August 21: Dubious island

The area off the Tel Aviv coast is not vast and so a very long causeway would be required to carry road and rail links to access the "island'.

letters to the editor (photo credit: )
letters to the editor
(photo credit: )
Dubious island Sir, - Re "Feasibility plan for airport on artificial island off Tel Aviv cleared for takeoff" (August 16): With its mind-boggling logistics, is this really a feasible proposition? The area off the Tel Aviv coast is not vast and so a very long causeway would be required to carry road and rail links to access the "island' - a massive project in itself. It would probably mean the decapitation of hills inland to provide all the necessary aggregate, leaving huge scars on the landscape. The construction of artificial island airports in the Far East has been found to upset the marine ecology. In the Mediterranean, it could spell disaster to a system already fragile from pollution. And, in addition to the noise, wouldn't the views from Tel Aviv's shoreline hotels be spoiled also? It seems to me that the exorbitant sum required for this project would be far better spent on upgrading the control tower facilities at the almost-new and beautiful Terminal 3 at Ben-Gurion Airport. SARA SHAW Kfar Saba Let sense prevail Sir, - I find it incomprehensible that anyone should be able to accumulate 200 traffic violations and still be driving; and that judges can choose to sentence or not sentence offenders - and, worse, show concern for the livelihood of a driver who causes an accident rather than for the lives of endangered citizens. In Western countries with which I am familiar there are serious consequences after a minimum of two moving violations. The first is a fine, with a loss of points; the second increases both the fine and the points lost. With the third, there can be suspension of the driver's license. By the fourth or fifth, the license could be lost permanently. I strongly suggest that our lawmakers begin drafting laws that will punish offenders in such a way as forces them to consider driving more carefully; and that judges begin enforcing the law properly. If these drivers knew their livelihoods were in danger, they would very likely take greater care on the roads ("The road not taken," August 13). FRANCES DASH Zichron Ya'acov Spinning a law Sir, - A Meretz member's promotion of a law prohibiting a soldier from "obeying " an "order" issued by his or her rabbi is an example of double-talk ("Meretz MK: Change IDF oath to combat refusal of orders," August 20). First of all, the right to issue an order carries the right to enforce it. Secondly, rabbis - and my family is loaded with them - don't issue orders. When a congregant comes to a rabbi with a problem of conscience, the rabbi has a constitutional right to explain the type of conduct called for on a religious basis, and the congregant is free to act on the information as she or he pleases. The "spin" talk practiced by this Meretz MK is hardly consonant with the high principles his party professes to follow. IRVIN SCHERMER Jerusalem Case of confusion Sir, - Max Singer ("Obeying orders," Letters, August 17) appears to have confused "my country right or wrong," itself a questionable proposition, with "my government right or wrong," a clearly indefensible proposition. Mr. Singer made clear in the body of his letter that he believes the government is leading us to catastrophe. How then can he attack those determined to save our country? MOSHE SAPERSTEIN Nitzan Jenny... Sir, - Horrors! British House of Lords, Liberal Democrat Party peer Jenny Tonge has claimed that the issue of Palestine is the battle cry of Islamists across the world. This publicity-seeking housewife, who revels in her notoriety, has spoken for the Islamic world! Israel should tremble in fear after this nonentity from a failed minority party in a northern European island has spoken. Hardly anyone here has heard of Tonge, let alone taken any notice of her utterances. Yes, dear friends, we can all sleep soundly in our beds ("Scholar rejects UK peer's blame of Israel for fueling rise of Islamic extremism," August 17). JEFFREY MARLOWE Leeds, UK ...and Suha Sir, - British press reports say that Yasser Arafat's wife, Suha, according to a deal struck with the Palestine National Authority, will receive an annual stipend of £11 million per year. We also know that Arafat quite literally stole between $950 million and $1.3 billion of the monies given to him by the EU to upgrade the living standards of his people. As a result Suha now owns (according to the various media) entire holiday resorts in Spain, apartment blocks, a chain of bowling alleys in the US, and much more besides. All these investments are the result of stolen money. Her annual stipend is an insult not only to those Palestinians living in penury, but also to those who have, and are, supplying money to Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh. Why isn't something being done about this? ("Suha Arafat kicked out of Tunisia," August 14.) DOV AARONS London Tough-minded, a leader Sir, - Your item on Rudy Giuliani portrayed a candidate who knows what leadership is all about when it comes to the Palestinian issue. By stating that support for a Palestinian state must be earned through positive steps, he refuses to let the Arabs set the agenda. It was also refreshing to read that Rudy thinks too much emphasis has been placed on the Israeli-Palestinian problem. He obviously does not buy into an argument which too often contains the demonization of Israel at its core. Despite being a Republican, Rudy is also not afraid to implicitly criticize the current administration. It is precisely this sort of original and tough-minded thinking that could win him the nomination and election ("Giuliani says he opposes creation of a Palestinian state at this time," August 16). DAVID KATCOFF Jericho, Vermont Showtime Sir, - James Wolfensohn is dead wrong in describing the Israeli-Palestinian situation as an off-off-off Broadway show ("Nothing but a sideshow," August 7). Israel is the epicenter of world affairs, and will remain so as long as the leaders of Islam view her as the "Little Satan" and strive to see her destroyed. Leaders like Wolfensohn and Jimmy Carter are blinded by their humanistic world view to the spiritual battle that is raging over this land. Whether we like it or not, the God who created the universe declared that He would make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around... and all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.... Further He declared that He would destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12). The spirit that controls the terrorists knows this and also knows time is short, so is in a frenzy to bring about Israel's destruction before God destroys him. Far from diverting our attention to the "real show," we should be watching Israel like a hawk. CHRISTINE JACKSON Houston Texas Trees, please Sir, - I am project leader of the New England Forest in the Negev. I started this project when I read about the destruction of two million trees in the last war with Lebanon. I have raised enough money for two groves of trees, and would like the aid of a few more people to see if 10 groves can be completed. For more information, contact Sara Hefez at (or call 617-423-0999) or myself at (617-964-6188) MURRAY GORELICK Brookline, Massachusetts