July 28: Hotheads with guns

A massive recall of all firearms is urgently needed.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Hotheads with guns
Sir, – In reference to “Security guard guns down father-daughter lawyers in Jerusalem office building” (July 24), as long as the ministers of public security and the interior do not replace the live firearms carried by security personnel with armaments that indispose rather than kill (e.g., stun guns), the killings will continue.
There are too many hotheads in this country who pull guns in the heat of the moment. This is similar to the chronic problem of dangerous knives that kill dozens every year and wound hundreds.
(The police have yet to get the legal authority to act against those carrying dangerous knives.) There are very few security assignments that require the possibility of live fire. A massive recall of all firearms is urgently needed.
Readers might recall that several months ago Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch promised this would happen (“State vows to curb private gun ownership,” May 22). But it has not. Here’s another urgent job for him.
Heading for Gaza?
Sir, – In baseless spin, Hamas’s Mousa Abu Marzook suggests that Cairo is signaling an intent to restore its control over the Gaza Strip (“Hamas concerned Egypt trying to reclaim Gaza,” July 24).
The addiction of the Palestinian leadership to play victim knows no borders.
But wait. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if the Egyptian military liberated both Egypt and the Gaza Strip from Muslim extremism and gave these people true democracy? After years of lawlessness, suppressive state terrorism and increasingly bloody dictatorship, the Gazans must be even more ready than the Egyptians.
Works both ways
Sir, – MK Ahmed Tibi had a busy week last week.
On Tuesday he lost his status as deputy speaker of the Knesset until the end of the summer session because he tore up and poured water on a copy of the proposed legislation to regulate Beduin land claims in the Negev (“Ethics panel bars Tibi from deputy speaker slot,” July 24).
On the same day he led a group of Arab MKs in protesting that the mayor of Upper Nazareth was racist for refusing to establish an Arab school there (“Knesset panel discusses building Arab school in Upper Nazareth,” July 24).
Here are some questions for Tibi, just to clarify his definition of racism: How many Jewish schools do you propose to build in the area that might be allocated to the Beduin? What percentage of the population in that area do you foresee will be Jewish?
More on EU
Sir, – Gil Troy’s “The EU ‘fauxcott’ as selective prosecution – and bad history” (Center Field, July 24) hit the political nail dead center.
Europe’s misguided obsession with Israel’s so-called illegal presence over the Green Line – the temporary, improvised armistice line of 1949 – clearly reveals a continuing anti-Jewish bias.
An American friend of mine once wisely counseled, “Don’t be shocked by European hostility to Israel. Europeans are not changing; they are merely returning to normal.”
As Troy has demonstrated, the European Union’s fallacious targeting of Israeli settlements reflects an appalling historical ignorance that is misleading and dangerous.
Sir, – The EU’s policy should come as no surprise.
According to a Jerusalem Post report from November 2003 (“Olmert lets EU label territories exports”), Ehud Olmert, at the time minister of industry and trade, agreed to allow European Union nations to specify on labeling exactly where Israeli products were manufactured.
The agreement was endorsed the following week by thenprime minister Ariel Sharon, who instructed Olmert and then-foreign minister Silvan Shalom to undertake more detailed negotiations.
The foolishness of Olmert led to this disastrous situation and clearly indicates that he must never again be permitted to hold public office. His comments regarding government policies should be treated with the contempt they deserve.
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem
A parent’s lament
Sir, – Our son recently received his notice to report for the first stage of the induction process to the IDF in the coming months. It drove home to me – particularly after my own induction into the US Army during the Vietnam War – the intractability of the situation here.
How much more does Israel have to give in order to be allowed the status of a free nation among the very council of nations that birthed her and then abandoned her? How many more lives and tragedies must be endured between our peoples? Is there not one leader among the Palestinians who will step forward and lead us to an agreement without conditions, delaying tactics, posturing and impossible demands that must be agreed upon before any real negotiations take place? How many more wars and acts of terror will it take to finally end it? It’s a good situation for the rejectionists on both sides, not for the hopes and dreams of us all.
Maccabiah record
Sir, – Congratulations to The Jerusalem Post for the splendid magazine about the 19th Maccabiah Games that we received with the July 19 newspaper. Yet it is with regret that I have to inform you that some of the details, presumably taken verbatim from the Maccabiah archives, contain errors.
I was a member of the South African team that in 1950 participated in the first Maccabiah Games after Israel’s independence.
Certainly, the opening ceremony took place at the new Ramat Gan Stadium, but it was led by acting president Joseph Sprinzak, not then-president Chaim Weizmann.
Sprinzak arrived late, having been caught in a traffic jam, and the teams had to wait in the boiling sun, standing in an arena that was just stones and gravel, with not a blade of grass anywhere.
No track or field events took place there, as no athletic facilities existed. We competed on a cinder track that had been prepared around a soccer field close to an army camp called Mahane Yona. I have a photo with the Reading power station in north Tel Aviv clearly visible in the background.
Still, it was an amazing achievement for our new little state.
I tried many years ago through a contact at the Wingate Institute to correct these errors concerning the 1950 Games. It appears that my notification to the Maccabi authorities was never received or heeded.
Some more! My late cousin, Archie Davidson, played tennis for South Africa at both the 1932 and 1935 Games, so I don’t understand how you state that South Africa sent a team for the first time only in 1935.
Finally, no country called Zimbabwe existed in 1953. It was Southern Rhodesia. It became Zimbabwe only in 1980.
EDNA (FRIEDMAN) KAPLAN Hod Hasharon The Sports editor responds: We worked very closely with the Maccabi World Union and the Maccabiah Games organizers to put together the magazine.
As the writer correctly surmises, pretty much all of the historical information came straight from them and their archives. While I had no reason to question the authenticity of the data, perhaps I should have done more thorough fact-checking and for that I beg for your pardon.