November 7: Traffic-light hawking

Hardly a time goes by when I find myself confronted by individuals at major traffic lights, waving CDs, tapes, videos, and literature.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Traffic-light hawking
Sir, – Yaakov Lappin seems to have missed a major part of the traffic-light hawking problem (“Police declare campaign aiming to curb roadside begging,” November 2).
Hardly a time goes by when I find myself confronted by individuals at major traffic lights, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, waving CDs, tapes, videos, and literature of various religious flavors.
Once, while waiting at a red light, I opened my window and told one of these people that he was risking his life and that of the drivers around him. He had the audacity to tell me that “the police said it was OK.”
As for the police “campaign,” I don’t see a necessity for that. All the cops have to do is their job.
As an example, there is a gentleman dressed in white, to be found at the traffic light off the Ashdod Ad Halom Interchange who has been a fixture there for years. I find it hard to believe that passing police vehicles have not seen him yet.
Merely handing out tickets is about as dumb an idea as you can find. These violations are not “accidents”; they are premeditated acts of breaking the law.
Drivers performing equivalently egregious violations are not given citations; they are arrested on the spot and their behinds hauled off to jail.
Just handing out a ticket and driving off solves nothing. Business will keep on going immediately thereafter.
The inside of a cell in a Tegart fort is the only viable solution.
Don’t count on the US
Sir, – Regarding “US calls on Syria to deter Iran, Hizbullah in Lebanon” (Online Edition, November 2): It should be understood that the average American has no idea of what is going on in Lebanon. Many likely have no idea where it is.
If they did and were even aware of the threat Hizbullah posed to peace in the area, they would not support an American show of force.
Americans are tired of war. They are tired of their government posturing.
They fear this could lead to more war and more military commitments.
I do not think most countries take threats from the United States that seriously anymore. America cannot police the world.
The current generation of Americans have no stomach for another Southeast Asian war nor for another fiasco in Lebanon that left 241 Marines dead and a decade of hostage-taking.
Fair Haven, Vermont
Calling a spade a spade
Sir, – Regarding James Adler’s letter headlined “Words in the PM’s mouth” (November 2): Whether or not David Horovitz “had Netanyahu say” anything is not the issue. I think we all know that Netanyahu needs no instruction in speaking.
As it happens, the names Judea and Samaria are the names of the places in question. Have been for a long, long time- yep, even before Islam.
Netanyahu understands fully our heritage and our security needs.
Also, he understands the value of calling a spade a spade.
Saying no to Obama
Sir, – Jeff Barak is of the opinion that Netanyahu has worked hard to weaken Obama “by turning down the unprecedented parcel of sweeteners Washington offered... in return for extending the settlement freeze in the West Bank for a mere 60 days” (“Bibi’s likely miscalculation,” Reality check, November 1).
Netanyahu already gave in to Obama by freezing Jewish homes for 10 months.
Obama reneged on president George W. Bush’s letter to prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 that enabled Sharon to pass disengagement through his government.
Clinton, when he was president, also reneged on a deal with Netanyahu that would release Jonathan Pollard.
The Israeli people rightly have no trust in the present American administration, and whether or not Obama after the elections continues with his arm-twisting of Netanyahu, there are a growing number of Israelis who are realizing that our existence is on the line and we cannot depend on the Obamas or Clintons of this world.
Our decisions must be our own because only we are really interested in whether we continue to exist as a people in the Jewish Land of Israel, which is historically and legally ours.
Unilateralism: Real danger or false alarm?
Sir, – Regarding two recent essays, “Bibi’s likely miscalculation” (by Jeff Barak, November 1) and “The changing nature of threats to Israel affects vital security arrangements” (by Maj.-Gen. Giora Eiland, October 31): It seems that an argument could be made that – based on current events – two things can happen to Israel, both bad: Prime Minister Netanyahu could miscalculate Obama’s ability to pressure Israel after the US midterm elections and, as a result of Obama, Abbas, the EU and the UN, the PA could become a state without negotiating anything with Israel.
Left unsaid is an implicit suggestion that such an unfolding of events might be a worst-case scenario.
But is it? In his essay, Eiland refers to military simulations to examine Israel’s ability to defend itself. The simulation he references seems to ask the question, What could be the military consequence if Israel gives up land for peace (thereby reducing its national footprint) and is then attacked – something many agree is a true possibility.
Perhaps the IDF can run a simulation in which the Palestinian Authority unilaterally declares statehood for itself. In this scenario, Israel volunteers to give up no land. Given the security issues Eiland raises, does such an action by the PA actually create a more defensible military situation for Israel than the more conventional scenario in which Israel voluntarily gives up land and is then attacked?


Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Why does it seem that no one is paying attention when David Horovitz (“Unilateralism is no mirage,” Editor’s notes, October 29) claims that the Palestinians aren’t talking about peace, only statehood? Surely, it should be clear by now that PA President Abbas, with his foot-dragging and reluctance to sit down and discuss core issues, is simply waiting for international recognition to claim what he believes is the Palestinians’ right to a state within the pre-1967 borders.
Given the delegitimization of Israel prevalent today, this could be a real danger.
Let’s work with President Obama to compile an offer that could possibly gain us the conditions we need – i.e., retaining settlement blocs; no to Palestinian refugees; acceptance of Israel as the state of the Jewish people – without the need for a formal peace agreement, which looks ever less likely? Let’s deal with what might be possible and not formulas that have proved time and time again to be worthless.
My grandfather’s pocket watch Sir, – I was most interested to read Gershon Polak’s letter (November 3) about his grandfather’s pocket watch.
My own experience is somewhat different as my grandfather was killed in World War II in the London Blitz in September 1940.
As a little boy my grandfather Aron Sulzbacher always teased us by telling us to blow on the watch when he would secretly open it.
When his body was retrieved from the ruins of the house, the watch was found among his clothes. It showed the time of 8:33.
My family treasured this watch, but unfortunately it was burgled some years later.
The big and vital difference between Michel Polak and Aron Sulzbacher is that we can visit my grandfather’s grave in Enfield Cemetery whilst that of Michel Polak is among the millions of ashes of our Jewish martyrs.