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Sir, - Re "'Post' readers demand English news be saved" (June 10): Hizbullah's TV satellite channel, Al-Manar, set up in 1991, specializes in mixing propaganda with fact, including visual material from the battlefield. Its "battle information" section embedded professional photographers in the squads attacking the IDF and the South Lebanese Army.
Al-Manar is professional, effective and extremely popular not only in Lebanon but throughout the entire Arab-Muslim world, the Middle East, including the Palestinian Authority, and abroad.
IBA's transmitter for Reshet Aleph is already too weak to transmit to the surrounding Arab countries as it did in the past. Now are we to cut off our nose to spite our face by eliminating the English news - the last link for the many visitors to the country, be they tourists, journalists or ambassadors?
ICAN Israel Citizens
Sir, - This is a stupid exercise in self-destruction at a time when there never has been a greater need for increasing the English-language service
Imagine what would have happened in WWII had the BBC decided to cut its broadcasts to the world - its messages far and wide about Britain's fight against Nazi Germany; or if the US had decided to cut its Radio Free Europe and Voice of America broadcasts to those living under communist tyranny. Israel's message to the world is part of Israel's fight for existence at a time of unparalleled danger to the country.
Everywhere I go in the world people are astounded at how indifferent our government is to the fact that today the war for our existence is being fought not only on the battlefield, but on the airwaves. Indeed the airwaves are the battlefield 95 percent of the time.
The BBC amplifies British power and influence far beyond the confines of Britain's insular borders by broadcasting around the clock to all the world. We need an IBC to do the same for Israel.
I would like to believe that this closure decision is just a bad joke. If it isn't, the only silver lining is that there will be no one to broadcast this embarrassing bit of information to the world.
ELIHU D RICHTER
Sir, - A modest proposal re the financial difficulties at the Israel Broadcasting Authority: Eliminate all Hebrew-language broadcasts on Channel 1 rather than foreign-language ones. With two private competing Hebrew-language stations and a local Russian-language channel operating, what is lacking is good and complete Israeli news and perspective provided in English and Arabic.
Let the state limit itself to funding programming for the non-Hebrew speaking Israeli and foreign public. This service is sorely underrepresented, and would provide a conduit to our Arabic-speaking neighbors and much of the Western world.
As we constantly complain about the coverage of the foreign press, this could be a cost-effective opportunity, actually saving substantial sums of money and comprehensively reaching significant target populations.
'Hats on' to these guards
Sir, - Re "insensitive" French airport security: Last year I flew Air France from the US to Israel by way of Paris. On the ramp to the plane to Tel Aviv I and everyone else with a visible head covering were stopped and searched thoroughly, while others just walked right by.
It seemed like forever that I stood on the ramp, alone and shaking, confronted by rude and nasty guards. Finally a woman wearing a hat was stopped, talked back to them in French, and both of us got on the flight.
I was so upset by the experience that I wrote Air France to complain. They replied it was not their fault, it was airport security and nothing could be done.
I have no desire to go back to France, and feel everyone should be warned about this dreadful situation ("Haredi and Muslim MKs unite against 'insensitive' French airport security," June 8).
Donate organs here
Sir, - Re "Chinese TV airs Elyashiv's opposition to organ harvesting" (June 4): Rabbi Elyashiv and other prominent rabbis are adamantly opposed to Jews undergoing organ transplants in China because the organs are allegedly harvested from executed Falun Gong prisoners.
The notion that one person's survival may depend on another's execution must pose an agonizing dilemma for a person suffering from organ failure. However, if the rabbis who oppose organ transplants in China are really concerned about the Falun Gong prisoners and about Jews desperately in need of organ transplants, they should encourage their followers, and all Israelis, to register with the National Transplant Center as potential organ donors.
NANETTE RUTH SHEFTMAN
Congratulations to David Horovitz for his admirable "12,000 reasons not to light up" (June 1), also to The Jerusalem Post for its consistently responsible approach over the years to the scourge of tobacco in our society. The Post has stood out among newspapers in Israel in not accepting lucrative advertising contracts from cigarette companies, and its indefatigable health reporter, Judy Siegel-Itzkovitch, is one of the foremost activists in pointing out the dangers of smoking.
I was surprised, therefore, to see in your May 31 edition, and again in that of June 7, a picture of Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal holding a cigarette during an interview. Moyal looked every bit as though he was engaged in normative and socially acceptable behavior. But can a habit which kills 50% of its participants be regarded as normative; and, with what we now know about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke, socially acceptable? One survey showed 87% of Israelis objecting to smoking in restaurants.
The irony is that the chances of a Sderot resident dying as a result of tobacco consumption are much higher than from a Kassam.
A bill initiated by MK Gilad Erdan, now before the Knesset, significantly increases fines for smoking in public places and heavily fines management for allowing smoking on the premises. This bill will make it much more worthwhile for municipalities to do their job, as well as making the regulations much easier to enforce.
Interested members of the public should do whatever they can to ensure passage of this vitally important legislation. As Mr. Horovitz pointed out, some 1,500 of our population die each year from the inconsiderate and dangerous activities of others.
WARREN ZAUER, Chairman
Ma-avak Batabak for
a Smoke-Free Israel
Sir, - I think the first part of Elliot Jager's "Ideological cavemen" (June 10) was well expressed by W. S. Gilbert in Iolanthe, Act II:
That Nature always does contrive / That every boy and every gal / That's born into the world alive / Is either a little Liberal / Or else a little Conservative!
The photo accompanying Gershon Baskin's "What if Palestinians protest for peace?" (June 5) showed members of the IFLAC Board: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, headed by Amin Kassem and Ada Aharoni, in 2000 at the El Badia Tent of Peace in Ussfiya.
The director of ARZA, the Zionist wing of the Reform Movement, is Rabbi Andrew Davids, and not as reported in "Reform hopes greater focus on aliya will bear fruit," on page 9 of yesterday's Post .
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