letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Plea to Netanyahu
Sir, - The rather amazing showing of Moshe Feiglin in the party primary should make the new Likud chairman, Binyamin Netanyahu, pay attention to what he and his voters represent ("Netanyahu reelected as Likud leader," August 15).
The Likud dare not be another center party. The country already has Kadima, which calls itself center. It needs a strong nationalist party that represents the nation of Israel articulately and with unified leadership. The Likud, had it spoken up forthrightly, could have prevented the Gaza pullout disaster. It now has a great opportunity for strong, positive leadership.
I plead with Mr. Netanyahu to be that leader.
Sir, - I can't remember a day in my life that I haven't had a deep love for Israel. Binyamin Netanyahu has been a blessing over the years for those of us in America. He has told us his concerns and needs for the people of Israel.
It is my deepest hope that the people in Israel know the impact he has had on American politics. He has spoken to tens of thousands of Christians, with mutual respect for one another's spiritual beliefs. It grieves me that Moshe Feiglin has found the Christian-Jewish relationship to be a matter of contention. For him to point at Mr. Netanyahu as unworthy of office because Jews for Jesus are located near the Likud HQ is distressing.
Sir, - The results of the Feiglin-Netanyahu contest are not an honest reflection of how all Likud members feel. You have to be a member for 14 months before you are allowed to vote, which stopped many of us from expressing who we would like to lead the Likud. The numbers could have been very different if there had been true democracy, and l feel very cheated.
Let's be fair...
Sir, - In all fairness to UK universities, the list of those that have spoken out against the academic boycott is a good deal more extensive than the meager two (Oxford and the London School of Economics) quoted by Prof. Pepys in "'UK, US academic cooperation in jeopardy'" (August 13), and it does include all the top English universities represented by the Russell Group, including Cambridge. However, the list should be far more extensive to include the lesser-known universities, as correctly advocated by Prof. Pepys - but I would suspect that many of them are more oblivious to the damage that the actions of the boycott mafia are doing to the "senior" UK universities, which are vitally dependent on collaboration with US institutions.
...about the British
Sir, - "UK blocks Israel arms deals for fear of rights violations" (August 14): The UK decision to block arms to Israel for fear of human rights violations must be viewed as the continuation of the long-time British policy of anti-Jewish bias that recalls the last century.
Where was British concern in 1929 for the human rights of the Jews of Hebron, massacred by Arab terrorists who gained control of that biblical city while the British turned a blind eye to the killing and destruction? What of the brutal British anti-terror methods used in Jenin in October, 1938, against Arabs, forcing them to walk where mines had been planted, blowing up a large section of the town - all in retaliation for the assassination of a British official?
(Documents declassified in London in 1989 provide details of British human rights violations in Jenin; report by Dr. Raphael Medoff.)
CHANA GIVON, Co-Director
Writing the Wrongs
Sir, - As India and Pakistan celebrate their 60th year of independence, one can draw a parallel with our region. Wherever Britain held jurisdiction and then subsequently carved up the territory by partition, it left a legacy of dissension and animosity ("Pakistan marks 60th anniversary of independence," August 15).
Objectivity & love
Sir, - Tom Tugend's "The Middle East for dummies" (Arts & Entertainment, August 15) suggests that Mr. Isidore Rosmarin, maker of the documentary Blood and Tears: The Arab-Israeli Conflict, has come as close to objectivity as seems possible. It ends: "Peace will come only 'from the ground up,' (Isidore Rosmarin) believes, when the two wounded people[s] decide that an imperfect compromise is better than endless killing."
Pardon me, but coming close to objectivity will be possible only when it is accepted that Israel has, sometimes for the worse, always believed in compromise rather than endless killing and has proved it time and time again (peace with Egypt and Jordan, Oslo, etc.) culminating in the foolhardy Clinton-Ehud Barak offer to Yasser Arafat that was, thankfully, rejected.
Only one people is left to want peace and stop the endless killing; and that can come, as Golda Meir once put it, when they love their children more than they hate Israel and the Jewish people.
Life and death in the fast lane
Sir, - Some points about speed cameras after just surviving a two-week driving visit to Israel:
First, a camera system without a proper system for suspensions would not have removed from the roads the truck driver who destroyed a family this weekend. Britain has a system of cumulative points. Speeding normally earns three points; 12 points within three years will result in a driving ban. Of course, there are people who drive while suspended, but if caught they are likely to wind up in jail.
Secondly, speed cameras in Britain are signposted and need markings on the road surface. Drivers often speed and then brake when they approach the camera, and this behavior would likely be much more prevalent in Israel. The driving of a minority of Israelis is breathtakingly selfish, and it is a constant source of amazement that bus drivers seem to take driving anywhere other than in the fast lane as an insult to their manhood.
Thirdly, Britain's camera system has concentrated on speed-limit and bus-lane enforcement. Whilst the fines and points may have had an effect on road safety, the fact that there is a very low coverage of traffic light cameras indicates that revenue-raising is a major factor in maintaining and expanding the camera network.
As a final, hopeful point, I have found that the respect for red lights is far greater here than in Britain ("The road not taken," Editorial, August 13).
Make 'em pay
Sir, - According to ("Police launches yet another new program to curb wild drivers," August 13) the truck driver who killed a man and his daughter had 195 previous moving violations. And it appears there are currently 19 people with 250 offenses each who hold valid driver's licenses.
These statistics leave me speechless as these people are nothing short of serial killers on wheels. Here's a program to curb wild drivers:
For stationary violations, confiscate offenders' licenses for a period of one year, plus a NIS 10,000 fine, after a maximum of five violations. For road killers: jail on the spot for a minimum of three weeks, and their licenses revoked for life.
Try this, and I wager six months of my hard-earned salary that the carnage on our roads will reduce dramatically, if not almost cease.