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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the future of nuclear power; carpool lanes

March 19, 2011

Welcome to thrift

Re "Got knocked down, got up, and then got better," Opinion, March 13

Apparently the irony is lost on Ann Brenoff, who comes off as quite smug over discovering thrift and saving all by herself. She relegates those of us who are employed to the status of clueless voyeurs, blithely overspending while she valiantly sees the light, bartering and cutting coupons.

But the fact that she still shops at Macy's, One-Day Sale or no, and still eats at Subway tips one off to the fact that she's a recent convert to this exciting notion of frugality.

I am employed, as insecurely as anyone else, and I save 43% of my monthly take-home pay. The "new Bloomingdale's" that are thrift stores have existed for more than 40 years, during which time I have shopped at them and not department stores.

And as for the Saks cashmere sweater for $5 — too expensive.

Hollis Jordan

Toluca Lake

The Mideast cycle of violence

Re "A fatal Israeli-Palestinian flaw," Editorial, March 15

Would it be only Israeli "tit for tat"? In any negotiation, you must assume that the goals of each participant are the same. Otherwise, talks are doomed.

How many times have we heard, "We will push Israel into the sea"? As a country surrounded by enemies, do you actually expect it not to defend itself or to react to a hideous massacre?

When a child is taught to hate his neighbor, when women are often treated as property and when the exposure to education about the rest of the world is limited, you cannot say the negotiating parties are on the same page.

Lenora Lowe

Pacific Palisades

Israel's decision to build more apartments for its citizens in Judea and Samaria is undoubtedly unpopular with the Palestinian Arabs and their sycophants in the international community. Nevertheless, to argue that this construction is part of the "cycle of violence" that "provoked" last week's bloody massacre of a Jewish family reveals a shattered moral compass.

Your editorial repeated the canard that the Jewish settlements violate international law.There is no legal treaty that prohibits Jews from living in any part of Israel. Further, such an accusation becomes grist for the incitement to murder.

Israel's decision to build apartments may be controversial as a matter of policy. To compare it to killing children, however, is to rationalize evil.

Steven Goldberg

Los Angeles

The writer is national vice chairman of the Zionist Organization of America.

Israelis have much more firepower than the Palestinians, they want all the Palestinians' land and they have to take it without getting the world mad at them.

So they invent excuses: The Palestinians killed five of ours, so we'll build 500 homes in their territory.

What about this solution: Stop all aid to Israel. Declare all U.S. organizations basically formed to help Israel agents of a foreign power. Cooperate with the United Nations to place an international peace force on Israeli soil to force an end to settlement construction.

Then do you think the Israelis might catch on?

Jerrold Cohen

Seal Beach

Your ascribing the brutal murder of an Israeli family by Palestinian thugs to some "provocation" on the part of Israel actually, though probably unintentionally, states the matter well.

The continued existence of Israel is a provocation to the Palestinians, who refuse to recognize or tolerate its existence and strive to annihilate it. The only way for Israel to remove this "provocation" is to commit national suicide. That is the "peace" sought by the Palestinians.

Carl Pearlston


This act of terror was carried out in an effort to pressure the Israeli government to halt building in the West Bank. The reason the government decided to allow more homes to be built was to send a clear message that the murder of innocent civilians is not a means by which to accomplish political goals.

We cannot allow murderers to control government decisions. The "cycle of violence" will continue if they see that their violent acts bring about the consequences they seek.

By building, the terrorists receive a punishment instead of a reward.

Tara Pomerantz

Silver Spring, Md.

It was the Arabs who rejected the United Nations partition plan of 1947 and who refused to negotiate with Israel after the 1967 war. It is the Arabs who call for the destruction of Israel. It is the Palestinian media that incite their population against any acceptance of Israel.

Your linkage of barbaric murders to building and communities on land historically claimed by the Jewish people is itself barbaric.

Henry Tobias

Maale Adumim, West Bank

New nukes are needed

Re "Nuclear fails the test," Editorial, March 15

The failure to develop safe nuclear technology is shared by every frightened editorial and every screaming alarmist and cowardly politician who have collectively stifled any investment in new reactor designs for 40 years, designs that would have prevented the scenario unfolding in Japan.

Instead, we are left with aging reactors still in operation based on technologies that predate the silicon chip.

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