December 19: Road kills

What civilized society can tolerate the tailgating, speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence and disregard of other drivers that goes on here daily?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Road kills Sir, - The truest definition of an accident is when one slips on a banana peel in the dark. Our road kills do not fit this definition. What civilized society can tolerate the tailgating, speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence and disregard of other drivers that goes on here daily? I'd call it "intentional manslaughter" ("25 Russian tourists dead as bus falls into ravine," December 17). Jerusalem Sir, - In March, we were driving to Eilat in a van with a dozen tourists. A bus overtook a line of traffic, nearly knocking us off the road. Our driver contacted emergency 112; nothing was done. We tracked the bus all the way to Eilat, passing two patrol cars, which remained inert. So Tuesday's episode was just a sad reflection of the daily failure to prevent. DR C. FROMAN Herzliya Pituah Seeing eye-to-eye Sir, - Your excellent editorial "Clueless on Gaza" (December 12) regarding the demands that our government do whatever it takes to release Gilad Schalit made me feel that, finally, someone sees things the way I do. For over two years, one of our men has been held captive by an enemy who attacks us daily and is making absolutely ludicrous demands in exchange for the soldier's release. I was in Tel Aviv in 2001 when I heard the explosion that killed those youngsters at the Dolphinarium. It makes me shudder to think that we would even consider releasing anyone involved in that ruthless massacre from prison. What happened to the Israel that used to respond swiftly, hard, self-assured as a nation? When I think about one of our boys being held by these murderers, just a short distance from us, our feat at Entebbe, that huge distance away, comes to mind. ERIC LAZERMAN-ROBICHAUD Caesarea Unknown hero Sir, - I read with great interest Herb Keinon's "Livni warns El Salvador of Iranian penetration into Latin America" (November 26) about the thousands of El Salvador "passports" issued during WW2 to European Jews. I agree that this was the most important action organized in the name of any nation for the unique purpose of saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust. I also wholeheartedly support the long-awaited recognition by the State of Israel granted to the memory of Col. Jose Arturo Castellanos, one of the main actors in this great action. But anyone who reads "Unsung savior: A Salvadoran diplomat in Nazi Europe lent his nation's protection to Hungarian Jews" (July 20) by David Montgomery, or Ernie Meyer's "The Unknown Hero" (October 15, 1993), or any of the many irrefutable historical books dealing with the subject will understand that mentioning Col. Castellanos without mentioning my father, George Mandel-Mantello - who invented, executed and financed the issuing of these 10,000 certificates - is unacceptable. This is not to deny the essential part Col. Castellanos played in authorizing Mandel-Mantello to carry out this life-saving action. I am confident the day will come when Jewish life-savers during the Holocaust will no longer be discriminated against by Yad Vashem. In any event, in addition to historians such as Jeno Levai , David Kranzler and others, I am the live and authentic source for this entire story, as I was there when it all happened. ENRICO MANDEL-MANTELLO Geneva