November 1: The Gaza rockets

Where is our former deterrence? Let’s hope we get a new and stronger defense minister with more guts than the present one as soon as possible.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Gaza rockets
Sir, – I have rarely read such a pessimistic piece as “Connection to the South” (Editorial, October 30).
You write that our options are limited. This is not so. First and foremost, let’s live up to the Gazans’ claims of blockade and really do it. Stop transferring water and electricity at once. Let them get it from their friends in Egypt.
You write that Israel’s military options are likewise limited. Again, not so. We know where their terrorist infrastructure is located. Why don’t we really smash it? Not just piddling strikes. Until we cause them really painful damage they will just carry on rocketing the poor inhabitants of the South.
We should stop worrying what the world says and look after our own interests first.
Another point I wish to make is about the continued expansion, at great cost, of bomb shelters and safe rooms. Are we going to keep widening our security zones as our enemies get more powerful rockets and delivery systems? In the end we will be one, huge, cowering entity hiding behind walls.
This is crazy. Let the Gazans cower.
Where is our former deterrence? Let’s hope we get a new and stronger defense minister with more guts than the present one as soon as possible.
Sir, – I want to commend you on your excellent editorial. Hopefully, your splendid suggestions will be heeded.
In this context I have often wondered why you do not pay more attention to this matter in your pages via feature stories and updates. Journalists, write (right) yourselves!
Sir, – It is symptomatic of our distorted priorities that in your October 29 issue, a small article about rockets pounding the South (“Government to provide ‘full protection’ within 7 km. of Gaza at cost of NIS 270m.”) didn’t make it to the front page. The shenanigans of the political maneuvers of Likud Beytenu (“PM to Likud c’tee members: Joint list will strengthen us”) and a looming storm in the United States (“Gigantic Hurricane Sandy bears down on US East Coast”) were considered more newsworthy.
Firing rockets at our citizens is an act of war and should be treated as such. The first and overriding duty of a government is to protect the lives, property and peace of mind of its citizens. By failing to do this our government is remiss. Building more or better bomb shelters is no answer, and strengthening our homes is even worse.
There is only one legitimate response to these atrocities and that is a military campaign with the objective of completely eliminating Hamas as a political and military entity. Anything less will be futile.
Fearing the truth?
Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“The end of rocket fire from Gaza,” Encountering Peace, October 30) has written a 1,400 word article about the Gaza war. At best he offers moral equivalency – they fire rockets at us and we respond. At worst he lives in complete denial.
Baskin cannot admit the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization bent on our destruction. He omits the fact that Hamas has never had any kind of election and brooks no opposition. These are the people he wants us to accommodate in order to prevent war at all costs.
Maybe Baskin should ask Hamas a simple question: Why fire rockets at Israel when you could be building your own state? Is it possible he fears the truth?
No blueprint
Sir, – Regarding “Mother Rachel and Father Rabin” (Borderline Views, October 30), imagine Friday night in the Mother Rachel/Father Rabin household.
She lights the candles, davens the Kabbalat Shabbat and evening prayers, and blesses the children. She blesses the wine, washes hands and thanks God for the bread. He sits respectfully quiet through it all.
She promotes discussion of the weekly portion during the meal, and he discusses literature, politics, sports and entertainment. Afterward, she sits down to read and rest while he turns on the TV. She gets up early on Saturday morning to go to synagogue. Maybe he gets up to help with the kids, but then goes back to bed to get some extra sleep.
No religious coercion, so the kids are free to chose which parent is the weirdo and which is the smart one. It’s anyone’s guess how things turn out – and therefore this cannot be regarded as a blueprint for the future security of the Jewish identity of Israel.
Sir, – David Newman discusses the polarized ends of Israeli society but fails to mention how Father Rabin brought Mother Rachel’s tomb back to our side after it was decided that it would be part of Palestinian Area A under the Oslo Accords.
When Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister, MKs Hanan Porat and Menahem Porush met with Rabin to convince him to try and keep the tomb in our hands. Porush pleaded with Rabin: “Reb Yitzhak, Mama Rochel! Reb Yitzhak, Mama Rochel!” Rabin then told Shimon Peres to tell Yasser Arafat, “If Rachel’s Tomb is not taken out of the agreement, there is no agreement.” Father Rabin should get credit for giving 70,000 people the ability to visit Rachel on her yahrzeit.
The pain of it all
Sir, – In “More than a mikve” (Health, October 28), Judy Siegel- Itzkovich put into action in more ways than one the Talmudic Sage Rav Ashi’s straightforward reasoning: “If a pain pains you, go to the doctor” (BK 46b).
Indeed, Siegel took the issue of educating women in the area of prevention to health professionals and asked the one government ministry that could actually do something to act. Sadly (or, more accurately, frustratingly), neither the deputy health minister nor the ministry’s director-general chose to engage the issue.
Is it that Rav Ashi’s dictum does not apply to women? How shortsighted. A woman’s health is more than her own – it is her family’s health.
The writer is a rabbinical court advocate.
Make no mistake
Sir, – In “A case of mistaken identity” (Grapevine, October 26), Greer Fay Cashman presents a “heart-warming” anecdote about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s performance for prisoners, including an Arab woman terrorist named Fatima.
While this story illustrates Carlebach’s uniquely deep sense of care for all, his tireless efforts to uplift the down-trodden and his optimism that Fatima might be rehabilitated, it may have given the mistaken impression that he condoned Palestinian terror.
Far from it. Carlebach spoke out vehemently against terrorists on numerous occasions and took the news of each loss of Jewish lives so hard that there were times we feared he would collapse from sorrow.
T. STARJerusalem
Only walls
Sir, – I made aliya two years ago.
I was well aware that Israel is a tough country with tough people and an even tougher job market. Yet I was not prepared to be treated as if I were ill when prospective employers found out I was pregnant and came up with all sorts of excuses not to hire me.
Everyone encourages you to have babies and big families. But than reality hits. Parents need to work. One salary is barely enough to make ends meet.
If you already have a job before becoming pregnant, you cannot be fired and will be given enough time to see your child after daycare.
But if you are looking for a job, there are only walls.