Letters to the editor March 21
A major fallacy
I read Lee Chottiner’s column entitled “Israelis, Palestinians can learn lessons from Africa,” in the March 7 edition.
Outgoing U.S. special envoy, Princeton Lyman, while discussing South Africa’s transition to a majority rule state is quoted as saying, “De Klerk and Mandela made a decision and one of the decisions they made was no acts of violence will keep us from this negotiating process. Immediately they took power away from the spoilers. … They never stopped negotiations after that.”
There is one major fallacy with that conclusion. Israel has to negotiate with Mahmoud Abbas, who sometimes talks peace and other times makes statements such as, “If all of you [Arab States] will fight Israel, we are in favor” and “I do not accept the Jewish state, call it what you will.”
Even de Klerk and Mandela could not have solved their problems with a “peace partner” like Abbas.
Stuart V. Pavilack
(The author is executive director of the Zionist Organization of America-Pittsburgh District.)
Keep seniors independent
As a patient advocate for seniors and their families, I was more than surprised and shocked when I read the letter to the editor written by Lee Feldman, “Rethinking the Elderly” (March 14).
Mr. Feldman wants to save gas and volunteer effort by herding seniors into independent living facilities. Even if the majority of seniors wanted to do this, the average cost for these facilities is $3,000 to $5,000 a month.
Most elderly want to “age in place,” as their home becomes a continued way to remain independent. This helps them keep the dignity that they deserve.
The home represents many memories of children growing up, birthdays, holidays, and even some sad events. When some seniors do decide to move to independent living, they usually have to downsize to a smaller space, giving up cherished possessions and memories. This creates enormous conflict filled with emotion and a sense of loss.
Let’s let our elderly maintain their independence and dignity by providing them more assistance in the home, and not worry about how much gas and volunteer time we are wasting.