Clearing the smoke
Sir, – As a former cigarette addict, I can only applaud moves
to reduce the extent of this noxious habit (“Gov’t approves widespread
anti-smoking recommendations,” May 30). However, I doubt that further
restricting the areas in which smoking is permitted will have much effect, nor
will procedures to make it more difficult to purchase
Youngsters smoke because they think it’s cool and are not
concerned that it will result in early death. To a teenager, 40 years down the
road is beyond psychological comprehension.
It has been shown that the
most powerful influence on youngsters is peer pressure and role models. Peer
pressure is by definition uncontrollable, but role models can be a powerful
Most secular teenagers admire sports stars. Visualize a TV
program in which a star athlete, asked if he or she smokes, replies, “Are you
crazy? I don’t know any world-class athlete who smokes!” For the haredim, rabbis
should be asked to forbid those who have not yet started to smoke to begin, and
if they themselves smoke, to publicly announce they will try to
Politicians who smoke could also help by pledging to to stop and at
least refrain from smoking in public.
Ideally, smoking will die out when
it is considered as socially unacceptable in the general population as it is in
educated circles in the Western world.
STEPHEN S. COHEN
Sir, – I hope the new Health Ministry unit will enforce a ban on smoking in
public parks – at least for those who are underage.
While attending a
recent concert at Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, my calculations revealed that 50
percent of the smokers robbing other attendees of their right to breathe clean
air where underage.
That venue would have been an excellent opportunity
to publicize the dangers of smoking.
The crowd of more than 20,000
cheered in support of Gilad Schalit. Our entire nation is brought to its knees
over a lone soldier in captivity, but we look the other way as our youth commit
suicide with cigarettes.STEVEN FRANCO
Sir, – Regarding your
May 30 editorial (“Say ‘no’ to smoking”), there is a simple and, I believe, very
effective way to discourage smoking: Limit the health benefits of a
Make the smoker share or pay for all smoking-related medical
treatment. If a person is willing to risk health problems, why should our health
funds pay for treatment? P. YONAH
Shoham Broken chain
Sir, – Regarding “Cameron
steps down as JNF patron” (May 30), JNF UK was founded in 1901. A British prime
minister has been an honorary trustee since that date.
In my tenure as
president (1995 - 2008), Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were our
How sad it is that, whatever the reason, David Cameron has
broken this chain.GAIL SEAL
Herzliya Pituah Threat for 2012
Sir, – The
item “Sarah Silverman to perform in Tel Aviv” (Arts in Brief, May 30) was
notable for what it didn’t say.
The “sassy comedian” is best known for
her instructions to young American Jews during the 2008 presidential elections:
Tell your bubbies and zaydies you’ll never visit them again unless they vote for
Given President Obama’s attitudes and actions toward Israel, one
can only hope Silverman’s advice in 2012 will be: Tell your bubbies and zaydies
you’ll never visit them again unless they vote against Obama.MOSHE
Nitzan Reality and distortion
Sir, – Jeff Barak (“The limits of
rhetoric,” Reality Check, May 30) is impressed with Ehud Olmert’s “elegant and
incisive comments” about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Washington
“All the... world as well as the overwhelming majority of the
American public support the separation of the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem
from Israeli sovereignty,” Olmert wrote in an opinion piece. Olmert indeed
offered all that and much more – and PA President Mahmoud Abbas turned him down
Barak writes that “Netanyahu’s remarks on Jerusalem slammed the
door shut on any hope....”
But then-prime minister Ehud Barak opened the
door wide – yet no positive response from the other side.
himself went farther than the two Ehuds by imposing a 10-month freeze – yet no
response from the Arabs.
Barak should take the time to read Page 782 in
Robert Wistrich’s monumental A Lethal Obsession. For his convenience, here is an
excerpt: “A Palestinian state will never satisfy Iran, Hamas, or other Muslim
militants, let alone most Palestinians, unless it is established on the ruins of
Israel..... The West all too often prefers to turn a blind eye to such
That is reality.SHOLOM GOLD
Jeff Barak notes that “Netanyahu’s shriek of gevalt at the very mention of 1967
borders shows just how far he really is from any serious discussion with the
Palestinians,” and that former prime minister Olmert “correctly argued that...
Obama’s recent Middle East speeches did not represent any change in American
Prime Minister Netanyahu distorted for Obama the Clinton
parameters. And more can be questioned: • Why did Netanyahu demand foreign
recognition of a “Jewish state” rather than a normal sovereign state? The terms
for Israeli- Jordanian peace are that the two exist in “harmony” and “recognize
and respect each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political
• Netanyahu told Congress we are “not interlopers” in the
West Bank. This is another distortion.
In May 2003, The Jerusalem Post
quoted then-prime minister Ariel Sharon telling the Likud: “Occupation is
terrible. You may not like the word, but to maintain 3.5 million Palestinians
under occupation is terrible for Israel, the Palestinians and for the Israeli
Cambridge, Massachusetts Road perils and pains
– I recently read “At least 8 killed on the roads over weekend” (May 29) and I
am absolutely irate. Why? Because earlier in the day I saw that a man caught
driving with a suspended license had been sentenced to 10 months in
This miscreant had accumulated an incredible 117 traffic
violations! What the devil was he doing on the roads at all? Large fines often
Suspending licenses has absolutely no effect. How about this:
For a defined number of violations within a set period of time, the vehicle
itself is impounded for an absolute minimum of six months.
Don’t give me
baloney about depriving a driver of his livelihood.
Such a driver is too
much of a threat to deprive others of a lot more than that.MARCHAL
Sir, – Having decided a short while after making aliya that the
quality and behavior of Israeli drivers was so appalling that I would not buy a
car, I was bemused by the statement from Egged’s Ron Ratner (“Egged to install
sound systems for blind,” News in Brief, May 30).
Ratner said the company
publishes guidelines to all drivers to declare the name of the current stop. He
also noted that most do.
Though I make extensive use of their services, I
have yet to hear an announcement from any Egged driver as to where we have
Egged has installed visual indicators on some routes, but most
appear to be frozen on a destination slightly north of Ma’aleh Adumim or on
someone’s shopping list.STANLEY COHEN