July 13: The buck(et) stops here

The Jerusalem Post's editorial rightly noted that "Each year, the Finance Ministry gambles on rain and cuts back on long-term water supply solutions."

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
The buck(et) stops here Sir, - "Drip, drip...drought" (Editorial, July 6) rightly noted that "Each year, the Finance Ministry gambles on rain and cuts back on long-term water supply solutions." On an issue so vitally important and far-reaching, when members of the public turn on a tap and nothing comes out, they will want to know who shares responsibility. So here, in chronological order, from 1999, are our finance ministers: Avraham Shohat, Silvan Shalom, Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Olmert, Avraham Hirschson and Ronnie Bar-On. GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit Dampened hopes Sir, - When the current cabinet could spend more time last Sunday on what sort of enquiry would be best for Vice Premier Haim Ramon's ego than on the proposed prisoner exchange with Hizbullah, no wonder Israel is facing the worst water crisis in 80 years. Water doesn't get a look in! ("Compromise reached: Comptroller to probe Ramon wiretapping affair," July 7.) PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Desalinated tears? Sir, - According to the terms of the 1994 Peace Treaty with Jordan, Israel agreed to transfer 50 million cubic metres of water annually from Israel's north, and from the Arava groundwaters. Now that Israel's water shortage has reached devastating levels, agriculturally and soon socially, the time has come to honor the age-old Jewish saying that one must look after the poor of one's own town before those of another. Meanwhile the powers that be, who are giving away the Kinneret's precious water to our neighbor for free, had better start conserving their tears over the lake's drastically dropping water level. VELVEL WEISZ Jerusalem What school is, and what it isn't Sir, - Why any one would suggest more school days is a mystery to me. Here we have a system where the older kids miss six weeks due to a strike and still get out on time, making up only a few of the hours anyway. The kids say it is because they are "only studying for the bagrut," and not really learning anything, so why have classes? School is not a glorified babysitting service, and, frankly, it is nice to have some quality time with the kids - that is not during a religious holiday - over the summer, when I can also take some time off. Sure, I wish there was more music and drama and sports that did not take the kids away from their "serious" studies so they could have fun at school. School is not just about the three R's, and religious studies, it is about learning to get along with one's peers and respect one's elders; it's about time management and personal growth. Students need to feel good about themselves and this country before they go off into the army or national service. Let's work with the teachers so that our kids actually learn what is important in life, and not just how to pass a test that will allow them entrance to college ("Education in the sewer? Tamir, Tirosh talk trash at Knesset hearing," July 9.) DEBBY DUITCH Jerusalem This stone-thrower merits our praise Sir, - Re "Supernatural stone" (Letters, July 10): I too was amazed by the skill of the haredi stone-thrower. We must give credit to this courageous, unarmed passerby, who took the initiative to try to stop the terrorist with whatever weapon was at hand, at risk to his own life! How could he have known that the terrorist was unconscious? It is incredible that he - presumably standing on the street below the level of what has been unanimously described as a massive bulldozer - was able to throw a rock with such accuracy and at the correct trajectory as to hit the terrorist, slumped over above him. As it transpired, the blow roused the unconscious and pulseless man, enabling him to continue on his rampage; but that was clearly not the intention of the stone-thrower. It behooves us to give him credit for his efforts to stop the terrorism. GERTI KORNFELD Jerusalem Rewarding these terrorists is insane Sir, - I am stunned. It is totally beyond comprehension that Israel should even consider, let alone carry out, a release of hundreds of murderous villains in return for dead Israeli captives ("Homecoming for a child-killer," July 10). These released prisoners will assuredly and immediately again take up the business of murdering Israelis and others. Has no one in Israel heard the axiom "What you reward, you get more of; what you punish, diminishes"? I have always admired Israel for its steadfastness against the purveyors of death, the enemies of all mankind. But how can Israel expect our continued support if it, suicidally, goes ahead and ensures more violence against itself by rewarding previous violence? ARTHUR HIPPLER Wasilla, Alaska League of Jewish Women turns 65 Sir, - On July 29, the League of Jewish Women will be celebrating its 65th anniversary in Britain. There are many ex-League members living in Israel, and it would be wonderful if we could hold a small celebration here with some of the many women we have met over the years at international League seminars, especially those held in Israel. Any former League member interested in the idea is invited to phone or fax (02) 6525-763. RITA NEWMAN Jerusalem