lines ("Spoilt for choice," November 28). Would not such clarity, which would inform the Arabs just what territory we are prepared to concede, weaken Israel's bargaining position in the event of negotiations between a - hopefully - more hawkish Israeli government and the opposing side? I also don't agree that the electorate feels betrayed when politicians show vagueness prior to the elections and then afterwards pursue policies of which the voters disapprove. In Israel's history, the main feeling of betrayal on the part of the electorate has been experienced when a politician gets elected on the strength of clearly stated views and then, after the elections, pursues a policy diametrically opposed to his declared platform. That is betrayal! RHONA YEMINI Givatayim More haste, less speed Sir, - Re "Jerusalem high-speed train back on track" (December 3): Several issues highlight the inability of our authorities to engage in serious policy planning. The article referred three times to "planning failures." What does this mean? Unless these failures are made transparent, and those responsible for them replaced, they will not only continue, but will become costlier and costlier. In economics we teach that bygones are bygones. Simply stated, this means that even if you have already spent half a billion shekels on a project, that is not enough reason to continue, especially if it will cost three billion more than originally calculated. One has the awful feeling that no serious social cost-benefit analysis was done in this case; that those responsible are not being held accountable; and that the demands to continue regardless are simplistic in the extreme. That is too bad, especially as, in principle, I am a keen advocate of rapid public transport. Its mishandling - along with other projects such as Jerusalem's light rail and the subway in Tel Aviv - is giving this policy goal a bad name. HARVEY LITHWICK Metar