Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Arthur Kittay

Bush administration has reached a moral low in its criticism of Israel for not removing the Gaza synagogues. In response to the Palestinian Arabs destruction of synagogues in Gaza, an editorial in the Sept. 13 edition of the Jerusalem Post eloquently stated:”The uncontroversial notion is evidently that the problem is notPalestinian savagery but Israel’s refusal to spare the world images of it. Regardless of how Israeli decision makers expected the Palestinians to behave, Israel’s decision not to destroy the synagogues gave the Palestinians the opportunity to exceed rock-bottom expectations.”Would the Palestinian Authority be ‘criticized’ if it had decided to spare a single former synagogue from the raging mobs, perhaps for use as a library, or for some international aid agency? Is the idea of sparing a former place of worship of another religion so foreign that it cannot even be asked for, let alone expected? “The administration has the responsibility to hold the Palestinian Arabsto a higher level of responsibility. The Palestinian Arab Authority’sfailure to preserve the Jewish holy places is a failure of the Road Mapless than 24 hours after Israel gave in to the concessions demanded of them.”The editorial continued:”Israel’s withdrawal was not yet a day old when the first post-disengagement Palestinian mortar landed in Sderot. If Washington is not quick to hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for such attacks, and demand effective action, disengagement will have been for naught and terrorism will escalate again. Now is not the time for evenhandedness, but for holding the Palestinians accountable for their actions.”A sign of evenhandedness would in fact be if the world and especiallyAmerica held the Palestinian Arabs accountable for their actions!The reactions of our present administration are both a great disappointment and an embarrassment, particularly for this voter, my wife, my kids and my many friends who ironically vote Republican.Arthur KittayEagle Where fathers don’t fitSubject: Rohn K Robbins’ Aug. 13 column, “Child custody”:While I agree with Mr. Robbins recent generalized comments regarding divorce and custody, in most cases the truth does not bear his perceptions to be reality. While the theories he projects are certainly true in some cases, the courts do not take favor of the father pressing for his rights or for custody of the child. This is most true here in Eagle County. In my case, the courts allowed our minor child to be removed from Eagle County to the state to New York in a direct violation of a court restraining order. Despite my objections the court’s (after scheduling a hearing months later and after my estranged wife failed to show up at the first scheduled hearing date!) Judge Hart ruled the child can stay in New York. His reasoning was that so much time has passed! In fact, when I pressed the issue Judge Hart took me into his chambers and had the audacity to ask me why I was being so aggressive at getting my child back home to Colorado! I was so offended that I was left speechless. All this despite dozens of letters from local families all recommending I retain primary custody due to my long-standing reputation in the valley and obvious commitment to my family.The court later ruled for such infrequent visitation I was essentially forced to close two businesses and sell my home and move to New York to be closer to my son. That nearly five-year commitment had such financial repercussions that I am still haunted by them today. The ongoing legal and court battles to keep my son in my life, as well as efforts by his grandparents for these same rights, continue. I fail to see how the Courts promote parent-child relationships when the father invariably never has the possibility of custody of tender age children unless the mother is documented to be criminal or mentally unstable. This reality often forces ongoing litigation and the result is a further degradation of the parental relationship often having a negative effect on the child. I am curious to see the percentage of custodial awards to the father in the case of tender age children, Back in 1993 it was less than 3 percent of contested cases! When pressed, the choice is to fight for your rights or just simply walk away. So many fathers are pushed so hard up against the wall they just give up and are no longer a part of their children’s lives. How these children grow up and view the world and relationships has become a major social problem.Perhaps in the future the courts, society and parents can become more enlightened and truly seek out what is in the best interest of the children and reject the archaic status quo.Barry LevinsonEdwardsVail, Colorado

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