March 21: Good deed indeed

As of this day, Save A Heart has successfully, free of charge, saved the lives of over 2,800 children of Third World countries.

Good deed indeed
Sir; – In addition to some 300 rockets that entered Israel in the past two weeks, the country also received from Gaza three children in need of vital open-heart surgery, including seven-day-old Ahmed. They joined 11 other children from the Palestinian Authority also needing such surgery.
As of this day, Save A Heart has successfully, free of charge, saved the lives of over 2,800 children of Third World countries through open-heart surgery performed by the skillful and dedicated staff at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
Let’s hope that at least one of the parents of the children from Gaza or the PA will be able to persuade Hamas to forgo its sworn pledge to drive Israel into the sea.
LEONARD KAHN Zichron Ya’acov
Unfair application
Sir, – Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar certainly shows bold and innovative thinking outside the box by deciding to recognize an alternative to matriculation exams for haredi women (“Sa’ar: New bagrut exam regulations will help haredi women enter workforce,” March 16). Yet in the adjacent article (“Education program for Ethiopian olim faces closure), the same Ministry of Education cannot seem to find a solution to prevent the end of an excellent program, not for any real lack of funding but because of bureaucratic criteria that “most funding bodies can only provide assistance to students under the age of 18.”
The irony becomes even more blatant when one reads the subheadline of the article on the Ethiopian program: “PM meets with community leaders to discuss growing discrimination.”
Once again we see a very practical – and highly discriminatory – application of the old adage, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit
Utter temerity
Sir, – Shame on Gilad Schalit’s father (“Noam Schalit says if he were Palestinian he would kidnap soldiers,” March 15).
The country cried and felt the Schalit family’s sorrow, and went to all its demonstrations. The government paid a very heavy price to get Gilad back. We are now paying heavily as a result of that deal, and Noam Schalit has the temerity to utter those words! He should sit back and thank God and all the people who helped. He should not forget what it was like when his son was kidnapped, and not put ideas into the heads of our enemies – who, by the way, do not need any help, as they are masters at the game.
Wanted: A policy
Sir, – Martin Sherman’s arguments and logic (“Disputing Dershowitz, Into the Fray, March 15) are irrefutable. However, none of his narrative has been internationally accepted, and the world and Israeli governments of all shades – not just Alan Dershowitz – have determined that Palestinian Arabs are entitled to their own state somewhere between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.
That being the case, the solution lies in accommodating the two-state formula in some form or another, provided it is a mutual objective – which manifestly it is not so far as significant elements of the Arab body politic, the PA included, are concerned.
The Israeli problem is our abysmal failure to articulate our principal concern: the existential threat grounded in an ideological Arab refusal to contemplate a Jewish presence in this region within any borders.
Unless and until that changes, the two-state solution would put Israel in great peril, and for that reason has to be approached with caution.
Managing the status quo is a dangerous option that the PA will exploit to garner increasing international support. Meanwhile, Israel will be tempted to pursue creeping annexation.
But the presence of 2.5 million Arabs in the West Bank cannot be ignored, and therein lies a ticking bomb that calls for intelligent handling – an approach in which I have little confidence, given the political clout of the Greater Israel lobby.
Inevitably, the demand for a single state will gain traction.
Increasing evidence of that solution is growing and the momentum will increase in the absence of an Israeli policy to address the issue.
Treaty would help
Sir, – I share reader Jim Schackel’s concern about starting “World War III” (“Israel and Iran,” Letters, March 11). The best way to prevent this is to have the United States and Israel enter into a treaty saying that an attack by Iran on the latter would be considered an attack on the US.
In the early 1960s, Sen. Jacob Javits (R-NY) made such a proposal, although nothing came of it. Several years later, Egypt drove United Nations peacekeeping forces out of Gaza and established a southern sea blockade of Israel. The Six Day War followed, with Israel’s miraculous victory, although that was followed by a series of events that have led to a state of almost constant crisis.
All this could have been prevented by a US-Israel treaty.
So as not to repeat past mistakes and to address Schackel’s concern, a treaty saying that an attack on Israel by Iran would be considered an attack on the the United States would be the best answer.
I am writing this as a person who strongly opposed the Iraq War from the very beginning,
Sir, – If Saudi Arabia wanted to show its appreciation to the US for standing up to Iran and that country’s extremist brand of Islam, it would crank up oil production so that the world does not feel the Iranian shortfall, and encourage worldwide compliance to boycott it.
KEN BENDIK Los Angeles
Chump change
Sir, – I and my friends are active in raising money for Israeli charities and causes, which we do out of love for our people and for the country.
It gives us a very uncomfortable feeling to read that Israel has more than a dozen billionaires (“13 Israelis make ‘Forbes’ billionaires list,” Business & Finance, March 9). And yet these unimaginable amounts are insufficient to encourage these people to donate more than the odd million or so, which, of course, is meaningless compared with their fortunes.
What couldn’t donations in the hundreds of millions do to help solve pressing social and security problems while still leaving more than enough for the great-grandchildren!
Telling look back
Sir, – Alexander Zvielli renders an incomparable public service via his “From Our Archives” series. Standing out is his February 23, 1947, exposure of the self-serving commendation by British Lt.-Gen. Sir Evelyn Barker concerning the “high standard of discipline” demonstrated by his troops during the seasons of collective punishment inflicted upon the Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine.
Barker’s assertion is at variance with the ugly truth published in the Citadel Courier, a Cairo-based British military newspaper wherein the outrageous treatment of Jewish civilians in Palestine engendered the following indictment: “Remove the 6th Airborne Division and other recently drafted British troops [from the Mandate territory] at once, preferably to the UK, where if they go on behaving as they are allowed (nay encouraged) to behave at the moment, there will be such an outcry as will get it stopped immediately.”
The article added that if replacements were required, “let them be there solely to maintain order – not a body that has it drilled into it that its duty is to protect the ‘poor Arabs’ from their enemies the Jews!”