July 15: Grab those tourists!

People across the globe who are planning their annual summer holiday will assuredly be crossing Tunisia off their list, no doubt along with other security-sensitive sites.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Has his doubts
In “IDF ‘deep’ in efforts for long-term Hamas deal” (July 13), your military source reassures us that the army has a new operational approach aimed at the immediate destruction of Hamas’s military wing, if need be.
Really? They’ve been promising us this for years.
Let them see
Regarding “IDF to question officer over possible Gaza war crime” (July 13), the investigation into the actions of a senior IDF officer in last year’s conflict against the terrorist Hamas is shocking and even disgusting.
How many of the 64 IDF soldiers who fell were unnecessarily killed as a result of not taking a certain action because of the specter of another anti-Israel investigation by the sickeningly named UN Human Rights Council? Is it fair for children and fathers to go into battle defending their country’s citizens if they have one hand tied behind their back, and all the time are trying to second- guess what the HRC will get up to this time? One cannot fight an enemy, especially a terrorist enemy, that has contempt for civilized behavior and acts more like the Mongol hordes, with one rule for us, the righteous, and no rules for them, the terrorists.
When fighting against terrorists who put their own people deliberately in harm’s way, no rules should apply.
Perhaps one of the ways of solving the problem is for the International Criminal Court and the HRC to appoint lawyers – and even the chairman of the next commission that will “investigate” Israel’s supposed war crimes – to be in the front lines among both sets of combatants to monitor what takes place in real time.
In that way, they might understand why our troops act as they do.
An alien’s complaint
Bravo to Yoel Razbozov for proposing a bill to ban smoking in public parks and entrances to nursery schools (“Ministers vote on smoking ban in public parks,” July 12).
On Friday afternoon I took two small grandchildren to Gan Shmuel, a very popular little park on the Carmel.
Although Haifa is a green and beautiful city, there is a dearth of parks, as we know them.
But Gan Shmuel has grass, a duck pond, shaded seating, a modern and safe playground and an outside cafeteria so that adults can relax with a drink while watching their children play safely.
The only thing that spoiled this ambiance was the continuous waft of pollution from the adults who were smoking, and from their overflowing ashtrays.
While I was helping my little one get beyond the first steps on the climbing frame, a mother approached, toddler in arms, cigarette dangling out of her mouth. I politely pointed out that her cigarette was endangering the health of her child and mine, but she looked at me as if I had just dropped in from another planet.
Let us hope that this bill is passed, implemented and enforced as soon as possible.
Hostage blackout
I learned as a child that democracy meant a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
But recently I learned of a blackout on the part of our government regarding Israeli hostages in Gaza. In addition, I read that the family of one hostage had been warned not to criticize the government’s actions or non-actions in this regard.
Are we a people of the government, by the government and for the government? Am I taking a risk by writing these words against the government? Will all of us soon be told that we can no longer criticize, or else?
Rabinowitz on women
I read Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz’s commentary on the ramifications of the actions of Zelophehad’s daughters (“Parshat Pinhas – Woman and hope,” Observations, July 10) with interest. Then I recalled his dismal record regarding the members of Women of the Wall who wish to sincerely express their faith at the Kotel.
Is there any hope that the rabbi of the Western Wall will recognize the righteousness of their demands to be treated equally?
No response
I sent the following letter to Religious Services Minister David Azoulay.
“I am a Canadian-born physician practicing in the United States. My parents were both Jewish; my father’s family immigrated from Poland to Canada, while my mother’s family was from Romania. I had an Orthodox bar mitzva, but married a Jewish woman whose family had escaped from Hungary. My wife lost family in the Holocaust, even though they were not Orthodox.
The Nazis did not make the same distinction that you do as to who is Jewish.
“After much thought and discussion, I decided to join a Reform synagogue. I felt that the Reform movement’s understanding of the religion was more in keeping with my own than was the Orthodox understanding.
It is interesting that over the years that I was at the Reform synagogue, I never heard a comment that Orthodox Jews were not real Jews because they held a different view than we did.
“I have volunteered extensively to help different Jewish populations, including those from Ethiopia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. I have also donated to Israel to help support the country – and your personal safety. Have I been doing all this as a non- Jew? Should I stop the donations and just work in other areas because you do not value the work or funds that I have given?” I ended by saying I would appreciate a reply. So far, there’s been no response.
PAUL HART Southborough, Massachusetts
Grab those tourists!
People across the globe who are planning their annual summer holiday will assuredly be crossing Tunisia off their list, no doubt along with other security-sensitive sites. Can Israel therefore capitalize on this state of affairs and attract tourists in the thousands to these fair shores? A challenge, indeed, to the relevant bodies!
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion