May 12: Tzurit, Elad & Leora

Anyone watching the annual Independence Day Bible Quiz could witness Tzurit Berenson's fantastic memory and ability to function under pressure.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Tzurit, Elad & Leora Sir, - Anyone watching the annual Independence Day Bible Quiz could witness Tzurit Berenson's fantastic memory and ability to function under pressure. Along with her modesty and humility, it's no surprise that she's a winner. As the mother of Leora Bach, who tied with Tzurit and Elad Finish at the National Finals in Lod, I want to add that I am bursting with pride that our nation is blessed with three such fine teenagers, symbolizing all the potential in their generation. I credit it all to our Holy Torah. A small "scoop": Tzurit, Elad and Leora all cooperated and signed the letter about Jonathan Pollard. Though competing against each other, they had tremendous respect for each other and were able to overcome any possible selfish thoughts to work for what they considered an important cause. It's time for the US to release Jonathan Pollard, who has been incarcerated for longer than many others who spied against the US. Mr. Pollard has paid dearly for whatever he may have done. May the unity of purpose displayed by Tzurit, Elad and Leora continue to light our path ("Bible quiz winner to PM: Get Pollard out of jail," May 9). DEBORAH BACH Haifa Credit and blame Sir, - It is disturbing that Dr. Dorit Nitzan-Klosky is to be indicted as head of the Ministry of Health National Food Service at the time of the Remedia scandal. This is rather like shooting the messenger ("Eight charged in Remedia scandal," May 7). From the start of the cycle of tragic events, Dr. Nitzan-Klosky worked tirelessly to solve the mystery and get this product withdrawn from the shelves. Indeed, she has a very positive track record in supporting breastfeeding and has made more efforts than most ministry officials in adhering to the WHO Code for the Marketing of Artificial Baby Milks. Many people are to blame for this scandal, including the manufacturers of the formula and the supervisors of its import into Israel, but a share of the blame should go to those health professionals who do not sufficiently support breastfeeding and needlessly recommend supplementary feeding with formula when it is inappropriate. On the other side, credit should officially be given to two hospital doctors. One listened to the parents of the sick babies and compared their stories, leading to the conclusion that the common factor in all the cases was feeding with Remedia; the other recognized the symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency. WENDY BLUMFIELD Hon. President Israel Childbirth Education Center Haifa A clear choice Sir, - Avi Shafran worries that Rev. Wright's toxic message might come to pervade black attitudes, poisoning race relations in America ("What troubles me about the Wright affair," May 11). As long as African-Americans heed the lessons of the Mideast, that will not happen. The terrorist organizations and terror-sponsoring states teem with demagogues like Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan, men who spew paranoid venom to boost their self-importance and power. Chaos and tyranny result. In contrast, Rev. Martin Luther King's conciliatory message of love and non-violence, grounded in Judeo-Chritian ethics and common sense, fostered racial harmony and black progress, and strengthened American democracy. The choice could not be clearer. D. KATCOFF Jericho, Vermont Toward peace... Sir, - Re "How to survive in a sea of rejection?" (May 7), in which Amnon Rubinstein wrote, "It is much more difficult to reach a compromise with a fundamentalist God-ordained movement than with a nationalist one": • No compromise whatsoever could ever be reached with a "fundamentalist God-ordained movement." Dreaming of achieving one can only be self-defeating. • Crediting the jihadists as a "fundamentalist God-ordained" movement is abusing the Koran. The call for jihad against Israel, though worked up from the Koran, stands in outright contradiction to that holy book. There are eminent Muslim scholars who can attest to it. While it is often said that the Koran doesn't even mention Jerusalem and/or Zion, it credits the Book of Psalms - Songs of Zion - as given by Allah to David (Sura "Zad"). • There are many ways to prepare the way - for us and the world at large - to not merely "survive in a sea of rejection" but to eventually reach a trustworthy peace, even brotherhood, with the Muslim peoples. ASHER EDER Jewish Co-Chairman Islam-Israel Fellowship Jerusalem ...not necessarily Sir, - Re Gershon Baskin's "Next year in Palestine" (May 6): It is a fact that many Israelis do not learn from history, and yet history repeats itself! The Palestinians not only seek a state but also to destroy Israel. No matter how much you grant them, the Islamists' terrorist instincts will never be quenched until every Jew has been driven into the Mediterranean Sea. Israel needs to consider her security first, as the Gaza disengagement proved that the land-for-peace solution will never solve anything. And you may soon find out that there is no essential difference between Hamas and Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. PHOEBE TURIGYE Kampala, Uganda Syrian ploy Sir, - I suspect that what is happening in Lebanon is a ploy by Syria to cover its real intention of testing the strength of Israel and the reaction of the world ("Between Gaza and Beirut," Khaled Abu Toameh, May 11). Israel: Check your back, the enemy is edging to the back door, ready to strike. You are the brightest guys around and you have wonderful leaders - but their handling of things is not as good as it should be, faced with foes like Iran, Syria and Libya. Compromise for the sake of promises of peace will jeopardize your existence. I pray every time I remember to, for the peace of Jerusalem. IRENE RIUNGU Nairobi, Kenya Fuels rush in? Sir, - I was surprised when your editorial "Self-harm as strategy" (May 9) turned out to criticize Gaza for disrupting its own fuel supply. I thought it was going to criticize Israel for supplying the fuel in the first place. MARK L. LEVINSON Herzliya No Shoshana, Chava or Naomi Sir, - I regret that I cannot recommend Rabbi Sacks's Israel - Home of Hope CDs owing to the fact that some of the music was newly recorded "in part because (Rabbi Sacks) deferred to Orthodox sensibilities and eschewed female singers." Unfortunately, many Jews' sensibilities are offended by that exclusion. While I respect and admire Rabbi Sacks, I was astonished at his decision to record Israeli music without singers such as Shoshana Damari, Chava Alberstein and Naomi Shemer, major contributors to Israeli culture. Surely ample halachic authority permits men to listen to a woman singing on a recording, especially when the men are unacquainted with the singer and don't see her in person. Besides, it's possible to indicate on the CD and/or disc jacket those tracks that contain music sung by women so listeners can avoid it if they wish. I hope the chief rabbi will reconsider his stringent policy when the time comes for a re-release of the CDs ("A vital affirmation of our awe-inspiring history," David Horovitz, April 4). GITELLE RAPOPORT Chicago