GERRY MANDELLOmer ...perhaps too muchSir, – In the real world, the relevance of the death of Osama bin Laden, compared to the impact of a wide-scale strike in our hospitals, is the inverse of the emphasis in your May 3 issue.Buried in a small column at the bottom of Page 7 (“Hospitals nationwide on strike today”) is information that has immediate meaning and impact on the life today of thousands of everyday readers. The hoopla about the long-overdue killing of a single terrorist is at best interesting, but the degree of effect it will have on us is questionable.HENRY KAYEAshkelonNot much has changedSir, – Larry Derfner (“Abbas yes, Hamas no,” Rattling the Cage, May 5) effectively explains just how counterproductive the May 4 Cairo agreement was for the whole peace process. However, he should have gone even further to where the truth really lies when it comes to Hamas vis-a-vis the Jewish democratic state of Israel.Suffice it to refer to three articles of the Hamas charter in order to get some notion of its true intent: Hamas has vowed to wage a holy war for Palestine against the Jews until the victory of Allah is attained; Palestine is a holy Islamic asset until the end of time, and therefore no one may negotiate or forsake it; Hamas opposes international discussions, negotiations or peace arrangements of any kind.These three principles have never been retracted, nor has Gilad Schalit been set free.
He’s all wet Sir, – A great deal of credit must be given to the Green movement for publicizing and preventing many ecological crimes and misdemeanors, but sometimes some of their people go off the deep end.Such is the case with Gideon Bromberg, director of Friends of the Earth Middle East (“Green group blasts plan to build five new desalination plants,” May 5).I would have thought that praise would be forthcoming to the Water Authority for making a maximum effort to reduce our dependence on the seriously depleted Kinneret.Bromberg’s reasoning seems somewhat skewed, comparing the need for drinking water with road building. And his idea of using gray water for flushing purposes is malodorous, considering the engineering costs and health dangers.I find his statement that we can save 500 million cm.m. of water a year by “saving water” just a tad circular in its reasoning. Admittedly, leaks can be repaired and wasters can be punished, but a growing population has to drink, eat and wash.The only thing left, if we are to believe Bromberg, is to return to the discredited military “water discipline” and use more deodorant.TREVOR DAVISAsseret Rethink the formulaSir, – “Child poverty here highest in OECD” (May 4) seems ridiculous.Mexico, which ranks slightly lower than Israel, cannot employ its own workers sufficiently. The result: legions of Mexican migrants who illegally cross America’s borders searching for any work they can find.Here, migrants come to get jobs in Israel’s vibrant economy. I think many of the OECD’s poor would jump at the chance to have the life of our “poor” households (in which many of the parents desire not to work).It seems that something is lacking in the formula for gauging poverty in Israel and in the OECD.
STEVE KRAMERAlfei MenasheFoul ballSir, – Hanani Rapaport, in “Gov’t must understand that the foreign media does not work for them” (May 4), contends that “they do not work for Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry and not for Yossi Beilin’s Foreign Ministry.”With regard to the accuracy of that statement, Rapaport is batting .500, which is great for a baseball player but pretty poor for a media executive.MARCHAL KAPLANJerusalemShow of civilitySir, – Daniel Barenboim (“Barenboim conducts classical concert in Gaza,” May 4) said he was happy to go to Gaza and that he was presenting the concert as a sign of solidarity and friendship with the civil society there. Had this been the case, he could have demanded of this “civil society” recognition of the right to exist for the country in which he spent his adolescence and whose citizenship he holds.As a start, he could have demanded that the Gazans show their civility by releasing Gilad Schalit from his inhumane captivity and accepting Israel’s incredible offer for a prisoner exchange – although had he done this, I believe the concert would have been cancelled.
MONTY M. ZIONTel MondSir, – Why is Daniel Barenboim not taking his orchestra to play in Deraa or Yemen or Misrata ? One wonders how many Gazans are even interested in his music making.
PETER SIMPSONJerusalemSir, – Exactly what occupation in Gaza is Daniel Barenboim talking about” And shouldn’t he at least have tried to see Gilad Schalit? It sickens me that Barenboim couldn’t find it in his heart to save just one Jew!
FREYA BINENFELDPetah Tikva