letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Lightless in Gaza
Sir, - The UN has no business telling Israel to keep the lights on in Gaza ("UN: Cutting power to Gaza would violate international law," September 20). The UN has remained resolutely irresolute about near-daily Kassam missile attacks on Israel's civilian infrastructure, and on Israeli deaths, so it should not now complain that Israel is finally taking steps to protect its population. The phrase "international law" is meaningless when it is one-sided and invoked only to protect our attackers.
Sir, - The decision to declare Gaza "hostile territory" emanated from the continuous barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza; but this is overlooked by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Yet is punishing the civilian population of Sderot any less contrary to "human rights law" than cutting power to those who wish to kill our people? If the Hamas leadership could stop the Kassam rockets, the Israeli declaration would certainly be revoked.
Sir, - The most effective and humane way our government could stop the Kassam rockets is by quantifying its reprisals - starting with "Every Kassam rocket = one day without electricity" for Gaza; accompanied by a clear, official announcement that the Kassams are an act of war and the Hamas government, having been more or less democratically elected, is responsible for their launching.
The rockets would soon stop because without electricity, Gaza's economy would grind to a halt. Internal pressure would force Hamas to stop the Kassams.
For the Western media, Israel's action would be merely a publicity stunt, but regrettably a stunt is what is required to awaken the West's conscience, and it would consequently have a great impact on increasing understanding of Israel's situation. It would also silence all cries of "collective punishment" (except for the unethical ones).
I hope the government has the imagination, and the guts, to carry out such an action in order to protect its citizens and end this humiliating situation.
Think about it
Sir, - Re "Palestinian economy, shrinking again, may soon 'hollow out,' World Bank says" (September 19): I'm not an economist, but I'd like to suggest a few practical steps the Palestinians could take to improve their economy, including: cessation of certain exports for which the target market is saturated, such as Kassam rockets to Sderot; elimination of the massive terrorist-training sector; and emphasis by the Palestinian construction industry on building homes instead of arms and explosives smuggling tunnels - which only contribute to the hollowing out of the Palestinian economy.
'Look - no backbone!'
Sir, - To Israel's list of achievements we can now add "Minister without Portfolio, and without backbone." After Ami Ayalon's many statements against the Olmert government, and unequivocal statements against ministers without portfolio, he has joined the ranks of spineless politicians ("Ayalon: PM will survive 2008," September 18).
Sir, - Even though I agree with some of Dr. Yitzhak Ersoff's comments about education in Israel ("Thinking clearly about education," September 18), I find it presumptuous that someone who has lived in Israel for only a little over a year can claim to understand the problems of the educational system here. Using the American model is highly questionable unless one was fortunate enough - as I was - to grow up in one of those rare communities in which education was given the highest priority.
Just plain wrong
Sir, - Haim Lerner ("Respect & suspect," Letters, September 20) is just plain wrong to accuse Michael Freund of naivete in welcoming Christian friendship ("No way to treat our Christian friends," September 19).
As a concrete example of how Christians, together with Jews, are helping Israel, one need look no further than Zion Oil & Gas, which has just announced a $650,000 agreement with the Geophysical Institute of Israel to conduct one of the largest and most comprehensive geophysical surveys on-shore in Israel of the past two decades.
Zion Oil & Gas was started by an evangelical Christian to explore for oil and gas in Israel and thereby help Israel become energy-independent. The company has already spent millions of dollars in Israel, to the benefit of Israel's economy.
Perhaps Mr. Lerner is naive to think we can solve our problems today by repeating the thinking of the past.
CEO, Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.
Sir, - "Chief Rabbinate bans Jews from annual Feast of Tabernacles March" (September 19). How foolish! I went many years ago with my children, and we had a great time seeing all the different countries marching, singing and dancing along the streets of Jerusalem.
We should be grateful to those coming to Israel and supporting us, and embrace them, not alienate them. We have enough enemies.