August 21: Words of wisdom
Surely our legislators should support the judges and allow traffic police to enforce the law.
Words of wisdom
Sir, – Regarding “Three pedestrians killed in Netanya
hit-andrun” (August 19), our traffic court judges have long deemed a speed of 30
kilometers per hour to be appropriate and reasonable for a vehicle to cross a
pedestrian crossing. Surely our legislators should support the judges and allow
traffic police to enforce the law.
The advice once given by a wise man
was, “If you don’t have eye contact with a driver before entering an Israeli
pedestrian crossing, don’t cross!
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did the right thing by acknowledging that
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent comments on Israel were
inappropriate, to say the very least (“Government campaigning to keep Ban from
going to confab in Iran” August 19).
Words are important. But now Ban
should take action and refuse to attend the Non- Aligned Movement conference to
be hosted by Iran at the end of this month. His refusal would send an important
message to the NAM countries, as well as to the rest of the world, that a nation
whose leaders continuously threaten to destroy another UN member state, spew
anti- Semitism, sponsor terrorism and thumb their noses at the UN Security
Council has no international legitimacy.
The secretary-general has moral
authority. He should use it.
The writer is executive
director for global affairs for The Israel Project
Sir, – US
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (“Romney must stop playing politics with Israel,”
Comment & Features, August 16) is of the opinion that President Barack Obama
is the best presidential friend Israel has ever had. If so, Obama has got a
funny way of showing friendship.
Arriving in the White House, Obama
declared his intent to put “daylight” between the US and Israel. He demanded a
total freeze on settlements, which sent a message to the Palestinians that he
would pressure Israel to make peace while making no reciprocal demands on
The president treated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu very
disrespectfully at a March 2010 meeting and again when an open microphone caught
him cattily gossiping about Israel’s elected leader. More ominously, there was
the shameful incident of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dressing down the
prime minister and intentionally leaking the harsh tone of the conversation to
Most troubling, President Obama shocked the American Jewish
community to its core by insisting in March 2011 that Israel return to the
indefensible pre- 1967 lines, albeit with land swaps.
whose support for Israel is legend, should take a close look at the rhetoric of
the leader of his own party, who ought to be showing unqualified support for the
Middle East’s only truly free country.
The writer is a former Jerusalem Post columnist and current Republican
candidate for US Congress
Sir, – Your report on evidence that Raoul
Wallenberg was alive after the Soviets claimed he died in 1947 (“At Wallenberg’s
centennial, his disappearance remains a mystery,” August 13) confirms what
numerous sightings and reports have stubbornly maintained – that Wallenberg
survived in the Gulag and Soviet psychiatric prisons as late as the
In 1985, in my capacity of chairman of the Jerusalem Raoul
Wallenberg Committee, I took a sworn statement from an elderly Jew from the
Caucuses region named Avraham Hanukaieff, who had been imprisoned in Sverdlovsk
for Zionist activities.
Hanukaieff told me that he spent four days in
1972 in a prison infirmary bed next to a fellow prisoner who whispered to him
that he was “Wallenberg, a Swede who had saved many Jews in Budapest in 1945.”
The guards later ordered Hanukaieff to stop speaking with the prisoner.
sent this statement to the leaders of the Soviet Union, but of course nothing
came of it.
I am convinced that in time we shall indeed learn the truth
about the fate of this tragic hero of humanity.
Sir, – “Canada to release stamp honoring Raoul Wallenberg” (August 14) refers to
a similar stamp issued by the United States in 1997.
I would like to
point out that the Israel Philatelic Services issued a stamp commemorating
Wallenberg in June 1983. In addition, the Israel Government Coins and Medals
Corporation has issued a medallion in his honor.
The stamp and the
medallion are part of an exhibition our organization has presented at venues
throughout the country for the past 28 years.
The writer chairs the Raoul Wallenberg Association of Beersheba
Sir, – It is bad enough when the “civilized world” attempts to
delegitimize Israel, but when Egged appears to support the same agenda against
Israeli citizens it is time to stand up – as if there were a seat – and
During the past year, my first as a new immigrant, I have
gathered a litany of cases that show how some Egged drivers have little respect
for the passenger, in particular myself.
Last week I was just about to
board the bus when I dropped my Rav-Kav card. I picked it up, but too late, the
driver had closed the doors. No amount of banging attracted his
If he did not see me, then with such poor vision he should not
be driving a bus.
I wonder if Egged drivers have all read their company
notice, displayed in Hebrew on many buses, namely: “If the driver allows
passengers to alight or disembark at an unauthorized stop he will be fined NIS
500.” How many times have passengers waited at a designated bus stop only to
find that their bus has stopped three bus-lengths away because another bus was at
This is not to mention the drivers who close the door and drive away
with passengers who have yet to pay their fare and find a seat. There are
elderly people pinned to the windshield owing to G-forces or centrifugal force
as the driver goes through a roundabout. Now I realize why people recite Psalms
on the bus.
Shopping baskets sometimes take preference to standing
Young, able-bodied passengers are reluctant to give up their
hard-earned seats to senior citizens. There are feet on seats despite written
warnings. (Perhaps the notice, which shows a black shoe, is viewed as giving
carte blanche to people wearing shoes of other colors to use the seats as
footrests.) I am tired of hearing people say “Welcome to Israel” when I complain
about local buses, but I would prefer to keep my remaining hair on my head
despite the hair-raising antics of some Egged drivers.
If you ever see a
“How am I driving?” sticker on the back-end of a bus, please phone in. It may
save somebody’s sanity. Perhaps mine!
LEONARD E. BOOK
In “High Court rejects claim, fines ACRI NIS 45,000 for protesting
four years too late” (August 20), the sentence referring to ACRI spokeswoman
Nirit Moskovich should have read: “She added that, in ACRI’s estimation,
[Supreme Court President Asher] Grunis’s decision was a big disappointment and
was ignoring all of the public discussion provoked by the social protest
movement over social justice rights, like economic and health inequalities.”