July 30: Selective solidarity?

It seems for activists that principle of solidarity does not hold regarding the tens of thousands of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Selective solidarity? Sir, - Jewish peace activist Edith Lutz, who lives Germany, boasts that her quest, following the biblical principle of "solidarity with the suffering," is to "help the suffering people of Gaza" ("We aren't lefties," Letters, July 29). However, one gathers that for her and her fellow activists that principle does not hold regarding the tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish victims of Palestinian terror; nor the 8,000 Jews expelled from Gaza who are now living in insecurity and penury. One wonders why a trip to Sderot to show solidarity with the seven-year-long suffering of its citizens from some 5,000 missile attacks from Gaza is not on her group's itinerary, for the sake of showing at least a vestige of "evenhandedness." The heavy toll those missile attacks have taken in human lives and physical and mental injury - mainly of children - as well as the resultant financial woes, have almost turned Sderot into a ghost town. So, Ms. Lutz, how about your movement doing something to show it is not one-sided on the Arab-Israel conflict? TRUDY GEFEN Kiryat Ono Sir, - I was deeply perturbed by Edith Lutz's letter, and would assert that she and her friends appear to be suffering from a pathological astigmatism which totally impairs their vision. She quotes scripture - "Love thy neighbor as thyself" - but then defiles those sacred words by misdirecting her love toward those who educate and train their children for hate-filled terrorist acts and shows disdain for Israel when it attempts to safeguard its borders against these contemptible villains. As Shakespeare pointed out, the devil can (also) cite Scripture for his purpose." ZEV CHAMUDOT Petah Tikva Sir, - Edith Lutz proclaims her sense of injury that "our peaceful action was reported against the background of many people's fear that Iran might send weaponry to Gaza." Can she explain how her actions are going to prevent future Iranian weapons shipments? GILBERT SIEVERS Jerusalem Raising eyebrows, though not hopes Sir, - Imad Mustafa's seven-minute interview raised my eyebrows not just one, but two notches ("Syrian ambassador to US tells Israel: Let's end the state of war," July 28). In the first place, he spoke to a forum of Americans for Peace Now, which in itself speaks volumes. The group's representatives are already running wild with glee, as if peace with Syria was not only around the corner if Israel capitulates, but within arm's reach. Yet Mustafa uttered not one word about keeping the Golan Heights demilitarized, or anything of the sort; nor a word about Syria's very inimical relations with Hizbullah and Iran. I view the ambassador's comments as a sort of Trojan Horse - best left outside for very careful scrutiny before bringing it inside, if it is brought in at all. YONATAN SILVERMAN Beit Shemesh Mistaken blame Sir, - MJ Rosenberg is correct in pointing out that the last eight years have not been wonderful for Israel. But he is mistaken in laying the blame on the US administration that took over in 2000. Yasser Arafat launched the "Oslo War" while President Clinton was still in the White House, having derived inspiration from Israel's capitulation to Hizbullah and retreat from Lebanon under the Barak government. Also, while Rosenberg claims that the years 1997-1999 were virtually "terror-free," according to the Foreign Ministry Web site, 65 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks during that period. I hardly think their loved ones look back at that time as being one of tranquility ("When 'pro-Israel' means not giving a damn about Israel," July 29). JOSH HASTEN Jerusalem Sir, - MJ Rosenberg attributed the quote "You can't be too rich or too thin" to Jackie Kennedy, when, as most people know, these famous words were uttered by the Duchess of Windsor. JJ GROSS Riverdale, New York Every drop of reporting counts... Sir, - You have reported on the dire and dangerous lack of water in our land ("Knesset orders commission of inquiry into water shortage," July 29). Please continue. An ongoing bombardment of facts and figures by learned experts, as well as suggestions for water conservation from scientists, health officials and engineers is needed to break the pervasive "It'll be fine" mentality and help combat the attitude of "My using too much water won't make a difference anyway." There is no greater public-service task for your respected paper to undertake. C. T. HOLLANDER Jerusalem ...when it comes to water Sir, - We are known as a nation that acts only after the fact; we never anticipate. This is a terrible mind-set when it comes to disturbing facts that have been long known. When I came on aliya, people were aware that they shouldn't waste water. Water desalination was under way and Israel Bonds made a great fuss about hopes for the Dead Sea-Mediterranean canal. We have since worked extremely slowly in constructing more desalination plants. Today there seems to be no public shame over wasting water and the Dead-Med project is still on the drawing board. We have given water to Jordan, and continue to do so in the interests of peace. We are continuing to destroy our aquifers, and there is even talk of handing them over to a people that will squander the water and cause us increasing hardship. We need an all-out, immediate national project focusing on short- and long-term solutions to our water problem. We dare not quibble about the cost, but must just go ahead and find the national and political will. When that exists, so will the solution. If ever there was an issue to unite all Israelis, it is the issue of water. TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem Separation bus Sir, - Har Nof is home to all segments of the religious world, although the majority (not, however, 95 percent, as you reported) are haredi. When we moved in 20 years ago, there were about 10 secular families here (not 50% of the population). The 15A bus line was started about six months ago. It runs mainly in the mornings and is an express route to the Geula neighborhood, where many men learn in yeshiva. It runs only about eight times a day, and is an added line, not coming instead of the regular No.15. I've gotten on it once, and neither the driver nor anybody else told me where to sit. While I understand the reasoning behind this "strictly kosher" line - it is not always comfortable to have to move past men on a crowded bus - it has its problems. I have only boys, and would like to sit together with them. And what about women who get sick riding in the back? Still, the 15A is a bus for men traveling to their yeshivot, and the general population can use the regular 15, which has not decreased in frequency. What's nice about Har Nof is that we live in relative harmony ("Egged opens another 'mehadrin' sex-segregated bus line in Jerusalem," July 29). BATYA BERLINGER Jerusalem