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NY Doc is NOT a Chozer Teshuva 

Dear Editor:

In the March 24th issue of the Voice, on page 9, is an article regarding a “Once Prominent NY Doctor Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Ex”.  Although the story of one spouse blaming the other for his/her woes is not unique, I am surprised that the Voice ran an article on someone who has for many years, prominently touted his embracing of Christianity.  I am not aware of Dr. Braverman being a chozer teshuva. 

There are plenty of stories that can be covered in the Voice that involve prominent newsworthy Jews, which may be of interest to your readers, but I would like to believe that a story about someone, who has prominently professed his embrace of Christianity is probably not one of them.

David Sabgir

NYC Transit and Recycling in the Subways

Dear Editor:

It makes sense for the MTA to cancel its ill conceived subway station garbage can removal program.  In the 1960’s it was common to find both penny gum and soda machines dispensing products at many subway stations. Clean and safe bathrooms were readily available. It was a time when people respected authority and law. Previous generations of riders did not litter subway stations and buses leaving behind gum, candy wrappers, paper cups, bottles and newspapers. No one would openly eat pizza, chicken or other messy foods while riding a bus or subway. Everyone paid their way and there was no fare evasion.

Fast forward to today.  Commuters have to deal with conductors who close the doors while  crossing the platform attempting to transfer from a local to the express train. Try looking for the proper way to depose of your old newspaper as more trash cans are removed from more stations. Riders have to deal with aggressive panhandlers, eating as if one is at home or restaurant, those hogging two seats, yawning, coughing or sneezing without covering up and the release of flatulence. Women are routinely accosted by gropers while perverts engage in other unhealthy sexual activities.

It is now time to add not remove the number of garbage cans, NYC Transit should consider installing separate cans for recycling newspapers, plastic and glass along with regular garbage. Selling advertising on sides of cans could generate revenues to help cover the costs of more frequent off-peak and late night collection and disposal. If asked, the city Department of Sanitation would consider doing the same on the street adjacent to subway station entrances.

There are also solutions to dealing with waiting for or riding the subway and having the “urge to go.” The odds of finding a working bathroom for “relief” may be too late. Until the early 1960s, most subway stations had clean, safe, working bathrooms with toilet paper. Revenues generated from a 10 cent fee helped cover the costs. Why not consider charging a fee between 25 cents and a dollar? That would generate revenues to assign a matron along with covering security and maintenance costs. This could help provide secure, fully-equipped bathrooms at most of the 468 subway stations. Many riders would gladly pay this small price to ensure working bathrooms rather than face the current unpleasant alternatives, which contribute to dirty subways.


 Larry Penner

Great Neck

(Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office)

A Palestinian State is Bad for America

Dear Editor:

We all know why the creation of a Palestinian state would be dangerous for Israel— the indefensible borders, the vulnerable airports, the lack of water sources.

But let’s consider why a Palestinian state would be dangerous for America.

— Turmoil and instability:  The Palestinians have a long record of fomenting regional instability. They provoked an armed conflict with King Hussein of Jordan. They instigated a civil war in Lebanon. It’s only a matter of time before a Palestinian state would stir up turmoil and mayhem throughout the region. That kind of chaos, in such a sensitive region of the world, is the last thing the U.S. needs.

— Proxy for rogues:   The Palestinians have always allied themselves with the most extreme and aggressive regimes in the world: in the old days, it was the Soviet Union; today, it’s North Korea and Iran. “Palestine” would quickly invite Iranian “volunteers” and North Korean missiles. It would become a proxy-state for the world’s worst rogue regimes. How would an Iranian port in Gaza be good for America?

— Against American values:   We can already see from the Palestinian Authority’s practices over the past 23 years what kind of state it would have. Islam will be the state religion. Elections will be held rarely, if ever. Critics of the regime will be suppressed. Labor unions will be harassed. Prisoners will be tortured. Christians will be intimidated. Women will be second-class citizens. The Islamist and authoritarian values embodied by the Palestinian state will be the exact opposite of the democratic and pluralistic values that we Americans cherish.

—Enemy of America:  A Palestinian state would be an actively anti-American state in word and deed. How do we know? Just look at what the Palestinian Authority has been teaching its people, and especially its children, for the past two decades. The PA’s media and schools portray the United States as racist, colonial, and war-mongering. They accuse the U.S. of carrying out the 9/11 attacks, spreading disease and immorality, and conspiring against Islam.

A Palestinian state will promote hatred of America, vote against the U.S. in international forums, and align itself with radical Third World regimes. The world already has plenty of America-hating countries. Why do we need yet another?

— Undermining America’s ally:  Israel has always been America’s closest friend and most reliable ally. As a matter of principle, and as a matter of strategic wisdom, the United States should always stand by its friends. To set up a Palestinian state along Israel’s borders would pose a grave danger to our ally. It would also undermine the confidence of all of America’s allies, and call into doubt the value of America’s promises. 

In every conceivable respect, a Palestinian state would be bad for America—bad for American values, bad for American interests, and bad for America’s allies.


Stephen M. Flatow

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