Letters to the Editor: February 21

"I was happy to read the straightforward analysis and suggestions put forward by Dov Lipman."

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Road safety
“‘Post’ readers react to horrific Route 1 bus crash” (Letters, February 18) includes several suggestions on how to reduce the number of fatalities on Israel’s roads, focusing on public transport.
The other day, I traveled in a taxi, and the driver’s behavior made some further suggestions obvious:
• Display the driver’s name in clear view for all passengers.
• Just like on the back of many vehicles, display a sign that requests passengers to report bad driving.
• Put into effect a total ban on public transport drivers using either a hand-held phone or an ear piece. (Our driver was chatting with someone during the whole journey.)
• Reduce speed limits for buses.
(If the maximum is 130 kph, lower it to 100 or even 90 for public transport. What’s the hurry?)
• Install an alarm for all passengers to hear if the speed limit is exceeded.
Finally, there should be signs encouraging passengers to compliment drivers for safe driving, at least with a thank you when alighting.
Tel Aviv
Periodically, the country is aroused by horrendous loss of life in tragic road accidents, as described in Dov Lipman’s “We must stop killing ourselves” (Comment & Features, February 18).
Again and again, there is a feeling of pain, frustration and helplessness.
Each time, suggestions of remedy that seem obvious are offered, but with a sense of doubt about implementation.
Some time ago, after another tragedy, The Jerusalem Post reported on successful efforts by other countries to reduce road deaths.
The method involved statistical analyses of problem situations, and conclusions about how to respond, what choices to make, where to invest money, etc. Essentially, the method was to progressively move forward, tackling issue after issue as the results showed change.
Taking the guessing out of making changes proved effective.
I was happy to read the straightforward analysis and suggestions put forward by Dov Lipman. We are faced with a problem that, contrary to so many of our other problems, has clear and known solutions! We are a hi-tech nation, yet we lack sufficient radar on our roads.
We have centralized data, yet we allow drivers with past traffic offenses to continue being employed in public transportation.
Is it only where there are no solutions that our start-up nation springs into action?
Ignoring history
Gershon Baskin (“Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel,” Encountering Peace, February 18) is very comfortable accusing and blaming Israel for all the ills that face the Palestinian Authority.
He has no problem ignoring the incitement, the corruption, the anti-Semitism and the ineptitude of the PA leadership. He also dishonestly ignores the way the Arab/ Muslim world treats his Palestinian patrons.
He who ignores history is bound to repeat it.
Petah Tikva
Is racism worse?
President Reuven Rivlin has come out against the bill allowing MKs to vote out lawmakers who express support for terrorism (“Rivlin condemns Knesset bill to oust members,” February 17).
I find it strange that three decades ago, the Knesset passed an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law to ban “racist” candidates from running in elections, thereby barring Rabbi Meir Kahane from running for a seat in the Knesset for a second time, yet now it is okay to allow MKs who support terrorism to continue to serve.
Aren’t MKs who support terrorism against Jews committing an act of treason? Why do I get the impression that certain people and groups, including President Rivlin, feel that “racism” is worse than treason?
Wishful appeal
Your article “BDS movement claims victory in canceling S. Africa water confab” (February 17) reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a UN employee whose job was to coordinate with the Palestinian Authority to install a sewage system in a village in the West Bank.
The funding from the UN, US and EU was in place. The planning and preliminary surveys had been carried out. The project had to be abandoned, however, because the PA objected to having Israeli channel- digging machines brought into the area to do the ground work.
There were no other companies producing this sort of machinery in the Middle East, so the village remained without proper sanitation.
Even the suggestion to train Palestinian drivers to do the job was rejected. Another case of cutting off one’s nose to spite his face.
This mentality, rife in the region at the moment, is also sending many young Palestinians to their deaths. How I wish we could appeal to them along the lines of “The money your families receive will be used up soon, while your leaders are stuffing their pockets with ever more EU millions. Your deaths are totally in vain. Be more than cannon fodder for the PA and Hamas. Make a change for the better, for your future, for yourselves!”
Tel Aviv
Call them FGOs Regarding “European politicians try (and fail) to manipulate Israeli legislation” (Comment & Features, February 16), isn’t it time to simplify and maximize the accuracy of the proposed NGO-funding transparency law?
Shouldn’t an organization that receives substantial (and certainly, the majority) of its funding from foreign governments be called an “FGO,” or foreign government organization?
Decisions regarding their tax status and whether the designation of their employees as agents of a foreign or enemy government could be dealt with as separate issues. At least the deceptive nomenclature “NGO” would no longer be an issue.
Lying cartoon
The area at the Western Wall given to the non-Orthodox is as large as the Kotel area, certainly not the size of the phone booth, as depicted in your February 16 editorial cartoon. A fantastic compromise was reached, giving the non-Orthodox plenty of room.
This is true bias on your part. It does not befit the editorial department of The Jerusalem Post to publish a cartoon that is a lie.
The writer is a rabbi.
Invisible, too
Your February 15 article “Akim: Half of mentally disabled report being laughed or pointed at” seemed sympathetic toward those who feel discriminated against because of their disability.
Yet the caption under the photo accompanying the article names Ami Ayalon and Yuli Edelstein, but not the young man standing between them.
Is this not humiliation? Are the intellectually disabled now invisible, too?
The Editor responds: The reader is right. Unfortunately, neither Akim nor the Flash90 photo agency provided us with the young man’s name. Had there been more time before our deadline, we might have been able to track it down.
Blocking the boycott It seems we are stuck with the labeling of products from over the Green Line, in both Europe and America. Perhaps we should turn it into a virtue.
I suggest that manufacturers stick prominent notices on every product, something like: “Thank you for purchasing this product.
It provides employment with good salaries to Palestinian Muslims and Christians who would otherwise be unemployed or paid a very low wage, and helps the local economy for the benefit of the Arabs and Jews who live here.”
This might more than offset our losses to the boycotters, who would not buy these products in any case.
Beit Shemesh