Don’t wish too hard
Sir, – Those in Egypt who question the peace treaty with
Israel should be very careful with their wishes (“Egyptian opposition figure
calls to rethink Camp David Accords,” February 14).
Any treaty requires
two sides, and Egypt cannot renegotiate alone. If Israel does not agree, the
treaty would become null and void, and the two countries would be forced back
into a state of war – where anything can happen.
The Multi National
Force, which includes US units, mans the truce line in the center of the Sinai,
protecting both sides from invasion. If it’s withdrawn, Egypt, based on previous
experience, would be in much greater danger. Further, if Egypt abrogates the
treaty, the US Congress would without hesitation cancel all aid to Egypt,
currently at more than $1 billion a year, leaving it in a far-worse financial
Let the country’s new leaders focus on improving the situation of
the Egyptian people, not worsening it.JACK COHEN
Sir, – To
paraphrase Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, Egyptian opposition member Ayman Nour
is in effect saying, “The October shall not be the last war. More war, more
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Sir, – I agree. We should rethink
the Camp David Accords. Let’s take over the Sinai, its tourism, manganese ore
and oil, and rebuild Yamit and secure passage through the
Jerusalem A disgraceful wrong
“Holocaust survivor center loses building, may close” (February 14) evoked much
anger and disgust. Holocaust survivors in Israel should be at the very top of
the list of those deserving generous financial support and counseling, and yet
from time to time there are horrific reports about their poor standard of living
The very fact that an NGO (The Association for Immediate
Help for Holocaust Survivors) has been providing this support is an indictment
of the government.
Caring for every need of Holocaust survivors should
not be left to NGOs. I sincerely hope that the state will feel the embarrassment
and take immediate, effective action to right a long-standing and disgraceful
Ramat Hasharon Wider election reforms
Sir, – Not only
is it a good idea to allow absent citizens to vote in elections (“Coalition
consensus growing for ‘Omri Casspi bill’ on absentee ballots,” February 14), it
is also time to have regional elections.
With all the reforms being
sought across the Arab Middle East, it would behoove the government of Israel to
make changes in the way the country’s citizens select their elected officials.
Would it not be fair for residents of the Golan and Sderot, or Judea and
Samaria, to have their own regional representatives in Knesset? The current
system favors the center of the country, and party hacks move up by being loyal
to the machine, not to citizens.
If Israel wants to be considered a true
democracy, it must allow its citizens to choose their
Ra’anana Leave it alone
Regarding “Ministerial panel delays vote to extend daylight saving time”
(February 14), we are about to be subjected to an annual Knesset debate that is
the quintessential red herring of Israeli politics.
Shortly, a bevy of
“experts” will pull figures from hats showing how much money we save during
daylight saving time.
Actually, no one has ever proved that this saves a
single shekel, as the electricity saved in factories is expended on the roads,
where people have more daylight hours in which to tour.
So let’s just
leave well enough alone and allow those people who say Slichot prayers before
Rosh Hashana and fast on Yom Kippur to continue to do so without this totally
unnecessary hassle.LEN DREYER
Ra’anana Unbearable stench
Sir, – When
attempting to read Jeff Barak’s “As the Hebrew expression goes: ‘The fish stinks
from the head’” (Reality Check, February 14), one is immediately confronted with
an unbridled display of malice toward Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with
the almost complete absence of any socially redeeming message.
Netanyahu to be blamed for any stain found in the fabric of Israeli society or
its foreign relations, without the presentation of any facts to substantiate the
accusations? Whether the issue is the appointment of a new IDF chief of General
Staff or the tumultuous events in Egypt, the writer subjects Netanyahu to
Needless to say, Barak’s arguments ad precious
little to intelligent public discourse.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Sir, – I
understand and support the need to publish columnists with various points of
view. However, consistent with The Jerusalem Post
’s oft-stated desire to raise
the level of our political discourse, I propose that all of them be required to
refrain from denigrating politicians with opposing views.
could have made the same points without the fish.
I also fail to see how
Ehud Barak’s decision to join the coalition was in any way undemocratic – it’s
the way our political system was designed to work.
If the Post
editor-in-chief has any suggestions as to how to fix the system to better reflect
the voters’ wishes, I would be interested in learning them.COLEMAN
Rehovot Donors, take note
Sir, – Not only does David Levin (“Free
speech paramount,” Letters, February 14) advocate free speech on campus, he
portrays it as the only matter of absolute importance for an academic
Nowhere does it seem to occur to him that free speech is a
privilege – and for any privilege to be enjoyed, there are concomitant
In a democracy, we claim the right to free speech. But
in practice, this right is not absolute, and is circumscribed by a host of
factors that require one to behave responsibly. This is what is lacking at so
many universities, with the pursuit of political propaganda dressed up as
Fortunately, universities cannot survive on public money
alone. If nobody else can instill in them and their governing bodies the
imperative of responsibility, prospective donors can.PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem Tempting fate
Sir, – Sybil Kaplan suggests we eschew the pagan
Valentines Day festival in favor of the Jewish Tu B’Av (“Be my Tu B’Av?,”
Letters, February 14).
The Talmud reports that in Biblical times, maidens
would dress in white on Tu B’Av and dance in front of men to encourage them to
take a wife.
I wish Kaplan luck in persuading certain religious leaders
to endorse such biblical goings-on.YONATAN SILVER
Sir, – The recent sabotage of the natural gas pipeline from Egypt to
Israel and Jordan has shown how vulnerable our energy sources are (“Sinai
pipeline blast prompts calls to speed up Israeli gas development,” February 7).
Now, with regime change in Cairo, there is no such thing as a cast-iron
It is vital to our national security to immediately develop
our own indigenous fuel infrastructure so we are not at the mercy of others. We
saw how the lack of gas forced Jordan to draw more from another pipeline shared
with Lebanon, and the resulting blackouts there. Securing our energy supplies
must be given priority on par with our defense strategy.COLIN L. LECI
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