May 21: Fair... no?

Take the money from those responsible for creating the need.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Fair... no? Sir, - Re "Fighting and dodging fire in Sderot" (May 20): There's no need to dig into the already over-stretched state budget to cover the cost of updating public and private shelters in Sderot. Take the money from those responsible for creating the need. Use the tax money we have been withholding from the Palestinian Authority to pay for the damage caused by the people who, as they so proudly claim, "democratically" elected the PA, and use it to protect our citizens against the continuing aggression. STANLEY LAWSON Jerusalem Sir, - I understand that it is possible to cut off water and electricity to the territories. This would affect the people directly and create an incentive to stop the firing of Kassam rockets without endangering our soldiers. Eventually, those suffering from intermittent thirst and power outages would prevail on the rocket-firers to desist since they would be causing more suffering to their own people than to us. Is the government waiting for a major disaster in Sderot or Ashkelon? MAURICE STEINHART Jerusalem Not fair Sir, - The BBC seems to be back to its unbalanced presentation of events concerning Israel. Rocket attacks on Israel occur daily, but the network's emphasis is on Israeli air strikes on Gaza, without reporting that the targets are Hamas terrorist headquarters and ammunition stores. Sometimes a report is followed, "by the way," with a mention that rockets were fired at Israel - but without any detailing of the barrage of up to 30 rockets fired daily, the civilian casualties and damage, the partial evacuation of the town of Sderot or the direct hit on a school that was miraculously empty at the time. These items, apparently, are not deemed newsworthy. How would the BBC report 30 rockets fired daily on Manchester or Boston? ZVI FREEDMAN Tivon What's the message? Sir, - David Horovitz pleads for private funding to ensure that all 11th-grade Jewish Israeli students be able to go on the now-customary school trip to Poland to see the sites of the Holocaust in Europe ("Building our own Jewish identity," May 18). But what message does it send that this pilgrimage is required in order to "instill core Jewish and Zionist values"? That the only justification for Israel is that we were murdered? And why 17 years' delay and then an $1,100 fee for a Jewish girl to learn "pride in her Judaism, and a desire to help [and] volunteer"? What have her parents, and her school, been teaching her until then? Maybe, in these hard times, we should take a break from Jewish and Zionist education in Poland and try some in Israel. TOM HARRIS Jerusalem Allay your fears... Sir, - At a time of growing apprehension it lightens the eye to read about the loyalty of Evangelical Christians to Israel. These people are a remarkable phenomenon, as MK Gilad Erdan rightly perceives, a "miracle" worthy of the one that brought you to your rightful place among the nations. They have no secret agenda. Come what may - be it from Islam or the world at large - they will stand by you because they have read your Scriptures and know there is no future for the world without you. Allay your fears, Israel. Know your friends, who are more than you ever imagined. You are not alone ("Erdan: Let's boost Evangelical ties," May 11). GRUFFYDD THOMAS Minister of Religion Welsh Non-Conformist Pontardulais, Wales ...they are foolish Sir, - I find the opposition to the support of Christian evangelicals absolutely foolish ("Rabbinate to rule on Christian Allies Caucus parley in Jerusalem," May 17). What are we to fear? As free citizens of a Jewish state, are these Christians who support Israel armed with racks and auto-da-fe tools to convert us by force? Are we afraid of being converted by speech? Are we not really converting them to Zionism, Jewish prophecy and our claim to biblical and divine chosenness? I once heard Freda Keet speak to 1,000 Evangelicals in a church in Rockford, Illinois, and she said: "Someday one of us is going to say to the other: I told you so. Till that day comes, I accept your support and love for Israel and the Jewish people. Any Orthodox Jew, or non-Orthodox Jew, who believes there will be no Second Coming does not have reason to fear being converted in a Second Coming." Are we so shaky in our own faith that we cannot sit with, talk with or be friends with Christians who believe in Jesus, and who are the staunchest Zionists in the world? I wish some of our unconverted, halachic Jews shared the Evangelicals' Zionist fervor. J.M. KING Jerusalem Glorious Jerusalem Sir, - How beautiful it was to read the May 16 articles about Jerusalem by Liat Collins ("My Jerusalem") and Dvora Waysman ("An emotion that grows slowly"). Each chose to look at the beauty, the good, the glories and wonders of Jerusalem, our everlasting home, and not dwell on its problems. Living anywhere in the world means contending with things that are unpleasant and difficult. Each oleh who has chosen to live in Jerusalem came here with joy and longing and in fulfillment of the desire of generations of our people who were not privileged to live in our eternal capital. Let us work together to make Jerusalem an even more wonderful place to live, both for ourselves and the generations to come. JOAN LEVI Jerusalem Heartwarming Sir, - Re Judy Siegel-Itzkovich's "The heart's reward" (May 20) I felt I had to share this story with you. My late husband, Fred, was a patient of Prof. Gotsman's for many years. One night, at about 3 o'clock a.m., he began to experience severe chest pains. I called Prof. Gotsman at home - he had given us his home number in case of just such an emergency. He advised me on what to do and I got my husband to the hospital. Later that morning, at Hadassah, I apologized to Prof. Gotsman for disturbing him in the middle of the night. I have never forgotten his answer: "Don't ever apologize for waking me up or disturbing me. That is what I am here for - to help my patients." I will always be grateful to this true mensch for his wonderful care. My husband died many years later, but his death was not from any problem having to do with his heart. RENA M. ISAACSON Jerusalem