July 17: Best of the best

We have followed Alex Averbukh's career since he made aliya and agree that he deserves to be at the top!

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Best of the best Sir, - Re Allon Sinai's "Averbukh was simply the best" (Sports, July 15): We have followed Alex Averbukh's career since he made aliya and agree that he deserves to be at the top! We are sure he will inspire a new generation of young athletes to do their best and represent Israel with patriotism and modesty in sport. FISCHER FAMILY Michmoret Heblish, anyone? Sir, - Re "Yerushalayim or "Jerusalem"? (July 14): It seems as if the former is to be deemed correct. Has Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz nothing better to do with his time than think up absurd ideas and then waste more money on changing road signs that will be meaningless to the English-speaking tourist and the non-Hebrew-speaking resident? The worst example is Caesarea being distorted to "Qaysaria": A tourist looking for Caesarea will drive straight past the road sign. Another example is the German Colony, which in "Heblish" is "HaMoshava HaGermanit" - a mouthful, and totally unnecessary. Also the practice of writing a "w" instead of a "v," as in "Petah Tikwa," is meaningless and will just cause confusion. Road signs in two languages are meant to be understood by speakers of either language and spelled correctly in that language - so Jerusalem is "Jerusalem" in English, and "Yerushalayim" in Hebrew. JOE CHARLAFF Mevaseret Zion Answer me this Sir, - Re "US rabbis call for monthly fast against Gaza blockade" (July 14): As the former executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, I ask Rabbi Brian Walt: • Where was Rabbis for Human Rights in 2000-2007, while the city of Sderot was being rocket-bombed from Gaza? Where was its help to the traumatized Israeli children when their school was hit? • Where was Rabbis for Human Rights in 2008, when the citizens of Ashkelon and Beersheba saw their homes under fire and their children in shock as a result of the bombing from Gaza? • Where was Rabbis of Human Rights in 2008, when Ben-Gurion University had to close for over a month due to the possibility of being struck by rockets from Gaza? Students are still attending classes to make up for the time lost, interrupting their family summer vacation. • Where has Rabbis for Human Rights been during all the time Hamas has not permitted the International Red Cross to visit soldier Gilad Schalit, kidnapped inside Israel's borders three years ago? Is he well? Is he alive? Why isn't Rabbis for Human Rights, such a good friend of our Palestinian neighbors, doing anything about it? If Rabbi Brian Walt really wants to "correct" Israeli policies, maybe he should make aliya and do his thing here, not from 6,000 miles away. Then he would know there is no "blockade of Gaza" but almost 50 trucks full of humanitarian supplies (food, medicine, etc.) sent into Gaza by Israel every day. As for those boats trying to sail to Gaza and stopped by Israel's navy, Rabbi Walt should know that the ships are brought to the port of Ashdod, where their cargo is checked for weapons and other military items. Once these are removed and destroyed, the cargo proceeds to Gaza City via the trucks mentioned above. Rabbi Walt's fast today? I see no reason to join him. SEYMOUR BRODSKY Jerusalem Whipping boy Sir, - Our Jewish leadership seems totally devoid of Jewish pride. I thought the bottom had been reached when, during the Annapolis conference in 2007, a senior member of the government and entourage were forced to enter the meeting room through a kitchen door as the other party refused to sit with the Israeli contingent unless it complied with this outrageous request. Sarah Honig's "In the footsteps of Sam Lewis's suck-ups" (UpFront, July 10), recalling prime minister Menachem Begin's attitude toward then US ambassador Sam Lewis should (but won't) serve as an example to today's politicos. The more Israel acts like a powerless beggar, the more it will be treated like one. Before the elections, voters hoped Netanyahu had changed his stripes. Now the electorate has seen him in action, folding like a fan in dealing with the American government. Until we have a government that believes in the people of Israel, the Land of Israel and, yes, the Torah of Israel we will be the whipping boy of the world. RUBY RAY KARZEN Jerusalem Karachi Jews Sir, - Re David Horovitz's "Because there are no Jews in Pakistan..." (September 12, 2008) and one Dr. Ishaac Moosa Akhir, living in Karachi: I am in the final stages of writing a book on the different communities that live in Karachi, a city of over 17 million. I was born here, have lived in this city nearly all my life and seen it grow and change in the last 50 years and more. In the process of compiling data, I have identified over 60 different communities on the basis of religion, ethnic or geographic background, profession, etc. From the very beginning of my research more than a year ago, I have been inquiring about the Jews, if any, living in this city. All roads led to one Rachel Joseph, said to have died a few years ago. Others who had some knowledge about the Jewish community in Karachi said my research would not lead me anywhere, since it would be extremely difficult to find any members here today. And if found, they would be unwilling to come forward and communicate. While I fully appreciate such concerns, I was encouraged to appeal to anyone having specific information of interest to me for my book to kindly e-mail husain.rumana@gmail.com RUMANA HUSAIN Karachi