July 4: Been there

Readers respond to the police emergency response, prisoner release policies, and a New York opera showing.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Been there
Sir, – When I heard of the unfortunate delay by the police in handing over information to the army about a possible kidnapping in the West Bank (“Recording of kidnap victim’s distress call to police released,” July 2), I immediately recalled my own experience some six years ago in the Merkaz Harav terrorist attack.
On that fateful evening I was attending a class just above the library and entrance to the dormitory, where so many boys where shot in cold blood. When the first shots rang out we turned off the lights and I pulled out my cellphone.
Hands shaking, I dialed 100 and whispered – fearing that anything louder would draw attention to us – “We are in a terrorist attack at Merkaz Harav.”
To my chagrin, the woman who took the call hung up. I repeated the call and my plea, and again was met with a click.
Still not panicking, I called my wife, who subsequently informed the appropriate authorities.
The outcome is well known. My friends and I were saved but we witnessed the carnage as we exited the building.
It seems to me that one of the most crucial jobs is that of handling and filtering emergency calls. The person answering the phone should have the training and experience to sort out potentially life-threatening situations.
The mantra lamely offered, that there are so many prank calls, only reinforces the need for professional call-handlers. Every call must be related to in all seriousness and due haste until proven otherwise.
There are several fields, including medicine, where judgment calls are frequently costly and there is no room for incompetence or a lackadaisical attitude, especially when time is of the essence.
The writer is a neurologist
On the nose
Sir, – It is not often that I agree with anyone from the Left, but MK Merav Michaeli (Labor) hits it bang on the nose when, as you report in “Shaked: Whoever slits an infant’s throat should not be pardoned” (July 1), she says that the bill limiting pardons for terrorists is meant to cover up the government’s faults.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his supposedly hawkish cabinet have proven themselves willing to release dozens of terrorists at the drop of a hat, up to and including some of the most depraved subhumans we still have under lock and key. Enough is enough!
Beit Shemesh
Arias of hate
Sir, – After reading with interest Isi Leibler’s strong criticism of the American Jewish establishment for its lack of courage to criticize the Metropolitan Opera and its production The Death of Klinghoffer (“The ‘Klinghoffer’ opera and the American Jewish establishment,” Candidly Speaking, July 1), I have a suggestion.
In light of the obvious freedom of the Met to do as it chooses and not worry about Jewish responses, perhaps it could commission John Adams and Alice Goodman, the composer and librettist of the Klinghoffer opera, to compose an equally fine opera based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That could be followed by an oratorio based on Hitler’s Mein Kampf. And, of course, the pièce de résistance would be Death to Three Israeli Teenagers.
After all, art is art. Or is it?
Sir, – I assume that Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb will now commission a new opera justifying the murder of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, and portraying sympathetically the despicable terrorists who kidnapped and killed them.
I call upon all Met patrons to cancel their subscriptions and forgo attending any performance unless the production of the vicious anti-Semitic work on American tourist Leon Klinghoffer’s murder is canceled.