July 15: Assad: Seize the Day!

M. Sarkozy has done everything possible for Mr. Assad. It is now in Assad's hands to show his desire for peace with Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Assad: Seize the day! Sir, - It is very interesting to note that the president of Syria would like to have direct peace talks with Israel one day. However, he should, with the help of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, try to have those direct talks without delay. He should not put any condition on them, but come forward now and seize this great opportunity for peace with Israel. M. Sarkozy has done everything possible for Mr. Assad. It is now in Assad's hands to show his desire for peace with Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East ("PM relays to Assad: Don't wait until after US election to start direct talks," July 14). KATHIRGAMAN PALAN Paris Attack isn't always the best defense Sir, - Ehud Olmert's lawyers are doing their client no favors by attacking the police and prosecution ("Probe is attempt to topple premier, associates say," July 13). Instead of discrediting the messengers, better they should use their valuable time in trying to formulate an answer to the allegations. RAYMOND CANNON Netanya A lack... Sir, - Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz demonstrated flawed logic when he said: "We in Kadima are electing a new prime minister for the country just like Labor chose a new defense minister for the country in their primary last year" ("Livni steers clear of Olmert in Paris," July 14). No matter who is elected in the primaries - assuming they do, in fact, take place - the present prime minister cannot be forced to resign; and unless he does so voluntarily, which does not appear likely, the newly elected "leader" will remain a shadow figure. ISRAEL BAR-NIR Flower Mound, Texas ...of logic Sir, - There is something illogical and disturbing about the attorney-general's decision regarding the latest allegations against Ehud Olmert ("Mazuz: I won't order Olmert to suspend himself," July 14). When there were allegations against Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger involving monetary improprieties, Mazuz didn't indict him because he felt the evidence wouldn't produce a conviction in court. Instead he publicly announced, very emphatically, that the chief rabbi should resign. MORDECHAI SPIEGELMAN Jerusalem Double trouble Sir, - Yaakov Lappin reports that Ehud Olmert told police investigators his secretary Shula Zaken "was responsible for the travel arrangements" and admitted "she had booked the flight in question through Rishon Tours" ("Former Rishon Tours employee: 'Arrangements' with Olmert go back many years," July 14). Yesterday Mr. Lappin reported that Rachel Risby-Raz was Mr. Olmert's "travel coordinator." Two people doing this same job seems to be another case of "double-billling" or double salaries, ignored in the report. Also, we are told, Mr. Olmert employed a travel agency from Rishon Lezion. As mayor of Jerusalem, he should have used an agency in that city and thus kept more jobs and business there. He cannot complain of businesses and people leaving Jerusalem if he, as mayor, did not use locals himself. This is also reported, and its ramifications not dealt with, in the same issue ("Yad Vashem voices surprise over 'Olmertours' fraud allegations"). A.I. GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit Sir, - The wheels of justice move slowly, but inevitably there will be a public trial and the people of Israel will know exactly what is truth and what is conjecture about Mr Olmert. TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem Iranian popular opinion Sir, - I just went to the Tehran Times daily looking for a perspective on the Iran-Israel issue from an Iranian's point of view. What I saw surprised me. I saw nothing. It seems the people of Iran are not allowed to express their opinions in this widely read news medium. Why this is so is beyond me. One would think that a respectable, honest and God-fearing country such as Iran's politicians claim Iran to be would allow its citizens the right to freedom of speech and even dissent. Instead I found only politicized comments written in a manner which enhanced the government's point of view. In view of this, I would like to applaud the way in which The Jerusalem Post allows citizens from all over the world, regardless of their religion, nationality or point of view, to express their opinion. Perhaps the Tehran Times might learn a lesson here as to exactly which regime is oppressive, and which is not ("Ahmadinejad: We'll 'cut off the hands' of attackers," July 14). DONULVI DOLAM Sydney Sir, - As a proud Swiss American conservative who loves Israel, I would like to thank you very much for your excellent newspaper. May God bless Israel and all of you. TIRDAD GHARIB Montreux, Switzerland/ Tennessee Staying on track Sir, - Re "Jerusalem-Tel Aviv express train faces budget derailment" (July 13): In the event of this happening, Israel Railways might consider reintroducing the full train service from Jerusalem Malcha to Tel Aviv. Improving the present service would help recoup the enormous expense of building a railway station that is now sadly neglected. Maybe two trains an hour could be possible, with every other train providing a through service, without changing trains, at Bet Shemesh? A passing loop already exists. If necessary, an extra loop could be laid, without enormous effort or expense, to facilitate the use of the single track. In the meantime, perhaps the through service could be restored while the Transportation, Finance and Prime ministers argue and delay their decisions once more, at the expense of the traveling public. CHAIM COLLINS Jerusalem Planning - what's that? Sir, - The Finance Ministry's claims that there are no funds for desalination remind one of the heavy taxes levied on motorists, which somehow disappear in the government budgets while Israel's roads continue to remain our "killing fields." These "super-taxes" should go to infrastructure - a most lucrative investment with staggering returns, as experts have proved. Similarly, we citizens are heavily taxed when we pay for water. The cost to the public is about 100% above the price local authorities pay Mekorot. Again, these "super-taxes" disappear in the budgets of local authorities instead of being invested in water infrastructure - for example, desalination. There is plenty of money paid for water, but, sadly, it is not used to offset the crisis, which this time is for real. Every MK should, before taking office, be sent to take a serious course on long-term planning - a vital concept without which firms in the private sector cannot survive, but which is totally neglected in the running of our golden medine ("Making a sea-change," Ehud Zion Waldoks, July 11). DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono