December 27: Who's being Protected?

I want to hear a clear command: Go in, attack and completely destroy. Are our people’s lives worth less than those of the terrorists?

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
December 26, 2010 21:49
December 27: Who's being Protected?

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Who’s being protected?

Sir, – While neither Hamas and its proxies nor Israel is believed to be interested in a large-scale conflict, “a devastating attack by either could lead right to it,” we read in “Avoiding Cast Lead II” (Security and Defense, December 24). It is horrifying to realize that our government is more concerned with keeping America and others happy by loosening the blockade on our enemies in Gaza, than with keeping Israelis safe.

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In the same issue, we learned that we now have what is called a “population coordination officer,” whose job is to make sure Israel does minimum harm to civilians during future operations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon (“IDF officers, tasked with reducing civilian casualties, complete training”). I don’t hear mention of reducing casualties among our own people – only among the enemy.

I don’t want to hear that our children have been murdered before the IDF is allowed to go after terrorists. I don’t want to hear that the IAF is bombing tunnels only after we have been attacked. I want to hear a clear command: Go in, attack and completely destroy.

Are our people’s lives worth less than those of the terrorists?

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

Moved to tears



Sir, – I’m in tears after reading your article “Capital’s Bikur Cholim Hospital likely to close after Treasury declines to hand over NIS 30 million” (December 23).

With Jerusalem’s other hospitals lacking hundreds of beds, how can the Treasury not keep Bikur Cholim open? How can Prime Minister Netanyahu, as health minister, not show any interest? How can Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman not do all in his power to help save the hospital? How can Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz not intervene, as his ministry did to save Netanya’s Laniado Hospital? What will happen to the staffers, the patients, the pensioners, the equipment, etc., etc., if the hospital closes? How can no one show any interest? Just as the recent holiday of Hanukka had its miracles, let’s hope and pray that by the end of this month, another miracle will keep our precious hospital open.

HANNAH SONDHELM
Jerusalem

Savoring the hope

Sir, – I savored the moment reading about Dan Peek (“From America to the Kotel,” Arts & Entertainment, December 23) and had hope for the future learning in the same issue about Ileana Ros- Lehtinen as the new US House Foreign Affairs Committee chair (“Ready to play hardball,” Comment & Features).

I want to express my gratitude to the Post for featuring these positive articles and highlighting them at the top of its front page.

CHARLOTTE SLOPAK GOLLER, PhD
Jerusalem

Others’ trappings

Sir, – On December 23, you placed a photo of a “Christmas tree” (“Haifa’s recycling Christmas tree”) on the front page above the fold. I question the use of this photo, but more so its prominence.

Yes, ’tis the season, and as a recycling project it is an accomplishment.

But one of the things we love about being in a Jewish country is not having to be surrounded by other people’s trappings.

BATYA BERLINGER
Jerusalem

Been there

Sir, – Larry Derfner’s defense of the anonymity of the 101 soldiers who denounce the behavior of the Israeli army in the book Breaking the Silence (“The last bastion of colonialism,” Rattling the Cage, December 23) reminds me of a paragraph I recently read in a book about the Spanish Inquisition: The common practice was to conceal the names of the accusers, so none of the accused knew who they were or saw any evidence.

Anonymous witnesses, a procedure used against the Jews by the Inquisition hundreds of years ago, is now being used against the Israeli army by a far-Left organization. Both instances deserve the same credibility.

DAVID MANDEL
Savyon

Sir, – Larry Derfner may believe that Israel is best described as a colonial outpost.

To back this up, he relies principally on Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Breaking the Silence.

Unfortunately, both, as well as their evidence, are suspect.

HRW founder Robert Bernstein, a world expert on human rights, recently performed an in-depth analysis of HRW vis-à-vis Israel.

His conclusions were devastating: After resigning as the group’s chairman, HRW was hijacked by people who in many cases had a personal animus toward Israel. These people then used flawed methodology to attack Israel and its record on human rights. Bernstein concluded by praising Israel as one of the few democracies in the Middle East.

The situation regarding Breaking the Silence is no better. None of the evidence was independently verified, and none of those making the allegations identified themselves. In the absence of independent evidence, I believe the only reasonable course of action is to exclude Breaking the Silence from the record.

What then are we left with? Not much. And nothing Robert Bernstein or anyone else says will make the slightest difference.

DR. H.B. MITCHELL
Mazkeret Batya

Crack that dictionary

Sir, – Whoever wrote the headline for Roi Maor’s op-ed piece (“There is no Hebrew word for accountability,” December 22) apparently does not know that such a word exists. It is achrayutiyut.

No one should blame the Hebrew language for the fact that there is no accountability in Israel.

FREDERICK REIN
New York

The ‘little’ victims

Sir, – “No joy for many Madoff victims, despite settlement” (Business & Finance, December 22) does a good job describing the losses of so many who voluntarily partook of Bernard Madoff’s scam, but totally ignores the losses of those who depend on Jewish Federations and organizations, and had nothing to do with Madoff.

The success of the scam depended on greed. No one can successfully provide high returns year after year without losses.

The poor people who depend on these organizations were not greedy, yet they, too, ended up losers.

HARVEY MATTHEW
Jerusalem

More Montagu, please

Sir, – I am enthralled, and I am using that specific word to describe Judy Montagu’s December 22 column (Messengers and their motives,” In My Own Write). She deals with a topic that very few of us know much about, which is what happens to the courageous men and women who dare speak out about improprieties in government and private bodies.

The world seems to delight in killing the messenger without realizing the problems with the message.

Montagu is not only a brilliant writer, but is extremely sensitive to the paths of the people about whom she writes. She is worthy of having her articles reprinted and sold to the public by The Jerusalem Post.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem

Utmost importance

Sir, – I am dismayed. Astounded.

There is one issue that should appear on every front page of your newspaper, which instead you’ve given over to Middle East peace efforts, flotillas and any and all local and world events that, in comparison, should be relegated to the rubbish heap.

You must be responsible for bringing this issue to the forefront of awareness among the Jewish people. You must remind your government every day, even hounding it and demanding a response. You must push this issue into every discussion with allies.

Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons!

DAVID HOUGH
Edmond, Oklahoma

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