November 15: What we’ll do

I’m wondering why I haven’t come across the wonderful, expressive word snollygoster in the 'Post.' This place is full of them.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
What we’ll do
Sir, – The spate of rocket attacks from Gaza (“Israel considering military response to continuing barrage of Gaza rockets,” November 13) is not a surprise.
We know who is attacking us, we know exactly what weapons they have and, from statistical analyses of the past 10,000 or so attacks, we know the sort of damage and casualties that are likely to ensue.
Which leads us to ask: Why did our leaders have to start their learned discussions so late? Surely, contingency plans can be drawn up based on computerassisted “what if?” games that would take into account all the known military and political considerations.
There should be a list of “they do that – we do this” operation plans that can be implemented at a moment’s notice. All the security cabinet needs to do is decide which plan the enemy’s action should trigger.
So why the endless meetings and countless interviews with MKs and ministers who “know what to do” but do nothing? Why are we, the public, treated to a lot of soothing hogwash? As Tuco said in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, “When you’ve got to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
Sir, – Defense Minister Ehud Barak said “Hamas... will pay the price, a price that will be painful.”
Pain is something you shake off. In the end, nothing will change for our citizens, and Hamas will emerge even stronger – just like Hezbollah.
Our defense minister is pathetic!
Sir, – Considering the recent headlines, any takers that the next one will be, “Israel really considering military response to continuing barrage of Gaza rockets”? And the one after that would probably be, “Israel really, really considering military response to continuing barrage of Gaza rockets (We mean it this time).”
Sir, – My solution to settling the whole conflict with Hamas is to eliminate it completely and replace the leadership of Gaza with the PLO. Release all economic restrictions and make a comprehensive peace agreement.
The most important thing to do is ensure that the Gazans prosper under this leadership.
This would ensure that any radical elements are sidelined. I am sure that Israel would get support from most UN-member countries.
Hamas will never strike a deal with Israel. It will only continue to fire rockets.
DAVID ORR Melbourne, Australia
Divine retribution?
Sir, – With regard to “News chief, deputy step aside as BBC crisis deepens,” November 13), it would surely be too far-fetched to describe the unprecedented crisis of credibility and subsequent turmoil currently being experienced by the BBC as divine retribution for decades of anti- Israel bias. Or would it?
Down at the bell Sir, – If reader Leonard Zurakov is as old-fashioned as he claims (“Thoughts on Petraeus,” Letters, November 13), he should be able to recall a time when nobody cared what a public official, whether elected or appointed, did in his private life, provided it was not illegal and did not affect his work.
In the UK houses of Parliament there has been a “division bell” that is sounded eight minutes before a division, or vote, is about to take place. This is to give members time to get from wherever they are to the division lobbies in order to be counted. The bell can be heard not only throughout the Palace of Westminster – it also has extensions in surrounding offices, restaurants, pubs and shops.
It may be an urban myth, but one of those nearby places with such as extension was a block of apartments that accommodated many mistresses of MPs. It was calculated that eight minutes gave enough time for anyone “on-the-job” there to pull on his trousers and get to the house in time to vote.
They probably use pagers today, but the timing is the same.
In short, a man should be judged by what he does in office, not in the boudoir.
Sir, – I feel for reader Kim Edelstein, who didn’t enjoy being on a segregated bus (“Lunatic fringe,” Letters, November 13).
Where I live, the buses are not segregated, and I actually sat next to a woman on my bus during a recent morning. That’s where there was a vacant seat.
These days, as a retired person, I prefer to find a seat wherever I can instead of trying to keep my balance while standing. I recognize that this is a theological problem for some people, but we are all free to sit or not to sit where we see a vacant seat, or to get up and stand if we don’t like the company.
If there is a problem of hypothetical sexual attraction, it can happen between two males, too, or two females, so maybe no one should sit next to anyone at all.
RAYMOND APPLE Jerusalem The writer is rabbi emeritus of the Great Synagogue in Sydney Selective hearing
Sir, – Former Jerusalem Post editor- in-chief Jeff Barak (“Where is the alternative in our elections,” Reality Check, November 12) would have Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich refuse to appear on Arutz Sheva Radio because, in his words, it is a settler station.
I could not help but recall all the years in which David Ben- Gurion referred to then-MK Menachem Begin as “that man next to Dr. Bader,” refusing in true Harry Potter fashion to address “he who must not be named.”
Begin did not disappear, and neither will Arutz Sheva, despite the champion-of-free-speech Left’s success in closing our offshore radio transmitter while ignoring that of the late Abie Nathan’s “Voice of Peace.”
What Barak heard about was the Internet radio station, probably not listened to by the cab drivers he claims might refuse to turn it off, thereby forcing hapless passengers to hear.
Whether Yacimovich garners votes or not, her gesture was a unifying one and should be respected as such.
And as far as Arutz Sheva’s audience is concerned, the number of “settlers” has not yet reached the 2.5 million clicks its English website alone gets, so perhaps the term “settler station” – of which I am proud – is a bit before its time.
ROCHEL SYLVETSKY Jerusalem The writer is managing editor of Arutz Sheva’s English website,
By any other name
Sir, – As a tertiary-educated, native-English speaker teaching English here in Israel, I am fascinated by the complicated grammatical structures and obscure words used in The Jerusalem Post.Daily, my husband and I learn at least one new word in English after looking it up in the Oxford Dictionary.
The other day I was reading a book called The Horologicon by Mark Forsyth, and I came across the word “snollygoster.” Apparently it means “a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician.”
Another meaning is “a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform or principles, and who, whenever he wins, gets there by sheer force of monumental talknophical assumnacy” (you work out the last two words!).
Considering the impending Israeli elections and the fact that politics and politicians’ behavior are such central news items in Israel, I’m wondering why I haven’t come across the wonderful, expressive word snollygoster in the Post. With what goes on in politics here, I should have expected to see it every day.
This place is full of snollygosters.
Call them what they are!