Febrary 17: Farewell, great man!

Shalom and God bless you; goodbye, great man, Thomas Peter Lantos!

letters 88 NICE (photo credit: )
letters 88 NICE
(photo credit: )
Farewell, great man! Sir, - I had the chance to meet personally with the great humanist and advocate of the American-Israeli alliance, Tom Lantos. As a defender of the rights of man, Mr. Lantos helped the large number of dissidents and hunted people in Eastern Europe under the communist dictatorship. Several times Congressman Lantos got up in my defense before the communist regime in Yugoslavia and the authoritarian regime in Croatia, which suppressed basic human and civil rights such as freedom of speech and political association, freedom of the press and parliamentary activity. I also deeply appreciate the way Congressman Lantos took under his protection my friend Ernest Brajder, a Zagreb Jew, whom the secret service arrested, together with me, and then fabricated his suicide, saying he jumped out of a fourth-floor window. Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, strongly supported the freedom of small nations and of individuals, a truly noble mission. Shalom and God bless you; goodbye, great man, Thomas Peter Lantos! ("My friend, Tom Lantos," Morris J. Amitay, February 14). DOBROSLAV PARAGA Publisher and President CPR 1861 Zagreb, Croatia Be kind, not cruel Sir, - Kudos to Rabbi Adam Frank for his observations on the cruel slaughtering practices behind much of our kosher meat supply ("Why do the OU and Israel's rabbinate condone barbarity?" February 14). Citizens of Israel should insist that our country be at the forefront in the ethical treatment of animals. Kashrut's proponents, in particular, should want to be able to boast that "keeping kosher" really does bring a high level of ethical sensitivity to the act of eating - and be able to back that up with facts; which cannot be done today. RABBI PERETZ RODMAN Jerusalem Same question, different answer Sir, - In "Why I support Hillary Clinton" (February 13), Judith Colp Rubin provided a wonderful analysis of how one is to decide whom to support in the US presidential election. I too have asked myself the simple question Ms. Rubin asks, to wit: Whom do you trust more to deal with such issues as terrorist threats, Iran's nuclear weapons and Syria? But unlike Ms. Rubin, the answer I came up with was John McCain. ARTHUR MILLER Beit Shemesh Loud protest Sir, - Re "Hundreds of protesters urge gov't to make Sderot security a priority" (February 11): Protesters outside the Knesset should install a 200-decibel loudspeaker that would sound a siren on the Knesset lawn whenever the sirens sound in Sderot. A flashing red strobe light would be a nice touch. A loud siren going off 40 times a day might deflect the coalition from its daily routine. NATHAN WIRTSCHAFTER Rehovot Disabled driving Sir, - As a newly qualified disabled car driver, I am shocked to experience so many thoughtless fellow motorists, who are often young and able-bodied. Examples: parking without a permit on disabled parking spaces; stopping or waiting on these spaces, blocking their use by disabled drivers. No one is automatically spared the physical effects of severe illness, accident or advancing age. In the end, all of society benefits from consideration between its members, especially in these troubled times. ADA GUTTMANN Ra'anana Prize-winning idea Sir, - "Shmita, creatively" (Letters, February 1) was truly refreshing. Gloria Mound should get a prize for her clever analysis of an injunction which produces difficulties without end for Israelis and causes friction in families. Religious leaders of all streams, including haredi ones, should seriously consider her excellent solution to the problem: that farmers fulfill shmita by leaving one-seventh of their land unworked every year and still be able to make a living from the other six-sevenths. Stores would have enough produce and customers would not have to buy fruit and vegetables grown outside Israel. LORI LEVMORE Jerusalem Pensioners' plight Sir, - I was disappointed that you made little mention of the difference in the raise received by pensioners on January 28, compared to the raise awarded to MKs by the Finance Ministry ("MKs decry pay raise - but take it anyway," January 1). It is surely newsworthy that a single pensioner such as myself received NIS 29 a month increase, as compared to MKs, who received NIS 2,800 more per month plus an unspecified amount for servicing their cars and extra accommodation in Jerusalem if they live elsewhere. It's quite a nice package compared to that of the pensioners, who waited a long time for any increase at all. I did not see one reader's letter published about this terrible injustice. I wrote to you at the time; surely my letter was not the only one? By the way, your criteria for "brief and topical letters" were not met when you published, on February 1, one very long letter ("Shmita, creatively"). MEL COHEN Ra'anana The long and short of it Sir, - At the bottom of the Letters column you write that you give priority to "letters that are brief and topical." Would you say that the January 18 letter from Arun Kumar Sharma in Guwahati, India - while being "different" - met your demands? I am writing to say that if you lay down specifications regarding what you print and then ignore them and do the opposite, one has the right to question your integrity. More than that, can one then take other parts of the paper in good faith? ANNE KARLIN Rehovot The Letters Editor responds: Editors of all Jerusalem Post sections strive to do the best job they can, keeping faith with their readers. The occasional longer reader's letter is a case of the exception proving the rule. While letters that are brief (and submitted by e-mail) stand a better chance of being published, a longer letter of interest or originality, such as the one cited by Ms. Karlin, deserves a place. The aim is to provide topicality, liveliness and variety for the community of Post readers.