House cleaning needed
Sir, – The Mossad, once a source of pride for every Israeli, has become a joke (“Was Mabhouh worth it?,” June 14).
Not long ago, the Mossad attempted to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal by injecting poison in his ear in broad daylight on a street in Amman. Of course, the agents ended up in a Jordanian prison, Israel provided Mashaal with an antidote, and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the aged founder of Hamas, was released from an Israeli prison.
Recently, we were treated to another spy comedy when a mob of about 30 “secret agents” was filmed by hotel cameras in Dubai in connection with the assassination of one unguarded terrorist, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Friendly governments were seriously offended by stolen and forged documents, and these agents, instead of going underground, are being picked up all over the place.
Clearly, there has been a serious breakdown in top management. The old excuse – you don’t know about our unpublicized successes – won’t work.
The Prime Minister’s Office has to clean house. We face serious threats from enemies near and far with an attitude of “business as usual.”CHAYIM SEIDEN
Sir, – Kol hakavod
to supermarket chain owner Rami Levy (“Rami Levy boycotting Turkish goods,” June 14), and kudos to him also for having the sense to “finish off all the Turkish goods we have in stock” rather than deliberately destroying them.
I hope all those who have been thinking of going to Turkey for a vacation will follow the example of the many organizations that have already canceled such tours and have found alternative, less-hateful venues for their employees.MARCELLA WACHTEL
Sir, – As a former mohel in London with 35 years of experience, I am puzzled as to why Israeli ritual circumcisers have problems with penile bleeding (“Traditional Israeli brit mila technique increases risk of infection,” June 13).
First, I would hope they are using sterile gauze, as I do know that unsterile gauze is cheaper. We used calcium alginate in England, which was extremely good at stopping bleeding.
What troubles me more, though, is the number of cases in which the baby being circumcised is jaundiced and/or underweight.MICHAEL PLASKOW
NetanyaHook, line and sinker
Sir, – For some reason, Israel has forgotten to remind the world media that it has previously stopped ships claiming to contain humanitarian aid that were really smuggling heavy weapons to terror groups in Gaza and Lebanon. In both cases, ships flying flags of different countries were hired by Iran:
• The Karine A
, bound for the Gaza Strip via a port in Egypt, was seized by Israeli naval commandos on Jan. 3, 2002.
• Israeli naval force intercepts MV Francop
, carrying the flag of Antigua and claiming to carry cargo of a humanitarian nature, but really carrying 500 tons of heavy weapons made in Iran destined for Hizbullah in Lebanon.
In addition, an arms shipment sent by the Islamic Republic was seized in Cyprus after it was found on the Monchegorsk
, a Cypriot vessel leased by an Iranian shipping company.
What’s more, there have been aerial and ground shipments to hamas and Hizbullah.
The exploitation of the term “humanitarian aid,” which has been used ad nauseum by Iran as a cover for arms smuggling, has handed Israel’s enemies their biggest propaganda victory of recent years. The world media fell for the tactic – literally hook, line and sinker.STAN GOLDMAN
VancouverGood from bad
Sir, – When I read the tragic story a few weeks ago of the slaughter of Bryan Atinsky’s family in a head-on collision, I wept for him (“Atinsky’s activism,” May 27).
I, and I am sure thousands of others, wish this brave man success with his campaign to stop the senseless deaths on Israel’s roads. Every time my loved ones take to the roads, I fear for them. I have been driving here for 27 years, and I cannot get over the stupidity and recklessness I see on the highways every single day.
I pray fervently that Atinsky, through his tragedy, can bring about change with Transport Minister Yisrael Katz. Let’s hope this minister starts to have some wisdom and puts into place the good suggestions that have been put forward.LINDA SILVERSTONE
Herzliya PituahCriminal encouragement
Sir, – Encouraging an individual to commit suicide is, I believe, a crime. How much more criminal then, is encouraging a nation to commit national suicide?
Therefore, I find it difficult to understand how your paper finds it appropriate to give voice to Gershon Baskin (“Bring in the third parties,” May 25), who essentially argues for a course of national suicide for Israel and – by extension – for the Jewish people, whose hopes and heritage he would annul.
Baskin has the gall not only to presume the outcome of “negotiations” – an outcome that would constitute, effectively, total capitulation, positing the establishment of a PA state, relinquishing dominion in Jerusalem and acquiescing to the return of the so-called “refugees,” albeit “mostly” to the PA state – but also to call for bringing on third parties.
He is thus calling for the victor’s unconditional surrender to the loser – a surrender that would divest us of our land, pride, heart (Jerusalem) and autonomy.
Baskin, an advocate for the Arabs though nominally a Jew, would have us made totally vulnerable, at the mercy of inimical third parties and stripped even of the the right of self-defense.
Ironically, his call for third-party intervention comes only days after experts at a conference on Israel’s security needs – more knowledgeable, wise and fair than he – universally and unequivocally made it clear that Israel must never, never
entrust its security to third parties.DR. NETTA KOHN
Sir, – Jews are deeply concerned about the well-being of Israel and
wish her to be secure and prosperous. But what about security of
another kind – the quality of Israel’s air, water and ecosystems? While
seldom on the agenda, environmental dangers and degradations have
become increasingly serious issues affecting Israel’s future.
Along with its splendid achievements in many areas, Israel’s rivers are
badly polluted. Its air is so dirty that far more people die from it
than from terrorism and traffic accidents combined. And about 20
percent of its children have significant respiratory problems.
Israel is particularly threatened by climate change. It is now facing
the worst drought in its history, with below-average rainfall for each
of the past six years. In 2007, the Israel Union for Environmental
Defense projected that if present trends continue, global warming would
produce many critical problems, including major heat waves, a decrease
in rainfall by 20-30%, increased desertification, and flooding of the
I am proud to be a delegate of the Green Zionist Alliance to the World
Jewish Congress, being held in Jerusalem June 15-17. At the congress,
GZA will be proposing resolutions to address these environmental
I hope that all congress delegates support them and help shift an environmentally-imperiled Israel to a sustainable path.RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America
Staten Island, New York