May 22: Wise and naive

Barry Rubin combines scholarly knowledge of the Middle East with objectivity and his list of the West's "pretends" are all frighteningly correct.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Wise & naive Sir, - Thanks to Barry Rubin for his interesting "Don't overestimate the West's naivete - or its resolve" (May 18). He combines scholarly knowledge of the Middle East with objectivity and his list of the West's "pretends" are all frighteningly correct. Contrast Prof. Rubin's realism with that of a figure photographed in the same issue: Tony Blair, who received one of the Dan David million-dollar awards. When Blair was prime minister, he closed his eyes to the fast-growing Islamist influence in the UK, as did his successor. R. FELDMAN Jerusalem Having what it takes Sir, - Reading "Netanyahu resists concerted US pressure to freeze settlements" (May 20), I immediately thought of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If," which begins: "If you can keep your head / when all about you / Are losing theirs / and blaming it on you... We are castigated by many in the world as being the source of many, if not all problems - and the accusation is very often based on anti-Semitism and ignorance. That the PM did not cave in to pressure from our main and strongest ally reminded me of the ending of the poem: "You'll be a Man, my son!" The prime minister certainly proved to me that he has what it takes to lead our country. DUNN RABINOWITZ Rehovot Sir, - Though Israel feels isolated in the international community, here in India it has millions of fans. The Indian government, headed by the Congress Party, discriminates against Israel just to woo the Arabs in the name of Islam, but there are so many Indians who really appreciate its fight against terror and aggression, as well as its intellectual culture. I hope one day India and Israel will become close allies and work together to face their common problems. R. REDDY VEMIREDDY Khammam, India Science research Sir, - Re "Failure to invest in basic science 'threat to Israel's existence'" (May 15): With the financial crisis reverberating worldwide, there is no better time to reassess international funding priorities. Scientific research is key to stimulating economic growth through the introduction of innovative new technologies and medical treatments. Moreover, collaborations between scientists in Israel and abroad can strengthen diplomatic ties while advancing research of mutual interest. After listening to the president of the Weizmann Institute speak at a recent life sciences forum in France, I am encouraged that a strong framework is in place to bring together scientists across disciplines to tackle emerging challenges. It is vital that the far-reaching benefits of research in the basic sciences be recognized so that Israel continues to be a world leader in the global scientific community. LINDSAY CHURA Cambridge, UK Experienced and frustrated Sir, - Over the past decade or so, hi-tech jobs have shown substantial growth, in addition to paying well, making them number-one desired positions. Women such as myself have played key roles within hi-tech companies, often not getting recognition of our work while watching others taking the credit. I was pushed aside as a threat to my "superior" while discovering that my gut feelings - never heard - were 100-percent right. You'd think that by now, even the most powerful macho men in the business would get it. Constantly, more and more women friends are asking me the same questions: "Why do men have more and better job opportunities in hi-tech? Why do they get more recognition than women?" I've been in marketing for 20-plus years. Perhaps I never got a degree in this field; however, I've been involved in even the most complex organization where the marketing was in chaos, taking matters into my hands in order to improve the company's marketing scope. I've been more than a team player, fully committed to my job, my colleagues and the company's prosperity. And then, just when I was starting to feel that I had finally found a company where I could stay and grow, I got slapped in the face with the line "Due to organizational changes," or "As you know, the economy crisis is hitting the market..." And, once again, I find myself knocking on the doors of the job hunters and repeating my working resume over and over again, sometimes getting no response at all. Bottom line: I'm not young anymore ("14 job seekers for every position by year's end," May 19). JUDITH JAMUY Ariel Absence of truth Sir, - In your May 20 Grapevine column ("B&B but no M&S") which included the item on the Dan David awards, you incorrectly stated that Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai gave an impromptu concert to cover for Mr. David's absence on stage to "answer a call of nature." In fact, Dan David accompanied Ron Huldai on stage while we all awaited the arrival of the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, who received a special award on behalf of his city. Dan David then simultaneously translated the mayor's acceptance speech, in which he movingly rededicated his award to the archeological excavations in Acre. But, then, why spoil a piece of trivial gossip with the truth? BOB BRAININ London Greer Fay Cashman responds: Mr. Brainin is correct. Mea culpa. It was indeed the mayor of Rome and not Dan David who was delayed by a call of nature. I am flattered that Mr. Brainin reads my column, and would remind him that the only people who don't make mistakes are those who never do anything.