September 10: Nothing unique

News flash: Every developed country has a problem, acknowledged or unacknowledged, with illegal immigrants.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Nothing unique
Sir, – The Post editorializes that “Israel will be held responsible” for the fate of infiltrators failing to gain entry (“Border woes,” Editorial, September 7) and says the international media won’t explain our “tremendous demographic challenges” to the public, which would presumably mollify world opinion toward us.
News flash: Every developed country has a problem, acknowledged or unacknowledged, with illegal immigrants.
America, the most significant country for Israel, has a huge problem with illegal immigration and is doing its best to ignore it.
The federal government has gone to the extreme of prosecuting states for trying to protect their borders after the federal government refused to do so.
Americans aren’t fixated on Israel’s policy toward illegal immigrants. Neither is any other country or organization unless it has an axe to grind against Israel in the first place.
To allow infiltrators entrance to Israel just because they manage to reach the vicinity of the fence is ridiculous. The onus is on Egypt to handle the problem.
Our priority must be Israel’s well-being.
Stop the incessant harping on what the international media say or do.
STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe
Dangerous game
Sir, – With regard to “Iran for dummies” (Frontlines, September 7), an American strategy is becoming more and more apparent – to permit the Iranians to develop all the components of a nuclear weapon but not go so far as to assemble them. The US will then rely on the threat of retaliatory measures to hold off assembly.
That is the meaning of loading up on seapower and missiles in our area, a dangerous equilibrium.
Technically, the US can be said to be preventing Iran from having a weapon. Whether this strategy is relayed explicitly to the Iranians or remains implicit is immaterial. Both sides recognize red lines.
Obviously, this is a very dangerous game. Any time the US shows weakness or otherwise distracted, assembly can quickly be commenced. Can Israel live with this quite untenable situation?
PAUL RABOFF Jerusalem On responsibility
Sir, – In reference to Hirsh Goodman’s “On responsibility” (PostScript, September 7), I wish to remark that: Someone has to be responsible for the development of a young generation of religious and nonreligious Zionists who willingly serve in the army and are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country and its ideals.
Someone has to be responsible for their ability to fight to defend their country, and then to return as sensitive, serious and caring young people.
Someone has to be responsible for providing an education that inculcates true Torah values in many of these young people, whereby they live their lives and provide the strength of a young nation finding its way in the world.
There are evidently forces at work in Israel that are very positive and constructive, perhaps unique in the world. I am afraid that Goodman has concentrated on a small, possibly deviate, lunatic fringe.
No first strike
Sir, – The highly emotional but reckless “Israel must act against Iran” (Fundamentally Freund, September 6) cannot be ignored.
We would have to fly over 3,000 kilometers of hostile terrain since Arab states would seize the opportunity to unite with Iran and cause major losses among our aircraft. But what aircraft? What super bombs? We have neither a limitless number of B-52s or 10-ton “daisy cutters.”
An attack would cause other trauma. Missiles on densely inhabited central Israel, rocket attacks from the North by Hezbollah and from the South by Hamas. Business would come to a standstill, immigration would stop and emigration would rise. The entire world might come to a complete economic standstill, too, as Iran would close the Straits of Hormuz and the price of oil would escalate to who knows where? Moreover, should a conflict last more than a few weeks there is no Nixon to replenish our arsenal.
And what is to stop a rogue Pakistan or North Korea from ultimately supplying a bomb to Iran? The only way to deal with this menace is to have the most sophisticated and up-to-date missile defense system. Then, if we are attacked, we should use whatever those who advocate attack would employ and, most importantly, have the support of the free world.
Employment woes
Sir, – I grew up in South Africa.
During the last years of Apartheid the nationalist government, in an effort to make up for all the wrongs done to black workers, passed the Labor Relations Act (LRA). Workers were no longer fired or disciplined without extensive hearings or educational programs. Every firing and disciplinary action was contested in a labor court. Many employers who fired difficult and disruptive workers were forced to reinstate them with full back pay.
Workers were emboldened and employers went into a state of shock. The result was dramatic and immediate: New employment ceased completely.
Employers went on a frenzy of automation and discontinued new products that might require additional employment. A country that boasted half the world’s gold, platinum, chrome, uranium, coal and diamonds, with world-class universities and a sophisticated infrastructure, suddenly found itself with a 40 percent unemployment rate.
With regard to “Simhon: Enforcement of labor laws will lift 100,000 families out of poverty” (Business & Finance, September 7), I am sure that Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon never personally created a single job that produced goods or services. If he had he would see the difficulty of paying monthly wages, never mind all the other requirements of employment in Israel, and would not be so quick to interfere in the relationship between workers and employers.
No matter how many rights you give a worker, a worker with no job has no rights at all.ANTHONY LEVINE Ra’anana
Rhetoric, hyperbole
Sir, – I am bothered that the word “terrorism,” as used by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to describe the contemptible defacing of the monastery at Latrun, apparently by right-wing zealots (“Latrun Monastery hit by ‘price tag’ attack,” September 5).
Such an act demands the strongest condemnation. The person or persons responsible for this should receive a punishment that fits the crime. Having said this, however, the deed, as despicable as it was, was not an act of terrorism; it was an act of sordid vandalism.
The difference between the two terms is vast. It is wrong to conflate them.
It is true that there seems to be no consensus over the definition of terrorism. “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.” However, physical injury and murder have become the sine qua non of this most extreme and illegitimate form of political expression.
Nobody at Latrun was physically harmed. This clearly was not the intent of the perpetrators.
Even blatant anti-Semitic slogans painted on a synagogue or Jewish school should not be referred to as terrorism.
We do ourselves a disservice by ratcheting up the rhetoric and resorting to hyperbole. Let’s just catch the vandals and punish them.
CORRECTIONThe last Israeli to serve on the UN’s Human Rights Committee was Prof. David Kretzmer, and not as stated in “Israeli chosen for UN rights body” (News in Brief, September 7).