January 3: The skinny on thin

It is a known fact that young people are impressionable. The numerous cases of anorexia and bulimia that are plaguing the country must be dealt with.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
The skinny on thin
Sir, – I concur wholeheartedly with the article “Law against anorexic models in media and on catwalks goes into effect” (January 1). Israeli youth do not need a malnourished, emaciated group of celebrities to idolize.
It is a known fact that people, especially when they are young, are impressionable. The numerous cases of anorexia and bulimia that are plaguing the country – caused by this skewed fascination of starved women – must be dealt with.
Teens should know that a healthy body image fuels a happy mind. A large percentage of today’s youth are depressed.
Maybe if society put less of an emphasis on looking like a scrawny twig, young men and women would not feel so much pressure to conform to such impossibly ridiculous standards.
Those two states
Sir, – In his article “A two-state solution is the only way” (Comment & Features, January 1), Leslie Wagner unfortunately substitutes wishful delusion for hard reality.
In the late 1970s, shortly before his death, the seminal thinker in the field of international affairs, Prof. Hans Morgenthau, visited the offices of several members of Congress in Washington, in my presence, with one simple message: A Palestinian state would be inherently irredentist.
I doubt very much whether anything has changed to make that statement any less true today.
Sir, – Although I agree with Leslie Wagner that continuing to ignore the Palestinian issue is not an answer to solving the problem, I believe the writer is ignoring the reality and mentality of our neighbors.
Palestinians are happy to have a “free lunch” and play victim to obtain funds, while Israelis work very hard for each agora.
Sir, – With regard to “Peres unleashes political maelstrom with pro-Abbas remarks to envoys” (December 31), everybody should expect that Shimon Peres, as a prime architect of the Oslo Accords, would be the last person to realize that they are dead.
After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s calculated breach of the accords by seeking a status upgrade from the UN and refusing to negotiate without preconditions; after the PA’s media campaign stating that the whole of Israel is Palestine, and the admission by Yasser Arafat’s widow that he premeditatedly started the second intifada, everybody who bothers to look with open eyes can see there is no choice whatsoever but to seek a different route than the two-state solution.
One day even Peres will wake up to this reality and realize that as president he can no longer protect his baby in the face of Israeli voters.
Sir, – Perhaps after almost 30 years in Israel I don’t understand the twisted logic of a “peace process” conducted with men who use a nom de guerre. This does not give me any confidence in their sincerity to find a solution to the impasse.
Also, if memory serves, we had a settlement building freeze in the past, and what happened? Perhaps we should just send them the phone number of the Prime Minister’s Office with the admonition to call if they are serious about negotiations.
Extreme theology
Sir, – It’s always educational to read Uri Savir’s weekly attempts to fit harsh reality into his religious framework. I say “religious” because Savir’s appeals are not so much to political reason as they are to theology.
His left-wing faith is so extreme that no blows, no inconvenient facts, can alter his course. His faith can be summed up in Job 13:15: Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.
In fact, we see in Savir’s most recent essay (“An officer and a man of peace” (Savir’s Corner, December 28) that his faith in Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians who elected him remains undeterred by the number of Israelis slain on Arafat’s order. With the historical hindsight of almost 20 years, it has been quite conclusively demonstrated that Arafat never negotiated in good faith.
Rather, he used the lure of a “peace process” to gain time for building up his forces before unleashing a war of terror in 1994 that lasted through the second intifada.
In that decade, over 1,300 Israelis were slain in terror attacks, and about 8,500 wounded. The purpose was to terrorize Israel into withdrawing from Judea and Samaria without the Palestinians having to agree to anything in return, including an end-of-conflict declaration.
Savir spends an inordinate amount of verbiage telling how he and the late Amnon Lipkin- Shahak finally convinced Arafat to continue negotiations after Arabs were killed in Hebron by Baruch Goldstein.
“Aborting the talks,” Savir writes, “could mean the end of the peace process and the renewal of terrorism for years to come.”
Savir would be displaying simple humility and honesty if he would admit that even with the talks, Arafat never was serious about peace. Savir would do well to seek a new religion.
Meandering on death
Sir, – Whether intentional or not, the juxtaposition on the same page of the article by Gilad Sharon (“Of life and death,” Comment & Features, December 30) and the letter “Death and dying” from reader Lola S. Cohen, who questions the logic of prolonging needless pain, suffering or coma, is illuminating.
I have absolutely no idea on what exactly Sharon was pontificating in his meandering efforts to interpret his philosophy on life and death – especially as he and his brother insist on prolonging the coma endured by their father, who most assuredly would never have wished his dignity to be so grossly violated.
Modern Josephs
Sir, – The current Torah portions relating to Joseph and his brothers raise the age-old question of freedom and loss of freedom, and, at least for me, sharply bring into relief the experience of two modern Josephs who are still confined.
I refer to my dear friend Anthony Nathan, and to the one who more than any other symbolizes the painful injustice of the modern system, Jonathan Pollard (“Pollard’s Catch-22,” Observations, December 28).
For the past six years, Tony, who is 76, languished in a prison in distant Mauritius, with its heavy physical and psychological toll, after being sentenced to 10 years for bringing in a packet containing drugs.
Tony, who never took drugs in his life, carried the package in return for some sorely needed cash.
Now, thanks to the efforts of his family, rabbis and other good people, he has been transferred to a prison in Israel, and we hope and pray that he will soon be freed to resume a normal, productive life.
While there is new hope for Tony, Pollard is fast approaching his 10,000th day in prison in the US. It is high time, as the American people and their president celebrated Christmas and New Year and tucked into the traditional turkey, that they find it in their hearts in this season of goodwill and magnanimity to finally extend this goodwill to a poor, suffering and sick modernday Joseph who so far, despite our appeals and prayers, has not had the good fortune of the biblical Joseph.
CORRECTION: The article “Reflections for the secular New Year” (Comment & Features, January 2) misstated the author’s name and featured the wrong photo. The author was Shalom Hammer.