loved ones are for? (However, he nevernplayed tag in the library or rode his bikenup the steps of the bank, and if he hadndone either of those things, I wouldnhave made him cut it out, no matternwhat kind of a day he was having.)nAs for Mr. St. Marie’s assertion thatn”[ejach of us is responsible, individuallynand collectively, to assist in thenraising of the children around us,”nobviously I reject it outright. To donotherwise would make me what I wrotenthe article to protest: a parent whonthinks her children’s behavior is someonenelse’s problem. When it comes tonchildrearing (and lots of other things), Indo not believe in collective responsibility,ncollective guilt, or shared glory.n(That last one is important; it meansnthat if my kids turn out OK, Mr. St.nMarie had better not go stealing mynthunder.) The “little Jeffreys of thisnworld” are my responsibility as a humannbeing and a citizen if they arenhungry, abused, or abandoned. If theynare merely ill-behaved, don’t call me,nbecause I didn’t cause it and can’t fix it,nand I think it is futile and perhapsndangerous to try. I would suggest tonMr. St. Marie that if, as a “stranger,”nhe goes around exercising his “ancillarynresponsibilities” in the rearing ofnother people’s children, he will eventuallynbe told, at the very least, to mindnhis own business — a reaction I’m allnfor, because it is an expression ofnparental territorialism, something toonmany parents lack in the face of “experts,”n”society,” and yes, “strangers.”nThe reason I felt so little “tolerance”nfor Jeffrey’s mother was precisely becausenshe had abandoned him to thenfalse authority of a stranger. In sayingngood-bye to Jeffrey, I was not providingnhim or his mother with a “service.” Inwas solving a minor problem — mine,nnot Jeffrey’s — in the most efficientnand practical manner I could think ofnThe only meaningful “help” availablento Jeffrey at that moment was hisnmother’s to give. Ideally, the rights ofnparents exist for the benefit of children.nBut children receive no-benefit fromnparental rights if parents don’t assumentheir corresponding responsibilities.nMy problem with Jeffrey’s mother wasnthat she was exercising the first right ofnevery parent — she was raising hernchild as she pleased — while abdicatingnthe first responsibility of all parents,nwhich is to stand in the gap and donthose things that only parents can do,nto be totally and constantly accountablenfor our children’s needs and behavior,nno excuses, shortcuts, or fall guys,nno time off, no ten-minute breaks. AndnJeffrey’s mother was on a break. Thusnher exercise of her parental rights affectednJeffrey while providing him nonbenefit. In my book, that’s a no-no.nFinally, I have no idea how or whyn’Mr. St. Marie would assume fromnwhat I wrote that I might “resentnpaying taxes” to support either publicnschools or “services provided primarilynto other people’s children.” In anyncase, he’s wrong, because I don’t.nOn ‘Mixing Oilnand Water’nI was surprised to find Ira H. Mehlman’sn”Mixing Oil and Water” (Marchn1990) in Chronicles. While the author’snparadigm, a skepticism towards anpolicy of free immigration into thenUnited States, probably fits with that ofnthe magazine’s editorial position, hisnattempt to prove his thesis by comparingnthe political and social conditionsnof the Sephardic Jewish community innIsrael to that of Hispanics in the UnitednStates is not only superficial but misleading.nThis portrayal of the Sephardic Jewsnas a bunch of Third World primitivesnwho failed to be absorbed by the supposedlynenlightened, liberal, and humanisticnZionist European leadershipnreflects the line of arguments the Ashkenazicnleadership in Israel has beennperpetuating for years in order to justi­nfy their gradual erosion of power. Likenfrustrated Democrats in this country,nthe Ashkenazic leaders of the IsraelinLabor Party have been pointing to then”ignorance” of the voters as an explanationnfor their bad luck at the polls.nFirst, it is important to remembernthat (in contrast to Mehlman’s spin)nwhile it is true that the AshkenazicnJews came to Israel from “Europe,”nthose parts of Europe were the mostnbackward areas of the Russian Empire,nwhose political, social, and culturalnconditions were not very different fromnthat of many Third World societiesntoday. At the same time, many of thenSephardic Jews who arrived in Israel,nincluding those who came from thenArab countries, lived in cosmopolitannand urban centers like Baghdad, Alexandria,nand Casablanca, and were educatednin Paris and London. Many ofnthose immigrants were educated professionals,nincluding lawyers and physicians,nwhom the Ashkenazic socialistnbureaucrats forced to settle in agriculturalncommunities and poor “developmentntowns” to work in farming andnmenial jobs.nMoreover, the leaders of socialistnZionism were not “humanists” or “liberals.”nTheir political culture derivednfrom that of the Russian Revolutionn(or, in the case of the right-wing Zionists,nfrom Central Europe Fascism),nwhich many of them supported andnsome even participated in. Indeed,nwhat they established in Israel was anhard-core socialist system that still favorsnthe Ashkenazic managerial elite ofnsocial engineers. It is an Israeli versionnof the corporate-welfare state that sup-nPERESTRO • KAnnnAUGUST 1990/5non