May 8: Beersheba stabbing

How many more tragic deaths are we going to read about until Knesset amends law against carrying dangerous knives?

Beersheba stabbing
Sir, – Another tragedy from a knifing is reported by The Jerusalem Post (“Beersheba father of 2 killed after asking teens to quiet down,” May 6).
How many more tragic deaths are we going to read about until the Knesset amends the law against carrying dangerous knives, and empowers the police to freely conduct body searches without having to look for a judge in order to obtain a search warrant? We are quick to blame our police, but the blame is certainly not theirs.
One is asked by every security man at the entrance to every public place whether he or she is carrying a firearm.You will never ever be asked if you are carrying a dangerous, illegal knife! Perhaps we need an Émile Zola to shake up our judiciary.
Sir, – News of the murder of Gadi Vichman reminds us once again the extent to which youths who roam the parks on Friday nights are undisciplined and have no respect for society or themselves.
Perhaps the time has come for the Ministry of Education to bring into the curriculum a one-hour-a-week lesson that teaches and instills discipline, respect and derech eretz.
Let’s hope this murder is the last.
JOYCE KAHN Petah Tikva
Sir, – “Entitled” is the word that comes to mind regarding those rowdy, noisy and violent youths who congregate in parks late at night everywhere in Israel. Indeed, in a conversation with one, he insolently claimed that he could be as noisy as he liked and do whatever he wanted until 11 p.m., and there was not a thing I could do! The apparent disregard by the police to the telephone calls from and subsequent murder of Gadi Vichman is not surprising, as I have encountered similar indifference where I live. Pleading with the police or those who answer middle-of the-night municipal hotline (106) calls asking them to establish some peace and quiet have been to no avail. When I called 106 and then the police at about 2:30 a.m. on Independence Day eve, they told me the youth were free to do what they liked and nothing would be done.
It is rare that the raucous, smoking and drinking youths sitting on the fence of my building, close to my window, acquiesce to my appeals to move to the park 50 meters away. Calling 106 is usually effective only until the municipal patrol car leaves, whereupon the youth continue shouting, screaming and singing at the tops of their voices, drinking, breaking bottles and playing music from their cars loud enough to rattle my windows.
It is obvious that apathy, helplessness and a lack of accountability rule the authorities, whereas our youth continue having a good time at the expense of all.
The morning after, the municipal workers clean up the mess of broken bottles, pizza boxes and piles of nutshells scattered throughout the park. And so a new day begins....
Name withheldRehovot
‘Jewish’ station
Sir, – With regard to “The times they are a changin” (May 6), everyone knows that at the height of summertime, Shabbat ends much later than 8 p.m., often after 8.30 p.m. Up to now a religious Jew had the chance to watch Channel 1’s Mabat evening news after Shabbat, as it began at 9 p.m.
It is only right that the “official” Israeli channel consider and serve all of its citizens, including the religiously observant.
What is all this talk about a “Jewish” country?
Ah, the Irish
Sir, – I see that the popular band Dervish has decided to cancel its scheduled concerts here (“Irish bands bow to cultural boycott,” Arts in Brief, May 6).
It was interesting to read on the band’s website about the inner turmoil in making such a difficult decision while wishing to avoid taking sides. It brought to mind some Irish history.
If I remember correctly, Ireland somehow was able to remain neutral during World War II while millions were being slaughtered on the continent.
Let’s not forget what was happening to the English people just across the Irish Sea during the blitz. That, too, must have been a hard decision to make.
Just imagine having to take sides against the brutality of the Nazis. Whew! HOWIE KAHNJerusalem
Sherman and ‘Haaretz’
Sir, – Martin Sherman (“‘Haaretz’ vs the Jews,” Into the Fray, May 4) castigates the Left for running an “unambiguous campaign for the conversion of Israel from the “nationstate of the Jews” to “a-state-ofall- its-citizens.” But one surely does not preclude the other.
The choice is not between a Zionist greater Israel and a post-Zionist state denuded of its Jewish identity.
I remind Sherman of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which, while unequivocally endorsing “the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country,” states: “The State of Israel will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants.
It will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”
Israel can and must retain its identity as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This is entirely compatible with the aspiration of our founding fathers to respect the rights of minorities and strive for equality on every level for all the country’s citizens.
Sir, – Bravo to Martin Sherman.
He certainly read the riot act to Haaretz, in no uncertain terms.
Haaretz should hang its head in shame. Israel has lost some 23,000 military personnel and civilians in eight wars of Arab aggression and two intifadas. It is chutzpah for that newspaper to suggest that Israel understand the sadness and sensitivity of the Arabs living in Israel who lost their land and their honor.
I wish to remind your readers of the genocidal threat made by the Arab League’s secretary-general on the eve of the War of Independence: “If the Zionists dare to establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.”
SMOKY SIMONHerzliya Pituah
Sir, – I want to express my incredulousness about Martin Sherman and his assault upon the Israeli Left and Haaretz. I say this because elsewhere in the world the newspaper is becoming the voice of conscience for a nation that sometimes appears to be rapidly losing its Jewish soul.
Sherman speaks about post- Zionism, whatever that means.
To me it refers not to those who uphold the universal values inherent in the Zionism that created the state, but rather to the departure of renegades who apply socalled Zionist principles and voodoo fundamentalism to stealing land that by the time Israel came into possession of it was no longer up for grabs by any moral or international standard.
Israel’s prime minister boasts to the world of the country’s great democracy, something that Haaretz, and not he, truly believes in. For that matter, Sherman’s own version thereof reminds me far more of South Africa’s during apartheid and as such only gives fodder to those who, rather unfairly, make such a comparison.
While I often disagree with Haaretz’s positions, when I read this outstanding and courageous paper I’m reminded of the great prophets of old, like Isaiah, whom we revere for having said unpopular things, often at the risk of their lives. Haaretz tells us to take responsibility for ourselves and what “we” do, not what “they” do. This has everything to do with retaining our most cherished Zionist values.
JACK EISENBERGBaltimore, Maryland