January 29: An invitation to Larry

With great pleasure, Larry Derfner is cordially invited to rejoin us in our ancient mixed city of Jerusalem.

An invitation to Larry

Sir, – With great pleasure, Larry Derfner is cordially invited to rejoin us in our ancient mixed city of Jerusalem since his living in ancient Modi’in may recall Mississippi lynchings of Jews and blacks, Ku Klux Klanners, segregation and mob rule (“Segregation blues,” January 28).

Here, Larry will have many Arab co-owners of his building, Arabs waiting with him in line at the bank, supermarket, clinics, hospital, post office, workplace, buses, university, sports centers, hotels, parks and everywhere else. It is so simple and easy to reach out to them!

If this is not fair enough, Larry might try Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem or Nazareth. Heaven forfend that he’d depart for Detroit, Amsterdam, London, New York, Istanbul, Paris, Los Angeles or dazzling Dubai.

Please RSVP positively, Larry.


‘Shalom bayit’?

Sir, – Far from being prosecuted, I suggest Goel Ratzon be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (“One of ‘Israel’s biggest cult’ leader’s 17 wives describes him as warm and kind,” January 27). Maintaining no fewer than 17 wives and managing to keep them happy and content is a rare feat indeed. Most men find it a full-time job keeping one wife happy. I say, what’s his secret?

Mevaseret Zion

Emergency response

Sir, – In “A medical mission of pride and promise” (January 25), Jonathan Halevy reminds us that in the IDF rescue efforts in Haiti, “what has been most challenging without a doubt has been the emotional experiences. Many of those in the field hospital are seasoned veterans of the military and have treated hundreds if not thousands of victims of warfare and terrorism.”

As a clinical psychologist who, as part of an emergency response disaster team, has worked with victims, their families, the community and first responders to prepare for such disasters as the earthquake in Haiti, I beseech those returning to Israel to meet with those of us trained in trauma counseling to ensure that their post-disaster emotional needs are truly addressed now. No matter how prepared one is when going into battle, the shock of such widespread carnage and such horrific sights, sounds and smells as they witnessed in Haiti can have a devastating long-term impact – on themselves, their families, their marriages, their work and sadly, their response to the next disaster.

Our men and women did an amazing job when they were in Haiti. Now is the time to make sure that in reviewing our response, we don’t neglect, in our own pride, the emotional needs of our volunteers.


School funding

Sir, – Schools in Gaza are indeed “inadequate: damaged, overcrowded, undersupplied” (“Another school of thought,” Letters, January 26). Perhaps Judy Bamberger should inquire of the Palestinian Authority why the billions of dollars donated unconditionally over many years have not been used to build new schools and supply text books other than those that deny the right of Israel’s existence, rather than those that glorify jihad as the main subject taught.
The PA has been givenenough money to supply every Palestinian family with a mansion,state-of-the-art hospitals, infrastructure, modern schools,universities and proper health care. Yet they have only rockets,weapons, ministerial palaces and fancy cars to show for it, while theleadership watches people suffer and starve and blames Israel for alltheir woes.