June 19, 2018: Drought alleviation - or politics?

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June 19, 2018 21:35
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Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Drought alleviation – or politics?

Regarding “Amid drought desalinated water to be transferred to sea Galilee” (June 12), the emergency plan to construct two desalination plants – one in Sorek and the other in the western Galilee – to feed the Kinneret with an eventual flow of 100 million cubic meters per annum by 2023, making it a water reservoir, is an illustration of Israel’s woolly thinking regarding the state infrastructure.

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The Kinneret is an open reservoir subject to extremely high levels of evaporation, being 209 meters below sea level. Israel, as part of the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, agreed to supply 50 million cubic meters per annum and additionally in 2010 agreed to supply a further 50 million cubic meters per annum, making a grand total of 100 million cubic meters per annum, equivalent to the anticipated flow of desalinated water into the Kinneret by 2023, excluding evaporation losses.

Effectively Israel is going to build and operate desalination plants to supply Jordan at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer. Any surplus water would flow down the Jordan and evaporate in the Dead Sea.

Instead of erecting desalination plants, Israel should call a force majeure and cease supplying Jordan. Only last week, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged $2.5b. in aid to Jordan; let them use some of this to solve Jordan’s water deficit, instead of the Israeli taxpayer.

The proposed $10b. Red/Dead Canal project, still a figment of imagination, incorporates a desalination plant in Jordan. Had the project gone ahead, Jordan would have sent water to Israel according to the 2010 agreement to offset the extra supply. However, the Syrian crisis has resulted in a substantial population increase in Jordan with an associated increased water demand, making the 2010 reciprocal agreement null and void.

On top of this is the Greenblatt $900m. project to supply 32 millon cubic meters of water to the West Bank and Gaza.
Clearly the government has been disingenuous in attempting to pull the wool over our eyes. One wonders if such hair-brained schemes have been assembled without due consideration of the relevant technical aspects, just like the gas and oil exploration.

DR. COLIN L LECI
Jerusalem


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Stunning news

“Is Netanyahu stonewalling ‘pay-to-slay’ bill?” (June 19) should stun all your readers as it did me. That the leader of our government would try to stop or significantly water down a bill that seeks to lessen the incidence of terrorist activity against Israel’s citizenry “to better the government’s policies” is absurd and even obscene in my opinion.

The fact that the Palestinian Authority paid more than 1.4 billion shekels to Arab terrorists for causing injury and death to Israelis, which apparently was not deducted from the tax moneys collected by Israel for the PA, means that we are actually supporting that terrorism.

Is the prime minister mad? What are the government “policies” that cause him to try to kill the bill, thereby furthering the destruction of life and limb by our enemies? Even the US Congress has passed the “Taylor Force Act,” meant to prevent the paying of salaries to terrorists or their families by the PA, showing that financial action against the PA in this situation is a necessary tool.

Finally, the Jerusalem Post has recently published articles in which it quotes accusations that Yair Netanyahu has become an (unofficial) adviser to his father, in certain cases pressing him to take action to prevent terrorism. Perhaps Yair should be our prime minister instead of our current leader. 

Yair – where are you?

IRENE BERMAN
Shoham



Poodle justice?

Three cheers for Tsvi Bisk’s excellent article “Anti-democratic, anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist (June 14) highlighting the dangers of the proposed “override law.”

The fact that Israel’s judges are unelected is their strength, not their weakness. It is in the interest of all Israelis that their judges are empowered to apply the law without fear or favor, and without being beholden to any party or creed. The corollary is also true – and terrifying. Perish the day that the Supreme Court ever becomes the poodle of the ruling coalition. Therein lies the path to dictatorship, and the end to Israel’s proud and just claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East.

STEPHEN SHAW
Jerusalem



Tsvi Bisk’s op-ed made some great points on how the tyranny of the majority should be limited by constitutional guarantees, enforced by a strong judiciary. The only catch is that Israel, unlike America, does not have a constitution. That means that the traditional task of the American Supreme Court, interpreting the law as defined in the Constitution, is not possible in Israel.

Despite the lack of a constitution, the Israeli Supreme Court plows ahead anyway and often overrides laws enacted by the Knesset. This effectively means that Israel has a court that is creating law instead of just interpreting it as enacted by the legislature. That situation does not exist anywhere in the US, and for good reason. When an unelected judiciary can impose its will on the majority, that is not democracy, but judicial dictatorship.

The author’s fear that Israel could become like Russia or Turkey is well-founded, but the way to prevent that is either to constrain its Supreme Court or adopt a constitution.

DAVID KATCOFF
Charleston, South Carolina



Drugs and prostitution

In Laurence Becker’s letter (Fining ‘the social evil’, June 18), he places emphasis entirely upon the poor sexually frustrated man.

I would like to know what he thinks is the benefit prostitution gives to the prostitute? If it’s financial, then he should know that most prostitutes consider money earned from prostitution as being “dirty money.” Does he really believe that there is “freedom of employment” or that the concept of a woman having the right to do with her body as she pleases in a democratic society applies to prostitution? Women (and men) – often drug addicts forced into prostitution – frequently find themselves incapable of leaving the profession.

In London, a young woman with her child came into my social services office asking for asylum. Her boyfriend was threatening to force her into prostitution.

Where is “freedom of employment” in the case of young people today who fund their addiction to hard drugs through prostitution?

JUDY GABA
Rehovot


Prince charming

In “Elkin upset Brits call east J’lem ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories,’ (June 19), we read of the anger aroused by Britain’s characterization of the Mount of Olives, which Prince William will visit during his upcoming trip, as Palestinian. I would therefore bring to the attention of the relevant Israeli authority the British film Passport to Pimlico, which makes it clear that what is regarded as the London borough of Pimlico actually belongs to the Duchy of Burgundy.

The Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom should therefore immediately have his title changed to the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Occupied Burgundian Territory of Pimlico.

GERRY MYERS
Beit Zayit


Common denominator

Regarding David Weinberg’s recent article (“Tallit and tefillin, Shabbat and kashrut,” June 15), a number of solutions have been offered by so-called authorities to heal the rifts between the Jews of Israel and those of the Diaspora. In my opinion, none of these solutions are realistic or practical. With this kind of thinking, nothing will change.

What is needed to connect Jews here and there is to highlight what we have in common – without dragging in politics or religious observance to disturb with the connection. What all Jews have in common is their Jewishness.

The Be a Mensch Foundation, which has implemented this concept successfully in Israel between diverse factions, is sponsoring the One Jewish People Project to bring the idea to the greater Jewish world.

When we focus on what we share, we can create the groundwork for a relationship and foster hearts that reach each other. This is the only solution.

ALLEN HOCHMAN
Jerusalem

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