October 31: Olmert's illness

The Jerusalem Post called it a "courageous disclosure". It was nothing of the sort. My mother taught me that if you're going to have to do something unpleasant, do it gracefully.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Olmert's illness Sir, - Our poor country is about to suffer another bout of "etrogitis." That's the disease we had when Ariel Sharon was prime minister. The media wanted to protect him "like an etrog" from any bad words or investigation. As long as he held to the Left's ideal of destroying settlements, they would ignore whatever financial shenanigans he got up to. And now we have Ehud Olmert. Poor guy. The Jerusalem Post called it a "courageous disclosure" (Editorial, October 30). It was nothing of the sort. My mother taught me long ago that if you are going to have to do something unpleasant, you may as well do it gracefully. There's no way, in this age of instant communications, that Olmert could have kept his illness a secret. So he spoke up. Big deal. Other prime ministers - Menahem Begin, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and even Sharon - kept their illnesses secret. In their day it was possible. Olmert is certainly the least competent on this list and certainly no hero. I wish him good health so we can defeat him in the polls. THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva Sir, - Could it be possible that we are indeed entering into a new era in politics? Is it possible that the first step has been taken? Our prime minister has actually told the public the truth. It is a welcome start. Maybe soon we can expect to be told the truth about other real important public matters. I sincerely wish Ehud Olmert well and a speedy recovery. The matter of his current health is absolutely not the reason to resign. M. JANKELOWITZ Shoham Cutting Gaza's power Sir, - The decision to initiate cuts in electricity and fuel and the reversal of that decision a short time later can be interpreted in one of two ways ("Mazuz to army: No electricity cuts in Gaza for now," October 30). 1. The people responsible for the decision did not do their homework in a proper manner and were made to look like fools. 2. The main reason of the stoppage was to send a clear message to Hamas that with a flip of a switch Israel can bring Gaza to a full stop. The next few weeks will tell how Hamas has interpreted the action. P. YONAH Shoham Sir, - I would have thought that those trying to cast off Zionist rule would welcome the cessation of provision of power from Israel. Fifteen whole minutes of freedom from tyrannical, imperialist Zionist electrical supply! GILBERT SIEVERS Jerusalem Worth fighting for Sir, - Caroline Glick's "Laura Bush's embrace of tyranny" (October 30) lists in great detail the terrible lives women must lead in Saudi Arabia. However, it's hard to recall a mass movement, with embassy protests, against the Saudi regime. What causes the relative disinterest in the West to the treatment of women and gays in Muslim countries? I suggest it is the clinical self-loathing within Western countries. As a consequence, the treatment of such Saudi women is almost welcomed by anti-Western Westerners, so loath are they to accept the freedom of the individual - particularly that of the non-intellectual, ordinary Joes and Janes. If the West is going to win this war on Islamism, we must first accept that our way of life is worth fighting for. JOHN LALOR Dublin Iran's cat's-paw Sir, - The whole world seems puzzled about the motivation behind Mohamed ElBaradei's soft-pedaling Iran's nuclear weapons buildup ("IAEA chief slams Israel's Syria raid," October 29). For five years, ElBaradei, the Egyptian-born lawyer who runs the International Atomic Energy Agency, has served as Iran's cat's-paw, delaying, thwarting, weakening every single international effort to expose and stop the Iranian atomic bomb development. Why is he protecting Iran? Is it because he's an Egyptian Muslim and he wants Israel damaged or destroyed? Maybe. But I suspect it's money, big money. One day, when it's too late, the world will discover that Iran was funneling tens of millions into ElBaradei's secret accounts in Lichtenstein, Grand Cayman Island or wherever. Sort of like former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's son, who was getting payoffs from Saddam Hussein's oil-for-food program. JIM BENNETT Haifa Birkat Hamazon Sir, - In her article on current developments in Jewish ritual ("From Torah yoga to Shoah scrolls," October 23), Sue Fishkoff credited Prof. Mordecai M. Kaplan with composing the melody for the opening paragraph of the Birkat Hamazon which is sung today by many Jews of all denominations. However, to set the record straight, the composer was Hazzan Moshe Nathanson, who served for many years as cantor of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism that Kaplan founded. RABBI JACK J. COHEN Jerusalem Save water Sir, - As each day goes by without any rain and on each weather forecast we are shown the depleted water supply in the Kinneret, when is the government or at least a ministry going to step in and do something about the attitude of the public in wasting our precious water supply. Every day we see cleaners happily hosing down steps and forecourts of apartment blocks, car owners hosing down their cars and the municipalities seem quite unaware that there is any water shortage as the sprinklers work away overtime, day in and day out. Perhaps those ministers in charge of water matters (if such a thing exists in this country) will enjoy the final result of their head in the sand attitude when they turn on their tap and out comes a rush of air and nothing else. Wake up Israel - time and water is running out! NATALIE GILBERT Jerusalem Shale oil Sir, - About 20 or 25 years ago, there were articles in The Jerusalem Post about the vast reserves of shale oil in Israel, but it was not economical as it would cost $20 per barrel to produce. The price of oil was then $10 per barrel. Even if the cost of production has tripled or slightly more, why is nothing heard of shale oil? How can we light a fire under the relevant authorities or businessmen? SYDNEY WOLMAN Rehovot