A new equation?

I must respectively disagree with your March 14 editorial (“Yeshiva killings change the peace equation”), as that slaughter made no difference other than in the amount of Jewish blood spilled.

You rightly point out the Hezbollah part of this formula, where so-called U.N. peacekeepers allowed the terrorists to re-arm, but that does not provide for a peaceful solution to any equation unless you add in Iran and Syria.

Take Haman, I mean President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example — unless he stops his support of Hezbollah, there will never be peace.

There is substantial concern that if Israel was not propping up the Palestinian president, Hamas would be controlling the West Bank. This is an important part of the equation.

The fact that 57 Muslim states accuse Israel of “war crimes” and the anti-Israel bias of the U.N. Human Rights Commission also needs to be taken into account.

Possibly the formula that reduces oil to $10 a barrel will equate to one of similar enormous complexity that creates peace and security for Israel.

I don’t expect politicians to solve either; we need an Albert Einstein or maybe Queen Esther.

Howard Roth | South San Francisco

‘Let’s keep laughing’

In response to the letter writer who denigrates your jokes column, I respectfully suggest that he lighten up. Humor has been a valued mainstay of Jewish culture for generations, from the shtetl to the Borscht Belt and beyond. The ability to laugh at themselves and their human foibles has played a significant part in Jews’ ability to endure and survive hardships foisted on them. Please continue giving us jokes and let’s keep laughing.

Samuel Meblin | Petaluma

Omitting facts

Thanks to the Progressive Jewish Alliance (“Strength of 51 rabbis helps pump up alliance’s progressive fight,” March 14) for all the great social action work they involve themselves in. However, the statement on their Web site regarding the Israel-Palestine issue concerns me.

The issue is way more complicated than “ending the occupation of one people’s territory by another people” or “unconditional cessation of barriers and roadblocks.” There is no mention of Jewish historical, legal and biblical ties to the land. No mention that Israel is the lone Jewish state among 57 hostile Muslim states. No mention that there were 900,000 Jewish refugees from Muslim lands who also deserve redress. No concern with the hatred and incitement for Jews in Palestinian Authority media, mosques, school textbooks and children’s television — which amounts to child abuse being committed by the Palestinians. No mention of past attempts Israel has made for peace.

If PJA chooses to represent Israel to the outside world, I hope that they will be knowledgeable and honest advocates of the Jewish people. The statement on their Web site tells me that they are not yet past the pervasive Palestinian propaganda that most people in the world have already bought into.

Sheree Roth | Palo Alto

Welcoming everyone

Most American Jews are Reform. Most Israeli Jews are secular. Both groups follow Jewish traditions in their own way. The Orthodox hierarchy’s preoccupation with who decides who is a Jew seems almost irrelevant. Members the Orthodox community in the United States voluntarily abide by these decrees and that’s their business.

Because the Orthodox control lifecycle events for all Israelis, however, these small-minded, arrogant and inconsiderate “halachic experts” adversely affect the lives of any Jews who live in or make aliyah to Israel, whether they like it or not. With fewer than 20 million Jews in the world, we should welcome all non-Jews who seriously want to commit to being Jewish, especially those who are already part of our families by marriage or adoption.

Raanan Doron | San Luis Obispo

Holocaust irony?

It is profoundly ironic that Kathy Guillermo, a PETA official, in the Feb. 15 letters, commends Holocaust survivor Rep. Tom Lantos for working to end suffering of animals, while she says nothing about the statement some years ago of the president of PETA saying that there is no difference between the Nazis killing 6 million Jews and the roasting of 6 million chickens.

Edward Tamler | San Mateo