Trashing the land Sir, – Having been in total disagreement with most of the views expressed by Gershon Baskin in his Encountering Peace columns, it gave me the great pleasure to agree entirely with the sentiments he expressed in “The land we love and trash” (September 18). The problem is how to persuade Israelis to totally observe maintaining the cleanliness of our parks and forests.Any attempt to persuade the majority of adolescents and adults on the fascinating beauty of spotless environmental parks and forests will fail. We are compelled to start a campaign of brainwashing children while attending nursery school onward and stressing to them the need to demand similar standards from their parents and older siblings.An intensive campaign of encouragement of teachers of the younger children, along with the fortification of such encouragement as the children grow older, provide the only chance of achieving success.MYRA ZION Tel Mond Sir, – Gershon Baskin rightly describes our unfortunate tendency to treat our most beautiful and historical parks and other sites with virtual contempt regarding cleanliness. Though there has been an improvement since we moved here in 1979, the situation is still very far from satisfactory.Baskin’s comparison with the United States is right on target, but he doesn’t mention the two major elements that set the tone and practices of Americans in keeping parks clean: the major media campaign in the 1960s against littering (who can forget the catchphrase: “Don’t be a litterbug”) and, most important, the massive and determined enforcement of anti-litter legislation everywhere. State police on highways and sufficient manpower at all national sites were highly diligent in giving warnings and issuing summonses, whether for tossing tissues out car windows or leaving a campfire/barbecue area “as is” after use. Unfortunately, Israel has yet to match various educational campaigns and even warning signs against littering with any kind of serious enforcement.GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit Sir, – I normally don’t agree with Gershon Baskin but “The land we love and trash” was right on the money.When I made aliya from Chicago, which isn’t particularly known for its cleanliness, I was disappointed in the State of Israel’s streets and parks. Granted, the city I now live in is cleaner than most, but Jerusalem, our holy city, is a mess! Come on people! Show some respect! SUSAN COOPERSMITH Ma’aleh Adumim Policy on ISIS Sir, – With regard to “Islamic State-inspired lone wolves are seen as posing significant threat to Jews in US” (September 18), we in the US must elect conservatives and take back the Senate in November.For six long years we’ve endured the humiliation of President Barack Obama’s disastrous, failed foreign policy – for example, the weak and confused response to the huge terrorist threat of Islamic State brutality, and also to the military might of Russia taking land from Ukraine.Other terrorist groups continue to thrive across the globe, including al-Qaida. Iran continues to enrich uranium and delay negotiations with the West. We are at war. But no, we are not at war – there will be no boots on the ground.President Obama has zero strategic vision and has been a true national security disaster. We Americans will pay the price for these failures. It’s for these reasons that Republicans and conservatives must ensure they take back the Senate and stop this disaster from continuing.AL EISNER Silver Spring, Maryland Sir, – US President Barack Obama, with the approval of Congress, has blundered ahead to fund and arm so-called moderate Sunnis in Syria to fight the radical Sunnis of Islamic State.This is a huge error because there are no moderate Sunnis.In the Middle East it is all about religion. The so-called moderate Sunnis in Syria will turn the arms against President Bashar Assad and his Shi’ite followers; their enemy is Assad and the Shi’ites, not fellow Sunnis of Islamic State.If they succeed in overthrowing Assad, the so-called moderate Sunnis, together with those of ISIS, will incorporate all of Syria and part of Iraq into their caliphate. This means we will have to continue our air campaign in Iraq and Syria, but now we will have to go after a much wider and more entrenched target – one that is equipped with our matériel.We should continue the air strikes, arm the Kurds and provide advisers to the Iraqi army. If we must provide arms to the Syrians they should be obsolete and in poor condition, without spare parts.DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ Londonderry, New Hampshire Sir, – I am puzzled. Maybe someone can explain it to me.When Muslims kill each other by the thousands or when they kill someone from another nation, the leaders of the world either say nothing or complain a little, but do not take action.However, when Islamic State beheads an American, the president takes action and starts bombing. Then, when ISIS beheads a Britisher, the British prime minister joins in.Now we have to wait for Islamic State to behead a Frenchman and a German (and some others) to get more support. Of course, ISIS will not behead a Russian.On the other hand, when Hamas kidnaps and kills three Israeli boys and sends rockets and missiles flying all over many Israeli towns, Israel should either ignore or severely limit its response. Otherwise, the world will complain and UN will hold hearings.HAROLD FRANK Modi’in Sir, – The bottom line to solving the crises in the Middle East and elsewhere is for all freeworld nations to offer their services in the form of troops, air power and armored ground forces to render the likes of Islamic State, al-Qaida and Hamas incapable of posing a threat anywhere in the world.Once and for all, destroy them by any means possible! HERBERT W. STARK Mooresville, North Carolina Throw ’em out Sir, – Over 90 percent of the Arabs living in east Jerusalem have rejected Israeli citizenship and have chosen the status of resident instead. So it’s fair to assume that the vast majority of those recently arrested for the deliberate destruction of vital elements of public infrastructure, including the light rail and gas stations, are not citizens (“Twoday police campaign ends with arrests of 26 Palestinians for J’lem rioting,” September 17).Such malicious vandalism is intended to destroy the quality of life in Jerusalem. The people of Pisgat Ze’ev have been singularly inconvenienced by damage to the light-rail cars and the danger from stoning. These are not simply criminal acts but attacks on the very viability of life in the city.Therefore, I suggest that the penal code be amended to provide that the penalty for any non-citizen convicted of intent to damage any portion of the public infrastructure be the immediate cancellation of his right to live in Jerusalem. This would result in the loss of Israeli health and National Insurance Institute coverage, and could be the most powerful deterrent to the intolerable rioting.There is ample precedent in the US legal system for depriving non-citizens convicted of particularly heinous felonies of various civil rights, including the cancellation of green cards and even deportation.JAN SOKOLOVSKY Jerusalem CORRECTION In “Unable to flee, elderly Jews remain behind in eastern Ukraine” (September 19), Andrey Frumkin, “who used his savings to hire an ambulance to get his 76-year-old mother out of Donetsk,” said he was shot at “during their escape,” and not “shot,” as was erroneously reported.