letters to the editor 88.
(photo credit: )
Order of the day
Sir, - Now that North Korea has detonated its first nuclear device we need statesmen of uncommon courage ("N. Korean nuke test a 'wake-up call,'" October 10). Sanctions will stop neither North Korea nor Iran from achieving their goal of regional hegemony. The only way to stop rogue nations is via a credible show of force.
If our leaders fail to halt North Korea's and Iran's nuclear ambitions, our way of life and our freedom will be jeopardized.
Like a diamond
Sir, - I was so impressed by "Students help heal wars's aftermath in North" (October 9), just another example of Israeli uniqueness not seen among other folks. May long-term programs come out of these efforts.
Israel: You shine like a diamond in the midst of darkness.
Sir, - Installation of a speed camera system is an excellent idea for further reduction of speeding and its tragic consequences ("How many people do you want to kill?" October 6). Fear of penalties and suspension of driving privileges will no doubt have a deterrent effect on prospective speeders.
Still, more than a deterrent is needed. The weakest link in road safety remains the driver behind the wheel. As long as people have the mechanical ability to speed, they will continue to do so.
There is simply no logic to why cars should go as fast as drivers wish them to. Just because consumers want vehicles that can travel over 100 kilometers per hour does not mean they should have them.
Environmental laws have helped reduce pollution by forcing car manufacturers to produce environmentally friendly vehicles. The same types of regulation are necessary to give us cars and trucks that cannot exceed speeds that pose risk of injury and death.
So road trips will take longer. At least we'll get there alive, and in one piece.
Sir, - David Horovitz's in-depth report would not be complete without citing the work of Metuna, the NGO which has fought for speed cameras and against raised speed limits; arranged for the contacts between our Ministry of Transport and the UK Department of Transport which led to the introduction of roundabouts; led the fight for better school bus standards and more and safer mass transit; and promoted community-based speed-control projects.
I should add that Prof. Gerald Ben-David, now a young 78, was the person who invented the concept of population-wide speed monitoring using relatively simple but accurate state-of-the-art technology, back in the early 1970s. Had that technology been adopted then, thousands would not have died.
But the article made the point: Speed kills, and more speed kills more; and if we kill speed, we will get halfway to Vision Zero. This is why a nationwide speed camera network is a priority of the first order.
I should add that The Jerusalem Post editorial page has been a forceful trumpet for many of these interventions.
ELIHU D RICHTER, MD MPH
Who's a naif?
Sir, - Uri Dan says Ehud Olmert's appointment of a military naif as defense minister proves that no one in his new government took seriously "The chief of staff's warning" (October 5) about the threat on the northern border.
But the hard truth of Amir Peretz's appointment was that it had more to do with Olmert's bid for power than with Israel's security. Let's not forget those critical days of coalition talks, when Peretz was at one time threatening to join with the Right.
And now that the country has paid the heavy price of electing Kadima, it is left with a prime minister who cannot face the nation, and a defense minister who is a pariah in his own rocket-torn hometown of Sderot.
ZALMI UNSDORFER CHAIRMAN
Sir, - With PM Olmert seemingly giving in to every American demand, or even desire - which includes dozens of concessions on our part, some of which endanger Israeli security - why does he not demand at least one concession in return: Free Pollard Now? ("Release Pollard," Editorial, October 10)
JOSHUA J. ADLER
Sir, - Re "Troops vulnerable where Shalit nabbed" (October 6): Thank you very much for this article by Anshel Pfeffer. Your attention to preserving national security and soldiers' lives is praiseworthy and appreciated.
DAVID B. GREENBERG
Happy with little
Sir, - Thanks to The Jerusalem Post for the attention it is paying to the fate of the Bnei Menashe. As somebody who has employed several members of the community in Israel over the years I think it is enriching our society. We can all learn something from these people's ability to be happy with a little in the State of Israel.
Michael Freund says there is a community of 7,000 Bnei Menashe in India waiting for aliya. The community as a whole numbers up to one million; most have converted to Christianity. I hope all will return to Judaism and come home.
A lot of this state's problems would be solved with people like the Bnei Menashe ("A miracle of biblical proportions," October 4).
Sir, - I am researching a little-known incident that occurred on the East/West German border in May 1946 relating to a transport of 2,000 Jewish refugees from Poland en route to the Middle East, and am appealing for information.
Known to me at present: The transport departed possibly from Krakow in May 1946, on a train purchased by Nathan Stern with assistance from possibly the American Joint Distribution Committee. At Helmstedt on the East/German border it was refused permission to proceed further. With help from two members of the British Army Intelligence Corps Stern managed to get permission for the train to proceed to Bremen, where a ship was supposedly waiting to take the refugees to Palestine. It is highly probable that it was stopped in the Eastern Mediterranean by the British Royal Navy and its passengers interned in Cyprus.
Any information, however remote, would be gratefully received. Kindly e-mail email@example.com or write to me at Wiener Library, 4 Devonshire Street, London W1w 5BH, UK.
Sir, - Two words to describe Greer Fay Cashman's "President displays grace under pressure at Succot open house" (October 10): Masterfully written!
M. VAN THIJN
Good to read you
Sir, - I am very glad to read Israeli papers, and I am thanking the editor and good bye.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Sir, - More news in English is commendable, but let's not stop there. Might it be possible for parts of the news to be broadcast on radio at a slower speed? This would enable new olim to get used to hearing the news in Hebrew. Then, as their skills and vocabulary improve, they will be able to understand the rapid rate of the regular news.