June 3: Disgust and pain

The disgusting condition of the areas, indicating severe neglect by the Jerusalem municipality, should be addressed immediately by Barkat.

Disgust and pain
Sir, – I am an ardent supporter of the right wing and an admirer of the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. But as a former resident of the city for 25 years I was shamed by what I read in your front page article about neighborhoods outside the security fence (“‘Holding the world in the middle,’” June 1).
The disgusting condition of the areas, indicating severe neglect by the Jerusalem municipality, should be addressed immediately by Barkat, who has so often said that all sectors in his city receive similar treatment.
The fact that these areas are beyond the security fence is no excuse for their neglect and simply supplies fodder to those condemning the treatment of legal residents of our capital city.
Tel Mond
Sir, – Melanie Lidman is to be congratulated for her journalism. She has painted such a clear, realistic and painful picture of the situation in Jerusalem.
Why can we not face up to it that for those living in and around the holy city, which for me personally is a magical place and the center of the world, there is only dichotomy. Even between Jews and Jews.
Instead of prognosticating, why aren’t some serious public opinion polls being carried out and even a census taken to determine how many Arab residents really want to stay in Israel should there be a division of the city? How many residents are satisfied that pupils in haredi schools already outnumber those in religious Zionist and other schools? The future of the city is already here. Is this what we envisaged for the return to Zion? My worst case scenario has always been that eventually we will have peace – with haredim and Arabs in Jerusalem living in Third World harmony.
Maybe it’s a best-case scenario?
Tel Aviv
It worked then
Sir, – Regarding “Navy ready for Gaza protest ships” (June 1), I am a 90-year-old US naval veteran who was stationed at Pearl Harbor from 1942 to 1946.
Standard operating procedure (SOP) when ships or boats set sail from Oahu without registering with the Navy was to hail the vessel and command its crew to return to port.
If they did not turn about, a burst of gunfire was shot over their bow. If they did not turn then, they would be threatened with having their bow blown off.
With this SOP, rarely did the initial warning shots have to be fired, and I don’t know of any bows having been blown off.
We did not board a vessel; we circled it and used just a loudspeaker for compliance. That procedure would have avoided the risk our commandos faced boarding last year’s so-called peace flotilla.
This SOP must be announced now to every diplomat and to the world media. We need to warn the world, particularly Turkey and Egypt, that we will protect our citizens from attack and our homeland from false claims of illegality and delegitimization.
What’s been done?
Sir, – Regarding “IDF making every effort to bring Schalit home, Gantz tells MKs” (June 1), I don’t know what our chief of General Staff means by “every effort.” But as long as Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails enjoy regular visits by the Red Cross, as long as even one of them enjoys family visits (conjugal or otherwise), as long as they are given the privilege of making and receiving telephone calls, and as long as Israel hasn’t captured one or more Hamas heavyweights to use in fair exchange, can we say that Israel (not just the IDF) has even begun to make a credible effort to have Gilad Schalit returned to his family? Why is it that in treating Palestinian prisoners Israel wants to meticulously observe all international conventions, while Hamas laughs at our decency?
Moshav Zofit