January 5: My plan to stop Kassams now

Instead of tying up traffic in Jerusalem, have Bush and his entourage stay in Sderot.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
My plan to stop the Kassams now Sir, - While President Bush is here this week, I think he can finally take care of Sderot's Kassam problem. First, instead of tying up traffic in Jerusalem, have Bush and his entourage stay in Sderot. There isn't too much traffic to tie up there. No place to stay? Speak to Arkadi Gaydamak. Tell him he has two days to put up a 5-star, reinforced holiday village complex. Maybe give him three. Don't worry, he'll do it. The president moves in, with world attention focused on Sderot. For sure at least one Kassam will manage to fly in its direction. The president ("We will fight terror wherever it may be") won't run and leave the residents of Sderot. One call to Washington - "Send in the marines and call in the Sixth Fleet" - and you'll see, by the next day there are no more Kassams, Sderot now has a deluxe holiday village, which puts it on the tourist map, and Gaydamak has contracts coming in from all over. We only have a few days left to get everything in place. Anyone got a better idea? ("Over 10,000 officers to secure president's visit," January 3) SETH CLYMAN Jerusalem A lesson in self-interest Sir,- Here's a big coincidence: Not 24 hours after all the Gazan pilgrims are allowed to cross from Egypt into Gaza, a Katyusha rocket slams into us, landing north of Ashkelon. "Israel blasts Egypt for opening Rafah to pilgrims" (January 3) reported that Egypt is more worried about its relationship with Hamas than its relationship with Israel or the US. Obviously. You can count on any Arab state to look after its own interests. You cannot count on them to look after our interests. They aren't supposed to, and never will. That's our government's job... THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva Pay raises anger Sir, - No Knesset member has had the sensitivity, conscience, good sense - or common decency - to refuse his or her current pay raise. What a sad and shameful comment on the society that spawns and keeps in office such government officials ("MKs decry pay raise - but take it anyway," January 1). CHAYYM ZELDIS Ra'anana Breath of fresh air Sir, - One of the few intelligent choices of our prime minister was the decision to appoint Daniel Friedmann justice minister. He is a breath of fresh air in government circles. Up to now we have had a self-perpetuating Supreme Court, and Friedmann wants to make changes which would create a more balanced selection committee ("Friedmann proposes bills to limit Supreme Court's power," January 3). Naturally, the "Barak Court" does not want any dilution of its powers; and, naturally, left-wing politicians do not want any changes. Naturally, the bar association leaders fear that their dreams of a judgeship will be damaged if they support intelligent discussion of the projected changes. And the media? Except for Ruthie Blum's interview with US Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner ("Bench marks," UpFront, December 28, 2007), the topic has not received balanced coverage. Judge Posner stressed the importance of an independent judiciary. He was surprised at the Israeli system that is "clearly inconsistent with the separation of powers, because the fact that judges are appointed by non-judges is a very important limitation on judicial authority." ARNOLD SULLUM Jerusalem Valley of Elah Sir, - I read with great interest "Slipping in Palestine" (January 2), your article about In the Valley of Elah. Although I have not seen the movie, the title piqued my interest too, as I have visited the area. Also my daughter is named Elah. Clearly, great thought went into selecting the title of this film. Certainly, writer/director Paul Haggis knew that the origin of the title would draw the interest of film-goers, critics and journalists. For him to shrug off the historical error about the reference to Palestine is incredible. I simply cannot fathom that some fact-checker, studio executive, editor or even perhaps Ms. Sarandon herself did not have the moxie to confront Mr. Haggis about this so-called oversight. Let's not allow facts or politics to interfere with the artistic process? To make this right, Mr. Haggis should fix the mistake on the DVD release, rightfully substituting "Israel" for "Palestine." If he did that, maybe I'd let my daughter see his film. LAWRENCE SHULRUFF Chicago Israelis are impressive Sir, - I have just returned home from a political students' educational tour of Israel, and cannot help reflecting on what a remarkable and unique country you have built. Everywhere I went - from the Dead Sea, to Jerusalem and the North, to Tel Aviv - there was a tangible sense among Israelis of national purpose and camaraderie, a true commitment to one another as citizens that is all too often neglected or forgotten in North America. The people of Israel, it seems, do not take their democratic freedoms and human rights for granted, and instead they seem to be appreciated and celebrated in daily life. That makes Israel a very special place in the world, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have spent time experiencing it. BRAEDEN CALEY Vancouver 'Post' at 75 Sir, - Your anniversary edition to mark 75 years of The Jerusalem Post was a gem. The history of the paper is fascinating, and knowing more about the writers adds to this reader's enjoyment. The immense effort that goes into producing my daily fix - it's quite amazing. I was especially pleased to read, once more, contributions by the late Alex Berlyne and Sam Orbaum. Again, thanks for this special edition - it was very special. ANNA SOTTO Kibbutz Yifat