May 22: Border incursions

A small number of such aircraft would be more effective than thousands of soldiers firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

Border incursions
Sir, – In “Israel files protest to Security Council over Malaysian ship that tried to break Gaza blockade” (May 19), there appears a thought that has driven me nuts since “Nakba Day.” This time it was uttered by Michael Williams, the UN special envoy to Lebanon, who protested that Israel used “disproportionate, deadly force against apparently unarmed demonstrators.”
First, the force could have been a lot more deadly. Our soldiers could have fired at will and mowed them down. But more important, these people were not out on a picnic.
They were indeed armed – with malicious intent to overrun our tiny country.
Sir, – I was much impressed by the way our soldiers handled the “Nakba Day” incursions on the northern border, but feel that a bit of planning for future such events would be in order.
At nightclubs, an ink that shows up under ultraviolet light is applied to the wrists of patrons. Should there be another border invasion, maybe crop duster planes could spray the interlopers – after dark, they would stand out like may flies, with none being injured. Simple.
Sir, – I have a novel approach to crowd control along our borders.
We have some beautiful firefighting planes standing idle. Could these, plus load-carrying helicopters, drop sewage water from treatment ponds scattered around the country? A small number of such aircraft would be more effective than thousands of soldiers firing rubber bullets and tear gas.
ARI MARKS Moshav Avihayil
Comptroller’s report
Sir, – How proud we should be of our State Comptroller, who maintains a fearless moral standard that measures all government services and leaders equally with determination and fairness (“Lindenstrauss submits longest-ever report to Knesset in ‘celebration for democracy,’” May 18. He has proved himself a loyal Zionist who has led the way repeatedly to arouse our sense of rightness in the face of a cynical acceptance of dishonesty, injustice, inefficiency and inequality.
Once again, Micha Lindenstrauss describes how illegalities, quarreling ministries and inadequate oversight have resulted in inaction and serious harm to the effective functioning of our government. We are all the losers when his studies and recommendations are ignored and we do not press for implementation.
Let our voices be heard supporting his efforts and demanding transparency and improvements in work ethics that will echo the standards and moral values we want to live by.
R. EHRLICH Jerusalem
Sir, – Out of 61 chapters in the State Comptroller’s Report detailing hundreds of failures in the public sector, The Jerusalem Post reports nothing about the NIS 1 billion in Defense Ministry losses incurred in the handling of military contracts.
It devotes a mere 100 lines to Defense Minister Barak’s business holdings, a smattering of references to the Wakf’s rape of the Temple Mount, and totally ignores a host of other acts of malfeasance and abominable behavior referenced in the report.
However, there was room for a full-page article on haredi girls’ schools and racial discrimination, including a rehash of the long-settled matter at Emanuel (which, incidentally, turned out not to be discrimination at all).
Discrimination? You bet. The only question is, by whom?
Brazen deceit
Sir, – Regarding “Abbas pushes for state along 1967 lines in ‘Times’ op-ed” (May 18), Israel’s War of Independence ensued from one thing: the Arab invasion of Israel and Israel’s entirely normal human reaction to fight back and win, which we did. Brazen malicious deceit such as that PA President Mahmoud Abbas shows here epitomizes the Palestinian national ethos.
There can be no co-existence with people who do not have one drop of good will. Abu Mazen’s vicious, groundless lies also show that the threatened Palestinian declaration of statehood at the UN in September is actually a declaration of war against Israel.
Wimping out
Sir, – For the first time since taking office more than two years ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu last week publicly indicated that Israel might withdraw from certain areas of the West Bank (“PM says Israel may give up settlements not in major blocs,” May 17). “We have historical rights here and not just security interests,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.
Having recognized this fact, why is he prepared to give it away? The only reason that comes to mind is weakness, a commitment to US President Obama and a lack of faith and courage.
True democracy
Sir, – In comparing the electoral systems in the UK and Israel, David Newman (“Lessons from Britain’s electoral referendum,” Borderline Views, May 17) failed to identify a major difference.
In the UK (as well as in the US), legislators are elected by area constituencies, while we have no such thing. In the UK, one can contact his MP to make representation to government, a well tried and workable system, while we have no constituent MKs.
Such a key democratic issue must be addressed. Otherwise, how can we call ourselves a democracy?
What it’s about
Sir, – Tawfik Hamid (“Why George Mitchell failed,” Comment & Features, May 16) correctly states that “...the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about borders but about the existence of the state of Israel....”
It is deeply disconcerting, if not alarming, therefore that some leaders at the very top of our government – in shrill contrast to millions of ordinary citizens – still seem to cling to the big deceit known as the “peace camp.”
President Shimon Peres is supposed to know this (“I won’t turn my back on the Palestinian peace camp,” Editor’s Notes, May 13). Is he playing games with us or is he so naive that he believes PA President Abbas et al have even the slightest intention of negotiating? I don’t wish to sound disrespectful, but whichever it is, Mr. President, please forget Oslo and don’t publicly second-guess the prime minister.
Moshav Zofit
Full of holes
Sir, – If I were to pinpoint one phrase in the Editor’s Notes interview with Shimon Peres “I won’t turn my back on the Palestinian peace camp,” it would be the president’s statement: “Yasser Arafat changed.”
Arafat never changed from the arch-terrorist he always was, ready to kill as many Jews as possible while claiming to be for the “peace of the brave.” For Peres to believe what Arafat said, he must surely be trying to vindicate the disastrous Oslo Accords, which, like a sieve, were so full of holes they had to – and did – sink.
Abbas, by disavowing violence, has claimed the world’s attention as the underdog. His unwillingness to discuss peace shows that his only interest is to declare statehood in a one-state solution that would swallow up and see the demise of the State of Israel.
I believe our survival depends on a two-state solution with ironclad and secure borders. Therefore, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has to choose between his far-right coalition or a national unity government with Kadima to ensure our very survival.