January 11: Planners all wet

Water, water, everywhere – and so much going to waste.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Planners all wet
Sir, – Water, water, everywhere – and so much going to waste (“Storm brings much of country to standstill,” January 9).
Many years ago, experts determined that if we were to channel the runoff from streets and hills into reservoirs and purify it, money would be saved on building desalination plants. The water would probably taste better, too. However, it seems that one government after another cannot bring itself to plan for the future.
Sir, – In 2009 the government announced it would complete two more desalinization plants by 2012, solving Israel’s perennial water crisis. Israelis were charged punitive rates to pay for this plan.
It is now 2013 and it’s been pouring rain for days, with the Kinneret rapidly filling up. The question is, was the government hasty in its exorbitant collections and outlays? Hasn’t it noticed that a few dry years do not have to mean we will run out of water? Perhaps our leaders simply should have waited until the inevitable rains, for which Israelis pray daily.
No renegade
Sir, – From what I have read of Rabbi Haim Amsalem, I have the impression that he is more tolerant and more in touch with reality than many of his so-called religious brethren. I was therefore rather puzzled to see the rabbi described as a “renegade” (“Deri’s mom, God’s messenger and Likud’s ’96 slogan,” January 9).
Not knowing what renegade means, I turned to the Concise Oxford Dictionary and found it defined as (a) an apostate, especially from Christianity to Islam, (b) a deserter of party or principles, (c) a turncoat. Amsalem is none of the above. May I suggest that the word not be used to describe him.
Not from afar
Sir, – With regard to “US rabbinical students deliver more than 700 letters against E1 to Netanyahu’s office” (January 9), I have a suggestion.
In less than two weeks there will be elections, time enough for the rabbinical students to make aliya, vote with their feet, and then claim the moral authority to publicly urge on Israel decisions that – only then – will impact them.
Until that time they should have the decency to restrain themselves.
Sir, – The 700 letters sent by American rabbinical students and cantors expressing their concern over the deteriorating relationship between Israel and the US would be more meaningful and relevant if the advice-givers planned to bear the consequences by living in Israel and experiencing a shower of bombs.
L. BLASSJerusalem
Abstain for reform
Sir, – With elections looming, everyone is telling me it’s my duty to exercise my democratic right to vote. I don’t agree.
I see it as my duty not to vote for a list of people of whom I have never heard, except for one or two of its leaders, and which will inevitably change, merge, compromise, do shady deals and scramble to be in a coalition, whether in the government or opposition.
Either way, its members will receive all the perks that come with being an member of Knesset.
Until I have the choice of electing an individual who is committed to represent my interests and those of my local community, as in other Western democracies, I consider it my duty and democratic right to abstain.
People may scoff and accuse me of wasting my vote and thereby empowering the aspiring big shots, but I say that if everyone abstains in disgust at the present system, perhaps electoral reform and true parliamentary representation might finally be achieved.