Monday, March 13, 2006

IHT March 9, 2006

This just in: I have a letter printed in the International Herald Tribune.

The beauty of baseball, Anti-Semitism in France


Regarding the article "Enticing the world to game of lulls" by John Vinocur (Vantage Point, March 7): Robert Eenhoorn, the manager of the Netherlands' baseball team, got it right: Everyone has a place in baseball.

Perhaps this is why we still play baseball as adults (even though it's often as softball), while dropping other sports once we finish school.

Baseball is blessed because it's not controlled by time. In other sports, you wonder things like "can the team still pull it off with only two minutes left?" In baseball, however, you just have to ask yourself, "Can they do it?" because if they can, time will let them, it won't try to rein them in.

In our fast moving, time-conscious lives, baseball allows us to stop looking at our watches for an afternoon, whether we are on the field or sitting in the stands. That is the beauty of baseball.

Robert Dynan Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany

Anti-Semitism in France

I am a 23-year-old American Jew living in Paris. Though the death of Ilan Halimi has indeed deepened my fears of anti-Semitic sentiment growing more ubiquitous in France ("Brutal killing stokes French fears," March 6) the response of both the Parisian Jewish community and the media has made me hopeful for change.

Signs outside of bookstores expressing sorrow for the death of "notre enfant" ("our child") are surrounded by candles, representing an expression of mourning from community members and passers-by.

After news of the murder was made public, candles were lighted in Jewish and non-Jewish homes all over the country and special ceremonies of mourning and protest of such hate crimes have been organized in towns throughout France. Many have invaded the streets of Paris to condemn the killings and the rise of anti-Semitism in France.

Halimi's death was unfortunate and unnerving - he was 23 years old, like me, and he did nothing to provoke such malicious violence. Who is to say that something similar won't happen to me or to one of my peers?

We must keep the dialogue going and continue to show solidarity, because, as Halimi's death proves, the barbarians are still among us and history continues to repeat itself in France.

Rebecca Leffler, Paris

Bush's India deal

It's no surprise that India gave President George W. Bush a fine reception ("Bush finds more respect in India than at home," by Elisabeth Bumiller, White House Letter, March 6).

Bush gave away the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and, by his silence, the Muslims of Kashmir. He certainly seemed to give approval to the Indian objective of restoring New Delhi as the capital of the subcontinent.

In return, Bush appears to have gotten nothing. We can only hope (somewhat against the odds) that India (and China) will be smart enough to know that an Asia-wide military-political game will do little to solve the problems of the hundreds of millions of very poor citizens.

Philip D. Sherman, Singapore

Although the United States is the sole superpower, it cannot police the whole world. It needs to delegate responsibility to regional powers within a U.S. sphere of influence.

India has been a responsible nuclear nation, trading partner and an ally against terrorism. It has demonstrated multi-ethnic, democratic values over the years.

President George W. Bush should cement the new-found friendly relationship by securing Congressional approval of the nuclear agreement. The pact would go a long way in strengthening future ties between the United States and India.

Mandhata Chauhan, Northridge, California

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