Turkish memory loss
Sir, - Re "Turkey drops joint air force drill due to IAF participation" (October 11): If my memory serves me correctly, the Turks did not object to Israeli participation in its rescue operation a few years back after a massive earthquake struck Turkey. Israeli medical teams, army personnel - and our public - threw in their all to assist the beleaguered country.
Turkey "rewarded" us by saying it would never forget the State of Israel's heroic performance in saving Turkish lives.
PM Erdogan has a slight memory problem, it seems.
Sir, - Will Turkey mark all the planes that bombed Kurdish civilians in Iraq for the joint air exercise which excludes Israel?
Sir, - On page 1 of your October 11 edition, PLO Ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Khraishi cited Israeli violence against Palestinians on the Temple Mount; then on page 2, we saw pictures of Palestinians throwing stones and using violence against the police and others. Perhaps you should have reversed the placement of your reports.
Israel's "violence" was in defense of the Palestinians' ill intentions. They were being incited by rumors meant to cause disruption of Succot prayers at the Western Wall.
Wheelbarrows filled with rocks show ill intent; only because of police intervention was worse violence avoided. Its victims would have been the thousands of Jews down below who came to the Wall and to Jerusalem for these special prayers.
The police did what they had to do. Self-defense is sometimes a necessary evil. We must not shirk from showing this to the world ("Palestinians reconsider deferment of Goldstone Report," October 11).
...a necessary evil
Sir, - Larry Derfner selects his facts, giving a distorted picture of the real world ("Our exclusive right to self-defense," October 8).
To say that Arabs engaging in terrorism are defending themselves is Orwellian doublespeak. Israel would not have launched operation Cast Lead had there not been an eight-year rain of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Jews are only too ready to live and let live; it is, unfortunately, the Arabs who force us to defend ourselves. When Israel left Gaza, it was with the understanding that the Arabs would turn Gaza into the beginnings of a Palestinian state. Instead, we got 8,000 rockets.
Sir, - Does a terrorist organization which embeds itself into an urban population and attacks a sovereign state indiscriminately over a period of years have the right of self-defense? To my knowledge, this is a new situation that has no parameters and no rules. The Gaza war will be studied by countries and their militaries everywhere before a final verdict is brought in.
The IDF's restraint, and its tactics, will be an example on how to neutralize terrorists in urban fighting, minimize casualties and prevail against a vicious enemy. (I can't help but wonder how China or Russia would have handled the Gaza situation.)
As for the current onslaught against Israel, it is political in nature and will find its way into the trash cans of history.
The Palestinian people will soon have an opportunity to elect new representatives. Will they choose life, or confrontation and suffering?
Come now, professor
Sir, - After reading "Nobel prize winner Yonath: Free all Palestinian prisoners," (October 11), it became apparent to me that the rot - otherwise known as post- or anti-Zionism - that pervades so many of our country's institutions of higher learning is not limited to the liberal arts schools.
Following Prof. Ada Yonath's (il)logic, if the police ceased incarcerating mob members, the mob would no longer threaten the families of policemen and police officials.
I was not aware that the Weizmann Institute had relocated from Rehovot to Chelm.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
Sir, - I wonder if Ada Yonath would have a different opinion if her daughter was killed by a terrorist, God forbid, or her granddaughter held captive for over three years, like Gilad Schalit.
From one friend
Sir, - Advice from a true friend is useful, but David Cairns failed to address the paradigm shift that has occurred both inside and outside Israel since the 2005 evacuation of Gaza ("For friendship's sake," October 5).
At that time, Israel was urged by her friends and others to give up land for peace with the understanding that Israel would not suffer as a result. But she has since suffered badly - as many people warned. Yet there has been no international outcry or serious pressure on Hamas to stop the rocket attacks and no condemnatory resolutions by the UN. Instead, world opinion has been inflamed against Israel, concentrating on the plight of the Gazans - who voted for Hamas - and ignoring the plight of the residents of Sderot and neighboring towns.
I am sure that, as a friend, Mr. Cairns will acknowledge that Iran and her acolytes seek the total destruction of Israel and are waging a major political and propaganda war to that end.
Israel now has hostile neighbors to the north, south and east, and within the UN. Therefore, if it is to make any concessions, there must be undeniable benefits in return. A replay of 2005 is out of the question.
I can suggest to Mr Cairns what some of those benefits might be: the acknowledgement of Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state; the cessation of attacks from Gaza; and the involvement of the IRC on behalf of Gilad Schalit.
If he can help make them happen, there will be the justice and righteousness to which he referred.
Sir, - Your report about electricity being produced as a result of motor vehicles driving over specially prepared roads is another example of Israeli science and technology leading the world ("Can we generate electricity as we drive?" October 8). If the trials prove successful, this invention will have a major impact worldwide. The saving of fossil fuel will be enormous.
Israel will, as always, want to share the benefits with the world. But before we do so, let us pause. Why share with countries that set out to do us harm by, for example, supporting boycotts aimed at damaging our economy?
The time has come for us to be selective and trade only with those countries that have normal trading relationships with us.
Sir, - As a mechanical engineer, I would like to comment that reader Gerald Cooper is right that installing piezoelectric elements under the road surface increases the load on the engine of any passing vehicle ("Un-green idea," Letters, October 11). The answer is to install them before bends, traffic lights and junctions, where vehicles need to slow down.
Whether this system can generate electricity at a competitive cost is an entirely different question, one to which potential investors deserve an answer.