August 21: Words of wisdom

Surely our legislators should support the judges and allow traffic police to enforce the law.

Words of wisdom
Sir, – Regarding “Three pedestrians killed in Netanya hit-andrun” (August 19), our traffic court judges have long deemed a speed of 30 kilometers per hour to be appropriate and reasonable for a vehicle to cross a pedestrian crossing. Surely our legislators should support the judges and allow traffic police to enforce the law.
The advice once given by a wise man was, “If you don’t have eye contact with a driver before entering an Israeli pedestrian crossing, don’t cross! DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono
Moral authority
Sir, – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did the right thing by acknowledging that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent comments on Israel were inappropriate, to say the very least (“Government campaigning to keep Ban from going to confab in Iran” August 19).
Words are important. But now Ban should take action and refuse to attend the Non- Aligned Movement conference to be hosted by Iran at the end of this month. His refusal would send an important message to the NAM countries, as well as to the rest of the world, that a nation whose leaders continuously threaten to destroy another UN member state, spew anti- Semitism, sponsor terrorism and thumb their noses at the UN Security Council has no international legitimacy.
The secretary-general has moral authority. He should use it.
LAURA KAM Jerusalem The writer is executive director for global affairs for The Israel Project
Some ‘friendship’
Sir, – US Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (“Romney must stop playing politics with Israel,” Comment & Features, August 16) is of the opinion that President Barack Obama is the best presidential friend Israel has ever had. If so, Obama has got a funny way of showing friendship.
Arriving in the White House, Obama declared his intent to put “daylight” between the US and Israel. He demanded a total freeze on settlements, which sent a message to the Palestinians that he would pressure Israel to make peace while making no reciprocal demands on them.
The president treated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu very disrespectfully at a March 2010 meeting and again when an open microphone caught him cattily gossiping about Israel’s elected leader. More ominously, there was the shameful incident of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dressing down the prime minister and intentionally leaking the harsh tone of the conversation to the media.
Most troubling, President Obama shocked the American Jewish community to its core by insisting in March 2011 that Israel return to the indefensible pre- 1967 lines, albeit with land swaps.
Sen. Lautenberg, whose support for Israel is legend, should take a close look at the rhetoric of the leader of his own party, who ought to be showing unqualified support for the Middle East’s only truly free country.
SHMULEY BOTEACH Englewood, New Jersey The writer is a former Jerusalem Post columnist and current Republican candidate for US Congress
Tragic hero
Sir, – Your report on evidence that Raoul Wallenberg was alive after the Soviets claimed he died in 1947 (“At Wallenberg’s centennial, his disappearance remains a mystery,” August 13) confirms what numerous sightings and reports have stubbornly maintained – that Wallenberg survived in the Gulag and Soviet psychiatric prisons as late as the 1980s.
In 1985, in my capacity of chairman of the Jerusalem Raoul Wallenberg Committee, I took a sworn statement from an elderly Jew from the Caucuses region named Avraham Hanukaieff, who had been imprisoned in Sverdlovsk for Zionist activities.
Hanukaieff told me that he spent four days in 1972 in a prison infirmary bed next to a fellow prisoner who whispered to him that he was “Wallenberg, a Swede who had saved many Jews in Budapest in 1945.” The guards later ordered Hanukaieff to stop speaking with the prisoner.
I sent this statement to the leaders of the Soviet Union, but of course nothing came of it.
I am convinced that in time we shall indeed learn the truth about the fate of this tragic hero of humanity.
Sir, – “Canada to release stamp honoring Raoul Wallenberg” (August 14) refers to a similar stamp issued by the United States in 1997.
I would like to point out that the Israel Philatelic Services issued a stamp commemorating Wallenberg in June 1983. In addition, the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation has issued a medallion in his honor.
The stamp and the medallion are part of an exhibition our organization has presented at venues throughout the country for the past 28 years.
Beersheba The writer chairs the Raoul Wallenberg Association of Beersheba
Those bus drivers!
Sir, – It is bad enough when the “civilized world” attempts to delegitimize Israel, but when Egged appears to support the same agenda against Israeli citizens it is time to stand up – as if there were a seat – and protest.
During the past year, my first as a new immigrant, I have gathered a litany of cases that show how some Egged drivers have little respect for the passenger, in particular myself.
Last week I was just about to board the bus when I dropped my Rav-Kav card. I picked it up, but too late, the driver had closed the doors. No amount of banging attracted his attention.
If he did not see me, then with such poor vision he should not be driving a bus.
I wonder if Egged drivers have all read their company notice, displayed in Hebrew on many buses, namely: “If the driver allows passengers to alight or disembark at an unauthorized stop he will be fined NIS 500.” How many times have passengers waited at a designated bus stop only to find that their bus has stopped three bus-lengths away because another bus was at the stop?
This is not to mention the drivers who close the door and drive away with passengers who have yet to pay their fare and find a seat. There are elderly people pinned to the windshield owing to G-forces or centrifugal force as the driver goes through a roundabout. Now I realize why people recite Psalms on the bus.
Shopping baskets sometimes take preference to standing passengers.
Young, able-bodied passengers are reluctant to give up their hard-earned seats to senior citizens. There are feet on seats despite written warnings. (Perhaps the notice, which shows a black shoe, is viewed as giving carte blanche to people wearing shoes of other colors to use the seats as footrests.) I am tired of hearing people say “Welcome to Israel” when I complain about local buses, but I would prefer to keep my remaining hair on my head despite the hair-raising antics of some Egged drivers.
If you ever see a “How am I driving?” sticker on the back-end of a bus, please phone in. It may save somebody’s sanity. Perhaps mine!
In “High Court rejects claim, fines ACRI NIS 45,000 for protesting four years too late” (August 20), the sentence referring to ACRI spokeswoman Nirit Moskovich should have read: “She added that, in ACRI’s estimation, [Supreme Court President Asher] Grunis’s decision was a big disappointment and was ignoring all of the public discussion provoked by the social protest movement over social justice rights, like economic and health inequalities.”