June 18: Road rage

If you did not pay to view the show from the grandstand, you were forced to stand in the heat of sun to watch one car pass every 20 minutes.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Road rage
Sir, – I am not sure which Formula One race Daniel K. Eisenbud watched for his article “Formula 1 ‘Peace Road Show’ lives up to name,” (June 14) and I am not sure what exactly this “road show” was living up to.
This exhibition managed to tie up the city streets from 1 p.m. on Thursday until 2 p.m. on Friday.
If you did not pay between NIS 250 and 750 to view the show from the grandstand, or be lucky enough to stand atop one of the penthouse apartments along the route, you were forced to stand in the heat of sun to watch one car pass every 20 minutes.
And where was the “peace?” We did not need the road show for the world to see Arabs and Jews shop together, or be together in a friendly manner.
Visit any hospital, walk through Mamilla or shop at the Rami Levi supermarket in Gush Etzion to see a real “peace show.”
Hopefully the next time the mayor needs to have a road race he can plan it around Beit Hakerem!
Change direction
Sir, – In The Jerusalem Post editorial “Two-state incoherence” (June 14), the writer appears to approve of the prime minister’s views, but is critical of the various ministers who hold opposing views, and sometimes express them. Worst of all, in the writer’s eyes, is the fact that Likud MK Danny Danon, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, was appointed by Netanyahu as deputy defense minister.
It should be pointed out, however, that Danon, and many other like-minded Likud MKs, hold views which are more faithful to the traditional Likud party line, and more closely reflect the feelings of Likud’s electorate than do the Center- Left policies which these days seem to be favored by our prime minister. Indeed, Netanyahu appears to be losing touch with the grassroots of his party.
A two-state solution, with its obvious dangers, had always been advocated by the Left but shunned by the Right and Center- Right, until Netanyahu declared his support for this concept in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, and subsequently defended his position on many occasions; notwithstanding warnings from experts that the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank could threaten Israel’s very survival.
The Likud electorate has good reason to feel that, once again, they voted for the Right and got the Left. If our leaders can feel themselves free to change political direction once elected, it makes a mockery of elections.
Green gridlock
Sir – I found Caroline Glick’s article “Oil brings us to a better place” (Column One, Observations, June 14) very interesting, and I congratulate her on the incisive analysis of the economic and sociological aspects of the failure of Better Place and its electric car scheme, as well as the economic devastation caused by the “greenies” in the Western world in general and in Israel in particular.
While agreeing with Ms. Glick about the senseless obstructionism of the green movement to any industrial innovation, even to the extent of interminably delaying the essential economic development of the oil-shale projects, I would like to make her aware of an even more critical example here in Israel.
Ms. Glick seems to be totally unaware that oil is already being produced in Israel itself, on shore, and commercially – indeed, oil of the highest quality by all international standards.
And, were it not for the ridiculous and almost vindictive intervention of the green movement in the development of our local oil field, Israel would already be in the advanced throes of increasing the daily production.
Nobody can deny that the goal of oil-self-sufficiency is a matter of supreme national importance.
The Givot Olam Oil Company could have been well on the way to helping to achieve this goal were it not for the delays caused by environmental activists and the incomprehensible weight given to them by various government and local authorities. From the date of the “discovery” of a commercial oil field in the very center of the country, to the date that Givot was finally allowed to go into production, a long period of time was wasted to satisfy the ridiculous and damaging activism of a group of self-interested, fame-seeking, ignorant individuals who put their own egos before the national interest.
Sir, – Both Martin Sherman (“Understanding politics in Israel: The limousine theory,” Into the Fray, Observations, June 14) and Caroline Glick (“Oil brings us to a better place”) have identified that unelected and anonymous powers are behind the throne who are more interested in their own personal agenda than that of the state and its citizens.
Sherman has identified the back-seaters, but we are still unaware of the actual names of these people, their affiliations, their business interests and their international connections.
Glick’s coverage of the problems of the pilot oil shale project of Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) indicates it is being hampered at all stages and has singled out unnamed radical Environmental Ministry staff and incompetent bureaucrats at three ministries – Justice, Energy and the Interior.
One wonders what breadth of knowledge and experience these environmentalists have, given that Israel does not have any sort of similar heavy industry, unlike Western Europe or North America.
Now the application goes to yet another body of both unnamed and unelected people, namely the Jerusalem Planning Board. Who are these people, how did they get their positions to the board and are they qualified to judge on something that has never been done in Israel before? No doubt they will rely on the evidence of external consultants, but there are none in Israel who have any practical knowledge of the subject since the only oil shale project in Israel operated by PAMA ended decades ago, and its technology was totally different from that of IEI. So is the anonymous board which usually deals with housing and factory planning and zoning competent to make a decision? It should not be left to this board to make the decision but to a select committee of senior government ministers alone.
The writer is the former engineering manager at PAMA Ltd.
Sir, – A lot of Israelis will have woken up with a glow in their heart after reading Caroline Glick’s article entitled “Oil brings us a better place.”
At last, Israel will be self sufficient in energy. First there was the discovery of the huge offshore gas deposits, and now we also have vast reserves of shale oil. The former will provide us with all the fuel required to generate electricity and the latter will provide us with the means to run our cars for years to come.
Contrary to what we are made to believe, this will be an undertaking of major proportions with all the infrastructure which will be required. This is just one aspect, but the far larger one that was glossed over is global warming. The cumulative effect of the exhaust emissions from our cars – and to some extend the emissions from our power stations – leads to global warming .
One has to read what the experts, not Greenpeace, have to say on the subject to understand what is at stake. According to them, we have already reached a dangerous stage and if we continue to do as we have been doing then the problem will only get worse .
One day we shall see the folly of our ways and change, but until that happens I suppose it will be business as usual.