Sir, – Israel now has tens of thousands of illegal immigrants
it cannot, and perhaps should not, assimilate (“Unnamed country agrees to absorb
Eritrean deportees,” June 3).
Some of the immigrants endure detainment
while others suffer from a lack of employment possibility and some of these turn
to crime. Everybody loses.
Almost magically, a solution has been offered
whereby third-party states will absorb many of the immigrants for certain
The immigrants will also benefit from increased freedom and
Israel’s gain is clear.
Can this be stopped by the Supreme Court? If so,
the time has come to curb its power, which has never been properly
Tel Aviv Apolitical problem
Sir, – The Jerusalem
Post reports on the problem of sewage treatment in the West Bank – “Raw sewage
bogs down settlements, Palestinian towns,” and “NGO petitions court against
sewage plant near Ofra” (June 3) are very disturbing.
articles make it clear that the lack of adequate sewage treatment plants in the
disputed territories is the result of anti- Israeli ideology on the part of the
Palestinian Authority in the first report, and supposedly pro-Palestinian
ideology on the part of the Israeli Left in the second.
is an apolitical problem – everyone suffers from polluted water and untreated
sewage no matter what they believe. Frankly, I expect the PA to reject any
measure which might improve the lives of its citizens, but I find the behavior
of the leftwing Israeli NGO, Yesh Din, which purports to work for the good of
the Palestinians, to be short sighted and even dangerous.
If there is any
Israeli/Palestinian issue which should enjoy common ground, it should be the
issue of untreated sewage.
Kiryat Arba Out of context
– Jeff Barak’s article “Discrimination and everyday life in Israel” (Reality
Check, Comment and Features, June 3) is unworthy of him and of The Jerusalem
Referring to the Superland amusement park’s decision to allocate
separate days for visits by Arab and Jewish schools, he simplistically
concluded: “What’s to discuss? It should be clear to anyone with a smidgen of
decency that such discrimination is totally unacceptable.”
bother to give a smidgen of information to his readers that would help them
judge for themselves whether in fact this was indeed unacceptable racial
discrimination or rather a sensible precautionary measure to preserve the
It would be dishonest to pretend that racial tensions accompanied
by violence, which occur in most European countries, do not exist in Israel
Haaretz reported that a representative of the park told the Knesset
committee that different visiting days were booked not just for Arab students,
but also for ultra-Orthodox schools and that segregation was not an official
policy, but rather a way to address the problem of Arab and Jewish teenagers
meeting with resulting tensions. Arab and Jewish schools had asked for separate
days, but when someone found it offensive, the park apologized and a clear order
was given to end the segregation.
In answer to Jeff Barak’s statement
“And we wonder why Israel ranks so poorly in polls” – I suggest that newspaper
articles which report ugly incidents out of context and unjustifiably project
them as characteristic of the entire State of Israel bear a heavy responsibility
for this state of affairs.MAURICE OSTROFF
Herzliya Piecing things
Sir – I agree with much of what Harold Goldmeier wrote in his
commentary about electric cars (“Electric cars are a strategic weapon,”
Commentary, Business and Finance, June 3).
But Dr. Goldmeier erred in
calling the demise of Better Place a bankruptcy of an “electric carmaker”;
Better Place was no such thing. As a matter of fact, Better Place did not
actually make much of anything. Rather, they acted as a sort of systems
integrator, piecing together the various required components for an electric
vehicle network: vehicles made by Renault and charging points, swap stations and
batteries all made by various partners.
Ultimately, Better Place was
planning to generate most of its revenue by reselling electricity produced by
the IEC! These failed machinations serve to prove Dr.
Goldmeier’s point –
a dynamic shift such as the one towards electric vehicle proliferation can only
occur with the full support and force of public financing. Private enterprise –
fueled only by a government’s “go get ‘em” attitude but no significant “skin in
the game” – was simply not powerful, or deep pocketed, enough to force the
Unfortunately, Better Place’s investors and customers are not the
only losers here.MARC BODNER
Jerusalem Objects we cherish
Sir, – Herb
Keinon never fails to touch our deepest feelings (“Car memories, Out There,
Comment and Features, June 2). Of course it is not so much the car he will miss
but the memories it triggers.
There are many material objects we cherish,
not for their monetary value, but for the memories that arise when we handle
them – I have a cupboard full of Passover dishes, each one of which brings back
a memory of the person who gave it to me, my children handling them when they
were little, or an event connected with a Seder in Australia before our
They are all mismatched and random, but I won’t exchange them for
an elegant new set of dishes and glasses. It’s lovely to hear an adult child
with children of his/her own, say “I remember this!” There was a song of
yesteryear: “Little things mean a lot.”
They truly do – thank you Herb! DVORA
Sir, – “Car Memories” by Herb Keinon had this 87-year-old in
tears. The last part of the last sentence sums up the whole column: “it will
never be the same.”
This is what your whole life is about, and we should
be oh-so grateful that we have those wonderful memories.NAOMI STAIMAN
Sir, – Herb Keinon’s article on the recollection of significant
memories for the benefit of security clearance tripped a delicious
I had recently made aliya from London and was on the phone to my
English bank’s call center. The very polite lady prefaced our conversation with
“Just a few security questions, Mr Cohen. Can you confirm your address, please?”
After an unconscionable pause she repeated her question and I decided that this
was not the moment to teach her the meaning of the verb to
However, when she then asked my date of birth and I replied
“1/8/39,” she immediately responded with “Is that 1939, Mr. Cohen?” I dropped
the phone and was laughing so much that I was unable to reply – so she hung
Jerusalem Abusing the law
Sir, – Yisrael Medad and Eli
Pollak’s Media Comment (“Do peace and freedom interest the media?” Comment and
Features, May 30) has done a service to democracy.
We are advised that
the purely ceremonial role of our president has now been converted to a
diplomatic one according to the press releases from the president’s own office.
This is without any authorization from the Knesset to adapt the law relating to
the office and function of president.
It is strange that the prime
minister, justice minister and the attorney-general have remained silent to this
abuse of the law.
Are we ordinary citizens now permitted to abuse and
ignore the law, or is there one law for one section of society and another for
the rest? The president has abused his office and shown a bad example of how to
behave having lowered himself to the lowest level! JUDITH BARNET