Rules of war

Does the UN Human Rights Council’s failure to condemn Saudi Arabia in Yemen or US attacks in Syria represent a hate crime?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Rules of war
With regard to “Int’l blue-ribbon panel finds no Israeli war crimes in Gaza” (June 14), it would be much better for Israel if the panel members had looked at our enemy’s actions and reported on those.
Was Hamas involved in war crimes? Did UNRWA actions in support of Hamas represent war crimes? Did UNRWA pronouncements encourage Hamas to continue with its attacks? Does the UN Human Rights Council’s failure to condemn Saudi Arabia in Yemen or US attacks in Syria represent a hate crime? The large amount of false reporting by the foreign press during last year’s war should require that their press credentials be withdrawn.
MIichael H. Davis, Rishon Lezion
With regard to “IDF clears soldiers in 2014 deaths of four boys on Gaza beach” (June 12), it was Charles Dickens’s Mr. Bumble who said: “The law is an ass.” So what does that make lawyers who interpret the law? (One has only to see the latest pronouncement by the US Supreme Court to ponder that.)
The laws of war, to which all civilized countries ascribe, were written when sovereign nations resolved their differences by killing each other. Now, most civilized nations do not go to war against each other, and the world is confronted by new phenomenon – the rise of terrorist organizations that target anyone who does not believe as they do.
The time has come to ignore or revise the present laws of war when one is fighting terrorist organizations that resort to primitive, brutal savagery; behead people in public; kidnap children and sell them as sex slaves; and fire 10,000 rockets at random civilian targets. The UN and others must be ready to apply different rules when ordinary citizens are exposed to the brutality of these terrorists.
Cyril Atkins, Beit Shemesh
Physics and math
“A crisis at the edge of physics” (Comment & Features, June 14) made for very interesting reading.
Some of the newest theories are fascinating.
Consider the multiverse issue: Our Midrash (Bereshit Rabba 3:7;9:2) says that God created many worlds and destroyed them before being satisfied with ours.
Perhaps this theory of separate universes, which admittedly “would lie beyond our powers of observation and could never be directly investigated,” is related? Maybe there are things we are not meant to understand.
Batya Berlinger, Jerusalem
With regard to “The deadly combination of heat and humidity” (Comment & Features, June 14), a little perspective is surely necessary.
The authors list approximately 100,000 deaths due to heat waves in the past 17 years, which works out to approximately 6,000 deaths per year. They then make a passionate plea for more efforts to slow global warming.
Let’s do a little arithmetic.
The world’s population, by reliable estimates, reached 7 billion sometime in 2011 or 2012. All of these people, except for a very few, will be dead in 100 years.
Let’s say that of the 7 billion born from now on (to replace the 7 billion dead), one-third will die. This means that in 100 years, at least 9.3 billion people will die, a per-annum figure of 93 million a year.
The estimate of 6,000 deaths per year from heat and humidity thus represents 0.006% of those who will die of all causes, both natural and otherwise.
It is estimated that the world population could reach 10 billion by 2100. Many fear that this is an unsustainable level. Our problem could be too many people rather than too few.
Some readers will say what a cold-hearted view of things. But in order for humanity to survive, cold-hearted cost-benefit analyses could be necessary.
It’s time for some cold-hearted analyses.
Yigal Horowitz, Beersheba
The writer is an emeritus professor of physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Throw ’em out
Regarding “EU official to Israel: Don’t demolish unauthorized Palestinian village” (June 9), the EU is funding subversion here. We should outlaw its interference (and all the NGOs it funds), cut trade (especially concerning our medicine and hi-tech, which Europe is so desperate for) and boycott it.
The Jerusalem Post could help matters by not reporting on such foolish calls. Reporting encourages more harmful pressure.
The EU pays lip service to a twostate solution but ultimately wants an area from the river to the sea that is free of Jews. Let us throw it out of this country and out of our media.
Gabriel Goldberg, Jerusalem
Signpost to disaster
As a person with extensive experience in stock markets, I wish to strongly object to your front-page article on haredi stock trading (“For haredi men, stock trading strikes a good balance,” June 9).
The general impression conveyed is that with a certain amount of training (at a price, or course), a person can simply sit down on a daily basis, trade, walk away after a few hours with $200- 300, and go home and sleep soundly with a virtually guaranteed income.
The fact is, so far, the opposite, that this article is actually a virtual signpost to financial disaster.
The statistics are in and there is no question that the very vast majority of day traders (gamblers?) end up losing what they speculate with, if not their personal and fixed property, as they plunge in deeper and deeper, attempting to make up for almost certain losses.
It is only right that there be at least one more front-page article presenting the contrary view – that getting into day trading is a virtual death wish, a disaster for the person and the family.
Tell these people to stick to Torah. They can’t lose!
Marchal Kaplan, Jerusalem
US domestic aid
It is very interesting that in your editorial “Obama’s support for Israel” (June 3) and various articles in your paper concerning US President Barack Obama’s so-called support for Israel, some important negative points are being left out.
These items stress the billions we receive in military aid from the Obama administration, but it’s funny that no one thinks to mention that these dollars have to be spent in the US. This means that Obama is ensuring work for his citizens and a reduction in the US national debt.
In other words, this foreign aid is really a program of self-aid.
Emanuel Fischer, Jerusalem
Incorrect terminology
In too many of your articles about the Holocaust and survivors, the phrase “extermination camps” is used. This is the same terminology the Nazis used. One exterminates vermin, not innocent souls.
We Jews must start calling the Nazi camps by their correct name: “murder camps.”
Beryl Waizner, Bnei Dror
Water matters
In light of the drought in California and much of the American west, haven’t the water authorities there heard about desalination?
Hannah Kaplan, Herzliya
I was in the plumbing business for over 50 years in the US.
Over the past 10 years, the government there has mandated that a toilet be limited to just a bit more than 5.5 liters to flush all waste away. Here in Israel, the toilets seem to use about 15 liters – and they still do not flush all the waste away.
With water being so precious here, why don’t the authorities insist on producing more efficient toilets?
Walter Buchman, Hod Hasharon