Letters week of June 8, 2006

The 'Inconceivable' Misery of Displaced Gaza Jews

I had just returned from Israel when I read Jonathan Tobin's column (A Matter of Opinion: "Why I'm Not Giving Up on Israel," May 25). At the end of our trip, we visited the "tent city" near Ashkelon that he mentioned in his piece.

I agree with his characterization of the people there. However, after visiting with others who had been expelled from Gaza, I find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook.

It is nearly a year since these people were forced from their homes and it is sad to see them still living in tents and small caravans. For the most part, these people seem to be forgotten both in Israel and the United States.

Most of the people we met feel the government is purposely delaying their resettlement as a means of discouraging them from remaining together.

Given the constant publicity on the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza since the disengagement, I think that a responsible press should write about the displaced Israelis.

They are still paying mortgages on the homes that were demolished. They have little or no income since their businesses were also destroyed. Much of the compensation they were promised has not materialized.

And now the government is talking about taking the next step, "the convergence plan," a strategy that will cause 10 times the misery of the Gaza disengagement. It is inconceivable that a government would knowingly impose such suffering on its own people.
Myron Gilbert
Cherry Hill, N.J.

With Media, Give Credit Where Credit's Due

I was taken aback by Lori Lowenthal Marcus' heartfelt but overwrought piece about a young American tourist fatally injured during the April 17 suicide bombing of the Rosh Hair restaurant in Tel Aviv (Media Watch, May 25).

Marcus' premise is that no American news source paid any attention to the young man, Daniel Wultz, who died a month after the bombing.

She is wrong. On May 15, the day after Wultz died, The New York Times printed a beautiful story about two young Jewish men who had suffered severe injuries during the bombing, and died a month later, within a day of each other.

The first part of the piece spoke of 26-year-old Israeli Lior Anidzar, who worked in a garage and had come to take his wife of two weeks to lunch. When she was too busy, he went off to the restaurant where the West Bank bomber blew himself up.

The article went on to cover the story of Wultz, who, like Lior, had sustained serious internal injuries and was quickly hospitalized. According to Lior's brother, the two families grew close after the bombing, encouraging each other during the month when there had been some hope for the young lives.

The Times article contained some five lines about the bomber; the rest of the long piece spoke of the Jewish lives snuffed out, the tragedy of fathers having to say Kaddish for their sons. The description of Lior's funeral, and his burial in the sand of the poor town of Holon, was both wrenching and touching.

The month-long struggle of these two young men did not go completely unnoticed.
Margot Horwitz
Bryn Mawr

Editors Note: The article referenced by the reader is a remarkable exception to the pattern of non-coverage of Israeli victims cited by the "Media Watch" column. Unfortunately, that particular New York Times piece remains an exception that proves the rule, which applies most of the time at that newspaper, as well as at other dailies here in Philadelphia and throughout the nation.

Mention of 'Controversy' Diminished Real Victory

As one of the parents of a player on the Bux-Mont Boys Soccer Team, as well as the coach of the team, I must respond to the article about the Junior Maccabi Games (Cover story: "Dribbling Away the Time," May 25).

First, I'd like to thank the Jewish Exponent and staff reporter Jared Shelly for writing about the event. It was well attended – over 500 kids and coaches, not to mention all the parents and other relatives in attendance.

The day was a free-for-all of weather conditions: sunny, cold, rainy and windy, and all the kids participated with the utmost sportsmanship, in the true fashion of rachmanis, which was the theme of the day.

But, unfortunately, the article was extremely biased toward one team. It highlighted the Bucks County team, without hardly even a mention of the Gold winning team, Bux-Mont, in the entire article.

There was no controversial call during the game between Bux-Mont and Bucks County. I should know – I was there.

This article should have been about the spirit of the games, not about one team.

How about the the Bux-Mont boys going 6-0 with only having one goal scored against them the entire tournament?

There were 20 boys on the team, all of whom played their hearts out. There was even one who played in a cast.

This team came back from placing bronze last year in Harrisburg, in a loss to Bucks County, to this year beating Bucks twice, including once in the championship game.

Both games were hard fought and both teams played at the highest level, exceeding everyone's expectations.

The Exponent should know better than to write an article in a manner that was truly upsetting and offensive to both the players and their parents. These boys deserved a mention for their winning the gold, not a "controversial" call. They should not have been overlooked or omitted. This article has diminished this event for the kids and the excitement of their achievement.
Steven Caine




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