December 26: Water, 2009

Water wastage has gone on for many decades of negligent government, with promises to do better in future.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Water, 2009 Sir, - Misuse and waste of water is not confined to agriculture ("Parched Israel," Editorial, December 22). Here are some of the chief sins: Destroying trees (making future rainfall less likely); water wasted in extensive building projects; the prevailing bad habit of covering huge areas with concrete so no water percolates through to the subsoil; no underground reservoirs in the Tel Aviv area (rainfall runs out to sea); machines that use a huge volume of water (washing machines and dishwashers), and the silly practice of washing up in running water - why not provide everyone with free basin plugs? Water wastage has gone on for many decades of negligent government, with promises to do better in future. In the meantime, the population is constantly increasing. If this winter does not provide lots of water, 2009 will be a problem year with no solution. PAUL HARRIS Tel Aviv Who's fueling who? Sir, - There did not seem to be any shortage of fuel to power the 80 rockets fired Wednesday from Gaza ("Barak to let humanitarian aid through Gaza crossings," December 24). ALFRED INSELBERG Ra'anana Aber-rent Sir, - So Belgium refuses to pay the rent for its Jerusalem consulate? ("Belgium faces lawsuit over unpaid rent on Jerusalem property," December 23.) Turn off the electricity, telephones and garbage collection, and dig a 10-meter trench around the building for infrastructure improvements, including a loop around for the light railway. The Belgians perpetrated a genocide in the Congo basin that left the region a disaster area so extensive that today it arguably still suffers more than any place on earth. This so-called nation, a miscarriage of European dynastic politics, has produced only two figures of international fame: Hercule Poirot and Tintin. Unfortunately, both are fictional. Its great addition to gastronomy is fried potatoes with mayonnaise. The Belgians were enthusiastic Nazi collaborators, from their Ruritanian kinglet to, many hold, the above-mentioned Tintin. And let's not forget their SS divisions. Now, they have the hutzpa to be one of the most virulent anti-Israel states outside the Muslim world. Flemings and Walloons: two states for two peoples! JOSEF GILBOA Jaffa Drive-by TV Sir, - With all the carnage on our roads, could someone tell me why there are huge screens sprouting up at road junctions? They distract drivers with their advertisements - one of my children nearly got knocked over by a motorist busy watching what amounted to a massive TV in the middle of the road ("Macho-mad," Letters, December 24). DAVID MELNICK Netanya Thank you Sir, - I am an 85-year-old new oleh from Canada who has been admitted to the hospital many times since arriving here in 2001. I am full of admiration for the staff in the emergency and surgical departments. I lived in Montreal for 35 years and believed that Canada, a rich country, had the best health care in the world. Only now can I compare - and what a difference! Most important is the humane attitude shown here to patients. I am not a writer or a poet, but I wanted to say to all of you, in my own words: Thank you very much. PETER WALICKI Tel Aviv