With regard to “Eisenkot: Clearly not a politician” (Analysis, February 19) and the matter of how security personnel are supposed to react to terrorist attacks, it is not comforting to think that our soldiers are being given instructions in self-defense that would leave them vulnerable to confusion, serious injury or worse. Since when can scissors not poke out an eye, cut a jugular or pierce a liver? What we have now is a gray area where there should be clarity that allows immediate, unconsidered action before it is too late. When is there time to consider and grade danger? It seems our officials are succumbing to the arguments of proportionality used so deceitfully by the enemies of Israel. Let them try it in Sweden.
PAUL RABOFF JerusalemCatholic clerics
I read with horror the vile accusation by the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem (“Catholic clerics: Israel is to blame for terrorism,” February 19).
If the pope doesn’t reprimand these clerics and disavow their statements, Israel should immediately cut off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. The only logical explanation to such statements is that those who make them are on the receiving end of funding by the Palestinian Authority.
It is also incomprehensible that clerics – who believe in the Bible – can accuse Israel of the Judaization of Jerusalem. Don’t they know how to read? Every sane and logical person knows that Jerusalem has always been Jewish.
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URI HIRSCH NetanyaThe mikve issue
Your February 19 editorial “Free the mikve!” leaves a false impression.
You state that authorities “would not allow non-Orthodox Jews to use these facilities for ritual purposes.”
That is factually untrue. No woman is denied use of a mikve.
Furthermore, brides who are not observant are required to be immersed before their marriage license is certified.
The controversy is whether non-Orthodox rabbis will be permitted to use mikvaot to perform non-Orthodox conversions.
DAVID CHANOFSKY Netanya The writer is a rabbi.Casino plan
“Coalition rebellion brews over opposition to PM’s plan for Eilat casino” (February 18) needs some clarification.
The industry in Las Vegas is not entirely successful. There are many successful casinos, but they took years to show a profit. Many others went bankrupt or were bought out by larger entities.
Many casinos in Atlantic City have gone out of business. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, tasked with ensuring that the industry remains free of organized crime and corruption, has had a daunting task.
The casinos there have done little in the long run to solve New Jersey’s fiscal problems. In addition, one has to look only two blocks into the bowels of Atlantic City to see how little the city, let alone the state, has benefited. Narcotics, prostitution, gambling addiction and all types of felonies proliferate.
The Israel Police is inundated by terrorist activity and street crime.
Officers are poorly paid and the force is terribly understaffed. If casinos become a reality, massive recruitment must occur. The costs for salaries, equipment and training would be enormous.
A casino needs gamblers. In order to sustain one, let alone four, as proposed, many gamblers would be needed. Therefore, barring Israelis from the casinos would be unworkable. When they lose (and they will lose), who is going to pay their living expenses? Obviously, this will fall on the state.
ELLIOT MILLER Jerusalem The writer spent 12 of his 32 years as an investigator working for the New Jersey attorney general’s office investigating Atlantic City casinos.
Do not build a casino in Eilat.
There are already too many in the world for yesterday’s losers. Build something to attract tomorrow’s winners, something that is possible only in Israel, the start-up nation.
Create a dream world for cyber gamers and robot fans. Attract the youngsters with the brightest and freshest ideas by enabling them to generate their own start-ups.
Tomorrow’s Google or Facebook could be conceived in Eilat! CHARLES OREN Herzliya Questioning the dose
I read David Newman’s “Diplomatic visits: A dose of Middle East reality” (Borderline Views, February 16) with astonishment.
Newman writes that Education Minister Naftali Bennett argues “in favor of Israel retaking direct control and administration over Area C, which has been under Palestinian autonomous control for almost 20 years.” I want to assume this was an innocent error, but I am bewildered as to how he could be unfamiliar with both the Oslo Accords and the current situation on the ground.
Oslo II (the Interim Agreement) of 1995 called for the division of Judea and Samaria into three areas: Area A (under full Palestinian control), Area B (under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control), and Area C (under full Israeli control). This has been the situation for the past 20 years (although the IDF reestablished a necessary security presence in some of Area A during and after the second intifada).
Bennett suggests establishing Israeli sovereignty over Area C precisely because it is the area already controlled by Israel, where all Jewish cities and communities are located, along with areas of strategic security importance.
ARLENE KUSHNER Jerusalem The writer is co-chair of the Legal Grounds Initiative, which promotes government recognition of Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria.More on road safety
As the death toll on Israel’s roads continues to spiral upward, I wonder if the problems begin long before drivers receive their license.
Maybe within driver courses there should be a section on basic manners and road courtesies.
One has only to observe the behavior of some drivers.
Lane-changing, even when vehicles are waiting at intersections, is a common occurrence, and motorcyclists move out past the stop lines, ahead of the traffic.
Parking, too, shows selfishness, as some drivers straddle lines, denying other cars space.
There are no traffic police about to address these violations. It’s each man (or woman) for himself.
The “me generation” is in every walk of life – it is a case of “I’m in the lifeboat, Jack. Cast off!”
SALLY SHAW Kfar Saba
Ever since the horrific bus-truck accident on Route 1, just about every comment has revolved around speed, speed and more speed, with very little, if any, mention of the massive increase in the illegal use of so-called smartphones.
Fatal accidents happen as a result of speeding, tailgating and straying from assigned lanes – largely, I believe, because of the illegal use of cell phones. Stand at major intersections on busy days and count the number of drivers using cell phones. It’s easily 75 percent of the cars.
People who disagree with this observation probably spend a great part of their day mindlessly talking or texting on their phone.
Take the time to watch some day. See why I don’t call them smartphones. They are stupid phones.
JOHN VORACEK Jerusalem
While I was walking on a street during a recent trip to Israel, a drunken driver hit me. When the authorities arrived, they asked the driver if he had been drinking heavily, to which he replied yes. Yet no breathalyser test was administered and he was simply allowed to drive off! My left leg was crushed and I suffer from an ongoing disability.
I find it very strange that after an accident of this magnitude, the driver, in a drunken state, was permitted to leave the scene.
ALEXANDER KLEIN Surry Hills, Australia
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