May 18: Something's wrong

Now a Jewish army and border police force (what border?) are destroying homes of Jews. When and how did this area become Palestinian land?

A structure deemed illegal is demolished, Givat Assaf. (photo credit: TAZPIT)
A structure deemed illegal is demolished, Givat Assaf.
(photo credit: TAZPIT)
Sir, – Regarding “IDF razes 6 homes in Ma’aleh Rehavam outpost” (May 15), when our family made aliya in 1972 we were under the impression we were coming to help Israel rebuild history as a Jewish country. But time and time again we have seen the High Court of Justice or our government remove Jews from their homes.
Is this what should happen, especially in the Gush Etzion region? How many Jews were murdered there years ago by others? Now a Jewish army and border police force (what border?) are destroying homes of Jews. When and how did this area become Palestinian land? How do we permit an anti-Israel group like Peace Now to petition our High Court? There is definitely something wrong in the State of Israel if it removes Jews and destroys their homes.
Four for the road
Sir, – As was made clear in the May 15 Jerusalem Post, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira covered many different concerns in his latest report. What I have never seen addressed is the laws – and monopoly – of driving teachers.
People learning to drive are mandated to take a minimum of 28 lessons at well over NIS 100 per lesson, regardless of how quickly they learn. Why? Why aren’t parents allowed to practice driving with their children? Of course we know the reason: It’s so driving teachers can make more money.
There are students that have to spend many thousands to get their driving license. And after all that, we have some of the worst drivers anywhere right here.
Mr. Shapira, we would welcome having this situation reviewed and the laws for driving lessons made more reasonable.
Sir, – Concerning “Olim to face less bureaucracy when converting their foreign drivers’ license” (May 13), all I can say is, Oh, for the good old days, when all you had to do was present your foreign license and you would be given an Israeli one. That was one less hardship I personally had to deal with in 1993, when I made aliya.
Just a couple of years later the laws were changed, and a new immigrant, a seasoned driver of 30 years, was failed twice by her examiner and forced to undergo a costly 10-session course. The question remains: Was she really unable to adequately drive when tested, or was this a novel and arbitrary way to extort money from new olim before they’d have the privilege of driving in Israel? I have never understood why our government would want to add yet another burden to the already challenging difficulties that come with trying to put down new roots and acclimate to a new society. I am all for making it easy and attractive for those who make the choice to throw in their lot with Israel and make it their permanent home.
Sir, – Your article “NIS 200m. given to intercity roads” (News in Brief, May 12) was indeed heartening news.
You state: “The funds will serve to improve many points and sections of intercity roads that have been deemed high-risk....” Two stretches on the road between Beit Shemesh to the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway are frightening and life-threateningly dark, with no lighting whatsoever. On March 26 you featured an article headlined “BoI: Improvements in infrastructure have reduced traffic accidents,” yet for over six years, residents have been complaining about this hazardous lack of lighting, to no avail.
With the additional funds you now mention, it is hoped that crucial lighting will be installed and many unnecessary accidents will be avoided, with numerous lives saved. The thousands of commuters to and from Beit Shemesh eagerly await this.
Sir, – Several years ago the Knesset passed a law prohibiting smoking in bank queues. This measure was met by a great deal of approval and success, and was followed by further legislation banning smoking in public places.
A law banning smoking at bus stops is long overdue. This would be a good way of showing that our government really does care about our health and safety.
Tel Aviv
Sue ’em!
Sir, – Our officials (and your May 15 editorial “Agent in the vent”) consider the Newsweek claim of Israel spying on the US to be ridiculous and seriously damaging to our relationship with that country. So why doesn’t Israel sue Newsweek for libel? Arik Sharon sued Time magazine, and he won.
Suing this newsweekly should put an end to such harmful lies.
Olmert’s sentence
Sir, – I fail to understand how anyone can perceive Ehud Olmert’s sentence as “harsh” (“Why did the court give ‘minister of ministers’ such a harsh sentence?” Analysis, May 14).
In his pursuit of self-interests, the man completely disregarded accepted legal and moral practice and made a mockery of the people who put him in office. In doing so, he embarrassed our nation in front of the whole world and, in an age of rising anti-Semitism, reinforced the negative image wrongly held by those who lobby against us.
Six years is far from enough time to serve. Anyone living or visiting in Jerusalem encounters the results of what he did.
Olmert’s conviction and sentencing remind us of the other scandals for which he only narrowly escaped conviction due largely to technicalities. The ramifications of his actions are far and wide.
The only consolation to this too-short sentence is the financial savings it will afford us over a longer sentence, considering the heavy security costs it will involve.
Contagious enthusiasm
Sir, – May I humbly suggest that Rabbi Emanuel Quint and his wife, Rena, who were mentioned in your May 14 Grapevine feature, be given the Israel Pride Award. It probably doesn’t exist, but it sure would be appropriate for two people who have extended themselves in every which way to enrich the lives of so many in Jerusalem and throughout the country.
They are proud Israelis and their enthusiasm is contagious.
I, for one, am very thankful to have experienced the magic of their personalities.
Missing word
Sir, – I was shocked to read on the front page of The Jerusalem Post that Israel is going to pay $21 million in compensation to the families of “nine Turks.”
These “nine Turks” were in fact nine Turkish terrorists belonging to an extremist organization.
They wrote suicide notes to their families before embarking on the Mavi Mara, saying they were prepared to give their lives for the cause.
After US President Barack Obama asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey for the loss of life, nine Turkish terrorists suddenly became nine Turks thanks to the press, including the Post.
As it was Obama’s idea that we apologize, I suggest that the US pay the $21 million – I would hate for it to come out of Israeli taxpayers’ money.
Kfar Shmaryahu
Lying in wait
Sir, – With regard to “The age of the ‘terminator’” (May 12), why is the UN getting worked up about “lethal autonomous weapons systems” that don’t yet exist? Explosive mines have been around for a long time and are both lethal and autonomous.