December 20: Building plans

Whom do the Berliners, Londoners, Muscovites, Parisians, Washingtonians and other “friends” ask for permission to build in their cities? What sovereign Arab land did we ever occupy?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Building plans
Sir, – Bravo Bibi! That’s what I want to say with reference to “Interior Ministry to advance approvals for 6,500 east Jerusalem apartments” (December 18). We should build 6,500 or as many apartments as we need in our 3,000-year-old capital or wherever in our heartland.
Whom do the Berliners, Londoners, Muscovites, Parisians, Washingtonians and other “friends” ask for permission to build in their cities? What sovereign Arab land did we ever occupy? Are we still fooled by a UN resolution of 65 years ago, which was turned down by the Arab League, never reached the Security Council for ratification and never became international law? Our document of Holy Writ is our evidence of inherited land ownership. God is with us and we have nobody to fear except ourselves. I hope we will not cave in and abandon the nations’ respect that is due us.
Sir, – Who governs Israel, the White House or the Knesset? Why should Israel yield to unjust American pressure to delay attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities? Why did Israel need special permission from the United States for Operation Pillar of Defense to quell rocket attacks from Gaza? Now America, backed by Israel’s leftist and centrist parties, is vociferously condemning Israel’s projected construction of new housing units in its own national territory, supposedly beyond the “Green line.” The US, especially under the Obama administration, clearly has been treating Israel like a castrated satellite. Where are the stouthearted Zionists who built up the Jewish nation and made it great? ROY RUNDS Tel Aviv Egg on our face Sir, – There will be four more years of starving chickens kept in the dark endlessly, according to “Environment, Agriculture ministries at odds over proposal on forced molting of chickens,” December 18).
I had no idea this was going on. How cruel! What does this say about our society? I can’t believe our creative, problem-solving society can’t come up with a more humane way to produce eggs.MARTHA FISCHER Tel Aviv
Who cares?
Sir, – It is more than ironic that the very government that touted the advantages and value of the Open Skies Agreement is now postponing its implementation to some unknown future date, if at all (“Up in the air,” Editorial, December 18).
The so-called concern for not making such “important decisions” before elections is more than benign – it is contemptible.
The decision was made long ago, and now is the time for implementation.
So what is the problem? The answer is obvious: It’s all politics and power-plays favoring monopolies like El Al, and nothing to do with good governance.
Did our prime minister consider that he might actually gain respect and votes for the great advantage this agreement gives to the Israeli traveler? Whether he did or not, the government’s priorities are clear: private monopolistic interests over real help to the Israeli consumer.
To paraphrase the final sentence of the editorial, either way, the decision to delay the Open Skies Agreement ultimately has one primary victim: the Israeli traveler – but who cares?
GERSHON HARRIS Hatzor Haglilit
No rational merit
Sir, – I must take exception to the reader who wrote about three individuals who, years apart, became murderers (“Newtown massacre,” Letters, December 18).
His contention is that because they were allegedly taught to shoot as youngsters, “it should be against the law to take a child target shooting or hunting.” He concludes by writing: “This sufficiently explains why Israel has not had such atrocities – there never was a Jewish hunting society.”
Referring to his last contention, the writer does not know that early Israel was defended on its frontiers by courageous people who made the desert green.
Even children under 10 stood guard duty with rifles and Sten guns (and had to use them).
They were, in fact, hunting. They were defending themselves against the most dangerous game – mad animals who happened to be men.
Concerning the concept of childhood training with weapons, the National Rifle Association in the US has a proud history of training youngsters in the safe use of firearms for probably over a century. Millions of kids. Safety, safety, safety, and concern for others has been the first rule. It was they who were trained early who were able to use weapons effectively when they had to defend their country in WW I, WW II and Korea. Learning late is no substitute. And, yes, some were hunters.
I was a hunter. I’ve rarely met people who were so well grounded in manners, morals and common sense. The ones I knew fulfilled a primal need, to challenge their skills and feed their families.
The deep satisfaction of participating in the ancient tradition satisfied them at the the core of their being. Yes, there are other kinds, as well. I know.
There were no slaughters in past times (before 1962, when prayer was removed from the schools) because it was a different world. God was still in the classroom. Moral relativism didn’t rule. The rules of right and wrong, also learned from firearms training, prevailed from earliest memory.
Incidentally, Newton, Connecticut, where the recent massacre occurred, was the site of one of the most progressive, beautiful and professionally administered psychiatric hospitals anywhere. It was closed down administratively, maybe 10 years ago. The patients were essentially left on the street.
The government was warned of the consequences of allowing the mentally unstable unfettered freedom. It’s all been documented.
The warnings were ignored.
Clinging to such simplification as categorical condemnation for a condition that society, not guns, created has no rational merit.
Go all the way?
Sir, – Regarding “Fayyad calls to boycott all Israeli goods” (December 17), does this include Israeli electricity, gas, medical supplies and hospitals?
There is a link
Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef (“Is Israeli diplomacy an election propaganda tool?,” Think About It, December 17) criticizes former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman for accusing the Europeans of abandoning the Jews, as they did 70 years ago. She says that “mentioning the Holocaust in this particular context is especially dissonant.”
Rolef ignores Liberman’s point that the similarity to the European response before the Holocaust lies in making light of Hamas’s threats just as the world made light of Hitler’s threats. This similarity is totally valid, as then-president Chaim Herzog pointed out years ago (“Two Herzogs’ views differ on the relevance of the Holocaust,” Comment & Features, December 17).
Airport hospitality
Sir, – You say you want tourists, especially after the recent war (“Visit Israel!,” Editorial, December 16)? I recently visited Israel. Tell the following to your passport control and other security persons at the airport (going in as well as going out).
Never a smile, always a long face, always rude, a real “pleasure.”
These people should be told that they are there to provide a service, not a favor.
There are places around the world with better weather, nicer locations, cheaper prices and kinder people. Jews come to Israel and show support, but with every contact I had at the airport, it made me wonder whether to ever come back.