Sderot and shrinks

Instead of sending weapons and soldiers to the beleaguered citizens of Sderot who are being killed by Arab rockets, the Israeli government is sending to them psychologists and social workers to alleviate the fear of being torn apart by missiles and the psychological trauma of seeing others being killed while their government does nothing to prevent the killings.

Note that the Israeli government does not want to enlarge the battle because they think that would unite the Arab terrorists who are now busy killing each other.

Yehuda Sherman | Lafayette

Extremism and Falwell

Thank you for your insightful editorial on the Rev. Jerry Falwell in the May 18 j.

As a long time Zionist, I’m thankful and admiring of the many American Christians who support Israel. As a civil rights activist, however, I have never been able to condone Falwell’s intolerance against gays and lesbians, pro-choice advocates and those who favor separation of church and state.

I’m sure that many of my fellow Zionists will continue to stand firm against the extreme views and language of the likes of Jerry Falwell.

Ron Berman | Kentfield

Chabon and irony

I was quite disappointed in j.’s May 18 review of Michael Chabon’s new book, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” True, the book is overwritten, but where is mention of the humor and irony of this book?

The review seems to miss the point. Can you imagine a Yiddish-speaking, Yiddish-run country instead of the Hebrew one we have now if FDR’s proposal that a temporary settlement of Jews be established in Alaska had become reality? That’s what Chabon did with his murder mystery noir thriller ala Raymond Chandler and his speculative history filled with humor and humanity. What an irony.

Marsha Raleigh | San Francisco

Israel and peace

Israel exists, it’s alive and kicking, and is in the forefront of scientific and technological innovations, all because of the Israeli and Jewish people.

Instead of dwelling on the past, we chose to move on, and embrace progress over failure.

Instead of placing blame, we chose to reconcile, and make the best of things yet to come.

Instead of bickering among ourselves, we chose to celebrate our differences.

Instead of being victims, we chose to steadfastly fight back and defended our honor. Instead of teaching hatred, and evil, we chose love and compassion.

Instead of calling for the annihilation of other nations, we advocate coexistence.

Instead of a theocracy, and religious intolerance, we chose a democracy.

Instead of antiquated laws and ignorance, we chose wisdom, and knowledge.

Instead of waging war, we choose to call for peace. 

Bill Vidor | Oakland

Placing blame

I’d like to applaud Ray Hanania for his May 18 “Martyr Mouse” view stating what many of us have long believed — placing blame on mainstream Palestinians for the continuance of violence and hatred in Israel, particularly in Palestinian-controlled areas. There’s no way to know what percentage of the population is hardened terrorists or hate-mongers. That number is likely small.

What is clear, however, is that the vast majority of the Palestinian population tacitly, and often actively, supports the violence and hatred through either silence or through spouting nonsense that their continued oppression is an excuse for losing all sense of compassion for the value of human life and dignity.

How can any Palestinian, particularly those we like to call the “moderate politicians,” defend that their lives and their people’s have gotten progressively worse through their unwillingness to take responsibility for their plight and come to a peaceful negotiation for a state of their own where they can thrive?

Surely it can’t be their nature to self-destruct, much like the joke of the scorpion crossing the river on the back of the frog. Like Hanania says, it’s time for them to stand up.

Howard Schwartz | San Rafael

BCE, please

Because it’s hard enough convincing non-Jewish publications to switch from B.C. and A.D. to BCE and C.E. I was greatly surprised to see the use of B.C. in a recent Associated Press article in j., “Israeli sings for her estranged people,” by Matti Friedman. How about keeping an eye out for this in future stories.

Mirka Knaster | Oakland