(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – The driver of the trailer truck that hit eight cars in the north (“6 die, 16 injured as runaway truck slams into eight cars near Haifa,” April 11) had 16 traffic citations, which – unbelievably – the police said was not an exceptionally high number and not enough to cause him to lose his license.
My question is: Why not? Does it take six people to die and many more be injured in order for a person to lose his license?
Sir, – Before making aliya from New Jersey I ran a fleet of several dozen trucks. Our insurance company wouldn’t have allowed us to hire (or retain) a driver with even four violations on his record. Clearly, something is not right here.
Israel’s professional drivers are often very unprofessional, the insurance companies seem to have their heads in the sand, and the police are so inured to terrible driving that licenses are rarely revoked. We, the public, pay the ultimate price.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz, please wake up!
Sir, – I was outraged to learn that the Teachers Union of Ireland had voted for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel (“Irish boycott,” Editorial, April 11).
This decision is extremely harmful to academic freedom and the universal sharing of knowledge. It will leave Ireland’s schools unable to collaborate with Israel’s in the exchange of ideas, scientific discovery, academic collaboration and advancing peace through education. This will do much harm to Ireland.
Educators are meant to support total academic freedom and excellence, but a boycott allows education and knowledge to be conditional and restrictive.
This does nothing for peace.
Quite the opposite, it will drive Israel farther away from seeing Ireland as a constructive voice for reconciliation.
The Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland will be at the forefront of the campaign to overturn this boycott so that in the interest of both Ireland and Israel we can work together toward peace. I urge all to stand up to those who seek to demonize and delegitimize Israel and join the ZF in this campaign.
The writer is chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland
Sir, – Shame on the teachers union in Ireland. Its boycott is repugnant. It displays vitriolic hatred and gross ignorance, and more to the point is an ugly blot on Irish academia, which ultimately will be the loser.
It is also reminiscent of the Nazi era. My uncle, Dr. Ernst Rosenthal, was subjected to this evil phenomenon, as were all his Jewish colleagues immediately after the rise of the Nazi regime in 1933.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Sir, – The recently announced boycott of Israeli institutions of higher learning by the Teachers Union of Ireland was clearly condemned in your editorial. Of note is that according to the recently published rankings of world universities, four Israeli centers of higher learning are listed in the first 150, with no Irish institution featuring there.
Let the Irish know who is going to lose out. It certainly will not be our scholars and researchers.
Sir, – Peter A. Joseph and David A. Halperin of the Israel Policy Forum (“What we said in our ‘peace letter’ and why we said it,” Comment & Features, April 11) claim to be “Israel’s advocates abroad,” though they are in fact safe, far-away absentees.
They also falsely claim to be peace experts, for which they have no proven track record.
Rather than acknowledging publicity hounds, shouldn’t we just ignore their nervy kibbitzing?
Sir, – Kudos to Isi Leibler (“Sanctimonious Jewish bleeding hearts,” Candidly Speaking, April 9) for so eloquently responding to the American Jews who admonished Prime Minister Netanyahu to take “concrete confidence building steps designed to demonstrate Israel’s commitment” to a two-state solution.
As the world calls for divestment from Israeli companies and boycotts of Israeli academics and universities, these American Jews call for the Jews of Israel to make additional “painful territorial sacrifices for peace.” This week, before the memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, they should tune into some Israeli radio and television programs and listen to the heartrending stories of what painful sacrifice truly means.
Sir, – The Palestinians have no interest in normalization. A peace agreement would leave them without a raison d’être, stripped of pity and attention that would need to be replaced by national responsibility for the welfare of their people.
I think the American letter writers should send their suggestions for peace to Palestinian leaders.
Sir, – There are dreams (“What we said in our ‘peace letter’ and why we said it”) and there is reality (“The speech Obama did not make,” Comment & Features, April 11).
As noted in the latter piece, it was the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who turned down the UN Partition Plan of 1947. It was their representatives who said no to peace, recognition and reconciliation after the 1967 war.
Yasser Arafat rejected a comprehensive peace plan. The current Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, rejected another and now refuses to negotiate. Moreover, his conditions for “peace” include the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes and the elimination of Israel through an influx of Palestinian refugees.
There really isn’t anything Israel can do to encourage a peace agreement.
Worst of ‘Times’
Sir, – In your editorial of April 9 (“Persistent anti-Judaism”) you point out the hopelessness of trying to combat anti-Semitism.
You cite various causes for the phenomenon – but the main one appears in the article by Andrea Levin in the same issue (“Bigotry, ‘The New York Times’ and Israel,” Comment & Features).
The influential Times has a disproportionate influence on the mindset of the “intellectual left.”
With its holier-than-thou attitude and dishonest reporting, it reinforces their anti-Israel bias.
Is it any wonder that to most people it is perfectly acceptable to slam Israel at every opportunity, which includes ignoring attacks against Israel and Israeli victims of terror while whitewashing and justifying the actions of the Palestinians?
Sir, – After reading “Bigotry, ‘The New York Times’ and Israel,” I noticed that a few pages later you wasted ink and space by promoting the Times.
That newspaper used to be fair and balanced. No way, no how, not anymore!
Sir, – I have been a subscriber of your newspaper for many years and enjoy many essays and features from other papers, like The New York Times, but I do not know who selected “The day of the hunter” (Comment & Features, April 10) by Frank Bruni.
Fortunately, there is no widespread hunting culture in Israel, and I see no value in describing the shameful practice of breeding birds to be released in order for them to be shot. Publishing this was a waste of time, paper and ink.