November 19: Let the gladiators fight

I would suggest that an all-out crime war would do wonders for our crime rate and allow the police to concentrate on other pressing matters.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Let the gladiators fight Sir, - I would suggest that an all-out crime war would do wonders for our crime rate and allow the police to concentrate on other pressing matters ("Police fear all-out crime war after Ya'acov Alperon hit," November 18). How about a "gladiator" style exhibition involving all the crime families and their henchmen? We would rid ourselves for good of these despicable criminals. Ticket proceeds from the match could be donated to those who have suffered at the hand of these mobsters. KENNY FISHER Jerusalem No surrender... Sir, - As a Holocaust survivor I am deeply troubled and ashamed of the Israeli nation ("Tower of Babel," Editorial, November 18). Their actions or inaction in fighting terror and the rockets coming from Gaza is inexcusable. The leadership that constantly expounds the need to surrender more territory including Jerusalem is uncomprehensible, especially when the territory in question for which so many gave their lives, if surrendered, would not even bring peace. The Arabs want nothing less than to eradicate Israel. Unless the Israelis will come to their senses, the Arabs will achieve their goal. STEVE GURE Coconut Creek, Florida ...means our 10 for your one Sir, - Much thought has gone through my mind regarding the proper solution for responding to the daily bombings out of Gaza. In order to minimize the loss of innocent civilian lives, the IDF should respond tenfold. Ten bombs for every rocket fired. JAY GOLDSTEIN Monsey, New York Returned democracy Sir, - In announcing his return to the Likud, Dan Meridor charged Kadima with two major failures: The war in Lebanon and the "war" against the judiciary ("Rejoining Likud, Meridor rules out deal with current PA leaders," November 10). With regards to the latter charge, Meridor may be a Trojan horse, but if there is one thing that can be credited to Kadima, it is initiating the process of returning democracy to the Knesset and the people of Israel from whom it was usurped by the courts. Daniel Friedmann's appointment was an extraordinary act to save Israel from a judicial dictatorship. It would be salutary for MK Binyamin Netanyahu to announce now, if elected, that he would reappoint Friedmann as the justice minister. Meridor's position should not be accepted as Likud's policy in this critical matter. SARA STERZER Beit Shemesh Let's do something already... Sir, - Large media budgets are expended on "educating" the public to understand that we are in a major water crisis of which we are all well aware and that we must save water ("Household water rationing a distinct possibility by spring," November 17). Everyone from the prime minister downward knows that the solution is the urgent erection of desalination plants in large numbers like the rest of the world has been doing for years with our know-how. Everyone knows that the price the public is paying for water today is high enough to cover easily the price of water from desalination plants despite the claims of the treasury. The huge profits earned by local authorities from the sale of water to the public will at last have to be invested in the supply of water itself. Finally, all of our economic experts are strongly advising investment in infrastructure in light of the crippling world economic crisis. Let's stop discussing our water crisis-after years of opportunities, and act. DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono ...or it'll be drained resources Sir, - It is incomprehensible to me why all our water "experts" still retain their positions and paychecks. Prof. Uri Shani, head of the Water Authority, now tells us that we will likely have fairly severe water rationing by Spring.1 We should have had it far earlier. If we had begun sensible, gradual rationing years ago, we might have prevented dried-up gardens and possibly dried-up agriculture. If in our public areas we had planted attractive succulent and artificial grass in rock gardens, with only a few flowers for color, we might still have had lovely parks to visit. We could have done the same in our private gardens. But all this presupposes forward thinking, leadership, and grown-up citizens. We are world leaders in drip irrigation, desalination systems, and dedesertification. And yet, as usual, we have blown it at home. This is a chance for newly-elected, progressive mayors, such as Nir Barkat in Jerusalem, to assume leadership where our national authorities have failed. CAROL CLAPSADDLE Jerusalem Who'll do the dirty work? Sir, - How is "investment into national infrastructure projects - including roads, railways, electricity and sewerage" going to "offset a wave of layoffs?" ("Treasury's economic stimulus package poised to be delayed," November 17.) Are the unemployed factory workers, service providers or white collar workers, many of whom are over 50, really going to work on roads, railways and sewage projects? SHIFRA TAREM Rishon Lezion No admittance Sir, - I wonder, does the problem the government has with admitting the Bnei Menashe into Israel have anything to do with their likelihood of swelling the religious population - unlike those non-Jews from the former Soviet Union with the odd Jewish ancestor, some of which may even be actively anti-Semitic? ("Government approves aliya of some 150 Bnei Menashe from India," November 13). MARTINA HINDLEY Tyne and Wear, UK Yawn away, drive safe Sir, - The maniac drivers speeding on our roads with no consideration for other drivers should be given prison sentences, and not IDF soldiers who happen to yawn at the wrong time. Then our prisons would be full to bursting ("21 days for yawning in Rabin speech," November 13). RUTH SCHIJVESCHUURDER Petah Tikva Study now, pay later Sir, - While it is true that some high-class universities in the US charge $50,000 annual tuition fees, less than $15,000 is far more typical ("Why US universities are wealthy while Israel's are broke," November 6). In any case, $50,000 is way beyond the ability of most Americans to cover, thus rendering access to places like Harvard, Yale, etc., a rich man's enclave, as they once were. However, the most important thing about covering college tuition in the US is that the student begins to repay education loans only upon leaving school. Here in Israel, Abba and Ima have to start shelling out right away. As for the Israeli universities themselves, they are plagued with an "edifice complex," building big beautiful buildings reserved for a single faculty, leaving them unused to a great extent, but still requiring unremitting maintenance costs. Brooklyn College in New York, which my brother and late wife attended, hardly had an unused room. The "garbled language" and "lack of cultural depth" is unfortunately typical of Israel in general, for reasons too numerous to recall here. The bottom line is that charging sky-high tuition fees will only exclude middle and lower-class people from attending university, and allow the university administrators themselves not to clean up their acts. TREVOR DAVIS Asseret