July 2: They're responsible

MARSHALL ONELLION: I grieve for the loss of Eliyahu Asheri, a young man with his whole life ahead of him.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
They're responsible Sir, - Re "PRC displays kidnapped teen's ID" (June 29): I grieve for the loss of Eliahu Asheri, a young man with his whole life ahead of him, and my thoughts are with his family and friends. At the same time, this is not the work of an isolated group. The Palestinian people elected a government - Hamas - that backed this act of murder. How could a half-mile-long tunnel with multiple branches be dug without approval of the security people? Think, for instance, of the amount of dirt that must be removed. No, Hamas allowed this to happen. As the government of the Palestinian people, they are in the same position as any government: They are responsible. So the argument against collective guilt falls to the ground - the Palestinian people elected these butchers. Let them realize the consequences. MARSHALL ONELLION Madison, Wisconsin Sir, - Every Australian would want to console Miriam Asheri, the mother of Eliahu Asheri, who was seized and murdered simply because he was an Israeli. But, the totally disproportionate response of the Israeli military to the abduction of an Israeli soldier revolts the world at large. To destroy a power station that'll now deny power to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and to kidnap dozens of government ministers, and blow up bridges and buzz the palace of the Syrian president clearly reveals Israel as the bully boy of the region. Australians are disgusted with Israel today. Your bravery of the past has been soiled beyond recognition. BRIAN HAILL Melbourne Inexcusable... Sir, -The attitude of the Immigration and Absorption Ministry with regard to the Bnei Menashe, Falash Mura or any other group that is willing to go through a legitimate conversion process and rejoin the Jewish people in our homeland is inexcusable, bordering on criminal ("Fundraisers upset over Falash Mura policy change," June 28). Who are these bureaucrats who deny our brothers and sisters their inalienable right to fulfill the prophecy of "veshuvu banim legvulam" - "and the children shall return to their land"? The ministry's policy flies in the face of the very basic reason for being of the Zionist movement! ROCHELLE AVITAN Kiryat Ono ...Incredible Sir, - That Israel can lock a woman up for six months because her visa has run out and she applies to convert to Judaism is beyond the comprehension of anyone who cares about human rights ("Muslim woman fights to convert and stay in Israel," June 26). That such behavior is meted out to someone who has lived here for 10 years and cared for those in need is incredible. Such actions hardly spell out the language of a democratic country. Furthermore, Interior Ministry officials should have known that with a surname of Abadi it is more than possible this lady is of Jewish descent. Once again we see how the ignorance of officials involved in immigration and conversion applications causes unnecessary misery. We hope to provide sufficient support to enable the necessary legal representation to get this woman released and to achieve the life she craves. GLORIA MOUND Executive Director Casa Shalom Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies Gan Yavne Strange viewpoint Sir, - Shmuley Boteach's article, "Why the bottle is sometimes a better choice" (June 28), has succeeded in demeaning women, frightening couples and generally spreading half-truths and falsehoods. The birth of a child engenders physiological and hormonal changes in new mothers, some of which temporarily reduce sexual interest and response. However, whether one believes in creation as a divine gift or as an evolutionary process, suggesting that the natural act of breast-feeding often undermines the male procreative urge is patently absurd. His strange viewpoint only burdens women further, artificially creating a child/husband dilemma, which in most cases simply does not exist. Boteach's declarations about marital sex are built on moonbeams. In healthy, supportive relationships, sexual activity reduces gradually over time, but generally remains a source of intense satisfaction for both spouses. Any statement about frequency must take into account the myriad factors that make up our complex daily lives. Boteach's broad brush paints only confusion. In the final sentence, Boteach posits that "the principal form of marital breakdown in our time is a loss of erotic desire between husband and wife." My colleagues and I found this laughable. Is Boteach actually trying to convince us that relationships are so simplistic? The factors leading to marital dissolution are every bit as complex and often ephemeral as those bringing couples together. Sex is only one of them. DR. DAVID S. RIBNER Director Sex Therapy Training Program School of Social Work Bar-Ilan University Correction Sir, - Eva Cohen's "Monument to mark David's defeat of Goliath" (June 15) was well written and we congratulate you for discussing this important educational and historic subject. However, there are some serious misrepresentations and errors: The illustration is not at all representative of our chosen monument, but rather a reproduction of a classic painting by Gustave Dore. It is in contrast with the spirit of our monument, which is dedicated mostly to the victory of spiritual over physical strength. The correct name of the initiator of the project is Prof. Vladimir Berginer and not as written. Many of the quotes attributed to Interior Ministry district planner Guy Kav-Venaki were actually said by Prof. Berginer. PROF. VLADIMIR BERGINER Chairman David's Victory Foundation PROF. CHAIM COHEN Department of Hebrew Language and Bible, Archeology and the Ancient Near East Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Sir, - If Shmuley Boteach, as a self-proclaimed family expert, describes the woman's breast as an "erotic plaything," he obviously needs to deal with a lot of unfinished business in his own life. I wonder how any man would feel at having his penis so described. The greatest gift a parent can give his or her infant is a healthy lifestyle. Since breast-feeding for the first year or even two has been proved to enhance the child's short- and long-term health status, it would be difficult to imagine that a father is so self-centred that he would deprive his child in order to have sole access to his partner's breasts. Most of the men I have seen in my work are mature and understand that parenthood is a partnership with each partner taking on different aspects of the work. There are periods in a couple's life when the man needs maximum support, for example crises in the workplace, and a concerned partner will do everything to help him. So during childbearing and breast-feeding, a loving husband will accept that sometimes there are three in the bed. Eventually the kids are weaned, they grow up and leave home. And the couple who have supported each other through all that and grown together will be left to enjoy the empty nest and not having to close the bedroom door. WENDY BLUMFIELD Honorary President Israel Childbirth Education Center Haifa