March 30: Horror nanny

If Israel TV continues "Super-Nanny" type shows, the child-welfare authorities will have to step in.

letters pink 88 (photo credit: )
letters pink 88
(photo credit: )
Horror nanny Sir, - There has been much criticism in the UK and the US of the "Super-Nanny" type of reality TV show ("MK charges 'Super Nanny' with exploiting kids, not helping them," March 27). British child welfare authorities and NGOs are taking action following a recent show in which families with small babies were divided between three "experts" - the "horror-nanny" with her 1940s-type schedules; a nanny practicing a more modern flexible approach; and one with an "anything goes" attitude. The exposure of babies and young children to the filming conditions, not to mention the advice of these so-called experts, most of whom were not even appropriately qualified, was unacceptable, even abusive. If people who are aware of this abuse stopped watching these programs, the ratings would fall and the shows would stop. Regrettably, one cannot always depend on the conscience of the public, and if Israel TV continues the shows, the child-welfare authorities will have to step in. There is little entertainment in watching children cry and parents out of control. WENDY BLUMFIELD Hon. President, Israel Childbirth Education Center Haifa Pollard abandoned Sir, - Esther Pollard speaks the truth when she accuses the State of Israel of abandoning her husband, Jonathan, who is serving a life sentence in a US Federal maximum security prison for spying for Israel ("'Gov't doesn't want Pollard released,'" On-line Edition, March 25). If PM Olmert, or for that matter any previous prime minister, had placed Pollard's release high on Israel's priority list, there is no doubt that he would be a free man in Israel today. Israel-US relations are at an all-time high, with close cooperation in every area. At the request of the US, Israel has released hundreds of dangerous Palestinian prisoners into our country. Surely there has to be some reciprocity that the US can give in return… if Israel is really interested. One can only conclude that the Israeli politicians mentioned in the article are the true obstacles to Pollard's release. Contrary to what our PM would have us believe, a probe into Israel's failure to secure that release is very much in Pollard's, and every Jew's, interest. Thank God for the non-partisan probe of our state comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, who is fearlessly investigating our government's shameful abandonment of Pollard ("Orlev: PM 'made spin' at Pollard's expense," On-Line Edition, March 26). ROBERT DUBLIN Jerusalem Take heart, Bibi Sir, - Silence is not always golden. If you have the gift of oratory, like Binyamin Netanyahu, you use it for the good of the country. At this time we need a leader who will speak out fearlessly for us and take a stand against the dangerous path - especially dividing Jerusalem - along which the present government is leading us. We need to hear him now, before it is too late. Bibi should not be disturbed by media and other attacks on him, as he's in good company. Winston Churchill was also maligned and misrepresented for speaking out, but his oratory inspired the British people in their hour of need. This is what Netanyahu needs to be doing for us now, for lsrael's sake ("Likud MKs are worried about Netanyahu's scandals," March 24). JUNE KEMP Nahariya Jews & radicalism Sir, - I find it interesting, and telling, that Jews are more for Barack Obama than are white Protestants and white Catholics ("Clinton and Obama in virtual tie for Jewish support," March 27). Why are white Jews more liberal and more leftist than white Catholics and white Protestants? Jews cannot rid themselves of the idea that radicalism and revolution are better than conservatism for them and for the world. This might also help explain the phenomenon of "US Jew who compares Israel to Nazis appointed head of human rights group" (same date). It seems that for a Jew to become famous and accepted in the UN, he must detest Israel. JACOB CHINITZ Jerusalem Brain death Sir, - Re "Health funds could stop hundreds of organ transplants abroad, Ravitz warns" (March 26): While Rav Shlomo Zalman Ohrbach originally did not accept brain death as a definition of death, he changed his mind after the Rabbinical Council of America, under the auspices of Prof. Avraham Steinberg, conducted an experiment - at which a representative of Rabbi Ohrbach was present - proving brain death. Rabbi Ohbach subsequently wrote an article in the medical journal Assia stating that he accepted brain death as a definition of death. I do not recall the exact date when the article was written, but it was not long after the 1992 article quoted by Matthew Wagner. RABBI BINYAMIN WALFISH Jerusalem How it's written Sir, - Our granddaughter's name as it appeared in "Two girls, boy win Bible Contest" (March 26) was unrecognizable. As she will represent Israel in the International Bible Contest on Independence Day, here's the correct spelling: Tsurit Berenson. YEHUDA BERENSON Rehovot Clock it up Sir, - Around now we always get an announcement about the money saved by daylight savings time. How exactly is that amount calculated? My understanding has been that less electric light is needed because of our moving the clocks forward; but the bulk of electricity is used for airconditioning. And don't we, especially businesses, use more airconditioning during those longer days? ("Don't forget to turn your clocks forward one hour..." March 27.) LISA KLEIN Jerusalem