March 11: Music to our ears

Your Purim editorial was mostly to the point, but a comment on Kol Hamusika's programming struck, well, a discord.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Music to our ears Sir, - Your Purim editorial ("Too good to be true," March 10) was mostly to the point, but a comment on Kol Hamusika's programming - "[the station promised to play] music listeners might enjoy instead of the atonal post-modern din which dominates its playlist" - struck, well, a discord. Living composers, especially Israeli ones, are entitled to be heard, and the state-sponsored station is only doing its duty by dedicating ether waves to play their pieces. While the Voice of Music does allot a certain percentage of its playlist to modern music, these pieces certainly do not "dominate" its broadcasts. Should our cinemas only screen films by Fellini and Hitchcock? Should the theaters play nothing more recent than Ibsen? Music enjoys the same status. Your editorialist's critique of Israel's only concert music station had little to say about music and a lot to say about his own philistinism. JACOB K. NATHEN Jerusalem Hamas's violation of human rights Sir, - A travesty of tremendous proportions is taking place in Gaza, where "human rights" has been the clarion call of Hamas since operation Cast Lead. Yet Hamas is perpetrating the greatest violation of human rights in not allowing the International Red Cross access to a prisoner of war. To watch the anguish of Gilad Schalit's parents while the government attempts to reach a deal for his release in return for many hundreds of Palestinian prisoners is heartbreaking - especially without any sign that the soldier is alive ("Barak makes visit to Schalit protest tent but leaves father disheartened," March 10). ZELDA HARRIS Tel Aviv Sir, - We all want Gilad Schalit freed, but the demonstrators are protesting at the wrong address. We need massive demonstrations in front of the International Red Cross headquarters demanding that the IRC stop funding activity in Gaza until access to Gilad Schalit is permitted, according to the IRC's charter. NORMA MARX Jerusalem Sir, - If we hand over all the murderers Hamas is demanding, are we sure we will not receive a coffin in exchange? God forbid. C. HARRIS Haifa Sir, - A soldier obviously hopes to survive, but knows that in time of conflict he can be wounded, killed or captured. Hamas holds one Israeli soldier and will only agree to release him in exchange for a mass of prisoners held by Israel. Israel has, I believe, surrendered its position of strength by negotiating with Hamas. If Israel does submit to this blackmail for one soldier, what might it do if Hamas captured 50 soldiers? Give up the country? If the Israel soldiers who have died for their country could speak, would they tell the negotiators to hang their heads in shame and stay away from their graves? TOM RUNDELL Warana, Queensland Tragedy Now Sir, - The dispute over the tragic situation of Gilad Schalit and his family ("Tragedies cross paths," March 9) - as the Schalits plead for their son's release and the families of victims murdered by terrorist killers plead against releasing those killers - exemplifies the dispute between Left and Right. The Left wants what it wants now (as in Peace Now). The Right tries to be a bit more circumspect regarding the inevitable consequences of shortsighted political decisions. Last year's movement to "Free Goldwasser, Regev and Schalit NOW," in spite of the cost of returning Arab terrorists, ended with Israel receiving two dead soldiers and immediately having Hamas escalate its demands for the live Schalit's return. AVIGDOR BONCHEK Jerusalem Proud to be a leftist Sir, - Caroline Glick tries to tar us all with the same brush ("Are you proud to be a Leftist?" March 10). It's not right, it's not just, it's not true! Yes, I'm proud to be a leftist. This nation was founded by leftists, and until this last election the Left was almost always part of the government. So how bad can we be? To me, a leftist is one who believes in social justice and tries to bring as many people as possible out of poverty. I could state that all rightists are no good because they believe in keeping the poor man down, "where he belongs." That would not necessarily be true, or right, or just, but it would have the same basis Glick's article has. To take Norman Finklestein as an example of a leftist and go on from there as if he represented all leftists is crude and reprehensible. Unfortunately for our country, the voters in the last election felt they wanted a change - to the Right. So Labor and Meretz lost a large part of their voters, and Kadima didn't have enough to go on alone. LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya Enough guilt. You're on the winning side Sir, - Aharon Levy expresses the central issue driving the extreme Left ("How fair and how balanced are you?" Letters, March 10), and that calls for a response. He states that Israel is "occupying and colonizing" a nation. The only time in history that Palestine was a place name was the 26 years of the British Mandate (1922-1948). Both the Jews and the Arabs living in the Mandate were called Palestinians. In 1950 The Palestine Post changed its name to The Jerusalem Post. The Jews called their share of the territory Israel. However, the Arabs refused to establish a state on their share. There has never been a nation of Palestine: They wanted it all, including Israel. And they still do. The Palestine Liberation Organization was established in 1964 to "liberate" the land we claimed for a Jewish state. Israel offered to return all the land captured in the 1967 defensive war in exchange for peace. Just peace. The Arabs met in Khartoum and refused the offer. They turned it down every subsequent decade. Enough. Based on international law, this land can be annexed by Israel. If a million and a half Arabs live in Israel, Jews can live anywhere we want to west of the Jordan. Mr. Levy, get used to it, and no more guilt. After 2,000 years you are on the winning side. HAIM SADAN Jerusalem Pros, the lot of 'em Sir, - I would hope readers caught the sub-headline "PM-designate considering a professional appointment for the Finance Ministry" (March 10). Under an electoral system where ministerial appointments are not subject to backroom horse-trading, would we expect anything but professionalism from our ministers? FRED GOTTLIEB Jerusalem