Sir, – Your editorial “Egyptian gas” (April 27) provides an
excellent review and critique of Egypt’s abrogation of the gas deal with
I would suggest that the most serious consequences, however, are
not the material costs being imposed on Israel, even though, as has been pointed
out, the government has been complicit in minimizing them. Rather, they are the
lessons to be learned about concluding international treaties that have an
inability to enforce agreed-upon terms.
Time and again Israel has signed
such treaties, only to see the other side violate the terms with no reaction or
sanction from the bodies, individual nations or multinational organizations that
coerced it into making such agreements. And all too often, our own leadership
has simply looked the other way.
In no small measure the fault lies with us. We continually exchange tangible assets (land, water, physical capital) for
vague promises of good behavior or, in the case of Egypt, a legal trade
agreement. We also engage in unilateral steps (withdrawal from Gaza, Lebanon,
etc.) based on a naive hope that the other side will act contrary to all the
evidence and make its contribution to advancing the mythical peace
I, for one, would be happy to forgo the material benefits of the
loss of Egyptian gas if our leaders would learn once and for all that any
agreements without teeth and which we ourselves cannot enforce are worthless. I
am encouraged that at least The Jerusalem Post is willing and able to hold them
Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu’s
comment about reserves that “will turn Israel into one of the world’s largest
exporters of natural gas” (“Jerusalem and Cairo play down gas crisis,” April 23)
are not commensurate with the facts.
Currently, Israel’s known gas
reserves from the major offshore fields are of the order of 955 billion cubic
meters. According to the latest available international statistics relating to
2009, international trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) by sea was
185b cu.m., with 73b. going to Europe and the US, and 112b going
to the Far East. Gas pipeline exports to Europe amounted to 558b. cu.m., making
a total of 743b. per annum.
By 2015 the LNG tanker capacity will be 380b.
cu.m., comprising 362 LNG carriers in service and 44 committed to be built by
this date. Even if we were to export part of our known reserves over a 25-year
period, and assuming we consume approximately 6b. cu.m based on the 2009 trade
figures, we would only be exporting 4 percent of the world’s
Given that international consumption of natural gas is
rapidly expanding, there is no way we can claim we can become be a major
exporter. We don’t need the prime minister’s spin to once again mislead the
COLIN L. LECI
It just looks bad
Sir, – Martin Sherman’s
“Excoriating Eisner: Egregious or ethical?” (Into the Fray, April 27) puts
plenty of blame on everyone – Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner’s commanders, the media,
the politicians – everyone, that is, except Eisner, who actually performed the
Sherman goes into the provocation he says preceded this
action and the kind of organization the protester belonged to.
seems to have missed is the awful damage Eisner’s action did to the country by
giving fodder to anti-Israel and anti- Semitic groups.
As a commanding
officer, Eisner carried a lot of responsibility, not only to his troops but to
the citizens of Israel. He now must take the consequences of his
It doesn’t much matter what the background of the story
What matters are the graphic pictures the world saw. We can definitely
do without this type of publicity.
Sir, – While reading Jay Bushinsky’s April 27 column (“Integrate the
Africans in Israel!,” Observations) I could not but help realize the
overwhelming problem that Israel would face in a massive influx of tens of
thousands of African immigrants, something that should be handled by the
international organizations set up to deal with refugee issues
as there exists in Israel thousands of such people with children born in Israel
who attend our schools and speak only Hebrew, might I suggest a rather
unorthodox solution? Since there are already immigrants here whose Jewish roots
are questionable and who have been made to undergo conversions, can we not offer
the same to these migrants? I’m not suggesting a blanket amnesty, rather an
option for those who have children born here or any of those willing to convert.
Wouldn’t that be better than deportation?
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman (“Talkbacks and responsibility,” Post- Script,
April 27) is certainly right in pointing to the abusive, irresponsible character
of much talkbacking. But in wholly condemning the practice in the name of
traditional journalism he misses important points.
Talkbacking gives an
opportunity to many interested readers who otherwise would be unable to
participate in a public discussion.
Often, their views add new insight.
Second, talkbacking fits in with the general process of the democratization of
discourse, which has come with the Internet revolution. There is no going
The correct policy should be for each media source to have a
talkbacks editor who screens out abusive, hate-filled and irresponsible
comments. Also, each talkbacker should be required to use a real identity, and
that identity should be checked. If a person wants to criticize someone
publicly, that person should have to own up to who he or she is.
the answer is not in eliminating talkbacks but in regulating them in a
Criticism is okay
Sir, – Sarit
Catz of CAMERA (which does some good work) criticizes Peter Beinart and other
good Jews for daring to be critical of the policies of the democratically
elected Israeli government (“The wicked sons,” Comment & Features, April
Catz attacks this group of critics as “a small fringe camp of Jewish
pseudo-intellectuals.” What chutzpah! Perhaps she is in the fringe camp of the
For her, pro-Israel
means only a right-wing pro-Israel. Former stalwart Likudniks Ariel Sharon, Ehud
Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Tzachi Hanegbi should be erased from history. Can she
begin to imagine what made these people change their views? For her, they ceased
to be pro-Israel. They are wicked sons! I am not sure that boycotting West Bank
products is the best way to express criticism of Israel, but it is certainly
legitimate to criticize Israel, something that does not delegitimize its
Sir, – I differ with my
fellow- Australian Isi Leibler (“Personal musings on aliya on Independence Day,”
Candidly Speaking, April 26), who never regretted settling in Israel. He glossed
over the major aggravations and frustrations that concern many people who have
made aliya, regardless of the suicidal mentality of Israeli drivers and the mind
Especially mentioned should be the urgent reform of
the dysfunctional, flawed and undemocratic Israeli political system, which I
believe is the cause of the ongoing social unrest here and affects one’s way of
life and standard of living.