letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - To our lawmakers, re "Road to where?" (Letters, May 7), a simple solution that would greatly reduce drunken driving: Anyone convicted of driving while over the legal alcohol limit faces an automatic jail sentence and his car impounded and sold, all proceeds going to the victims of drunken drivers.
Sir, - Congratulations to Shmuel Katz for his trenchant and necessary reminder to a new generation of how the heroes of Israel's struggle for independence were forced to battle not only British and Arabs, but the Jewish establishment ("They hunted us like animals," May 1). It served as a reminder of what Katz has noted elsewhere - that what is generally described as Israel's War of Independence was in fact a war of defense, or survival, against invasion by foreign Arab armies.
Israel's real War of Independence was waged against the British by the Jewish underground, sporadically, as Katz notes, by elements of the Haganah, but chiefly by the Irgun and even earlier by the Lehi or Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, which became better known, thanks to the hostile Jewish establishment, as the Stern Gang.
Let this gov't finish its term
Sir, - I don't agree with those who are demanding Ehud Olmert's resignation. I had no respect for Olmert and his wheeling and dealing as mayor of Jerusalem; but we should remember that the government was only a few months old when war broke out and - let's face it - much of the IDF's structure and strategy were already in place.
I am finding the lynch mob atmosphere in Israel extremely disturbing... and how our enemies are lapping it up! This government, including Olmert, should be allowed to finish its term and hopefully take on board the lessons so painfully learned ("Kadima MKs to abstain on no-confidence votes," May 7).
Sir, - The Winograd Report concluded that the prime minister was a failure in decision-making during the Lebanon War. However, while drawing "personal conclusions" it refrained from "personal recommendations," intimating that the PM himself should decide whether or not to resign.
We already have been told that he is a failure at decision-making.
YEHUDA BEN MOSHE
Sir, - Most of us are disgusted and disheartened by the daily reports of investigations, corruption, irresponsibility and crimes against our people and our national moral fiber. However, although the Winograd Report is a painful document I think we must take pride in what this committee has accomplished.
At first I suspected that the investigators, chosen by the ruling party, would protect the powers that be and whitewash the whole affair of the war. How glad I am that I misjudged them! They have demonstrated the strength of our democracy, of our freedom of thought and speech, of our determination to right wrongs, and of our fearlessness in the face of power. I am saddened by what has been exposed, but proud of our moral strength to discern right from wrong.
If painful exposure is the price we must pay to clean up the dirt and put our leaders on notice that we will not tolerate the self-interest that besmirches integrity and responsibility, I believe we are willing to pay that price.
Sir, - With an attitude of pervasive cynicism toward the government, the country desperately needs a leader who will unify the people and the politicians, a leader with vision, honesty and courage who has the respect of the world's leaders.
Such a man is Natan Sharansky. He would build a team of competent professionals whose appointments would be based on knowledge and experience rather than cronyism.
And the country would be well served if Binyamin Netanyahu were foreign minister and represented Israel as a brilliant and articulate spokesman.
Who's a provocation?
Sir, - MJ Rosenberg accuses the Jews living in Hebron and other communities in Judea and Samaria of "living where their presence is a provocation" while lauding the Jews of Tel Aviv, who "would never choose to live as a minority" ("In praise of Tel Aviv," May 1).
When is the last time Rosenberg opened up a map of the Middle East? The Jews living in Metulla, Eilat and all points in between, including Yitzhar and Tel Aviv, are all living as a minority surrounded by over 20 Arab countries and millions of Muslims, Arabs and Persians who wish to annihilate the Jewish state and its inhabitants.
I'm not sure whom Rosenberg spoke with while he was in Israel, but if our leaders find the threats emanating from Iran "laughable," we are all in grave danger.
Rosenberg then adds, referring to Judea and Samaria, that "less than 5% of the Jewish population of Israel" has chosen to live "on a hostile frontier." I am sure that with all they have suffered, and are suffering, the residents of the North and those in the Western Negev would take offense at their communities not being labeled as being "on a hostile frontier."
Finally, Rosenberg leaves this important line out of his "Hatikva" quote: "To be a free nation, in our own country, the land of Zion and Jerusalem." Nothing against Tel Aviv - but the early Zionists had another city in mind when they expressed their yearnings.
No more than a creation myth
Sir, - I am obliged to point out that your correspondent Raphael Rosenbaum is entirely mistaken in his belief that the Bible is internationally recognized as a valid document ("Deed to the land," Letters, May 7). The Bible is internationally recognized as being the creation myth of the Jewish people.
And since it incorporates elements of earlier Babylonian mythology, it is therefore is accorded the same status, and therefore has no more political legitimacy than the mythology of the Greeks, Romans, Saxons, Vikings or Picts.
Sir, - The Israel Cornell Club (ICC) has been recently reactivated and we are updating our mailing list before the next meeting, for all those who have attended or taught at Cornell University and now visit or live in Israel.
If you are not on our mailing list, please send your e-mail and phone number to Renie Hirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org (09) 861-6050 or email@example.com (052)-6-521-049.
Sir, - Your Independence Day 5767 supplement was brilliant. Thank you for this beautiful addition - truly a collector's item.