March 13: Birthday gift

Israel's 60th anniversary would be a perfect time to pass the electoral reform bill giving the people a voice in our government.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Birthday gift Sir, - At last, MKs Sa'ar, Ben-Sasson and Paz-Pines are hearing Israeli citizens' call for a more representative government. Israel's 60th anniversary would be a perfect time to pass the electoral reform bill giving the people a voice in our government. To those who would refuse to grant an already disconnected and alienated citizenry a reason to trust and respect the government - beware! We will recognize you as politicians more interested in keeping your seats than in governing our country fairly ("For Israel's 60th anniversary - electing MKs from 60 regions?" March 11). R. EHRLICH Jerusalem To the task, undeterred Sir, - The actions of David Shapira, the IDF officer who ignored the police warning to stay outside the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva building, entered and shot the Arab terrorist to death, thus preventing even more tragedy, represent the type of determined, unwavering leadership Israel desperately needs ("An officer and a hero," March 10). The behavior of the police officers, on the other hand, echoed the government's hesitant, too-little-too-late tactics which strengthen our enemies and weaken our deterrence. Determination and efficiency stem from a deeply entrenched belief in the rightness of one's cause and a willingness to take a risk for that cause. Clearly our ministers, including the PM, lack that belief, and should make way for others who have it. SHARON LINDENBAUM Rehovot Please build Sir, - Eli Yishai's idea is fantastic ("Shas: Build houses in memory of yeshiva students," March 12). First, it would improve the real estate market, helping new olim, such as my family, find an affordable place to live. Second, it would give the Arabs more of an incentive to come to the table in a timely manner and make a deal. Finally, since the signing of the road map Israel has kept its word and not built up these areas. What do we have to show for our commitment? Nothing. The Arabs continue to bomb us in the South, we have terrorists living in Jerusalem, and their leaders condone their activities. Can it get any worse? No. Please build. STEVE LAX Modi'in Delay this return Sir, - May I be so bold as to suggest that our government hold back and not release the body of the terrorist who massacred eight innocent yeshiva students until Hamas returns Gilad Schalit, alive and well? ("Police put off terrorist's funeral, fearing media spectacle," March 11.) JUDY FORD Petah Tikva Pipe-dream Sir, - Alex Sinclair's hope that the Palestinians in Gaza will vote Hamas out of office raises a question: When was the last time a police state allowed its citizens to democratically vote it out of office? I wouldn't hold my breath ("International condemnation is good for Israel," March 4). HARVEY MATTHEW Jerusalem A lesser evil Sir, - I completely understand Mohammed Khan's logic inasmuch as the Muslim media and their amen-corner in Europe have been chanting "It's the Occupation" for decades (Letter, March 11). However, such a facile solution overlooks historical reality, which is that Arab terror against Jews existed prior to the 1948 Partition, and again prior to the 1967 occupation. Many skeptical Israelis like myself see the occupation as the lesser of two evils, since prior withdrawals (Lebanon and Gaza) have only increased terrorism, not reduced it. Has Mr. Khan a solution more workable than surrender to those who terrorize us and publicly demand our deaths? SARIT WILLIAMS Jerusalem Sir, - Mohammed Kahn's letter deserves a reply, as his opinion is widely believed. It seems simple, logical and correct to give the Palestinians the West Bank. They claim that it is all they request - their own state in their own land. Yet few readers today remember that they established the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, when Jordan occupied the West Bank. The PLO never tried to end Jordan's occupation! The aim of the PLO has always been the destruction of Israel. It has not changed its charter. Its many murderous attacks have included attacks by other groups with different names, but the same ideas. Many have been against non-Israeli and non-Jewish targets. CHARLES OREN Givatayim Required reading Sir, - Further to "AJC blasts Swiss UN vote condemning Israel as detrimental to regional peace" (March 11): Barry Rubin's brilliant, clear-sighted enumeration of the Middle East's new rule-book should be required reading for all democratic governments, their foreign offices, the media, and especially the self-righteous NGOs that ignore physical and verbal attacks on the free world ("Fear and gullibility as weapons," March 10). It should especially be read by the Swiss government - the only Western state to vote for the infamous anti-Israel resolution by the equally infamous UN Human Rights Council condemning Israel for the escalating violence in Gaza; completely ignoring the rocket attacks and terrorism against us during the past few years. CYRIL ATKINS Beit Shemesh Sir, - In war, predictability is a weakness. The Arabs seem to be very predictable. Maybe Israel should find ways not to be so predictable. Israel is letting the bad kid make the rules of the game. DAVID DOTHAGER Mulberry Grove, Illinois Last in, first out Sir, - Andrew Kerr of Brisbane posits an ingenious solution to the unremitting Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians ("Move to Tasmania," Letters, March 7). This, he believes, would bring about "world peace." Since there is irrefutable evidence of a Jewish presence centuries before the first Arab migration to the area, it would surely make more sense for the "newcomers" to move to Tasmania and thus put an end to their "sick ideologies." FAY DICKER Lakewood, New Jersey It's always about sex Sir, - Shmuley Boteach protests too much as he continues to obsess about sexuality in his op-ed "Let modest be the new sexy" (February 26). But what's the difference? If one man finds bare midriffs sexy while another finds modesty sexy and, as Rabbi Boteach put it, "oh so desirable, to boot," this is still objectifying women and failing to recognize them beyond their sex appeal. With men, it seems, it's always about sex, no matter what we women do. Even dressed modestly and with my hair completely covered, I got "hit on" by men. I guess they thought I was just having a bad hair day. ESTI ALLINA-TURNAUER Netanya