Kids in hot cars
With the onset of the long, hot summer, there have already been cases of children left in automobiles (“Toddler left in car,” News in Brief, May 31).
A simple way to avoid any more tragedies is for drivers to put their cell phone in the child’s car seat. There is no way it would be forgotten! (The cell phone should not be needed while driving anyway.)
SALLY SHAW, Kfar Saba FIFA and Israel
With regard to “Netanyahu: Kicking Israel out of FIFA will ruin world soccer” (May 29), the head of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association is demanding the formation of a committee that will look into racism in Israeli soccer.
This is only natural, since finding flaws and criticizing any and all things Israeli is what international bureaucrats spend most of their time doing these days. It’s what allows them to enjoy their inflated salaries in good conscience. By tacit agreement, it’s the most important work in the world today, and they do it well.
Since this is the case – and since there is apparently no Palestinian demand so unwarranted and egregiously insulting that the world community will not scurry to oblige – why don’t the Palestinians feel good? Israel should demand a parallel committee to study Palestinian psychology, including the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel venom and incitement in that society. It would be useful to study these internal problems. The data would also explain why Israel needs to restrict the movements of Palestinians in Israel, athletes or not.
NAOMI SANDLER , Jerusalem
The settlements seem to be a great problem to the world at large, with many saying they are illegal under international law.
Nevertheless, I have read many Jerusalem Post articles by distinguished lawyers regarding their legality.
Most recently, the Palestinians asked FIFA to suspend Israel, partly because five Israeli soccer clubs were based in settlements in the West Bank.
If Israel’s activities there are perfectly legal, why does Israel not take the initiative and clear the matter once and for all?
MICHAEL PLASKOW, Netanya
Still a risk
In “Whooping cough vaccine to be offered for Jerusalem infants” (May 29), Judy Siegel correctly notes that “others who will have close contact with an infant must be vaccinated against whooping cough.”
Unfortunately, our Health Ministry conducts a faulty public health policy, making the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine unobtainable by most citizens. At present, it is restricted to Tipat Halav, some school-age children, pregnant women and select employees of hospitals and the sick funds.
Rather than blocking access to a safe and effective vaccine, the ministry should make it available to the general public, as is the standard of care in other countries. This would expand immunity to pertussis throughout our population and hopefully reduce the incidence of this potentially deadly, but preventable, disease.
DORON M. SPIERER, Jerusalem The writer is a physician.
It should be noted that infants who are too young to be vaccinated, and people who for other reasons cannot be, should not go near recently vaccinated individuals, as the vaccine/virus has been shown to shed for several weeks following the vaccination. Individuals who were vaccinated over five years ago could also be at risk because of waning vaccine immunity.
Research with infant baboons has found that although recently immunized baboons did not contract the disease themselves, the bacteria that were colonized in their throats were able to spread to others that were not vaccinated.
CARYN LIPSON, Rehovot Too far gone?
Sadly, Melanie Phillips could be right when she states in “Israel’s Foreign Ministry moves to be right” (As I See It, May 29): “Maybe the British and Europeans are now too far gone in their hatred of Israel and irrationality toward Israel to be able to hear the arguments from justice, history and the truth.”
However, talking to person after person in Britain – and seeing the looks of disbelief and astonishment when I tell them the simple fact that Israel is only the size of Wales – shows how deeply the media and culture there have distorted basic perceptions of our country.
This suggests that if simple ideas are put forward first to disturb the negative image of Israel that have built up over many years, then arguments about justice, history and truth toward Israel could possibly have some chance of being comprehended.
LYNETTE ORDMAN, Netanya‘Help thy neighbor’
The US president’s denial of anti-Semitic tendencies, according to his historic definition of the term as presented by Caroline B. Glick (“Barack Obama’s anti-Semitism test,” Column One, May 29), reminds me of the Eleh Ezkerah recital of the 10 martyrs’ death sentence that we read on Yom Kippur.
It concerns the 10 rabbis who were put to death by the Romans, ostensibly for the crime committed by the 10 brothers when they sold Joseph into slavery.
Obama wants Israel to do what is good for our neighbors, consistent with the Jewish ethic “help thy neighbor” – even if it threatens our existence!
SHIMON GALI, JerusalemThe Franciscans here
I echo reader and licensed tour guide Hela Crown-Tamir’s sentiments about the excellent professional (as archaeologists and conservators) and personal qualities of the Franciscans, who act as the custodians of the Catholic Church’s possessions here (“Vatican and Israel,” Letters, May 25). However, if she is implying that this somehow mitigates the Vatican’s very one-sided support of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, I must differ from her strongly.
Unlike the Holy See, the Franciscans are a non-political religious organization. As Catholics, they obviously acknowledge the supremacy of the pope, but they are not representatives of the Vatican.
They have been in the Holy Land for many centuries and, until the late 19th century, when the Catholic Patriarchate was established, were the only representatives of the Catholic Church.
We have to judge the actions of the Vatican and the pontiff only on their merits, not in relation to those of other independent organs of the Catholic Church, such as the Franciscans.
MAX BLACKSTON, Jerusalem The writer is a licensed tour guide.
Include TLV, too
The United States Department of Homeland Security is going to open 10 new pre-clearance stations overseas, to add to the current list of 15. At pre-clearance stations, travelers undergo immigration, customs and agriculture inspections by US authorities prior to boarding direct flights to the US.
As Ben-Gurion Airport is not included in the plan, this will impact negatively on current business between Israel and the US, including on El Al, and on any future growth unless Israel can have a similar facility.
In recent years, all the growth in passenger traffic between Israel and the US has been via European hubs; non-stop traffic has fallen slightly during the same period.
The opening of new US pre-clearance stations in European hubs will cause this tendency to increase, raising the competitive advantage of European airlines.
I believe a strong and proactive push by the Israeli government, helped by AIPAC and supportive members of both houses of Congress, could help add TLV to the list. The time to act is now. This is of major importance to the Israeli airline industry.
BENNY BERGER, Dublin The writer was a senior employee of Ryanair and has spent the past five years in other aviation sectors.