March 6: Frightened by flurries

Everyone was out in the snow storm except for Egged. I had hoped their drivers were made of sterner stuff.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Frightened by flurries
Sir, – Having been stranded on Jerusalem’s Bar-Ilan Street during last Friday’s snow flurries, I read “After weeks of waiting, Jerusalem finally blanketed in white” (March 4) with particular interest. I was especially intrigued by the sentence, “Families – young and old – flocked to the capital city from all over the country to enjoy the rare wintry weather....”
As I was waiting, along with hordes of other people, for buses that clearly were not running, it was hard not to notice the steady stream of taxis and private vehicles of all sizes and descriptions whizzing by, undeterred by the laughably small amount of snow. Everyone was out there except for Egged. I had hoped their drivers were made of sterner stuff.
FRED CASDEN Ma'ale Adumim
Good for kids
Sir, – It was encouraging and only sensible of Prof. Frank Oberklaid to discuss preventive measures to ward off problems in adulthood (“Catch kids’ problems when they’re young,” Health, March 4). However, no mention was made in the article of the remarkable work done in Tipat Halav clinics as a possible venue to implement further education for medical professionals.
In programs at these clinics, the father was rarely involved, creating a family imbalance.
Shalshelet Enhancing Relationships Center addressed this through a project undertaken with Tipat Halav called “Tipat Halav U’dvash,” where experts discussed facets leading to the erosion of relationships for young expectant couples. It was found that preventing ignorance reduced differences of opinion, creating a more harmonious nest for future offspring.
PESSY KRAUSZ Jerusalem The writer is founder of Shalshelet Enhancing Relationships Center Nation of strikes
Sir, – “Labor disputes” (Editorial, March 4) admirably criticizes the frequent strikes affecting the country. Unfortunately, though, you fail to mention that the immediate victims of a strike are the innocent public.
Your recommendation that Israel follow the actions of other democracies in providing legislation that limits the ability to shut down essential services is admirable. The present coalition is no longer dependent on left-wing parties for survival, so such legislation could pass without fail.
Sir, – Your editorial rightly clarifies the destructiveness of the current Histadrut leadership and our legal system’s ineffectiveness in dealing with it. May I suggest some Reaganesque solutions?
1. Privatize the railroads and make all strikes against them illegal.
2. If there are legal reasons for a strike, only the employees of that entity can go on strike – no secondary strikes or general strikes “in support.”
3. Use the IDF to run public services that are strike-bound rather than wasting the IDF budget on destroying Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.
Sir, – In 1964, a law was passed that forced non-unionized workers to pay dues to the union that obtained a collective bargaining agreement with their employer. The reason was twofold: to avoid a situation where “free-riders” would benefit without paying some form of “tax,” and to strengthen the unions, as they protected the worker.
In my opinion, the law should be considered unconstitutional as it violates the worker’s freedoms of property and association while the consequences of strong unions actually harm the worker.
When unions raise wages for workers, they ultimately cause unemployment for lesser-skilled workers, or inflation due to the money being pumped into the economy. In the US, it has become apparent that workers in states that ban this form of forced unionism (known as “right-to-work” laws) are better off than their counterparts in states that don’t.
There is a far more simple place to start than banning strikes and union coercion: The law of 1964 should be overturned, whether in the Knesset or in the courts.
ORI POMSON Jerusalem
Freeing Pollard
Sir, – Your editorial “Freeing Pollard” (March 2) is so wishywashy that it most certainly hurts more than helps.
You say, “...if, as many respected figures claim, Pollard has suffered enough for his crimes, he should be released.” Do you have no mind or heart of your own? Does not the soul of every Jew cry out against the injustice and pain this man has suffered? After considering all the pros and cons there can be only one conclusion: Free Pollard now!
Sir, – Every couple of months or so there is something in The Jerusalem Post about Jonathan Pollard, pushing for his release from prison.
Pollard is a traitor. He sold the secrets of his country, the United States, to Israel for the basest of motives: money.
When accused of this crime he entered a plea of guilty. He plea bargained, but he violated the terms of the plea bargain by talking with the media before he was sentenced. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Pollard is not a hero. There is nothing admirable about him.
That he sold his country’s secrets to an ally does not excuse him of his crime. If he had sold them to Canada or Mexico or China he would have been just as guilty.
There is no reason at all for clemency for Pollard. The arguments to the contrary that have been published are at best spurious.
Pollard is where he belongs and where, as justice demands, he will remain for the rest of his life.
A false premise
Sir, – In “How to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran” (Observations, March 2), Udi Segal suggests that the best way is a clear promise from US President Barack Obama that the United States will assume responsibility for an attack if Iran continues the development of nuclear weapons after an Israeli window of opportunity for an attack closes, but before Iran has an opportunity to actually deploy them.
While this solution is appealing because it gives diplomacy and sanctions more time to work, it does not hold up to closer inspection because it is based on a false premise.
From an American standpoint the primary responsibility of the president of the United States is to protect and defend the American people. It is unrealistic to expect him to make an explicit military commitment to preemptively attack Iran at a predetermined time in order to protect Israel or important Israeli interests.
While Iran’s development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems will eventually directly threaten the US and our European and Middle Eastern allies, situations and politics change and there is no certainty that Tehran will cross America’s red lines before doing catastrophic harm to Israel or someone else.
From the Israeli perspective it would be unwise in the extreme to cede the defense of Israel and its people to others while having the capability to protect herself.
While Israel and the US have a long history of mutual support based on shared interests, their needs are not always in sync.
Israelis are painfully aware of the failure of the democracies to fulfill the promise to prevent the closure of the Straits of Tiran and the UN’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in 1967; the disagreement over the validity of the Bush-Sharon agreements involving the withdrawal from Gaza; arms embargoes by various democracies in 1967, 1973 and other times in order to influence Israeli policies; and even the failures of the UN in Lebanon, Rwanda and Bosnia/Srebrenica.