December 2: Kudos to Katz

Readers have been left to assume that building a house in Gilo is a war crime; Israel's roads are a free-for-all for speeders.

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Telling leaks
Sir, – David Horovitz describes Obama’s mendacity in his dealings with Israel, his claim that fixing the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was a necessary precursor to tackling the Iran problem, when he knew very well that this was not so (“Exposed by WikiLeaks,” Editor’s notes, December 1).
Horovitz ends by asking, “What’s the president going to tell Israel now?” Since Obama cannot be believed, what’s more important is what Netanyahu tells the president now.
Is he serious?
Sir, – “If the majority were to vote against an agreement, we would no longer have any moral right or justification to argue that we are a peace-loving society,” writes David Newman (“Yes to a referendum,” November 30).
Which agreement? Any paper that says “Peace” at the top of it, I guess. Newman nowhere takes into consideration that there could be a proposed agreement too shaky, too one-sided, too ambiguous, too unenforceable, or too riddled with loopholes to be willingly signed by anyone with peace in his heart.
The question is not yet on the table, but Newman believes he knows the only defensible answer. Who can take such a writer seriously?

Sir, – How refreshing that David Newman supports the democratic principle of a referendum! It would give a moral justification to a peace deal, and “the opposition would be significantly weakened, both numerically and morally.”
However, if the people, in their wisdom, decided the peace deal was a bad one, then “we would no longer have any moral right or justification to argue that we are a peace-loving society.”
Apparently, democracy is good only if the outcome is to one’s liking.
Give both sides
Sir, – In the November 30 edition there is a report about the Jerusalem Local Planning Committee’s decision to permit 130 housing units to be built in Gilo (“Capital gives green light to Gilo housing project”). The piece concludes with a long statement by Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, on the annexation by Israel of east Jerusalem. He maintains that all Jewish neighborhoods built there after 1967 are “illegal,” and that building in Gilo “constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998).”
The Jerusalem Post is widely considered, both in Israel and internationally, as an authoritative source of information. Your report on Gilo gives the PLO position but no information as to Israel’s legal position. Readers are left to assume that the building of Israeli domestic housing is a war crime.
Kudos to Katz
Sir, – The young, female and Ethiopian Fanny Yitzhak was an ideal scapegoat for teaching a lesson to draft dodgers (“IDF grants religiously observant woman exemption after snafu,” November 30).
Why did the army not choose an Ashkenazi yeshiva student who isn’t really studying, isn’t really working, and enjoys government subsidies? Of course, we all know the answer: The haredi community would raise hell to protect its own, while the Ethiopian immigrant rates no such protection.
Kudos to National Union Party Chairman Ya’acov Katz, who took up Fanny’s case.
Costly free-for-all
Sir, – It is a sad reality: “Road deaths up this year” (November 30). The number 350 is truly tragic, but I also wonder what the statistics are for the number of accidents with injuries. I can only imagine it is a staggering number! This in spite of the millions of shekels spent on studies and analyses, promises of more cameras and so forth.
Why not some immediate, practical solutions? Here is my list: Increase the number of traffic police and start a “highway patrol” force. It seems like it is always a free-for-all for speeders.
Ensure that all lines on roads are always painted so that they can be seen. (How about investing in a brand of paint that really does the job?) Correct how the crazy street signs are positioned at intersections.
Right now they are completely backwards (if they exist at all) and cannot be seen by drivers, especially at higher speeds, and this causes people to switch lanes unpredictably or to make U-turns at dangerous intersections.
Make sure that any time a lane is ending, there are signs posted and arrows painted to indicate this.
I think that, with the results as they are, several people should be losing their jobs over these pathetic results and the lack of improvement.
Petah Tikva
Rabin’s legacy?
Sir, – The juxtaposition of the article by Martin Sherman (“The death of a frog,” November 30), which includes Yitzhak Rabin’s publicly declared positions on several critical national security and political issues, and Yuval Rabin’s proposal (“The Israeli Peace Initiative, a pragmatic ‘yes’ to the Arab Peace Initiative,” November 30) on the same page provides a rare opportunity for vividly comparing the programs of father and son.
While Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister and defense minister of the State of Israel, he most emphatically stated his opposition to Israel’s return to the 1967 borders, the division of Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Yuval’s Israeli Peace Initiative, however, unhesitatingly favors them all, and in fact seems quite identical to the Arab Initiative.
More troubling than the above is Yuval’s flawed statement that “the IPI reflects the mutual sacrifices needed to end all conflicts.”
I challenge Yuval to present even one sacrifice that the Arab side is to make that is included in his proposal.
Yitzhak was an Israeli statesman of stature who was thoroughly cognizant of Israel’s concerns and needs. Yuval is a selfdescribed “pragmatic businessman” living in the US who does not seem to have the faintest clue as to what he is talking about.
Petah Tikva
Try as they might
Sir, – Writing from Massachusetts, James Adler blames Israel for lack of progress in peace negotiations with the Palestinians and states that Israel never tries, and that this is what the world sees – “no trying, just settlement expansion” (“Peace, not revolutions,” Letters, December 1).
He thus shows that he is blinded by the facts – either willingly or out of ignorance.
He loses sight of the generous offers made by previous Israeli prime ministers which have all been turned down out of hand, also by Mahmoud Abbas, whom he includes with those who “represent the greatest hope for true peace and security.”
Abbas has shown his true colors by not using nine tenths of the duration of the settlement freeze to attempt to negotiate, and by continuing to head Fatah, which has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.

Tel Mond
Star marks the spot
Sir, – Here’s a thought for the paranoid Iranian regime: Could the Stars of David found on Teheran rooftops be marking targets? (“Star of David on Teheran airport rooftop enrages Iranians,” December 1).