June 28: Under our noses

MIRIAM L. GAVARIN: Aside from technology, what might be going on under our very noses that we fail to see?

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Under our noses Sir, - Further to "Captors list demands as IDF braces for Gaza incursion" (June 27): Submarines have sonar to locate potential targets or hazards; planes have radar. Needed is the technology to locate tunnels in solid earth. Maybe it already exists and only awaits application. The other important piece of information needed concerns the method adopted by the diggers - in this case, disposal of the dirt excavated from a 750-meter tunnel. For, aside from technology, what might be going on under our very noses that we fail to see? MIRIAM L. GAVARIN Jerusalem If it has to be war, commit to win Sir, - I guess I just don't get it. While it is right to worry about the safety of the kidnapped soldier, the media has lost track of the fact that two soldiers were killed and several others wounded when terrorists invaded Israeli territory. In addition, rockets rain on Sderot daily. A sovereign nation cannot overlook this type of activity. The terrorists will never stop unless they are beaten to the point where they realize that they must compromise or die. The idea that the crisis can be managed by the return of the kidnapped soldier is as misleading as it is dangerous. It will only set the stage for the next atrocities. If there must be war, then let Israel commit to win. A punishing invasion of Gaza may well bring reprisal attacks from Hizbullah in the north. However, Israel could then use those as a basis for going after Hizbullah and removing the rocket threat from its northern border with Lebanon ("Olmert pledges harsh response to kidnapping," June 27). MICHAEL GEWIRTZ New York Sir, - Before we pour our precious troops into Gaza, I hope the people who send them in are taking into consideration that every day that passes is giving the Palestinians more time to set booby-traps, especially in the populated areas. Before going in perhaps we should turn the electricity off for a few days to give them something else to think about - and the first attacks should be from the air. I would also like to remind them that Hizbullah exercised psychological warfare over Israel for years when soldiers Benny Avraham, Omer Sawayid and Adi Avitan were abducted, claiming that they were in good health when in fact they had been killed during their abduction. Let's get proof of Gilad Shalit's good health before we worry about him being hurt in any rescue attempt. CECILIA HENRY Kfar Bialik Non-violent response Sir, - Your editorial of June 27, "Exacting a price from the PA", and countless news articles continue to focus on our need to "raise the price" to the Palestinians in Gaza of their violence toward us, which continues even after our ending the occupation there. We hear calls to return the IDF to Gaza and, after the abduction of one of our soldiers, calls "to cause the Palestinians enough pain that they will halt the violence." Unfortunately, we have experienced mostly civilian casualties as a result of our actions, and I am amazed that no one in the official political world seems to have taken seriously the idea of withholding the electricity we supply to the Strip. This very punishing but non-violent measure is, I believe, the most powerful and least destructive thing we could do now. Is there anyone who wouldn't much rather see video coverage of Gazans suffering in the heat without air conditioning than bloody videos showing the unintended victims of our military response? Added value would likely be complicating manufacture of the Kassam rockets. Next to go should be the supply of gasoline (which would also hinder the transport of weapons and crews to their deployment points). If needed, a special gasoline allocation could be made to supply hospital generators. YORAM GETZLER Moshav Aminadav Fairy tales Sir, - Nothing could be further from the truth than Phil Chernofsky's "Objective about Reform" (Letters, June 27). As one who spent many years as a teacher and administrator in Reform movement schools, I can vouch for that. Your correspondent failed to identify either the Reform rabbi or the "prominent Reform rabbi" who told him these fairy tales. If he expects anyone to believe them, he should come up with some names. LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya One Judaism Sir, - In Flatbush, Brooklyn, where I was raised, both the Ashkenazi (European) and Sefardi (Syrian) communities dealt with people along the spectrum of religious observance. The Sefardi synagogues included people of all levels of observance, the understanding being that not everyone can keep everything. You didn't have to be "the same" to be legitimate. The Rabbinate and Judaism didn't have to be redifined into denominations to be relevant to any Jew. I am jealous of the Sefardi community's approach, as it keeps Judaism united. There can be all kinds of Jews, but only one Judaism. AZRIEL HEUMAN Ginot Shomron Worth a parade Sir, - Reform Judaism altered Judaism for the purpose of finding favor in the eyes of non-Jews. It should not be surprised if, for that very reason, it is out of favor among Jews ("Biting a hand that feeds," Elsewhere, June 25). Homosexuality, which Judaism does not recognize as an acceptable life-style, was recently lauded by a local Reform leader, who supported it being paraded through the capital of the Jewish state. A true Jewish leader should lead America's 1.5 million Reform Jews back to Judaism. We all, including our president, would welcome them back. Now that would warrant a joyful parade through Jerusalem. CHAYIM SEIDEN Jerusalem Legal aid Sir, - I read with great interest "Israel is oversaturated with lawyers" (June 26), relative to the rest of the world. The irony is that despite the oversaturation, law firms of all sizes and all practice areas are desperate for high-caliber attorneys. One must ask, therefore: With so many lawyers in the market, why aren't more of them choosing to practice in the large law firms? MINNA F. FELIG, ADV. Legal Management Consultant Ramat Gan Photo-op for printing a photo of my handsomer former colleague, Todd Purdum, over my name as an illustration to accompany Barry Rubin's column ("A review that speaks volumes," June 27). I'm sure Mr. Rubin would find in that choice of photo a secret message, one that only he is wise enough to discern, about the editorial competence of The Jerusalem Post. I would like to note that I wrote a review of a book - Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad by Matthew Levitt - not a political confession. In the review I criticized Mr. Levitt for failing to explore Palestinian attitudes, presumptions and beliefs, which seemed to me an important flaw in a book marketed to explain Hamas. Identifying some of those attitudes, presumptions and beliefs does not make me their proponent. I invite readers of Mr. Rubin's column to read Mr. Levitt's book, and my review of it, which is available for free through the Web site of The New York Times. STEVEN ERLANGER Bureau Chief, Jerusalem The New York Times Jerusalem