Letters Week of Nov. 9, 2006



Noting Another Rachel That Made the News

Thank you for Jonathan Tobin's column regarding the play about Rachel Corrie (A Matter of Opinion: " 'Rachel Corrie' Was a Liar," Oct. 16).

I am the mother of Rachel Thaler, of blessed memory, who died from wounds she received in a Palestinian suicide bombing in Karnei Shomron in February 2002.

As Tobin noted, she was mentioned in Tom Gross' article at the time the play came out in London. My Rachel held all three nationalities — British, American and Israeli.

I hope that more people learn the truth behind this myth. I think it's so important to make people realize just who the real Rachel Corrie was. 
Ginette Thaler 
Ginot Shomron, Israel 

How About a Production With a Positive Spin?

Thanks for the piece on the Rachel Corrie play (A Matter of Opinion, Oct. 16).

I was in Vermont this summer, and a playhouse up there was staging a reading as well. It seems that the play will unfortunately have a wide audience.

However, it is not the only theatrical rendering of the situation in the Middle East.

Todd Sulovey from the University of San Diego adapted my book, The Blessing of a Broken Heart, which dealt with the murder of my young son, Koby Mandell, by terrorists, into a play. It was staged as a one-night reading.

The success of the Corrie work now shows the need for an artistic production that shows the heartache, determination and real goodness of the Jewish people — what's not depicted in "Rachel Corrie." 
Sherri Mandell 

Rachel Corrie: A Typical Product of Her Education

That was an excellent piece on Rachel Corrie by Jonathan Tobin (A Matter of Opinion: "'Rachel Corrie Was a Liar,'" Oct. 16).

I especially liked the citation of Oscar Wilde on Dickens' Little Nell when he wrote of the maudlin ending of the Rachel Corrie play.

I also liked the observation about the authors' goal of creating a new Anne Frank, only this time to defame the Jews.

Yet I do have two quibbles.

Corrie's hometown was Olympia, Wash. — not Everest.

Second, since Tobin began by discussing the academic campaign against Israel's existence, he might have mentioned that Corrie was a very typical product of Evergreen State College, a publicly funded school that exists as a training ground for little revolutionaries. 
Edward Alexander 

Government Critic Acts Out of Love for Israel

Thank you for your report on Combatants for Peace (C4P) at City Hall (City & Suburb: "Former 'Enemies' Work to Bridge Differences," Oct. 12).

You quote Yonatan Shapira, who stated: "Everything I say and do is for the love of my country, my people and my Jewish heritage."

Shapira opposes his government's policies of occupation, checkpoints and assassinations. What he experienced while piloting helicopters with the Israeli Defense Force led him to believe that the security of Israel is threatened by these policies, and that courage and truthfulness require him to speak out.

We expect to create further opportunities to hear the stories of former combatants in this group who have turned from violent engagement to dialogue and joint projects for resolution of this conflict.

One correction, however: Shapira's father was a squadron commander and fighter pilot, not a general, in the IDF. 
Lynn Mather 
Coordinator, C4P Philadelphia 2006

The Real Issue? Tax Cuts, Not Concern for Israel!

If you notice who wrote the Oct. 26 opinion piece headlined "Republicans Will Fight Alongside Israel in the War on Islamic Fascism," the authors — Steven L. Friedman and Myles H. Tanenbaum — were figures associated with big business.

The reasons they put forward for their position are funny. Is this a joke? The Republicans have no direction, and financially, this country is about ruined.

Don't hide behind your own big-interest tax cuts for the wealthy and call it love of Israel! The fear button is getting old.

Of course, the sensible Democratic response was written by an educator who doesn't make millions, and who isn't privy to the tax cuts the other side has. Therefore, she writes on the side of reality. 
Susan Gross 

Don't Ask Republicans to Prove a Negative Terror

Susan Strom's argument for a change in Washington was not compelling (Opinion: "Democrats Are Messengers of Change to End a Reign of Cynical Incompetence," Oct. 26).

To make us believe that the number of terrorists has increased due to Iraq is like trying to prove a negative. If we had not gone on the attack, perhaps — and most likely — the enemy would have considered that a victory, and recruited even more terrorists.

Either way, we cannot determine the results of an event that did not happen.

She has failed to address the accusation of the slowly emerging change in the Democratic Party in its move away from the defense of Israel, and in support and defense of those who are Israel's enemy. 
Phillip Remstein 
Lafayette Hill 

You Cannot Compare Santorum to Lieberman

Recently, I was forwarded an e-mail comparing Sen. Rick Santorum's values to the Jewish values of Sen. Joe Lieberman. The argument is false.

Most telling in this nonsense of shared values is what far right-wing Christian evangelicals have to offer.

The Christian Coalition claims a mission of "Defending Our Godly Heritage" — and when they say "our heritage," I do not believe they mean your heritage or mine.

This politically active coalition rates Santorum a perfect 100, and Lieberman an absolute zero.

According to this group, the differences are fundamental: no shared values, no common ground. 
Ira Barg 


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