July 6: Rules of the road

Were we governed more by Torah values and less by worrying what the intellectual elites advise, we would surely be better off.

July 5, 2011 23:21

letters. (photo credit: JP)

Rules of the road

Sir, – Regarding “Couple changing tire killed by truck in hit and run” (July 4), such a tragic accident requires an immediate and drastic change of policies concerning emergency stops on highways.

The increase in speed limits and the reduction in shoulder widths in order to add lanes make it almost impossible to make a safe emergency stop on many highways.

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The lane adjacent to the car making an emergency stop should be immediately closed by the driver by using a large, collapsible warning sign with a blinking light.

The current yellow vests and triangle reflectors offer little warning to drivers approaching at very high speeds.

I am aware that such a proposal will be very unpopular with the Transportation Ministry, which wants to keep traffic moving as fast as possible and avoid traffic jams. It is thus to be hoped that the ministry will take serious steps to improve road safety for those who must make emergency stops.


Kiryat Ono

Whose English?

Sir, – After reading “Gov’t committee to unify spelling of names on maps” (July 4), I hope that the members of the sub-committee assigned to making new English language road signs and city signs for the country are all native English speakers.


Neve Ilan

Stars and stripes

Sir, – I appreciate that Israel has become a lackey of America. The rot started when your newspaper dropped real English for Americanis( z)ed spelling. But publishing “Happy Fourth of July, Israel” (Comment & Features, July 4) shows that things are getting out of hand.

Are you going to go overboard for Bastille Day and St. George’s Day? Are we to celebrate Canada Day, South Africa Day, etc.? No doubt in the future we will have Hamas day! Get a grip! We are a polyglot society, each community with its own customs, but most of all we are Israelis. It’s this toadying to others that got us in the political mess we’re in.



Sir, – Why is America so unsure of its role in the world? Perhaps because it has abandoned its foundational principles in favor of a post-modern, left-leaning world view – the same one Jeff Barak ceaselessly beats on Prime Minister Netanyahu in particular, and on Israel in general (“Israel and the US – two countries, shared idea,” Reality Check, July 4).

Were we governed more by Torah values and less by worrying what the intellectual elites advise, we would surely be better off.

And notwithstanding the importance of committed friends like Ron Lauder, I am much more comfortable with the leadership of an experienced soldier/intellectual/politician than with advice from a cosmetics heir.


Anchorage, Alaska

Sir, – Regarding “National unity, democracy and the heritage of the ‘Altalena’” (Comment & Features, June 30), Susan Hattis Rolef is concerned that there are “disaffected Jewish minority groups in Israel who pose a threat to national unity and democracy” and that should an Israeli majority agree to give up parts of Judea and Samaria, “the hard core of ideological settlers and their supporters will not accept this lying down.”

What an absurd notion to suggest that dividing our land, giving it away to our enemies and then expelling Jews from their homes would result in unity! In the US, citizens have a Bill of Rights that protects any minority from the tyranny of the majority.

They can express any viewpoint without fear of being arrested.

In the US, any treaty signed by the president must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate. In the US, it is inconceivable to relinquish any territory to an enemy.

It seems to me that Israel should adopt laws similar to those in the United States that would protect all of its citizens – majority and minority – and bring about greater unity as well as democracy.



Trust God, not Obama

Sir, – Irwin Cotler is wrong in insisting Israel accept President Obama’s peace plan, which is based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps (“Obama, Netanyahu and the peace process,” Comment & Features, July 4).

This plan simply means that Israel would be obligated to withdraw fully to those lines. Any land swaps would depend on Palestinian willingness. This is unlikely, as they insist on having millions of Arabs be allowed into pre-1967 Israel.

Recent history has shown that compromises by Israel lead to even more demands for compromise while areas it vacates became havens for terrorists.

As a religious Jew, I think Israel can put its trust in the God that returned the Jews to their land and capital after so many centuries.


New York

What peacekeepers?

Sir, – Barry Rubin’s outline of the failures of international guarantees (“An Obama peace plan? No thanks, we’re still paying for the last one,” The Region, July 4) was well done and accurate – as far as it went, which was the last 30 years. He thus omitted the most significant historical case, which was in the aftermath of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, where in return for exiting the Sinai we were given international guarantees, with the presence of UN peacekeepers to prevent another war.

That guarantee lasted a mere decade. Upon Nasser’s request, the UN made a hasty exit and the result was the Six Day War.

It is the epitome of foolishness to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.



A golden idea

Sir, – I wish to offer a suggestion for solving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Israel and Palestine can both become sovereign states within a new federal union. This union can be called the “Abraham Union.”

This political framework is similar to how Britain and France are sovereign states within the European Union. The Abraham Union can be open to other countries of the Middle East as it grows and becomes established.

Jerusalem can become the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

Jerusalem will in essence become a national capital territory similar to Canberra in Australia.

A federal constitution and charter of rights and freedoms, similar to the laws in Canada, can spell out the responsibilities and jurisdiction that the governments of Israel and Palestine divide with the new federal parliament in Jerusalem.

The Abraham Union will be responsible for the best interests of both Israel and Palestine. This will help bring about lasting peace and prosperity in the region. It is no accident that members of the European Union have not gone to war since they formed an economic and political union.

The benefits to Israel and a new sovereign Palestine are numerous.

Everything from increased tourism and trade to diplomacy based on mutual respect and recognition will finally bring peace, security, opportunity and healing to this war-torn area.

More important, the Abraham Union might bring secularism, democracy, human rights and an independent judiciary to the nations of North Africa and the Middle East. This is a true Arab Spring, where fairness and equality prevails!


Delta, Canada


In our July 4 editorial “Rethink ties with the Brotherhood!” we mistakenly quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as calling the country’s 1949 armistice lines “Auschwitz borders.” It was, in fact, Abba Eban who made this comment. We apologize for the error.

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