letters to the editor 88.
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After an outrage, announce an outage
Sir, - The firing of Kassam rockets from Palestinian territory and attacks by suicide bombers continue, despite all countermeasures ("IDF steps up air and sea missile barrage on Gaza targets," April 2). In my view, only the pressure of Palestinian public opinion has any chance of affecting this situation.
At present, while Palestinian terrorists kill our citizens we go on supplying the Palestinians with electricity and water (which they do not pay for). My suggestion: After a terror attack we cut off electricity for one hour a day, over a week. A second attack would produce a daily two-hour outage, and so on. The time of the outages would be announced so that hospitals, for example, could avoid operations during those hours. If this measure had no effect, the water supply could be added to the outages program.
Without such sanctions the terrorists will continue laughing as they use our electricity in their munitions workshops.
Hope springs eternal...
Sir, - In "A vote for withdrawal" (March 31) Uri Savir makes the unbelievable statement: "Now that Israel has made a determined choice in favor of progress, we must hope for Arab cooperation."
Lenin referred to na ve intellectuals as "useful idiots." Our own variety are anything but useful; they endanger our existence.
We are faced with an enemy imbued with an ideology that aims at world domination via force and terror. We, in our tiny homeland, stand in their path. We have repulsed five attempts at genocide, punctuated by ceaseless murder by individuals or groups. Our enemies have signed countless agreements they have never honored.
We have never really taken them to task but simply plodded along the path of appeasement in the hope that the Islamist leopard will change its spots. The air waves, printed word and Internet are loaded with evidence that it won't.
Yet to this day we continue to treat the other side as if its people were on the same wavelength, instead of being what veteran orientalist Bernard Lewis described as "subject to psychological disorders" ever since Napoleon's easy victory over the Egyptians in 1798.
Sir, - Uri Savir stated that the electorate clearly chose the path to disengagement by "a vast majority." How does 30 seats out of 120 - 25% of the Knesset seats - qualify as a vast majority? My interpretation would be that a vast majority of the electorate disagrees with just giving up the land. Indeed, the poor showing of all the major parties highlighted our disillusionment with all our leaders.
We trust none of them, and so gave no one a mandate.
...in the Israeli Left
Sir, - "Hope springs eternal in the human breast / Man never Is, but always To be blest: / The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, / Rests and expatiates in a life to come."
These celebrated lines by Alexander Pope from "An Essay on Man" (Epistle I, 1733) I think describe as well as any the naive and touching, but perilous, fantasizing of our Left.
Pensioners for all
Sir, - I am 81 years old and a recent member of the Pensioners Party, along with my neighbor Ed, 80. We believe our party must seek to create opportunities and explore possibilities to contribute to our country, serving local communities.
It must not only seek self-serving benefits, but must, utilizing the seniors' talents and experience, improve the quality of life in israel, with the emphasis on education for youth, helping the disadvantaged, and many other causes.
Sir, - I would bet that if another general election were held today the Pensioners Party would treble their number of seats. Having brought the economy out of a crisis, Binyamin Netanyahu's greatest error was neglecting the plight of senior citizens.
I am convinced that whichever party assists the pensioners, helps the poor have more food on their tables, and enables them to clothe their children will dominate Israeli politics for years to come.
This 'victory' stuff is just nonsense
Sir, - I regularly read Daniel Pipes, and sometimes agree with him. But this victory business is nonsense. How would you define victory - as total occupation? Been there, done that! Saturation bombing? Starve them? That would only make them and the world madder.
Turn off their electricity? Why not? General Westmoreland wanted to bomb Vietnam back to the stone age. Cut off their access to fuel? Let them ride bicycles, heat their houses by cutting down trees!
I know, let's nuke them! We did all this to Germany and Japan. It worked. But they had a central command that could surrender. Who among the Palestinians will surrender? Whose signature will end the resistance, the suicide bombings? ("Try victory," March 29.)
Sir, - I have never heard such absurdities as the reasons given by Omri Sharon for a reduction in his sentence ("Omri Sharon appeals against 'harsh' sentence," March 31). These include, according to his lawyer, that he was under tremendous stress due to his mother's illness, forcing him to enter politics to help his beloved father.
Maybe so, but this did not include the right to act in a criminal fashion. Personally, I think he got off extremely lightly, plea bargain or not.
Show no mercy to reckless drivers
Sir, - A Jerusalem resident apprehended by police on Friday night driving 83 kmh over the speed limit on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway apparently had 70 previous violations, of which 16 involved charges of reckless driving at high speeds.
His driver's license was suspended for 30 days and he was scheduled to be brought before a judge for speedy processing.
Big deal! This is not an unusual occurrence. There are hundreds of multiple offenders roaming Israel's highways. Just one horrible recent example: An Egged bus driver with an invalid license and 33 previous offences careened out of control in Petah Tikva, killing a teenager on the sidewalk and setting fire to a parked car, burning to death another teenager inside.
If a driver has 70 violations, it means he was caught 70 times by the police. The paperwork went out and resulted, apparently, in 70 dead-ends. Something must really stink in a system that allows potential murderers to go on driving. The Police, Justice and Transport ministries need to combine forces to make sure this aberration does not continue.
At the very least, offenders' cars should be confiscated. But the best solution would be to remove reckless drivers from society - to jail, where they can do no more harm ("Shock lousy drivers by comparing them to Hamas, urges UK expert," April 2).
Protect those eyes!
Sir, - Re "Keep Pessah cleaners away from kids" (April 2): As an ophthalmologist I find it important to add to this important article that if even a small amount of cleaning substance enters the eye, it can cause significant pain and damage to the eye's surface. It is important for the public to know that alkaline cleaning substances especially need copious irrigation with a few liters of water and immediate examination by an ophthalmologist or other skilled professional.
Every year at this time I see adults and, unfortunately, many children and teenagers who in their efforts to help with the cleaning end up with corneal abrasions and burns.
From cradle to contentment
Sir, - Like Shmuley Boteach, my late sister and I were victims of "fighting parents." Ours separated three times over a period of a few years before finally divorcing.
The result was that both my sister and I married very young, possibly to "get out." But, perhaps surprisingly, we married happily despite being told that "It won't last, you are still in your cradle," and so on. Indeed, my wife and I are now in our 65th year together ("Shalom in the home," March 30).
All religions are the same? C'mon
Sir, - I must differ with the talented Karen Armstrong in three respects ("Religiously non-denominational," April 2).
â€¢ If the six or so religions she describes are really the same, why are they nevertheless different in some respects? Total identity between religions is impossible.
â€¢ To say that all the religions that originated in the "Axial period" of 900-200 BCE stress action, not belief, is obviously not true with respect to Christianity and Islam, and even Judaism, if you accept most Jewish philosophical opinion.
â€¢ Armstrong says: "You can't equate true religion with hatred." Let us be honest. I do not know about the Eastern religions, but the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam certainly know of hatred - for the sin, if not the sinner - and it is difficult to separate the two (hatred of the heretic, etc.).
The Crusades and the jihadism of today would not be possible without the presence of hatred in some religions.
RABBI JACOB CHINITZ
Clear as day
Sir, - Re "Daylight Saving Time can save the economy
NIS 90m." (March 31), it would appear that the main beneficiaries are the media, who every year dust off the previous year's article, thus filling a few more column inches.
This "saving" is meaningless. If it is NIS 90m., this means that everyone in Israel will, on average, save NIS 15 over the summer period on electricity bills - i.e. NIS 3 a month.
If as a result of daylight saving a family decides to go to the sea or a park just once a month, the bus fare or petrol will cost them more than what they have saved.