March 25: Fine Solution

"Our only fighting chance of managing the grave problem of water shortage is strict control of water usage."

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Fine solution... Sir, - Ehud Zion Waldoks notes that a "Survey finds 90% of Israelis aware of water crisis and 70% willing to conserve" (March 24). However, this is far from sounding an optimistic note. Our only fighting chance of managing the grave problem of water shortage is strict control of water usage. You can still see people hosing down their cars, shop-owners hosing down their entrances and city councils over-irrigating lawns and gardens. Increasing public awareness is not enough. Heavy fines on water guzzlers is the way. SHLOMO MANNS Givatyaim Sir, - I am sick and tired of people complaining about the lack of water. It always happens around this time of year, at the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry one. All of a sudden the country wakes up to the fact that we live in the Middle East, and therefore have a water problem. But because this is the Middle East, there will always be a water problem. So why is there no permanent awareness of the need, the constant official reminders, to conserve water? Why the water displays? Every drop counts, and we need to internalize that. So let's quit the complaining. If those in high positions, and the rest of us, really cared, conservation programs would be out there. You can't have your water, and drink it too. MEIRA SCHWARTZ Jerusalem our water problem Sir, - Further to Miriam Levi's water tips ("Water wisdom," Letters, March 24), here are a few of my own: * If you don't own a double-flush toilet, fill a bottle with water and put it in the tank to reduce the flush. * Don't leave the water on while brushing your teeth or shaving. One minute of running water equals two gallons down the drain. * When washing vegetables, put 1-2 inches of water in the sink and rinse the vegetables there rather than under the tap. * Water your garden only in the early morning or late afternoon. * Wash your car infrequently. Have a dusty car and be proud of it! REIDA MISHORY-ISSEROFF Moshav Olesh Shining example Sir, - My heart goes out to the Wallfish family, who suffered the tragic loss of losing a child. Donating organs of that child for transplant into four other sick children was most commendable and must offer the family more solace than anything else imaginable. I hope that this grand gesture will serve as an inspiration to others, and that Israel will not long remain on record as a country offering, compared to others, only a very negligible number of organs for transplant ("Transplants of toddler's organs save lives of four children," March 24). LILLY MANHEIM Jerusalem Disappointing Sir, - I found Conservative Rabbi Harold Kushner's "I don't know if I'm correct theologically. I don't know the reality of God... what I do know is my book makes people feel better" profoundly disappointing ("Honoring the human touch of Harold Kushner," March 23). Why would someone who doesn't know if he is "correct theologically" write a book about theology? As an Orthodox rabbi, I was always taught that the first responsibility of a teacher is to present Judaism honestly and straightforwardly. And as parents who also suffered the loss of a child at the age of 14, it was specifically this grappling with the truth that my wife and I always found to be the most comforting. RABBI ASHER RESNICK Ramat Beit Shemesh Disingenuous Sir, - It is disingenuous to try to equate Barack Obama's pastor's outrageous remarks with outrageous remarks any minister of any faith might occasionally make from the pulpit ("Between clergy and congregant," Andrew Silow-Carroll, March 23), even if they are taped for distribution. No rabbi of any denomination could declaim "God damn America" and continue with his congregation. Rev. Wright crossed some basic lines, and no op-ed can obscure that. LORELL BLASS Jerusalem Out of place Sir, - Congratulations on securing the exclusive interview with Senator John McCain ("McCain to 'Post': Hamas, Hizbullah want to destroy everything Israel, the US and the West hold dear," March 19). I think the senator deserves congratulations for having the courage to say that he does not have the answer to a particular question. The stricture implied in "The challenge of the would-be presidents" (March 21) - that McCain did not give any hint of plans he may have to combat terrorism, confront Iran or deal with the hostage question - seemed out of place. One would hardly expect a newspaper interview to be the occasion for detailing or even hinting at such plans, especially as the interviewee is still to be elected. Our only recourse, in this case, is to the senator's known qualities of courage, persistence and common sense. D. MEYER Haifa Sir, - John McCain was quoted as saying that the members and supporters of Hamas and Hizbullah "are dedicated to the extinction of everything that the US, Israel, and the West believe and stand for." I disagree. Certainly that is their posture. In reality they are dedicated to inflicting as much suffering as possible on innocent civilians of every race, color and creed. In international circles - and indeed among peace-loving Muslims - they are not renowned for their bravery. Their foot soldiers are impressionable children and mentally handicapped women, their chosen battlefields children's seminaries, pet markets, crowded buses and pizza parlors. The bottom line, which is what I believe Senator McCain was telling us, is that the US, Israel and the West will be alive and well long after the present members and supporters of Hamas/Hizbullah have learned that in the house of Allah, the one Almighty God, they are not welcome. IAN. R.A. MACMILLAN Toronto Sir, - Can there be any question in the minds of those who hold the security of Israel as the top priority that John McCain, a military man, is the best candidate for US president? Hillary Clinton is remembered for the failed role her husband played in attempting to meet every demand of Yasser Arafat, threatening the very future of the Jewish state. And of Barack Obama and his anti-Israel personal mentor and pastor for two decades, is there any doubt where he stands, despite politically motivated statements to the contrary? NELSON MARANS Silver Spring, Maryland Going cheap Sir, - Re "Sisters sell Illinois-shaped corn flake for $1,350" (Business & Finance, March 24): Any offers for a Gaza hot potato? A peace-process road-map lemon? Flaky political figures? A Jerusalem salami slicer? A teddy bear called Muhammad...? YONATAN SILVER Jerusalem It's Spring! Sir - If Avraham Feder was paraphrasing the lines "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind" in his op-ed "Purim and all that jazz" (March 20), he should note that Shelley, not Wordsworth, wrote them. GLORIA DEUTSCH Kfar Saba