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Rioting for God
Sir, - I am glad to see that you have started to cover the violence in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet ("Bus stoned in Ramat Beit Shemesh," July 9). Unfortunately you do not seem to understand the severity of the situation, which endangers drivers every single day.
Roads are blocked, people and cars are stoned, garbage lies strewn all over the streets, sidewalks and buildings are graffitied, riots spring up like weeds - all in the name of serving God.
There are haredim who claim that this violence is being perpetrated by a minority, and that we should not generalize. Frankly, it does not matter.
It is time for rabbinical leaders and governmental officials to put a stop to this. Our children are growing up feeling hatred for their fellow Jews.
GAYLE S SHIMOFF
No private lockups
Sir, - Re "Court rejects Knesset plea to suspend hearing on private prison" (July 9): Privatization of prisons first came into fashion in the US in the 1980s as a result of harsh drug laws which were leading to more incarceration there. Rather than looking to lower the number of people touched by the prison system and improve the system as it existed, a way was found to make it profitable to big business. This has resulted in the inflation of the prison population.
To do this in Israel would be a step in the wrong direction.
If there are recurring complaints regarding prison conditions, they have to be addressed once and for all and workable solutions implemented.
Prison privatization has not proven itself so far. The systems that deal with crime in Israel are stretched and corrupt. We have enough difficulties. Let us take the time now to solve this problem correctly.
Offenders are not a part of society most of us want to deal with. But they exist. The right thing to do is keep their numbers to a minimum and find a way to treat them humanely, not inflate the system and make it profitable for big business to keep them incarcerated as a source of cheap labor.
We deserve a medal...
Sir, - Britain's Transport and General Workers Union has joined other trade unions in their boycott against Israel and, as a layman, I do not understand what it is all about.
During the terror campaign in the 1990s, when Palestinian suicide bombers were killing hundreds and seriously wounding thousands of innocent Israeli citizens on buses, in shopping malls, cafes and pizza bars, these unions said and did nothing. Every day our security forces arrest terrorists either planning or on their way to bomb Israelis. Our security forces and security fence help keep millions of Israelis safe.
Israel left Gaza two years ago and the Palestinians made a complete mess of things. They still want to blame Israel for their failed attempt at government and the various terrorist groups are still firing Kassam rockets at Israel's civilian population. That is a war crime, but when we retaliate we are the bad guys.
If anybody should be boycotted, it is the Palestinians for going out of their way to cause death and physical harm to the Israeli population - the same Israelis who allow sick Gazans into our hospitals for treatment their hospitals do not provide. For this we deserve a medal, not a boycott ("Histadrut to sever ties with new pro-boycott UK union," July 9).
Sir, - This boycott business is a case of an ant looking in a mirror and seeing a tiger. These jumped-up nonentities and their sheep-like members live in the fantasy world of a decayed Empire. What they do or think is a total irrelevance to the rest of the world.
Let them seethe and rant, while Israel gets on with business. The sun will rise and set as usual.
...not a boycott
Sir, - Please! Please! Don't get your knickers in a twist over the actions of a few, very vocal but powerless individuals who have momentarily hijacked their unions' top tables. They are no more representative of British common sense than an Israeli parent, temporarily living in Scotland some 20 years ago, who during a particularly threatening period for Israel and Jews suggested protecting our local Jewish primary school by arming parents with sub-machine guns.
Before proposing any counter-boycotting of the UK, deal with your own self-hating Jewish writers and academics. Stop sending them to Britain, where they provoke anti-Semitism and advocate Israel's demise.
There is strong support for Israel. See scottishfriendsofisrael.org
Sir, - Your tongue-in-cheek "Hamas the humane" (July 8) sadly pointed to the readiness of a British Labor member of the European parliament to swallow, as David Horovitz put it, the "noxious garbage Hamas has been sprouting" following the release of the BBC's Alan Johnston.
What did he mean?
Sir, - I'm sure I was not alone in applauding the retirement of previous UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, with hopes for a fairer evaluation from his successor. While Ban Ki-Moon's initial comments seemed hopeful, I'm trying to understand what he meant when he "condemned the Kassam attacks on the Negev, but also criticized Israel's recent anti-terror activity in Gaza" ("Hamas claims weekend Kassam attacks on Negev," July 8).
Isn't criticizing anti-terrorist activity like being against motherhood and apple pie?
Come clean, IBA
Sir, - Reform the IBA? Great idea! Raise the licensing fee? Idiotic! If the fee is raised now it will only allow the broadcasting authority to continue pouring money down the overstaffed, incompetent and nearly irrelevant hole it has been for decades.
Let the authority first do what it says it will: fire a third of the staff, eliminate political interference and close down obsolete facilities.
I recall a Post article years ago stating that an IBA reporter had to go out on assignment with a "heavy-equipment" driver as well as a "recording technician" for a tape recorder you could put in your pocket and operate with one finger.
Let the IBA publish a detailed financial account of the new equipment and facilities it truly needs, and the unnecessary staff it has let go, and then, maybe, I'll agree to divvy up more cash - but not until they've put their (excuse me, my) money where their mouth is ("IBA management committee, plenum give green light to proposed reforms," July 9).
Sir, - I support Frieda Ross in her wake-up call to prevent the demise of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra - and would add that the threat, yet again, to take the Voice of Music off the air must not be allowed to materialize ("'Post' readers, where are you?" Letters, July 8).
Where beauty dwells
Sir, - Re "Jordan's Petra joins new 7 wonders of the world" (July 9): The Talmud states that 10 measures of beauty descended into the world, and nine of them were taken by Jerusalem. We know that, just like we know a lot of things about Israel that the world doesn't know.