Listen to us

Sir, – Regarding “IDF uncovers lengthy tunnel from Gaza – built with Israeli concrete slabs” (October 14), the Palestinians got their way after accusing Israel that no cement was allowed into Gaza.

Israel gave in under world pressure.

Now we hear that 24,000 slabs of Israeli concrete were used in the tunnel.

Wake up EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and listen to Israel for a change.

MICHAEL PLASKOW

Netanya

Sir, – We told you so! In our September 23 letter (“Building in Gaza”) we pointed out how stupid it was to send 70 truckloads a day of building material into the Gaza Strip.

When will we learn?

SHARONA and YAACOV BEN-AVRAHAM

Kfar Haroeh

Sir, – The fact that the Palestinians constructed the tunnel using materials provided by Israel as a humanitarian gesture is not surprising.

Years ago they made Kassam rockets out of irrigation pipes donated by a Canadian Jewish philanthropist.

What is most upsetting about the current episode is that the Palestinians are in a win-win situation: Were Israel to have denied them the materials it would have been guilty for the collective punishment of an oppressed people.

No one in the rest of the enlightened world finds the Palestinians’ actions a thing to condemn. There’s nothing like double standards to give your enemy incentive.

STUART KATSOFF

Tel Aviv

Revolving doors

Sir, – Reading about the murder of Sraya Ofer at his Jordan Valley home and the aftermath (“Security forces arrest three Palestinians in slaying of Sraya Ofer,” October 14), one wonders whether our government is releasing old murderers only so new ones can be created (and then released, as well).

I would recommend that we end the releases, at least until the murders stop as well.

BARRY LYNN

Efrat

Joke of a bill

Sir, – The so-called Peri Bill on the haredi draft (“Knesset to begin winter session with dramatic reforms,” October 14) is a joke. It does nothing but extend haredi draft-dodging by another four years, after which the state will have to get down on its knees to beg the haredim to enlist.

This is a country of law. The law states that all men and women, having reached the age of 18, must perform either military or an alternative form of national service. To exempt an entire segment of the population from these obligations is not only pure insanity, it could lead to civil war.

If the ultra-Orthodox refuse to serve, there will come a time when secular people will refuse to serve, too. That means the creation of a professional army, which would radically transform the social cohesion of the country.

The begging and pleading have to stop now! Haredim who refuse to serve can go to prison, like those from the rest of the population who refuse to serve.

Haredim are a much bigger danger to this country than Iran ever was.

Back to the drawing boards, MKs.

MITCHELL RADOV

Ashdot Ya’acov

We are naked


Sir, – In “Egypt dismisses US aid cut” (October 13), an Egyptian officer told Reuters: “There is a saying among us that ‘whoever is covered by the Americans is in fact naked.’ Americans shift their positions based on their interests and don’t have principles.”

I cannot disagree with even one word. Our government would do well to internalize this.

Like the Egyptians, who do not go cap in hand yet are provided with everything they need, if only we had the courage to speak out.

PHYLLIS STERN

Netanya

Kudos to Kavon


Sir, – I very much appreciate the pieces by Eli Kavon, rabbi of Beth Ami Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida. They are learned, informative, well-written and very relevant to an understanding of the current situation in Israel.

His latest (“The medieval roots of the modern Knesset,” Comment & Features, October 13) ought to be republished from time to time.

HELEN LEVENSTON
Jerusalem

Beauty of an IP


 Sir, – Because the Hadassah- Hebrew University Medical Center had a good idea but lacked the funds to develop it, Nadav Kidron took over the IP and started a company, we are told in the Reuters story “David and Goliath race to produce insulin pill” (Business & Finance, October 13).

“IP” here would be “intellectual property,” not “Internet Protocol address,” as an editor seems to have guessed. If Kidron had taken over Hadassah’s Internet Protocol address, he might be receiving its e-mail.

MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya

Always amazing

Sir, – Regarding “They’ve come a long way” (Encountering Peace, October 10), Gershon Baskin never ceases to amaze me.

He was almost lynched by his Palestinian allies. He unsuccessfully begged Arafat to stop the intifada. He now writes that during the intifada it seemed there were more people in the West Bank with guns than without.

Baskin expects us to give up our precious land to these people? The only reason there is semilaw and order in Judea and Samaria is that God and our wonderful soldiers are everywhere.

It is not because of the Palestinian security forces.

NANCY CHERNOFSKY J

Jerusalem

Let us vote! Sir, – I first voted in New York City in 1950. Since then I have had the privilege of voting in primary, local and national elections in three different US states, and working the polls for the past several years as a resident of California.

But this string of electoral participation comes to an abrupt halt this year.

Why? Because I made aliya! Although I am a citizen of Israel I have been denied my right to vote in the forthcoming election.

My assigned voting site does not have handicapped accessibility.

Israel does not have a mail-in or absentee ballot, as other countries do. Such arrangements allow a handicapped person to vote at home and either submit his or her ballot by mail or have it hand-delivered in a sealed envelope to a polling station.

There are many security features built into the system and it has been proven to work in other countries.

Israel is a modern nation. Prove it! Move from the 19th century into the 21st century. Let our people vote!

MANNY KLEIN
Jerusalem

Non-existent coins


Sir, – I must complain about the media’s complete lack of interest in the growing practice of retail stores quoting prices that require making change with coins that are no longer legal tender.

I recently saw an electronic device for sale in a pharmacy for the ridiculous price of NIS 499.99. I know that this is a copy of what is going on in Europe and the US, where cashiers sit with a pile of pennies. But here, it is impossible to make change of less than 10 agorot. Therefore, prices ending in 99 agorot are fraudulent and as such should be discouraged (except in the case of goods sold by weight or measure – but even here the final price must be in legal tender).

In order to discourage this habit, allow me to suggest a tax of, say, 20 agorot on each item that is fraudulently priced. This would be a welcome addition to the Treasury – or, better still, it would stop this practice.

ARIEL BROCH
Shadmot Mehola

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