February 7: You gotta believe

We in Israel waited and waited to have traffic camera enforcement cameras installed on our roads.

You gotta believe
Sir, – Regarding “New traffic enforcement cameras switched on” (February 5), miracles do still happen! Many years ago we had information and statistics from countries using road cameras. These statistics indicated that the rate of fatal accidents there had decreased significantly.
We in Israel waited and waited to have them installed on our roads. Now I hope we will be able to report similar success.
Thrill of victory...
Sir, – I know absolutely nothing about sports, but when I leafed through the Post to get to the opinion columns on February 5, my eye caught an intriguing title: “A schnitzel and tuna Super Shabbos in downtown Indianapolis,” by Uriel Sturm (Sports).
It’s a beautiful narration of the exuberance, the excitement, the electricity and the passion exhibited by a sports fan who dreams and acts upon his dream – attending the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
The article contains all the elements of a life experience.
Humor: “People on the street trying to buy Super Bowl tickets (best sign, held by a 65- year old woman, ‘will trade sex to be at the game’).” Pathos: Robert Kraft, who owns the Patriots, expresses himself about his deceased wife, Myra – “I’d take 0-16 just to have my sweetheart back for even one more year.” Risk: Kraft to Sturm – “I bought this team 18 years ago now, Chai. Myra thought I was a little meshugga with how much I paid [$172 million in l994], but over time she came to love every player as if they were her own children.”
It was a fascinating piece.
JENNY WEIL Jerusalem
...and agony of defeat
Sir, – Once again, Allon Sinai harshly criticizes Israeli tennis when he should be encouraging Israel’s gallant effort and success in retaining its position in the current Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 (“Fatigued Pe’er, Glushko shut out in Eilat,” Sports, February 5).
The headline should have read: “Israel retains its world ranking in spite of a disappointing performance.” This was achieved by some good tennis, albeit with the help of other countries defaulting.
Nevertheless, it was an achievement, with the best talent that Israel can muster at present.
The international tournament in Eilat was superb and brought considerable pride to Israel.
Tel Mond
More masks, please
Sir, – With all the speculation by various pundits regarding whether Israel intends to strike at Iran (“An Iranian outing,” Analysis, February 3), I have a suggestion: Let’s end the speculation and tell the Iranians the date, time and place we are going to attack.
I would like to be serious, though, and hope that there will be funds for all Israelis to have gas masks. I cannot believe that the Home Front Command does not have the money to purchase them for all residents (“IDF urges reservists to obtain gas masks before distribution ends,” February 1). I have no doubt, however, that all our honorable members of Knesset have been supplied with them.
MEL COHEN Ra’anana Fraud in the Likud
Sir, – We keep hearing that Israel is a country of laws. This distinguishes Israel from other countries. But in the recent Likud elections, there were several instances of fraud (“Feiglin complains: Likud results twisted,” February 3). This is unbecoming the Jewish state’s reputation as a democracy.
Likud officials need to authorize a full investigation and restore the party’s reputation. It cannot remain silent.
The reputation of Israel itself is on display to the world. It cannot to let the actions of a few zealots run roughshod over the true intention of the voters.
Passaic, New Jersey Between the covers Sir, – Unlike what is written in “Libraries of hate” (Letters, February 3), The Finkler Question is simply a spoof and a critique of the cringing, appeasing and self-hating British Jew. Furthermore, it was written, perhaps tongue in cheek, by a well known Jewish writer.
Ulterior motive?
Sir, – Regarding “Got kosher milk?” (Comment & Features, February 3), in the 1960s the London bet din (Jewish religious court) ruled that Heinz baked beans had ceased to be considered kosher. Its justification was that the company also produced baked beans with pork sausage, despite it being made in an entirely separate factory some miles away.
This proscription coincided almost exactly with a Jewish manufacturer starting to produce his own brand of baked beans. Coincidence, you might say. But we thought it to be a perfect example of quid pro quid, since on the Jewish gentleman’s ceasing to produce them, the Heinz product miraculously regained its stamp of approval from the bet din.
Perhaps the Israeli rabbinate is reacting to jingoistic or – dare one speculate? – monetary inducements to popularize Israeli ice cream?
Stop the payments
Sir, – I strongly agree with MK Einat Wilf (“UNRWA is a major obstacle to peace, Wilf tells visiting ambassadors,” February 2).
In fact, UNRWA perpetuates the conflict between Israel and the Arabs by keeping large numbers of Palestinians in camps in ongoing dependency on the international community.
Under international law, a refugee is defined as someone who leaves his country in time of conflict either voluntarily or by force, but it does not include descendants. If this definition were accepted, there would be only a few thousand genuine Palestinian refugees left after 64 years, and not the outrageous exaggeration of millions, as the Arabs claim. With this small number, the whole problem would be much easier to solve.
Even though there is no right of return for refugees, allowing just true refugees to return to Israel would be a humanitarian gesture. But if the Palestinians wait another 10 years, there will be none left.
To resolve the conflict it would be better if in fact UNRWA were disbanded. Given the fact that this is unlikely, the United States (which pays about one-fifth of the cost of UNRWA) and other Western countries should just stop wasting their contributions.
Since money is fungible, funds given to UNRWA allow many Palestinian men to become terrorists at the expense of American and other taxpayers. Stop the payments to UNRWA and hasten a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Arab conflict.
What will he say?
Sir, – Your advertising of The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference bowls me over.
The date is nearly three months away, yet these ads have been appearing daily and on Fridays in all sections for months. It takes up enormous space at the expense of news, for which I have been reading the Post for the past 51 years.
You give the subjects being covered by former Mossad head Meir Dagan, former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz, but no subjects for former prime minister Ehud Olmert and our current ambassador to the US, Michael Oren. We know what to expect from Oren, but I wonder what subject matter Olmert will deal with? We are all aware of his expertise for the few years since he resigned, which we follow in your newspaper!