Readers of our July 24 cover story on the future of Jerusalem commended us for tackling such a complex issue. Many of them reflected on the Sacred City's unique role throughout the ages. "Jerusalem is a timeless representation of man-kind's history, joys, pains, sorrows and hope for the future," wrote one. Others urged that any political solution by the Israelis and Palestinians should keep it "an open, free, universal city." Some were confounded by the intractability of both sides. "History does not favor an easy solution," mused one man. "Where is [King] Solomon when you need him?"
I was most impressed by your pieces on the fate of Jerusalem, "The Real Jerusalem" and "A City That Echoes Eternity" (International, July 24). I thought that the evenhandedness exhibited true journalistic integrity. In particular, the last paragraph of Kenneth L. Woodward's piece on the spiritual meaning of Jerusalem to Christians, Jews and Muslims was superbly written and emphasized that Jerusalem must remain accessible to all faiths. Let us hope that this will come to pass and that compromises will be made on both sides for a lasting peace; we cannot afford the alternative.
Sandra Pressman Weissfisch
Judaism, Islam and Christianity are all religions of peace. How paradoxical that religious claims to historical places can be the source of jeopardy to peace in the Middle East. Land, material things, historical relics--however sacred--should never have the value in any religion of a single life, much less the frightening number of lives expended and risked in the cause of religious claims. Who has territorial jurisdiction or sovereignty in the Sacred City should not affect the true significance of these places to the truly religious person.
There is no perfect solution to the dilemma posed by Jerusalem, with three faiths claiming it. What is clear, however, is that there has been only one time in recent history when there has been real respect in the city for all faiths, and that has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967. The choice is not between a good solution and a perfect one, but between a tolerable solution--Israeli control with respect for Palestinian rights and protection of religious freedom--and an intolerable one: a city divided again with outright discrimination.
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director
New York, N.Y.
Your July 24 issue had a very informative and fascinating account of the political, social and religious context of Jerusalem. However, I failed to see a single reference to U.N. Resolution 242 of 1967, which requires Israel to vacate all occupied territories in exchange for recognition by Arab countries of its right to exist in secure and safe borders. I believe that Resolution 242, cited in the Oslo accords accepted by both sides, would also provide a mechanism for the resolution of the so-called intractable Jerusalem issue.
It's ironic that the last five letters of "Jerusalem" form the word for "peace" in both Arabic and Hebrew.
George H. Horne
Menlo Park, Calif.
I think God should handle the Jerusalem issue the way my mother would have done it. He should take it away, right down to the holy dust that has accumulated over 3,000 years, and then tell every Muslim, Jew and Christian (while they're being marched to their separate corners), "You can have it back when you learn how to share."
'Grow Up, Parents' After reading "Parents Behaving Badly," I was very disturbed by the descriptions of the behavior of today's parents at sports events (Society, July 24). As an athlete, I have seen parents curse at my teammates, make ugly faces, threaten us and even tell their children to hurt me and other teammates on purpose on the soccer field. It enrages me that an adult can act in such a vicious way. For goodness' sake, it's a game--it's not someone's life at stake! Grow up, parents. I am only 14 and I seem to know better than to curse at other teams, so why can't you learn that, too? Whatever happened to the saying "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game"? If you parents insist on telling everyone how to play your child's sport, then why don't you get off the bench and start playing yourselves, because you obviously think you know more than the teams, coaches and referees. Remember, the stands out there are for watching, not for playing.
New Orleans, La.
As a parent of two boys and a coach on my 9-year-old son's baseball team, I read with interest and amazement your story "Parents Behaving Badly." Fred Engh, president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports, was quoted as saying, "When you see your child at the plate with two outs, terrible emotions arise. Your blood curdles with the fear that your child will be upset or hurt if they don't succeed." I have been anxious, or perhaps nervous, but I'll save my bloodcurdling, terrible emotions for life's serious issues.
Baton Rouge, La.
Deadly Serious Humor Your July 24 Perspectives cartoon of the two child hockey players with the caption "My daddy can kill your daddy... " was not only in very poor taste; it also made light of a serious situation that is devastating to all parties involved. The fact that something like this can happen at a child's hockey game is unthinkable. Your perspectives page is one that I particularly enjoy, but this time you went too far.
Your cartoon immediately reminded me of one that I've saved for years and would like to share with your readers. It shows two little Quaker fellows having a serious disagreement. But what different qualities these children value in their fathers!
A Famous Father's Legacy John Hartmire's expressive My Turn essay about the years he played with Cesar Chavez's kids (and mine) is a gift ("At the Heart of a Historic Movement," July 24). I was Chavez's secretary from 1970 to 1973, and several members of his generation have told me that nothing they'd read before struck home as much as John's comments. I hope that all parents whose careers call to them louder than their children's cries will rethink their lives. The "kids" John refers to are now in their late 30s and early 40s, and what they feel (my sons included) isn't something that one "grows out of."
Susan Samuels Drake
John Hartmire says he understands that "social change does not come without sacrifice," but wonders "if the price has to be so damn high" as to have deprived him of an idyllic childhood. Perhaps he should ask that of the children of migrant workers whom Cesar Chavez sought to help. Or of the children of Martin Luther King Jr.
Plus Ca Change... I was thrilled to see that scooters are back ("The Making of a Fad," Business, July 24). I had one as a kid in the '30s, and I (or rather it) was the hit of the neighborhood. My parents gave it to me for my 7th birthday in 1936, at a sticker price of $5 plus 15 cents sales tax. I don't know how they could afford it, since my father was making only $8 a week with the WPA. The scooter had a wooden kickboard and balloon tires, and sported a foldable seat. The fad faded, but now, thanks to your article, I no longer get blank stares when I talk about my scooter. My 71st birthday is this month, and I don't know whether to ask for a Razor or a Xootr. Any other scooter geezers out there?
Fighting AIDS in Africa NEWSWEEK's continuing coverage of the AIDS epidemic in Africa, "Breaking the Silence" (International, July 17) and " 'We Have to Save Our People' " (International, July 24), draws welcome attention to the urgent need to break the silence by educating young people about high-risk behavior. Discussions at the recent International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, confirmed that community-based education programs play a critical role in the fight against AIDS. Dedicated frontline workers are reaching thousands of people in underserved communities with AIDS-prevention education, counseling and care. Ultimately, it is the communities themselves that must actively engage in behavioral changes that will slow the spread of the epidemic.
Gill Garb, Director
World Education Programs in Southern Africa
A Heroic Life Your account of Jan Karski's role in history was succinct and poignant (Transition, July 24), but some of the lesser details need correction. He was a professor of government (not history) at Georgetown University, and as a staunch anti-Communist, he did not return to Poland until the communists gave up power there to democratically elected governments. After that, his book "Story of a Secret State" was translated into Polish, the Polish government awarded him appropriate honors and the Polish people recognized him as the hero he truly was. As an alumnus of Georgetown University, I was privileged to be acquainted with him, first by attending his course on Marxism and, most recently, when he gave a talk at the Polish-American Cultural Center a few months before his death. He was a truly heroic figure, and young Americans--and the rest of us as well--can and should take inspiration from his life story.
Robert A. Schadler, Executive Director
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Correction In our July 31 cover story on autism, we said in a caption that because 80 percent of people with the condition are male, the risk is five times as high for boys as for girls; we should have said that it is four times as high.