Rail is the way
Sir, – The pundits of doom who are against the proposed railway
to Eilat (“Eilat train route approved, as green groups oppose,” Business &
Finance, October 7) are so wrong. The cleanest, least polluting and safest form
of transport is the train.
The road to Eilat is a disaster.
many lives have been lost on that substandard highway? The bus journey is
tedious and very long, and flying is expensive and does not link up with the
interesting sites on the way.
Eilat may have a small population, but it
is a prime tourist attraction. Many overseas visitors fly in direct, and because
of easy transportation to the rest of the country they do not see other tourist
attractions north of the Arava.
Building a superhighway would cause far
more air and noise pollution. It would also destroy a lot of the natural beauty
of the Arava because roads need a far more complicated infrastructure, such as
ugly lighting structures and gas stations, which inevitably are enlarged to
become shopping and leisure centers.
A railway is quiet and does not
encroach on the surrounding countryside, and well-designed bridges are a
beautiful architectural statement.
Sir, – Regarding “Smartphones misfire on hours change yet
again” (October 7), it amazes me that people rely on electronic devices for time
checks. What happened the that old-fashioned device called a wristwatch? To
paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything under
Set in law
Sir, – I assume that reader
Isidore Solomons (“Why a constitution?” Letters, October 7) originates from the
UK (“ a country without a written constitution”).
If so, he should know
that much of the UK Constitution has been codified – i.e., incorporated into
Second, the historical nature of the British people
has lent itself to a non-written constitution.
Pragmatism is virtually a
Notwithstanding this cohesive national
personality, much of the UK’s constitutional law has been codified from common
law, and much in fact has been legislated over the years by statute. There is,
therefore, a large body of written constitutional law.
Moreover, take the
vast differential in national characteristics between the historic cohesiveness
of the British and the disparate backgrounds of the citizens of Israel. A
codified, written constitution is called for here for the sake of clarity,
certainty and public understanding MICHAEL BRUNERT
Modi’in Here’s information
Sir, – You published a letter from reader Nina Sheftman (“Information, please,”
October 7) in which she asks about the European Jewish refugees saved by the US
War Refugee Board, their origins and where they found refuge.
Medoff, the distinguished historian whose writings the Post occasionally
publishes, wrote a book about Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. titled Blowing the Whistle
on Genocide (2009, Purdue University Press).
Though slim, it is a
scholarly work replete with references to historical sources.
5, Ms. Sheftman will find an account of the activities of the War Refugee Board,
and in Chapter 6 a detailed analysis of those it saved. Actually, the whole book
is well worth reading, not least because it was the actions of the “whistle
blower” DuBois alone that led to the establishment of the board, on which he
served as general counsel, and resulted in the saving of many more Jews than
were rescued by far better-known characters such as Oskar Schindler, Raoul
Wallenberg, Chuine Sugihara, Feng Shan Ho and so on.LESLIE PORTNOY
Netanya Not in the plans
Sir, – With regard to the letter by reader Emanuel
Blumfield (“TAMA 38 and greed,” October 7), both TAMA 38 and the Pinui Binui
project have not been thoroughly thought through.
Where are the displaced
residents supposed to live, given the shortage of accommodation during the pinui
(removal) stage and in the long years before the binui (construction) stage is
completed? Although apartment owners are supposed to be compensated, no such
arrangement exists for renting tenants.
Pinui Binui should not start
until every resident, owner or tenant, has been found acceptable alternative
I fear that the whole scheme will only lead to
unscrupulous contractors getting richer at the expense of poorer people who
There is a solution: Reasonably priced, basic accommodations could
be built on some of the sites that are already zoned for building instead of
erecting luxury tower blocks for wealthy overseas buyers. The buildings could be
built to last for 20 or 25 years, during which time a master plan for more
permanent affordable housing could be made.
In addition, wealthy
philanthropists might be persuaded to invest in housing for young couples,
families and the elderly instead of giving money to showy and unnecessary
This was done in London during the late 19th century, when
scores of new immigrants, my grandparents among them, lived in the Guinness or
What would Jesus say?
As the headline “Foreign Ministry slams Council of Europe for anti-circumcision
stance” (October 6) makes clear, Christians in Europe are so concerned with
Jewish and Islamic circumcision that they believe it essential to ban this
ancient religious practice.
As far as Jews are concerned, it is true to
say that circumcision has not caused genuine harm down the centuries. Were this
not the case I believe Jewish communities would have ways to eliminate the
causes in order to carry out God’s commandment.
The second coming will
necessitate European Christians to face up to the fact that Jesus himself was
circumcised when he was eight days old. To say the least, he would be
embarrassed and undoubtedly insist on the reintroduction of the Jewish
He would be even more upset upon learning that Christians had
changed God’s decreed weekly day of rest from Saturday to Sunday. Because God
was indeed serious, He ordained the penalty of death to those who worked on His
nominated day of rest.
Jesus may well have no alternative but to turn his
back on Europe’s Christians.
JOCK L. FALKSON
Tell him to stop
Sir, – Regarding “Verbal abuse, loudspeaker taint WoW’s Kotel service” (October
6), Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinowitz issued a letter last week
calling on ultra-Orthodox leaders to avoid organized protests at the site for
Friday’s prayer service marking Rosh Hodesh. I am quite confused as to what the
rabbi considers “organized protests.”
I was at the Western Wall on
Friday, trying to pray. My prayers were loudly disrupted by someone on the men’s
side using a microphone loudly. Is this not considered a protest? Is this not
considered a disruption of the sanctity of this holy place? I also heard
whistles. This, too, I would consider some kind of protest.
I go to the
Western Wall to pray. I bring my own Siddur and want to pray with honor and
respect. Please suggest to the rabbi of the Western Wall that if he has any
influence on the man who was using the microphone, tell him to stop! LORRAINE