August 30: Let's use our power...

Our children are still unprotected and our lazy and selfish politicians are too ineffective.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Let's use our power... Sir, - The school year is due to begin, and our children are still unprotected. Our lazy and selfish politicians are too ineffective. A disaster waiting to happen! A decision has to be made right now; we don't have to prove to the world that we are kind and considerate. We need to turn off the power to Gaza, and if the Gazans are desperate enough they will stop firing rockets at us. All this is preferable to exposing our children to death and maiming ("Pawns in Sderot," August 29). MIRIAM APTER Tel Aviv ensure Sderot's safety Sir, - Because of suspicion that Hamas was extorting electricity payments from Gaza residents, the EU suspended payment for fuel, causing 600,000 Gazans to be without electricity. Evidently even unconfirmed misappropriation of funds by the Gaza leadership was sufficient justification for the European community to take drastic steps, causing the civilian population severe hardship. Within four days Hamas, "in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis," agreed to an audit in conjunction with its arch-rival, the Abbas government, and electricity was restored. Israel, on the other hand, which suffers daily confirmed rocket attacks from Hamas, supplies 80% of Gaza's electricity yet fears to employ the same acceptable and effective tactic as the EU because of the anticipated vehement outcry from the Europeans et al. All things considered, perhaps we should be more concerned about the safety of the Sderot residents than about the projected response. TUVIA MUSKIN Rehovot Golden goose Sir, - Hundreds are being killed on our roads, essential medicines cannot be included in our health basket, protected buildings cannot be provided for children in Sderot for "lack of funds," and even our defense budget has been strung up with cuts over the years. For many months I have been reading The Business Post and am pleasurably astounded by the enormous profits being raked in by our industries, hi-tech, land developers and business enterprises, and by their investments in the millions - even billions - of dollars and shekels in Europe, Asia, Africa and even America. By nature I'm "rightist," but am always concerned for my fellow man. It is my belief that a very small tax on the profits of the above-mentioned millions and billions would be adequate to cover the needs noted above, taking into account there has been no revision of the taxing of our industries, hi-tech, etc., dating from the period when they needed protection and encouragement. But don't kill the golden goose! ("CEE to raise NIS 100m. on TASE," August 29.) SAM LEVY Caesarea Healthy handling Sir, - Re "The problem with post-Zionism" (Isi Liebler, August 28): I think the primary problem is with Zionism and the Zionist majority among the Israeli people. There are hostile and suicidal leanings in every country; the question is how the healthy majority handles them. The crudest cases of post-Zionist activity, like Ilan Pappe's book Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine, go far beyond legitimate criticism and should be brought to court for their seemingly blood-libelous statements. If somebody believes that Pappe has the right, under the banner of freedom of speech, to state that our sons serving in the IDF carry out Nazi-like ethnic cleansing, I would ask this somebody: Would you accept being called, for example, a "child-molester" in a published document - or would you challenge this libel in court? On a lighter note: I will accept the post-Zionists' proposal to amend "Hatikva" immediately after the British erase the line "God save the queen" from their national anthem - it obviously offends anti-monarchist citizens as well as some Welsh, Scottish and other local patriots. Let's wait until all national anthems on earth are successfully changed to please "all of their citizens." ENDRE MOZES, Chairman Take-A-Pen Haifa CNN's lack of balance Sir, - Last week I began watching a three-part series on CNN called God's Warriors. The first part was called God's Jewish Warriors, and, as usual, CNN did not miss a chance to show the settlers as right-wing fanatics, comparing a couple of instances where Jews were involved in terrorism to their Muslim counterparts. The segment portrayed "Jewish terrorism" as being on a par with the fundamental Muslim groups, and thus was completely unbalanced. Muslim terrorism has been around ever since Islam came into existence, the ideology being to bring the world under Islamic rule. Jews have suffered at the hands of the Muslims for hundreds of years; pogroms have taken place here in Israel since the Middle Ages; yet CNN portrayed us Jews living in our eternal land as the occupiers. (As somebody said, how can you occupy something that you own?) The deeds of this land are in the Torah, the Bible. Thank goodness we have tens of thousands of Christian supporters, mainly in America, who give millions of dollars to us. My neighbor, Sondra Baras, explained our side of the story extremely well, but CNN's portrayal of religious Jews was what most of us expected: unbalanced and pretty left-wing ("CNN's false symmetry," Jonathan Tobin, August 28). STEPHANIE TAYLOR Ginot Shomron Sir, - On August 22, I wrote to CNN: "Well, this is rock bottom; how did it feel when you hit it? Your new special God's Warriors, which last night focused on Jewish warriors, was a clear-cut picture of your bias against the State of Israel. You have created an environment where, as an Orthodox Jew, I will now be judged as I walk down the street. "All your analysts said the settlements in Judea and Samaria were the only obstacle to peace. The settlement movement took off after 1967. So in 1947, was it the occupied territories of 1967 that were stopping the peace process? Your argument is flawed. "For a good 20 minutes you focused on the country and its security measures, showing the poor Arab inconvenienced by the security wall. What does this have to do with Jewish warriors?" Peace will only be made by the people involved. By supporting only one side, CNN is hurting the peace process more than any settlement in Judea and Samaria. MICHAEL ALAN SACHS Vancouver Coffee break Sir, - In "There's no single, correct way to be pro-Israel" (August 29) Jeff Halper presented a creative and self-important version of a 30-second conversation. Our differences are far more substantive than can be bridged over a cup of coffee. Halper runs ICAHD - a fringe anti-Israel NGO funded by the European Union under the mislabeled "Partnership for Peace" program. He speaks in churches around the world calling for anti-Israel boycotts, where he stands alongside and gives a Jewish stamp of approval to Naim Ateek, the head of Sabeel - an extremist whose anti-Semitic rhetoric includes referring to Israel as a "daily crucifixion." In addition, two ICAHD officials are speaking at this week's UN/EU NGO Israel-bashing "conference" in Brussels. When Halper and ICAHD stop their EU-funded demonization, he will get his coffee. GERALD M. STEINBERG Executive Director NGO Monitor Jerusalem