March 31: Double exit

Dichter heaped praise on a totally unsuitable candidate with a checkered background, a man who "only narrowly escaped conviction for bribery."

Double exit? Sir, - "Exit Genot" (Editorial, March 28) and supporting articles expressed criticism of Public Security Minister Avi Dichter for nominating Ya'acov Genot as incoming police inspector-general, a fate we are now spared since Genot has withdrawn his candidacy. Dichter heaped praise on a totally unsuitable candidate with a checkered background, a man whose integrity was earlier questioned in legal proceedings, who "only narrowly escaped conviction for bribery." What I fail to understand is why you did not call for the immediate resignation of Dichter, nor why someone with his penchant for nominating candidates with sullied reputations should continue to have anything to do with the selection of so critical a figure as Israel's incoming top policeman. Exit Genot - exit Dichter! MALCOLM CAPLAN Kfar Saba Unduly harsh Sir, - Shmuley Boteach expended almost a column in blasting John Edwards for deciding to continue his campaign for president in the face of his wife's serious cancer condition. What Rabbi Boteach failed to realize was that the decision was probably a joint one, with the wife taking the position that she would feel even worse if her illness cost her husband the presidency. It probably took a lot of urging on his wife's part to get Edwards to continue with the campaign. Rabbi Elimelech of Lizanski wrote a prayer many years ago: "Guard me against strange thoughts... Give me the vision to see in everyone his good qualities." It would be gratifying if Rabbi Boteach were to now take a less harsh look at the situation ("Putting family first," March 26). IRVIN SCHERMER Jerusalem Not harsh enough Sir, - A program recently aired on TV about road accidents, especially involving drunken drivers, was horrific. Taking away offenders' cars for just a month is not nearly a severe enough punishment, and the penalties for serious traffic offenses are generally nowhere near stringent enough. Re prevention, what about the speed cameras we have heard about for so long, which have yet to be installed? I saw what a difference these made in Australia. Filming offenders and airing the footage on national TV is also a brilliant idea, but it must be done on a regular basis to instill some fear into these road killers. The other aspect of the program which, for me, showed the "ugly" Israeli was the way the offenders spoke to the policemen, with total disregard for what the police force should symbolize. Abroad, I would be shaking if approached by the police because I had committed an offense. There is no authoritative figure in Israel of whom such people are afraid. This is evident in all spheres of life, beginning at home, with no respect for parents, continuing at school, with no respect for teachers, and so on, all the way up. With the festival of freedom around the corner, may we be freed of these road menaces. HILARY HERZBERGER Jerusalem