Letters to the Editor July 27, 2020: Plane sense

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Plane sense
“How to revive the national economy; The answer is in the South” (July 26) made me very happy. At last someone agrees that putting the new airport in Nevatim is in the best interests of everyone.
I live in the Jezreel Valley region. The government seems to think that by destroying the environment, agriculture and peoples’ lives by building the new airport in our valley, they will be doing a good thing.
Ignoring the opinions of those who will be most affected by an airport in the Jezreel Valley is one of the things this government does best. The regional councils and towns in the South will welcome the presence of an airport in their region. We, on the other hand have been fighting against building an airport here for a long time. Right now, the future looks glum.
I hope that the article will push the southerners to agitate more strongly for the government to look with favor on building the airport in their region.


Unicorn foreign policy
Regarding “Hope and optimism should be key pillars of Israel’s foreign policy” (July 26), clearly, as a former policy adviser to Shimon Peres, Nadav Tamir tries hard to make his case, but this worn-out path has long ago been overgrown with the weeds of disinterest.
Tamir’s wishes, which he describes as “hope and optimism” would be better described as “unicorns, rainbows and fluffy toys.”

Batting a thousand
Regarding “Going batty in times of corona and politicking” (July 24), Liat Collins’s sense of humor and infomercial re: bats had me chuckling all through cake and coffee on Shabbos morning. I also always appreciate a good pun. Her political insight “ain’t” bad either.
If she runs for the office of prime minister, I’ll go to bat for her.

Tel Aviv

Corona crunch
Regarding “This isn’t how a government should function” (July 24), during this second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, Israel has many advantages it lacked during the first wave, such as”
• A better understanding of the nature of the COVID-19 virus itself
• Improved capacities for testing and treatment
• Healthcare personnel who are more current in their relevant training
• A healthcare manufacturing sector that is better geared up to producing necessary equipment, supplies and medications
• A victim of the virus who was a kindergarten teacher with a lengthy, accomplished, clean, and honorable record in her profession, whose name can now be posthumously invoked as a martyr for the cause of public adherence to the necessary social distancing regulations
• A recognized and esteemed significant population segment leader who, having belatedly been made aware of the practical realities of COVID-19, has reversed his initial exhortations to disregard the social distancing regulations and who has now entered the camp of adherence advocacy, and
• The knowledge from overall practical and statistical experience, both Israel’s own and that of other nations.
It is a sad if farcical irony that Israel handled the WuFlu epidemic better when it had no government in place than it now does with its current duly-installed government and the advantages now accrued.
Petah Tikva

Israel has now assumed the dubious honor of being number six in the world for the number of cases of the coronavirus and still the protesters continue with their gatherings in thousands. How many people have become sick or died because of their stupid and selfish behavior?
Their leaders should be charged with manslaughter. They know that they will be responsible for many more cases but they couldn’t care less. They may not want to be killers but killers they are.

Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi

A simple corona solution: my suggestion is to use very powerful fans to blow away the infected virus-filled air and replace it with pure uninfected air. When this has been achieved throughout the country, use the air force to drop strong sanitizer over every part of the country. This twofold attack on the corona could very quickly bring us, and eventually the rest of the world, the relief that we so desperately need.

One person, 100 votes
“Ohana’s misunderstanding (July 26) correctly defends the right of Israelis to protest – as is the right of the citizens of all democracies. The editorial also strongly and correctly criticizes the actions of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who has apparently tried to influence the police to ban further demonstrations opposite the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour St.
There is, however, another equally important side to democracy, which is the “one-person-one vote” maxim. One gets the impression from the demonstrators who demand that Netanyahu’s resignation that they believe they represent the majority of the Israeli voting public, but this may be far from the truth. The duly elected current government represents the “will of the people” including, at least for the time being, Prime Minister Netanyahu. The majority of the people also have the democratic right to be wrong.
Let’s suppose that Netanyahu, in a fit of demonstration-induced despondency and weakness did, indeed, resign. The implication would be that several thousand highly motivated and vocal demonstrators had overturned the votes of a couple of million citizens. The demonstrators, by achieving their successful demands, would have actually buried the one-person-one-vote basis of democracy. Their vote would be 100 times more effective than the votes of the rest of us.
The great irony might be that in the following elections (which would very quickly follow Netanyahu’s resignation) the Likud would again win a majority and form the next government with Netanyahu at the helm. Which, of course, would lead to another round of demonstrations, and again and again...


What the frack
“Fracking in Negev, Dead Sea to end as Knesset debates future of energy market,” (July 22) brings Israel’s energy resources to the attention of the public. It is therefore an appropriate moment to ask Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz whether he is aware that, being located adjunct to the East African Rift Valley, Israel enjoys a distinct potential of developing a substantial geothermal power base. Geothermal electric power is very cost-effective.
Report GSI/29/2008, dated November 2008, commissioned by Ministry of National Infrastructures, Geological Survey of Israel, is a report on Israel’s potential geothermal resources. It notes, “The permeability and porosity of [the] Arad Group [at southern end of the Golan Heights] are high and therefore this location might be a potential geothermal site. We recommend further activity to confirm the new geothermal maps presented in the report including new field measurements in new and abandoned boreholes.”
Kenya, which is located on the eastern branch of the Rift Valley has 690 MW of installed geothermal electrical capacity.
The environmental impact of fracking includes the possibility of groundwater contamination, chemical spills, and triggering earthquakes. Air pollution from geothermal power plants is significantly lower than that due to conventional power plants.
Minister Steinitz: Please read Report GSI/29/2008, which was produced with taxpayers’ money, and makes a specific recommendation that has been ignored. If Kenya is exploiting this potential, why is hi-tech Israel neglecting it?
Beit Zayit
The value of bought testimony
“Police’s turn to answer questions on state’s witnesses” (July 23) addresses the use of state’s witnesses in the prosecution of criminal cases.
I find it shocking and inexplicable that the prosecution can bring a case of bribery with no money changing hands while, when the police pay for testimony with intimidation, threats and or promises, that it should in no way be considered bribing the witness.
Why is that? Well the article explains, “There are some cases where people in power are simply not reachable without flipping one of their lieutenants to testify against them in exchange for an immunity deal” or in exchange for not publicly humiliating them or for not going after their family members.
Is it really “All’s fair in love and prosecution?” If someone is unreachable by the police, if I understand correctly, the police may use whatever dirty tricks they have, not necessarily to get to the truth, but to elicit the kind of testimony that they want.
The article further points out (as if it isn’t already completely apparent) that such witnesses are “almost invariably lawbreakers (read criminals) and liars (read perjurers) How in the world can such witnesses in any way be considered reliable? The very fact that Israeli law does not allow the court to convict on the basis of such evidence alone, should reveal its worthlessness.
If a case has insufficient evidence or is not strong enough to be proven without “bought” testimony, it should be dropped forthwith in the interest of justice.
Money for peace – or terror
In “The economics of political change” (July 23), Gershon Baskin tells us that a prerequisite to establishing peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be the raising of their standard of living.
I would like to remind him that since 1948 it would have been possible from all the funds supplied by UNRWA and other vast largesse that has been passed to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to have provided a more than viable future for its people. Because vast amounts of money were squandered, with much going to secret accounts of its corrupt leaders, what successful business person who is of sound mind and body would be willing to invest in a project that is not first underpinned by a fully negotiated peace agreement.
If Baskin needs reminding, US President Donal Trump’s plan includes investment of $50 billion, which would go a long way in establishing the infrastructure for a fully viable state.
So let’s not put the cart before the horse. Peace first and last – everything else will come in between.

Tel Aviv

Regarding “Mladenov warns: PA at risk of total collapse due to COVID-19, annexation” (July 22), the PA’s problem is not COVID-19 or Israel’s plan to extend civilian law to parts of Area C (after waiting only a decade or two for the Palestinians to negotiate). The problem is that the PA still hasn’t come to grips with the fact that, if it really wants a state, it is going to have to prepare its people for co-existence with the nation-state of the Jews. That means undoing a century of spewing anti-Jewish invective and a long history of inciting violence and rewarding people for killing Jews.
Mladenov needs to stop enabling the mistreatment of the Palestinians by Palestinian leaders, leaders of the broader Arab world, and UNRWA. He should be working to get the “Palestine refugees” integrated into the countries or territories in which they have been living for generations (among people with whom they share religion, language, and ethnicity) and he needs to convince Arab nations to help the Palestinians to lay the groundwork for a viable entity where they can become productive citizens. First step – ensure that donated funds go for the people’s benefit, not into the leaders’ bank accounts or efforts to destroy Israel.

Atlanta, GA
Regarding “Netherlands admits to paying terrorists who killed 17-year-old Israeli” (July 21), the killers of Rina Shnerb are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist group in the EU. Our agency has asked the Israel Ministry of Justice if foreign government-funded NGOs have immunity from prosecution in cases where these organizations are accused of helping terror groups. The clear answer we received is that foreign government funded NGOs benefit from no such immunity.
The time has come to encourage private initiatives to demand that Israel prosecute to the full extent of the law foreign government-funded NGOs that aid and abet terrorists.

Director, Israel Resource News Agency

In “Greenblatt: Peace plan asks Israel to pledge land for Palestinian state” (June 24) the former US envoy comments that according to the Trump Plan Israel must agree to a Palestinian state that would include 50% of Area C.
I would heartily disagree with this. If another enemy state is to be created, it should only encompass Areas A and B. Arabs in Area C could be allowed to remain as residents – or citizens – of Israel if they so wish, or move to an Arab entity. We would not declare an “Arab-rein” area as the Arabs declare their areas “Judenrein.”
And as far as a contiguous connection to Gaza, ridiculous! Gaza has been effectively independent since Israel renounced all claims to that area. Israel has no longer any part in governance of that area, even if it foolishly continues to provide humanitarian aid.
There is permanent enmity between Gaza and Arab-controlled Areas and B, so they should remain independent of each other. Joining them would like to trying to create a working nation peaceful between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis.
Israel should at least fully declare sovereignty over the heart of the land given to us by our Lord – the entirely of Area C.

Petah Tikva