February 21: Crossing swords

I have written to Sir Adrian Johns, governor of Gibraltar, setting out my views on interference by UK gov't in Gibraltar’s affairs.

Crossing swords
Sir, – Regarding “Philatelic magazine: British nixed image of J’lem, leading to cancellation of Israel-Gibraltar stamp” (February 20), let me point out that Gibraltar is not an island, as stated in the article.
More importantly, I have written to Sir Adrian Johns, governor of Gibraltar, setting out my views on the scandalous interference by the British government in Gibraltar’s affairs, and its policies on “occupied territory” generally and Jerusalem specifically.
I have crossed swords with these authorities in the past. If they do answer, I can predict it will be the same repetitive arguments best advanced by a drunken parrot!
LEVI J. ATTIAS Gibraltar
Enlightening us
Sir, – It would be interesting to know the source from which your reader gets his facts in making the accusation that compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) involve a hoax (“Dangerous hype,” Letters, February 20).
The quantity of light emitted by a light source is measured in lumens, but the pertinent factor here is lumens per watt, not lumens and not watts. CFLs require only one-fifth to one-third the power of an incandescent lamp to provide the same quantity of light.
Talk of a “hoax” derives from the practice of most manufacturers to exaggerate the virtues of their product. When replacing a light bulb, one should take care to put in a bulb that gives the needed quantity of light, irrespective of the manufacturer’s claims on the box.
Sir, – With all the environmental issues of battery disposal, what about low energy CFL light bulbs? Nowhere are the dangers of inhaling mercury when a bulb breaks, or the required safety cleanup method to protect consumer health, published or even printed as warnings on the packaging.
And what about disposal? Nowhere in Israel is there any preparation to dispose of mercury- based bulbs; instead, consumers simply throw them into the trash. Then, when the mercury from hundreds of thousands of these bulbs seeps into our aquifers, we will all be poisoned.
Why has this issue been completely ignored by environmental agencies and the media? Even environmentalist groups are ignoring a potentially catastrophic situation to push this dangerous technology. What is going on?
What makes a Jew
Sir, – In “Shake-up needed” (Letters, February 20), a reader, alluding to matters of conversion, writes: “Our harsh, intransigent and compassion-free Chief Rabbinate turns a blind eye and deaf ear to all views other than its own, which is so detrimental to our society, especially when Israel so desperately needs Jews – whatever their makeup.”
The “makeup” of a Jew is in fact very important and central to whether or not this land is the Jewish one to which we prayed to return for 3,000 years.
It might be that the rabbinate can ease the conversion process in some cases, but not when it is made aware that the reason for conversion is one of convenience, with no intent to live the life that makes us who and what we are, the people chosen by God to receive the commandments we accepted in one voice.
Just as we have no justification to give up our land, we have no justification to give up the laws we accepted.
Lamentable regression
Sir, – Under the guise of advocating for recovery, Daniel Friedmann (“On the road to recovery from Israel’s legal revolution,” Comment & Features, February 20) promotes a lamentable regression.
Israel’s courts, led by the Supreme Court, have provided an essential service in ensuring that government is held accountable. The authority of the courts is a necessary check on the exercise of power by the other branches of government.
Friedmann appears to take exception with the very ideas that public servants constantly seek legal advice or that citizens have free access to the courts.
These are badges of honor, not defects.
In the words of John Adams, second president of the United States, we must seek to establish “a government of laws and not of men.” If this be an illness, may Israel never recover.
The writer is vice chairman of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel Racist outpourings
Sir, – Jeff Barak (“Talkbacks and racism,” Reality Check, February 20) needs to be reminded that we are still at war with the Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and with Arab Israelis, most of whom see themselves as Palestinians or at minimum sympathize with them.
If Yara Mashour were to put as much energy into reassuring Israeli Jews that her and her people’s loyalty to Israel was beyond question as she does into lodging her complaints, it would create a climate for more inclusiveness and less discrimination.
MALCOLM DASH Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – As long as Arab atrocities occur, such as that perpetrated against the Fogel family in Itamar, there will always be a need to search and investigate Arabs at all sensitive areas, such as airports.
This is plain common sense and has nothing whatsoever to do with the treatment of Arabs as so-called second-class citizens, which is what Jeff Barak is trying to purport.
When acts of terror come to an end, so will these extra precautions.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – I was absolutely shocked reading the talkbacks on your website pertaining to the bus accident that claimed the lives of so many children. Sadly, I am not shocked by the stupidity and cruelty of your readers, but by the fact that you let their comments appear. This article did not call for talkbacks.
The fact that you did not block these horrible comments is, to me, absolutely outrageous – for a very simple reason called humanity.
It went against your own policy: “Our aim is to provide the worldwide readership of The Jerusalem Post with a platform for lively but good-tempered debate. We do not tolerate abusive language, and such talkbacks will be rejected.”
This was not journalism. This was a disgrace.
Name withheld

Ah, enclaves
Sir, – I have recently considered a proposal similar to that of Gideon Biger (“Resolving Israel’s territorial dispute with the PA,” Comment & Features, February 20): Palestine can be created as a land-locked enclave completely within territorial Israel, similar to present-day Lesotho.
Admittedly, this proposal favors Israel’s positions in that it would retain control of the Jordan Valley and Jerusalem. But the Palestinians could have an international airport, like Lesotho does. And just as Biger suggests a crossing for Palestinians through the Negev, they could cross through the Jordan Valley to reach Jordan.
In a way, this situation already exists.
This plan could lead to at least an interim agreement allowing the Palestinians to declare independence.
ADAM SLOTNICK Boca Raton, Florida
Sir, – To suggest that our dispute with our neighbors can be solved in the manner used in post-war Europe, as proposed in “Resolving Israel’s territorial dispute with the PA,” seems naïve, to say the least.
The main difference is that those we have to negotiate with are, in the main, our sworn enemies.
Until that problem is solved there is clearly no hope for a peaceful solution.
M. VEEDER Netanya