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Controversial Cover

TIME's cover and story on life in Israel prompted more than 1,000 letters, mostly in protest.

Your cover story "The Good Life and Its Dangers" outrageously implies that Israelis care more about money than a future of peace and security [Sept. 13]. This deeply odious subtext of Israeli Jews' being obsessed with money plays into the age-old anti-Semitic canard that Jews prize money above any other interest. Ignored is the decades-long yearning of Israelis for peace and the tremendous efforts that successive Israeli governments have made in its pursuit. As Jews around the world embark on a new year with prayers for peace, the article is wrong, inappropriate and offensive.

Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League, NEW YORK CITY

If I am vacationing in Lake Tahoe with my family, that does not make me less interested in seeing that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to an end. Nor does it make me less interested in a peaceful conclusion to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The whole country of Israel does not have to wear a hair shirt while politicians try to negotiate a solution to this unending conflict.

Daniel Tuerk, PALO ALTO, CALIF.

Israelis are experiencing peace fatigue; they're tired of fighting and dying for an elusive end to the conflict. Blinded by the spotlight and double standards, Israelis today just want to don their sunglasses and enjoy the natural light of the sun, if only for a while.

Denise Pérez, BOGOTÁ

There is nothing I, as an Israeli, would want more than peace. I just choose to be realistic rather than optimistic. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinians and our partner in peace talks, represents only those in the West Bank, about half the Palestinians. The other half, located in the Gaza Strip, are represented by Hamas, a terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel. The elected leaders from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides--including Hamas--must partner. Is Hamas ready?

Kinneret Klein, KARMIEL, ISRAEL

Your facts are twisted, distorted, partially reported or taken out of context. Yes, Israel has thrived in the face of adversity, but polls show that the vast majority of Israelis are for a two-state solution. Israel should be praised for that wish and not presented as a nonchalant country whose main interests are money and the good life. There is much more to Israel than that, and it is nowhere to be found in your one-sided article.


Karl Vick's story melodramatically blows the lid off the fact that life goes on in Israel--and ends by contradicting its own premise by saying Israelis really do care about peace. Meanwhile, the provocative title will be viewed and absorbed by millions of people. How irresponsible.


Shame on Vick for not researching the psychology of living with danger. Israelis are exposed to danger 24/7; their approach to life is healthy mentally.

Barbara Berger, INDIANAPOLIS

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