A sorry office

Sir, – The investigation against former chief rabbi Yonah Metzger indicates he received bribes and forbidden payments at an “unprecedented scope” (“Police: Evidence shows Metzger committed crimes,” February 12). The implication here is that there is a “precedented” scope considered tolerable.

Metzger might or might not be the biggest crook who ever held the office of chief rabbi. However, the public is entitled to know whether he was merely building on a precedent or whether he created this precedent. And it would behoove the investigating authorities to find out whether, as many of us believe, corruption by chief rabbis is not something Metzger invented.

There appear to be enough nails in the coffin of this sorry office to nail it shut once and for all.

YOHANAN AV-YAIR
Jerusalem

Special case

Sir, – In “US slams Afghan terrorist release” (World in Brief, February 12), Americans state that the release of these prisoners “is a major step backward” and that a number of “previously released individuals have already returned to the fight, and this subsequent release will allow dangerous insurgents back into Afghan cities and villages.”

Perhaps the United States wishes to review its policy on this matter. After all, it had no problem urging Israel to release terrorists back to the streets.

It seems fairly simple to me: Either you are in favor of releasing terrorists or you are against releasing terrorists. You can’t have it both ways – except, apparently, when Israel is involved.

ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim

Ever-present plastic

Sir, – I fully identify with “The end of plastic bags?” (In My Own Write, February 12).

It is hard to be a one-person agent for preserving our environment.

Therefore, it was gratifying to read that someone else is making efforts to decrease the number of plastic bags that are disposed of daily.

It is indeed sad to see some people in a supermarket pulling out tens of bags just because they are free. They will still be in our environment many, many generations in the future.

Let us hope that our members of Knesset will pass legislation immediately to solve this problem of cluttering our beloved land, either through the use of biodegradable materials or other substitutions for the ever-present plastic bag.

CHANA SOLOMON
Jerusalem

Honoring the vets


Sir, – The very informative “New Latrun museum to memorialize Jewish soldiers who fought in World War II” (February 11) by Greer Fay Cashman gave the public details about the new museum honoring Jews from all countries who fought in that war.

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Zvi Kantor has labored unceasingly to get it built. After almost 10 years of unbelievable efforts, he persuaded the government to give a grant to support construction. That occurred a few years ago and complemented some of the private fundraising he has done.

The two largest groups of Jews who fought in World War II, men and women, were from the former Soviet Union and the US. In the service of their countries, over half a million were in uniform.

The first flight over Tokyo in 1945 was by a Jewish pilot in the US Army Air Forces. In both armies, Jewish participants rose to be generals, won many medals for valor and were stationed on the battlefronts.

Kantor has developed a database with pictures and information on soldiers from 12 different countries, plus those who fought as volunteers in Israel as part of Mahal. Thousands of additional names are needed.

Ms. Cashman’s article, hopefully, will publicize what the museum is doing so that the few veterans left, and the descendants of those who have died, will make contact.

DAVID GEFFEN
Jerusalem The writer is the son of a veteran.

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