Letters to the editor, October 14

Quake-up call Sir, – Israel should not, cannot, be complacent concerning what meteorological sources say is imminent: an earthquake in this area bound

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October 14, 2005 00:25
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Quake-up call Sir, Israel should not, cannot, be complacent concerning what meteorological sources say is imminent: an earthquake in this area bound to strike soon (“Quakeproof now,” Editorial, October 11). A panel of professionals including seismologists, structural engineers and builders needs urgently to address the state of our buildings to determine if they are built to withstand earthquakes. Where they are not sturdy enough, measures must be taken to correct the shortcomings. It is better, even economically speaking, to prevent tragedies than to mourn lost dear ones. It is less costly to spend resources now rather than later. AARON SWIRSKI Architect, Netanya A sign... Sir, Some imaginative Muslim clerics have interpreted the recent natural disasters in the United States as punishment for that country's political actions. They see them as a sign of Allah's approval of their own actions. How will they interpret the earthquake in Pakistan and Afghanistan which has wrought such severe devastation? (“Over 3,000 killed in Asian quake,” October 9.) AURI SPIGELMAN Jerusalem Sir, With the knowledge that its own people will suffer, Pakistan refuses our aid (“Pakistan ignores Israeli quake relief offers,” October 10). But Pakistan had a very influential role model. The US ignored our offers of help in New Orleans for many crucial days, and when it deigned to accept them it was under a cover of silence. World Wide Tribune.com wrote: “Officials acknowledged that Israel was one of the first countries to offer to send military and civilian teams to New Orleans. But they said the administration, which has highlighted offers of aid from Islamic governments as well as American Arab and Muslim groups, asked Israel to postpone sending aid until a later stage... 'At one point, the administration signaled that it would accept Israeli help, but preferred that it be as part of a mission organized by the American Jewish community,' an official said. 'There appeared to be a problem with having the Israeli flag in a foreign rescue mission in the United States.'” Bush's US dresses in the clothing of compassion, but the generosity goes only where the attendant publicity will do the most good. It seems the need to pacify the Arab countries is more important than the truth. MARCELLA WACHTEL Jerusalem ... of what? Sir, Pakistan's refusal of Israeli aid is a clear indication of where we stand in its books. Guatemala has also had a hurricane, resulting in thousands of deaths. It is time to face reality and offer our support to democracies, not Islamic states. Guatemala is a potential friend. Pakistan is our proven enemy. Which should Israel support? JONATHAN USHER Toronto

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