This might sound strange coming from someone described as being to the right of Attila the Hun, but I sympathize with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to condemn the terrorist who murdered the American Taylor Force (“Abbas ignores Biden’s call to condemn terrorist attacks,” March 10).
If the head of the PA were to comply with the wishes of US Vice President Joe Biden, Abbas’s life expectancy would be reduced to a maximum of 24-48 hours, by which time a Palestinian terrorist would have slain him for being a traitor to the cause.
Let’s get real! MICHAEL D. HIRSCH Kochav Yair ‘Routine’ of terror
Yossi Melman’s analysis of the current problem with Palestinian terrorism (“Israel has accepted the ‘routine of terrorism,’” March 10) is truly incredible. He seems oblivious to the reality that Palestinian Authority incitement is the major stimulus for the horrific attacks on our civilians and the brave men and women protecting them.
Hasn’t he seen the classroom videos circulated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) that document the hate being instilled in Palestinian children, and the maps in their textbooks that deliberately omit Israel? Melman asserts that the “public accepts the terrorist attacks as if they are God’s will....” Most of us, however, appreciate that we have a challenging problem and that there is no easy solution.
He also seems to have total amnesia regarding the terrible results that have followed past concessions to our Arab neighbors.
Rather than disparage “right-wing ideology” and a refusal to “make concessions,” he should come up with some constructive suggestions that avoid past errors that placed Israel in even greater jeopardy.
NINA SPIRO Jerusalem
Yossi Melman’s analysis really annoyed me. I am one Israeli who will never accept being a moving target for killers while I try to live my life.
Recently, my family went to the Western Wall for a pre-bar mitzva celebration. While we were enjoying a nice brunch afterwards, there was a terrorist attack not far away. When we got home, another monster crept out of the woodwork in Petah Tikva. The icing on the cake was the attack along the promenade between Tel Aviv and Jaffa that evening.
Late last week, the US Embassy put out yet another of its warnings: The Old City of Jerusalem was off-limits to its personnel for the coming week. This made me laugh. They could just as well evacuate the embassy in Tel Aviv; after all, the scene of the evening promenade attack was their very street. They can all go chugging around the Mediterranean on an American destroyer until things settle down.
We who live in and love this little country of ours have no such alternative. We are not leaving.
But nether will we accept this ongoing mayhem. Our government has plenty of alternatives it has yet to try.
How about not giving the Palestinians their dead bodies back? Or withholding money? But to just accept this state of affairs? Never!
THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva Burning their own
When reading articles about Muslims burning Torahs (“Burning question: Is a Torah less holy than a Koran?” Comment & Features, March 10), I’m always surprised that nobody points out that they are also burning the first five books of the Christian Testament. You would think that some leading churchman might protest.
I noticed a major ceremony at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Rome in the past week or so that, with Pope Francis in the lead, took as its theme a quotation from Isaiah. Muslims can also be reminded that there are many bits of the Old and New Testaments in the Koran.
DAVID SHAW Jerusalem Ethiopian aliya
It is surely outrageous that Ethiopian immigration is again to be delayed (“Decision to restrict Ethiopian aliya prompts rebellion by MKs,” March 9). While the prime minister keeps urging European Jews to make aliya, Jews who have been waiting in intolerable transit camps are again being prevented from coming to Israel and being reunited with their loved ones.
In the past, the government, together with the Jews of the world, fought for the rights of Jews living in distressed countries to make aliya, but it is the Israeli government now preventing this. The excuse is a lack of budget. When in the past did this stop Israel from rescuing Jews and integrating them into Israeli society? Make our members of Knesset and local governments stop awarding themselves salary increases, luxury cars, inflated expense accounts and non-essential trips abroad, where they stay in luxury hotels. Standardize salaries and pensions so that there is not such a huge gap between the top 10 percent and the rest of the population, where the poverty rate is constantly rising.
As British Jews who drastically lowered our standard of living when making aliya with four small children in the 1970s, we were proud to see that our taxes were being used to make aliya possible for all Jews, particularly those who would need a great deal of financial and social assistance.
Today, I am ashamed of a government that denies this basic right to Jews whose need to come is urgent, but who have been stranded in transit for years.
WENDY BLUMFIELD Haifa The why’s of energy
Regarding “Experts search for alternative energy sources” (March 9), in November 2008, an assessment of geothermal resources in Israel was published.
It was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructures (no doubt, at great expense).
The findings included the following: “A geothermal system with high temperature and groundwater pressure occurs at the south border of the Golan Heights at relatively shallow depth and is suggested for further exploration toward generating geothermal energy.”
It would be enlightening to learn the answers that Dr. Bracha Halaf, the ministry’s current chief scientist, has for three questions: 1. Why is the text of the assessment’s findings no longer available on the ministry’s website? 2. Having commissioned this assessment, why has the ministry not followed up on the recommendation to undertake further exploration at the southern border of the Golan Heights? 3. The world leader in geothermal energy is Ormat, a company founded in Yavne, where it still has its main production facilities.
Ormat has installed over 150 power plants worldwide (but none in Israel!) with a total generating capacity of over 2,000 MW. Why has it not been asked to investigate geothermal power possibilities in Israel?
GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit
The writer is a retired electrical engineer.Taking on water
Reader Allan Leibler takes columnist Martin Sherman to task for his criticism of Australia’s Jewish leadership (“Gone overboard,” Letters, March 9). But both of them fail to take something into account.
British and South African Jews have boards of deputies representing them. The raison d’etre of these boards is to act in what they consider to be in their community’s best interest. Zionist organizations in those countries are separate entities – and sometimes at odds with the boards of deputies over support for Israel.
Australian Jews have the Australia/ Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AlJAC) as their governing body, which mixes community matters with Zionist matters.
The result is that the AlJAC is now in the lamentable position of being at odds with itself.
Sherman might have gone overboard, but the AlJAC is taking on water.
DANIEL ABELMAN Jerusalem