January 18: GM replies

Your publication of Edwin Black's four-part report "Hitler's carmaker" has raised a number of concerns here at GM.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
GM replies Sir, - Your publication of Edwin Black's four-part report "Hitler's carmaker" has raised a number of concerns here at GM. No question, it is an impressive piece of research and writing. Indeed, Black makes it easy to overlook the fact that he makes little effort to be fair or balanced. His attempts to contact us were cursory at best. His frustrations in dealing with the Yale archive were never shared with anyone who could have fixed the problem. In his effort to portray his report as "news," Black also minimized extensive work that has been done by GM and many others to openly document what happened during the Nazi period. Perhaps most distressing to the men and women of GM is Black's implication that nothing has changed. GM is now a global company, with more than 300,000 employees and 33 manufacturing facilities around the world. GM has a strong commitment to human rights, and a good track record that has been well documented by credible NGOs. TOM WILKINSON Director, GM News Relations Detroit No impact Sir, - Re "Just who exactly is a 'moderate Arab leader'?" (January 17). Michael Freund's question needs to be rephrased: Just who exactly is a moderate Arab leader that can impact positively on his constituency? It was widely known that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's latest trip to the region was not going to achieve anything, because both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas lack grassroots support. Thus, no matter that Condi paid lip service to supporting Abbas, or that her words were preceded by Abbas's call to arms. This trip really didn't impact on anything except traffic in the center of Jerusalem. VARDA EPSTEIN Efrat Fantasy world Uri Savir writes that we all know what the configuration of peace with the Palestinians would look like and then goes on to dream his fantasy world ("Getting the sequence right," January 17). We all know what day one of a so-called peace with the Palestinians will look like - more of Sderot. Nothing will change until Palestinian society is cleansed of its worship of terrorism. There is no sign of even an attempt by the US nor EU to instill such a change. PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Keep the Golan Sir, - In about the middle of the 20th century, the USSR annexed a significant part of Finland to the west of Leningrad, expelling and dispossessing its inhabitants. The rationale was that never again should the city be attacked from that direction as it was in World War II. If mighty Russia still needs that part of Finland to protect St. Petersberg, how much more does vulnerable Israel need the Golan Heights to protect the whole country ("PM emphatically denies deal with Syrians," January 17). OSCAR DAVIES Jerusalem Favoring criminals Sir, - Re "Dichter: Don't broaden self-defense definition to endanger lives" (January 17). There is no satisfactory explanation given as to how a victim is suppose to know whether an intruder is there to steal or to do one bodily harm - plant a bomb or kidnap or kill. It would appear that Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter is more concerned with the rights of a perpetrator of a crime than with the victim. By forcing a victim to make a choice as to whether to defend himself and his family or finding himself in opposition to a law which allows a criminal a free hand in committing a crime which in the end may end up causing bodily harm to the victim and his family he is coming down unfairly in the corner of the criminal. In the final analysis most intelligent people will make their own decision if faced with an intruder, regardless of whether he is technically in violation of the law. Common sense would seem to be on the side of a stronger law, because it is not in the nature of ordinary people to kill for the fun of killing. PAUL BERMAN Shoham No Trump Sir, - I salute Shmuley Boteach for "Trump and the death of the American gentlemen" (January 15). Donald Trump is but one "shining" example of what we once called a "male chauvinist pig," He thinks that his wealth can justify his rude behavior and plain and simple chutzpah. The most amazing thing is that he isn't even a self-made man like, for instance, Bill Gates. His so-called empire was created mainly by his father, At the end of his article, Boteach states: "There is good in Trump. He seems to be a loving father and he recently praised Israel and announced a major development in Tel Aviv." I keep wondering what set of moral values can this loving father convey to his children? As to his big future investment in Tel Aviv, I don't think he wants to invest here because he loves us so much. To him this is just another business venture that eventually will pay off. VALENTINA MONHAJT Ashdod Shut it off Sir, - A few years ago, after I declared that television was nothing but a brain waster and threatened to get rid of it, the TV set was kind enough to go on its own. Suddenly my family discovered the wonderful world of books and the outdoors. Unfortunately, though, a new box took the place of the TV. Although the Internet has opened up a world of knowledge for us (as a teacher, it serves me as an invaluable tool), it also has led many of our children astray. And so, I'm beginning to think like Barry Newman ("The on-line life," January 11) that maybe it is time "to shut the damn thing off altogether." CHAYA HEUMAN Ginot Shomron Name it Sir, - "Public ethics and religion" (January 11) examined the correlation between degrees of religiosity and corruption in a country, and concluded that they are correlated. But the religion in the study this conclusion is based on is not named. Isn't it logical to check first if the religion demands the kind of behavior defined as "ethical" by the study? If all your religion asks is private ritual, or if it allows lying, this clearly affects the result. NINA KOTEK Lagny, France Move to YES Sir, - It is gratifying to read the many protest letters concerning the outrageous behavior of HOT, and I am hoping that on this occasion there will be a massive move to YES which has promised not to remove BBC Prime. I would suggest to YES that it back this up with an official statement guaranteeing the continuation of this station. Concerning Norma Schneider's excellent comments concerning the cancellation of Eurosport (Letters, January 15), I am pretty sure that HOT is referring to the Eurosport News channel, which is a separate station, and not the main Eurosport channel. Can you imagine the size of the protest if it were really cancelling the Eurosport station itself. RUTH SOBOL Ramat Efal Whondering Sir, - Whe where whondering whether the whonderful staff on your wheekday newspaper know that whales are sea creatures, but Wales is in Great Britain ("Judge rules she alone will probe Diana's death," January 16). It whon't be evident using whord-check, but a whorld atlas and some general whisdom whould be whell-advised. JUDY FREEDMAN Hashmonaim