September 6: Be proud, friends

Does our government really think those enlarged UNIFIL forces are there to protect Israel?

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Be proud, friends Sir, - I'm amazed at comments I hear from Israelis about Israel having lost the war against Hizbullah, and that "our army has failed" ("An insult to our intelligence," August 29). If the target was to eliminate Hizbullah from Lebanon, correct: Israel lost. But if it was to defend Israel against violence from outside, Israel definitely succeeded, as the outcome was an international force establishing a security belt, making it safer to live and travel in the north of Israel. So, my dear Israeli friends, you should be proud. The job of your army was to defend Israel - and the army and the new prime minister of your country succeeded. Congratulations. THORKILD HOEJVIG Boerkop, Denmark UNIF(A)IL? Sir, - With friends like the Europeans, who needs enemies? ("European countries stymie IDF supply runs, miffed El Al pilots say," September 5). Now we see the real value of Resolution 1701. Does our government really think those enlarged UNIFIL forces are there to protect Israel? It seems much more that they are there to prevent Hizbullah from being disarmed. Sadly, those Europeans have learned nothing from their own history. As far as they are concerned Israel is today's Czechoslovakia, and you can forget the Holocaust. Even Germany, which claims to have a special relationship with us, will not allow our planes to refuel, ditto our good friend Tony Blair, who wants to come and twist our arm this week. Poor Tzipi Livni. MENACHEM DAYAGI Jerusalem Whom to help Sir, - "Anything less [than pairing Israeli and Lebanese war victims] Sieradski explains, would show that Israel is inhumane in the face of others' suffering, validating 'many of the negative critiques laid at our feet by both the Muslim world and the international community.' Supporting residents of the North alone, he explains, is unnecessary because 'there are more than enough Jewish organizations focusing specifically on helping the communities in the North'" ("Breach in the dam," Ariel Beery, December 4). Three-quarters of the world is actively demanding reparations for Lebanon, yet it is only Jews and Christian Zionists who give more than a rat's behind about Israel. While I admire Mr. Sieradski's idealism and response to the obligation of tikkun olam, his decisions and activities are based on scant information. Non-Jews in general do not provide for Jews as they assume Jews will provide for Jews. Our first obligation is to our own brethren; if we can fix the world as well, that's wonderful. However, ignoring our own to help others meets neither the spirit nor the challenge of our God-given obligation. HELENE FRAGMAN ABRAMSON Princeton, New Jersey Fried fish Sir, - One of my fondest memories is of visiting Israel with my wife and another American couple in 1966. We went out to Lake Tiberias to enjoy a fried St. Peter's fish (musht) by the waterfront. The Syrians occupied the east side of the lake and were shooting heavy artillery. Each salvo fell into the water, and the whole thing seemed unreal. But we didn't move until we had finished our meal. That's how much I enjoy fried musht! BEN GALE Jerusalem Sharing the pie Sir, - "Diplomacy's role" (Editorial, September 5) suggests that "Israel is in dire need of a diplomatic strategy" while other members of the government continue to call for a resumption of peace talks. This is strange. Israel has tried the path of negotiations for years. While there have been some successes the Palestinians and Syrians refuse to agree to anything less than 100% surrender. Let us announce that there is no partner for talks and that we no longer have an interest in reaching a "peace" agreement with our enemies. Instead let us strengthen ourselves militarily. When the other sides loses hope of dismembering our country it might eventually agree to a smaller piece of the pie. BARRY LYNN Efrat Give the Nazis their evil due Sir, - I thought that Anti-Defamation guy was OK, but now I don't ("Abe Foxman: Arab propaganda outdoes the Nazis," August 29). His comments were very dangerous in their implicit underrepresentation of the hideous Nazi threat, which lingers in the evil methods employed by manipulative anti-Semites. This is not intended as a comment on Arab propaganda, rather to note that using the Nazi era as a crutch will only break more bones L. POOLE Paris, Ontario Jail's too good Sir, - I was horrified at "Senior source: [Samir] Kuntar's release in exchange for abducted soldiers not off the table" (September 4). I do not understand why this convicted murderer, who in 1979 cold-bloodedly smashed the skull of four-year-old Anat Haran against a rock before shooting her horrified father, did not receive a death sentence long ago. The lingering in jail of such vicious killers motivates the likes of Hassan Nasrallah to kidnap our soldiers and citizens in order to bargain for their release. CHAYA LEWIS Jerusalem In the corner Sir, - I am no fan of President Katsav, but it seems to me that MK Shelly Yacimovich is going overboard when she objects to his visiting schools ("Katsav's visit to grandson's school sends 'dangerous message,' MK Yacimovich says," September 4). In the worst-case scenario, if he actually did what he was accused of, what does she think he might do during a public visit to a school, complete with entourage and press coverage? I'd be more concerned about the effect on the children of all the Katsav denigrators. ISRAEL PICKHOLTZ Elazar Waste not, want not Sir, - Further to "Power struggle" (Letters, September 1): It is known that we in Israel need to find ways to lower our oil dependency. For some time now Brazil has been using agricultural waste from growing sugar to make gas. It has announced that it no longer needs to import gas. It is expensive to install the equipment necessary to make a change, but our neighbors use the money we spend on gas and oil to make products designed to destroy us. Isn't it time we stopped supporting our own destruction? Brazilians no longer need oil products to run their country. Why can't we use our agricultural waste, of which we have quite a lot, to fuel our cars and provide electricity, etc.? LAYA AND SHMUEL SINGER Safed Unwanted man Sir, - Further to "A trio of anniversaries at chamber music fest" (August 29): It seems concert managers have yet to learn that the majority of the Jewish music-loving public is not interested in seeing or hearing that lover of Wagner, Daniel Barenboim. In a past performance in Jerusalem he told the audience that anyone who didn't want to hear what he was about to perform could leave the hall. A hutzpa. LORI LEVMORE Jerusalem Setting the tone Sir, - Nearly all our better-known orchestras, especially the one in Jerusalem, use the Hebrew word for "subscription" wrongly. Minui means appointment; the correct word is manui. As long as only Egged drivers make that mistake I do not really care - but a cultural institution? I would also like to see a return to itzumim instead of sanktziot, masokim instead of helikopterim, and so on. HANNAH BRAMSON Haifa