Once again, Caroline B. Glick publishes very troubling information (“The Iranian-American nuclear project,” Column One, June 26). If it is true that the president of the United States, as commander- in-chief of the country’s armed forces, has agreed that the US military in Iraq help the Shi’ite Iranians so extensively – while not helping the Sunnis in Iraq to fight against Islamic State – why is this not a front-page news report? Why aren’t the American people and Congress outraged by these developments? Why isn’t Congress reacting to the Obama administration’s relationship with Iran in a more historically-appropriate manner?
Dror Feiler has been banned from entering Israel because of his participation in previous flotillas (“I am doing this for the Israeli people,” June 25). He has not been banned from entering Gaza. I would suggest that his boat be allowed to enter Gaza, but not allowed to leave. I am sure that this would adequately deter future attempts to breech the blockade.ROGER HERTZ
Before my bleeding heart completely melts, I need to request that you please ensure that any article about the Gaza Strip includes the cost of constructing and supplying tunnels leading out of Gaza; the cost of all equipment and infrastructure related to efforts to terrorize and destroy Israel; and the amount of international funds given to Gaza’s government. Please, let us have some perspective.
Share the burden
With regard to “BOI, IMF clash on deficit targets” (Business & Finance, June 25), the Bank of Israel says that the government will have to cut spending by tens of billions of shekels between 2016 and 2020 in order to meet the demands of current budget rules, with our democratically elected government and Knesset being responsible for deciding how, when and which cutbacks will have to be implemented.
As a rule, when any public (or even private) organization faces major cuts as part of a financial recovery plan, the primary target is the reduction of manpower, salaries and benefits, since these costs almost always constitute the bulk of any budget. The one exception to this rule seems to be those same elected government leaders and MKs, since superfluous ministries, ministers, high salaries, perks and benefits are not only never reduced, they constantly grow, no matter how severe the financial crisis or government deficit! The public always ends up bearing the full burden of “healing” the economy, whether in the form of severe cutbacks, increased taxes and/or reductions in basic government services, including health, education and welfare, to name just a few.
It is high time that we voters – and taxpayers – start lobbying for a real change in such hypocritical and insensitive treatment by our elected officials. Otherwise, we really only have ourselves to blame.G. BEN-SHMUEL
Last week, about 150 Druse from the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams lynched two severely wounded Syrian men being evacuated in an IDF ambulance, killing one (“After lynch attack, IDF to change tactics regarding wounded from Syria,” June 24). A similar attack by Druse in the Galilee was attempted earlier that day. Israel, remaining neutral in Syria’s four-year civil war, has frequently extended humanitarian aid to severely wounded civilians.
Syrian Druse have traditionally sided with the Assad regime; it seems that Israeli Druse suspect Israel of favoring or aiding some of the rebels. This is not the first time that the interests of Israeli Druse have conflicted with those of their country. During the 1982 Lebanon war, Israel was allied with that country’s Christian forces. But the Lebanese Christians are historic, bitter enemies of the Lebanese Druse. On some occasions, Druse soldiers from the IDF bolted to stand at the side of their Lebanese kinsmen.
The Druse are a minority sect found in parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel. They are ethnic, linguistic Arabs, but cling to their secretive religion after breaking away from Islam in the Middle Ages. The Muslim world has never forgiven them, so they choose protective mountainous areas for their homes and are tough fighters.
In 1948, as the Jews fought off combined Arab forces, the local Druse chose to go with the obvious winner, the Muslims. However, after being bloodied by the Jews in a key battle for the Galilee, they reconsidered and declared their neutrality. After Israel’s victory, their leaders requested to enter a pact with the victorious Jewish state and offered their sons to serve in the IDF, which they do with distinction to this day.
The Druse came to see Israel as a spunky little country delivering bloody noses to those threatening to wash over it. In this, they identified a parallel with their own experience. However, a “new Israel” has emerged. Suddenly, it is retreating: Sinai, Lebanon, Gaza, Judea, Samaria. No longer are Israeli soldiers feared. This is not the Israel that won Druse respect in 1948 and 1967. This is the Israel of former president Shimon Peres’s “new Middle East.”
In this Middle East, the Druse are reverting to their “old Middle East” mode – and making sure to take care of number one.SHALOM POLLACK
House for a house
Regarding “High Court orders demolitions of 17 homes at Derech Ha’avot outpost” (June 24), we have just passed the 10-year anniversary of the Gush Katif expulsion. Perhaps a way to make up for this would be to permit a “house for a house” to remain standing, in addition to a land swap for the Palestinians? FRIEDA MANDEL
Fourteen years ago in Jerusalem, and now in Yavne (“Wedding hall where light fixture killed woman had no permit,” June 24). Weddings that ended with funerals. Our wedding was a small, quiet affair. Today’s weddings are out of proportion – music, food and noise. Are these a signature for a happy marriage? In the meantime, the couple has no funds for a home.
Instead of looking for somebody to blame, dear children, go back to less lavish affairs. In the future, you will celebrate life.OLGA P. WIND
There were two recent catastrophes in the country. In a wedding hall in the South, a woman was killed and many others injured when a huge lighting fixture collapsed in the middle of a wedding.
In the North, a young boy drowned in a public swimming pool. The first disaster was reported over and over. The second was almost ignored. The child who drowned was 12. He and his classmates were on a trip to celebrate the end of the school year. As far as I understand, there was a “life guard” present. Was he qualified for this most important position? What exactly was he doing when the child was lying on the bottom of the pool? Here’s a solution (and this is not the first time I have written this). When I was a child and we went to summer camp or the municipal pool, they used the “buddy system.” Each child who went into the water had to have a partner. Several times during the hour, the life guard blew his whistle. At that point, all the children in the pool held up their partners’ hand and were counted.
It’s time to get serious, people. This is only June. There is a lot of summer ahead.THELMA JACOBSON