January 6: Olmert's comic book

Super heroes, tents in Sderot, and why new moms are depressed.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Super-heroes Sir, - The overall impression I got from reading Herb Keinon's and David Horovitz's interview with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was of a man who views himself as a sort of super-hero in his own comic book, illustrated by pictures of the friends to which he kept pointing and alluding to during the interview: "Impressive-Man" Putin, "Very Impressive-Man Mubarak," "Exceptional-Man" King Abdullah II, Reformed-Terrorist-Man Abbas, and "Giant Friend-of-Ours" Bush. Olmert related his adventures with these other super-heroes as if they were enough to pass off as leadership ("Every solution will be painful," January 4). JONATHAN FELDSTEIN Efrat Sir, - Our prime minister seems unaware of what Palestinian children are taught, what Palestinian imams teach in mosques, and what Mahmoud Abbas's speeches to the Palestinians in Arabic actually say. I believe most Israelis would agree that the pains Olmert seems willing to help inflict on us will simply lead to more and worse pain. DAVID LLOYD KLEPPER Jerusalem Sir, - Among the most striking aspects of the interview were Olmert's completely inappropriate, and wrong, "admissions" that Israel has violated its commitments and, perhaps more tellingly, his claim that Israelis have to understand that Israel's closest allies, including the US, envision an Israel with 1967 borders. Olmert could not be more wrong when it comes to public opinion and political analysis in the US. No responsible member of Congress sees an Israel with 1967 borders, and in visit after visit to Capitol Hill we hear the same refrain, that Olmert has either misread the political will here or deliberately undercut it for his own agenda - as they complained Ehud Barak did in earlier years. DAVID SCHOEN Atlanta Sir, - A deep-seated need for friends "out there" instead of securing safety here has guided Ehud Olmert for years. What about the age-old question: What have they done for us lately? Where were our friends as Hizbullah armed itself to the teeth following the UN truce which forbade that; and as Hamas has followed suit via the Philadelphi corridor, which we gave up in return for our friends' promises? Where have our friends been as our Negev is bombarded daily for years? And where will our friends be when, within the '67 borders, we are bombarded daily from the West Bank? Answer: Where they have always been - at home, saying good things about us. AVIGDOR BONCHEK Jerusalem Democracy ain't all Sir, - In "The asymmetry confronting Bush" (January 4) David Horovitz noted the "urgency of the democratic dangers" as evoked by Prime Minister Olmert. He concurred that such concern is appropriate, as sooner or later "a compromise will have to be made between the river and the sea over either territory, democratic rights, or the Jewishness of Israel," and that the vast majority of Israelis are "not prepared to compromise on a Jewish state and a democratic one." However, as recent reality has shown, if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank without an appropriate security apparatus - as may happen in the foreseeable future and as occurred in Gaza - then I think a majority of Israelis, their homes threatened on a daily basis by a barrage of Kassams, Grads or Katushyas, would (unfortunately) prefer to rule another people - yes, undemocratically. JAY ZUCKERMAN Oranit Good plan! Sir, - Seth Clyman's solution to end the Kassam rocket attacks in Sderot was right on! I would only add the suggestion that Mahmoud Abbas be invited to set up his tent next to Bush ("My plan to stop the Kassams now," Letters, January 6). FRED CROWN-TAMIR Mevaseret Zion Vilna'i on Barghouti Sir, - Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i's remarks about releasing Marwan Barghouti were ill-advised, to say the least ("Vilna'i backs Barghouti release as part of Schalit prisoner swap," January 6). When will our leadership understand that Hamas, and Fatah, care nothing for the Palestinian prisoners, who are considered only a tool to impress the gullible Europeans and others, and for use as a bargaining chip. To underline this I suggest we choose up to 50 Palestinian prisoners who would be exchanged for Gilad Schalit. Every day they should be placed on a bus ready to go, and returned to captivity every evening that agreement is not reached, with articles and photos sent to every available international news agency. The opinion and support of the international community are crucial to the Palestinians, and publicity showing how little the Arabs actually care for their brethren might ring a bell with that community and have some positive results here in Israel. I. LEWIS Netanya Lantos & Wallenberg Sir, - It is symbolic that Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) announced his illness and his stepping-down in the same month that we commemorate the day Raoul Wallenberg - the man who saved Lantos and his wife more than 60 years ago - was taken by the Soviets, never to be seen again ("Lantos to quit US Congress," January 3). Lantos never forgot the man who saved his life. When elected to Congress in 1981, he was the driving force behind president Reagan awarding Wallenberg honorary US citizenship. Lantos was also the first to sign our "100,000 Names for 100,000 Lives" campaign to disclose the fate of Wallenberg. We know he will continue his work to preserve the memory and uncover Wallenberg's fate. DANIEL RAINER Int'l Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Jerusalem Why new moms get depressed Sir, - Re "Post-natal depression hits 1 in 10" (January 6): A woman is often expected to experience the discomforts of pregnancy in silence since "pregnancy is not a disease," undergo natural childbirth since "women have been doing it since the beginning of time," breastfeed successfully since "any woman can do it if she really wants to" and return to her pre-pregnancy weight by her first postpartum checkup or else she's "let herself go." On top of it all, she is expected to forget what she went through giving birth, because "it's all worth it." Personally, I have been subjected to a midwife who told me to "stop being a baby"; a gynecologist who castigated me for not losing my "baby fat" by my six-week checkup, and numerous Tipat Halav nurses who harshly criticized me for everything from not breastfeeding to not hanging a toy on the carriage. Pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period are physically and emotionally challenging; however, women are expected to remain silent regarding their experiences, while taking the abuse of others. Is it any wonder that 10% suffer from depression? VICTORIA FEINERMAN Petah Tikva 35, and counting Sir, - Mazal tov to Yaakov Kirschen for his first 35 years of Dry Bones (January 6). I once wrote him a criticism of an inadvertent mistake he used to make frequently, and he's never done it again. Keep up the good work! M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem