letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Brought back memories
Sir, - Re "Lack of etiquette" (Letters, November 23). The writer's statement: "When waiting for a bus, it does not matter who was waiting longer, everyone just rushes for the bus" reminded me of an early visit to Israel and the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah Games at Ramat Gan stadium.
After the ceremony, while waiting for a late night bus back to Tel Aviv, I warned my young son of the predicted melee when the bus arrived. "Get behind me, hold onto my belt and don't let go," I told him.
Eventually, we did manage to board the bus, after beating off what seemed like dozens of elderly men and women, all karate black belts and veterans of the special forces determined to take no prisoners, but for a time I wasn't sure whether my pants or belt were also going to make it on board.
All part of what makes Israel special.
Slap him down
Sir, - Syria keeps pushing the envelope and yet nothing happens ("Lebanese mourn assassinated leader Gemayel," November 23). It's clear to President Bashar Assad that all that will happen is that the UN and the US will fulminate and that's it.
Assad needs to be slapped down hard, that's the only way to deal with him. Every success of his with no repercussions emboldens him.
Power to the people
Sir, - Re Naomi Chazan's "Superficial remedies" (UpFront, November 17). Chazan correctly criticizes current moves to strengthen the executive without proper checks and balances against the abuse of office. Her other concern, rightfully, is the lack of personal and official accountability in government.
We believe these elements are interrelated as essential to a true democracy. However we differ with Chazan in how to best deal with the deficiencies.
Her remedy is to bolster the Knesset as a counterweight to the executive through institutional changes in structure and procedure. We maintain that what is called for is raising the intrinsic quality of Knesset members.
This can only be realized by giving the people a direct voice in government through regional representation. Chazan merely alludes to regional elections. We believe that this is the keystone to any meaningful political reform.
Such a change will produce an emboldened, more independent Knesset, creating a responsible, responsive body accountable to a people constituency rather than as now, to political parties.
This is the mission of CEPAC (Citizens Empowerment Public Action Campaign). We are an all volunteer non-political grassroots movement engaged in a nationwide petition campaign to promote regional elections to the Knesset. We hope to return the government to the people and thereby help to restore confidence in our leadership.
Citizens Empowerment Public Action Campaign
Sir, - Thanks for your excellent print and Web coverage of the UJC General Assembly.
All seem agreed that Israel is a mere appetizer for Iran's global ambitions as Islam's nuclear power. If the US is not prepared to take the required action, it must provide Israel with all the means necessary to do so. The only way to stop a glutton eating his way through to dessert is to have him choke on the appetizer.