January 18: It's only our health

Since when does the desire of a few politicians outweigh the health benefits of a country's citizens?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It's only our health Sir, - Because they are heavy smokers, Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri and NRP MK Zvi Hendel want to relax the anti-smoking laws regardless of the effect cigarette smoke has on others and that it is against Jewish law to deliberately expose one's body to damage. My wife has asthma, and since the law was established and enforced we have been able to eat out and ride in a bus without her going into a coughing fit. If the law is changed - at a time when other countries are passing new anti-smoking laws - we will have to stop eating in restaurants and visiting other places where smoking would be allowed. Since when does the desire of a few politicians outweigh the health benefits of a country's citizens? ("Health minister mulls relaxing no-smoking law for restaurants," January 16.) HARVEY MATTHEW Har Homa Sir, - For the first time since relocating to Israel, I can smell the coffee in a coffee-shop. If our smoking MK wants, he should open a "smokers only" restaurant. LOU SCOP Netanya Hoping for better Sir, - I am so grateful to The Jerusalem Post's editors and staff for the empathy they have displayed regarding the Eritrean asylum-seekers situation. Thus today is better than yesterday; and, hopefully, tomorrow will better than today. As history teaches us, none on the face of our planet have suffered worse than the people of Israel. You feel and understand the meaning of being a refugee, which takes moral, psychological and spiritual courage. It has been over 50 days since my arrival in Israel; so far, so good is my first impression ("College students visit Israel to aid African refugees. Hillel group 'overwhelmed' by 'awful living conditions' in Tel Aviv shelter," January 2). TEKLEAB TEKIE Tel Aviv Yours, fondly Sir, - A kind lady at a bookstore in Rehovot let me have the last available copy of The Jerusalem Post. This courtesy to a stranger and a foreigner touched me greatly. I carry fond memories of my visit to Israel last November as a member of a Study Group on hi-tech agriculture. Most of the people we came into contact with were warm and friendly. No wonder Israel has been ranked highest in the Middle East on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index. Israel's success in agriculture is a miracle. The Israelis have shown how dry and barren tracts of land can be converted into vast patches of forests and orchards - rainfall or no rainfall. They have also shown that resource constraint, whether human or of nature, is no constraint; that if there is no arable land and not enough water, sweet peppers and tomatoes can be grown in long plastic trays in greenhouses using a few litres of water for a plant. The success and commitment of some kibbutzim were inspiring. I also learned through your esteemed paper that the Knesset is not a dumb body with a unified viewpoint. Heated debates take place even on sensitive issues. Israel is a bastion of democracy in the Middle East. ARUN KUMAR SHARMA Guwahati, India